January 31, 2006
Congratulations to Associate Justice Of The Supreme Court,
Who's cryin' now, Hippies?
UPDATE: Delicious Irony. Alito is confirmed 58-42. And Ed Whelan at Bench Memos reminds us that 19 years ago, Robert Bork was denied a seat on SCOTUS by a Senate vote of 58-42. What a difference a generation makes - not to mention elections and the weakening of the Old Media's monopoly on information. Heh.
And since it's now become somewhat dated, I am retiring the "Confirm Alito Coalition" button from the side bar.
Our work is done.
Assuming Landrieu and Snowe vote "yea", that's fifty-nine in total. Now, in the minds of the Left, fifty-nine votes not would have been enough to invoke cloture last night. Yet an additional thirteen Democrats voted for cloture. These thirteen who voted "yea" for cloture will be seen as traitors by the Moonbats who - for one brief shining moment - thought they could get enough support to maintain a filibuster.
The Left will come even more unhinged today, to the dismay of the more centrist members of the Dem caucus (both of them). It's ironic that less than four months ago, the Left was positively gleeful at the thought of a Republican party tearing itself apart over the Miers mess. But the GOP weathered that storm and are now more united than ever.
The current fracture among Democrats is going to be a lot harder to mend, assuming both parties even want it to. Let the blood-letting begin!
January 30, 2006
The one thing that would make this perfect is if Alito is confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. You think the Left is going nuts now? Heh.
60 or more Senators will vote to invoke cloture. Or will they? I expect that they will, but the results - whatever they are - will be interesting. I'll be out of the loop most of the evening so I'll likely hear after the fact. But I'm sure someone in the blogosphere will post how each Senator voted.
The suspense is killing me...I hope it lasts.
January 26, 2006
Democrats Feinstein (CA), Salazar (CO) and Landrieu (LA) are on record as saying they are against a filibuster over Alito. According to Byron York at NRO, the scuttlebutt is that Reid doesn't have the votes for a filibuster. But try explaining that to a moonbat.
My guess is that the remaining uncommitted Democrats are playing a big game of "chicken" to see who'll commit to voting for Alito so they won't have to. If Frist files for cloture on the current debate tomorrow than a vote could come Monday. If that's the case, expect a full court press by Left-wing interest groups this weekend to push for a filibuster anyway.
If the final vote comes out as 59-41, the Left will incorrectly believe that a filibuster would have been successful and lose their freaking minds.
And I will giggle my ass off.
January 25, 2006
Here's their goal:
"The next few days are the last chance we have to influence the Senate before the final vote. So, today, we're aiming to send in 10,000 letters to the editor to newspapers around the country, opposing the nomination of Samuel Alito and Bush's plan to put himself above the law.That's right, as if the pressure from the Big Donor lobby groups isn't enough, now the Democrat Senators have the face the impending doom of 10 thousand form letters that, curiously, all say almost exactly the same thing.
You can write and submit your letter online right now, at: [Link included]
Filling the nation's editorial pages with citizens' letters connecting Alito and the Bush power grab is one of the most effective ways we can show the Senate that we understand the stakes and are counting on them to stand up. And it's important to act now, because the Democrats and moderate Republicans who oppose Alito have still not decided if they will mount a filibuster to block his nominationÂ—but they must decide soon."
Will it be enough to coax the Dems into trying for a filibuster? Oh boy, I sure hope so.
January 24, 2006
But in the end, the 10 "yea" votes from the GOP Senators are the only ones that matter. And the Committee is expected to send the nomination to the full Senate. So far only one Democrat, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, has gone on record as saying he will vote for confirmation. That's 56 at a minimum.
Whether or not more Democrats (particularly those in Red States who voted for John Roberts) will join Nelson is uncertain. They are: Blanche Lincoln (AR), Mark Pryor (AR), Bill Nelson (FL), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeff Bingaman (NM), Kent Conrad (ND), Byron Dorgan (ND), Tim Johnson (SD), Robert Byrd (WV) and Jay Rockefeller (WV). That would make 66 the maximum.
So the spread right now is between 56 and 66 votes. Ill guess Alito gets no more than 61 votes, probably fewer than that.
UPDATE: Chuck Schumer really is a slimy, reprehensible sumbitch.
UPDATE II: The vote is done. 10-8 in favor. Now on to the full Senate.
January 18, 2006
Despite reservations, the Court just ruled to affirm a NH "parental consent" law. O'Connor, on behalf of the Court, wrote that getting in the middle of this matter "may call for a far more serious invasion of the legislative domain than we ought to undertake".
Essentially, the Court dodged the issue by telling the lower courts to look at it again. But in the meantime, they ruled that the same lower court could not block the law that requires a parent to be notified when a minor daughter seeks an abortion.
The real irony here is that the plaintiff is seeking to have the law overturned on the grounds that it conflicts with Roe v. Wade, a decision that many legal scholars contend is itself a "serious invasion of the legislative domain."
January 17, 2006
America's culture, however, is what's taken a beating for the last forty some-odd years. For evidence of this we need look no further than last week's hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Samuel Alito. There once was a time when someone like Alito who valued family, tradition, and patriotism was a natural fit for the old Roosevelt-coalition Democrats especially one of his religion and ethnicity.
But in the 1960's and '70's, the Hard Left hijacked the Democrat party, causing the party to do a 180-degree turn away from the values that fueled its domination of American Politics from 1932-1968. One of the residual effects was Judicial Activism. And the Left-wing interest-groups who control the modern Democrat Party desperately want this to continue.
Many of the attacks against Alito from the Democrat Senators on the Judicial Committee stem from what they perceived as his failure to make rulings against the concept of inequality rather than on the merits of the case. This explains their focus on the percentage of his decisions in favor of the individual. To the Senators, Alito should have ruled more often in favor of the "average person", as they put it, to ensure such concepts as "social justice" or "social progress" even if the facts of the case proved otherwise. The idea of neutrality in the Justice System is foreign to them. Dennis Prager in his most recent column explains why:
Everyone, whether able to articulate it or not, has a values system. The trick -- often a difficult trick -- is to isolate precisely what those values are. The Left is now, as it has always been, the child of the French Revolution and of Karl Marx. For both, the greatest evil is not injustice, not cruelty, not even murder; it is inequality.In other words, the Left sees the Courts as a tool for advancing social policy. However, the Constitution designates the Congress - the popularly-elected Legislature - to be the maker of laws, not the Judiciary. This is why Justices like Sam Alito are a threat to their Liberal agenda. The Democrat Senators seemed to be besides themselves last week when the judge's answers revealed that he possessed a philosophy of impartiality. When a case is looked at - as it is supposed to be - in this context, then the underlying agenda becomes moot. With Liberals, it's the agenda that trumps the law and the Constitution. And with fewer and fewer Justices to champion the agenda over the law, the Supreme Court is returning to the purpose for which the Founders intended. And this will go a long way toward the "unscrewing"-up of our culture.
Surprise, surprise. The Democrats reneged on the deal. According to standard rules, either party can delay a Committe vote by a maximum of one week. According to Sen. Patrick Leahy's office, the agreement didn't count because it wasn't in writing. Which means the word of a Democrat means - to quote Chris Farley's Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker - JACK...SQUAT!!!
A useless gesture to be sure, this gives America another week to see Democrats bend over for their pimps - the Left-wing interest groups who pull their strings.
"This is a new low in our confirmation process," said Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican. "Not only because it is virtually unprecedented, but also because it reflects a breach of trust."A breach of trust. This is standard operating procedure for Democrats, not just to their colleagues but to the people who foolishly vote for them. And they just sit and scratch their heads, wondering why.
UPDATE: Some on the Left are savoring this Pyrrhic "victory":
While it's not a win, it's at least a victory in a part of the skirmish -- politically, the Preznit doesn't get his quick vote. Frist looks ineffectual. Again. And the Dems have bought themselves a little more time to actually coordinate a coherent message for the full Senate debate.While somehow I doubt that Democrats are capable of a "coherent" message on anything, I'll agree that Frist looks ineffectual. But then he's looked ineffectual since last May after the "Gang of 14" deal. Not that it matters much. Frist has already term-limited himself and won't even be in the Senate a year from now. And situations like this help ensure that he doesn't have a chance for the GOP Presidential nomination in 2008, which is fine by me.
January 13, 2006
"I intend to vote to support Judge Alito for associate justice of the Supreme Court and I do not do that as having a party line vote," said the Republican from Pennsylvania. "If I thought Judge Alito should not be on the Supreme Court, I would vote 'no,' just as I did with Judge [Robert] Bork."Man, he just loves to remind people that he voted against Bork doesn't he? I swear, if the guy could take sole credit for scuttling that nomination he would. Whatever.
Democrats are still trying to delay it, but Specter isn't having any of that. He's sticking to next Tuesday or Wednesday, and as Committee Chairman that's his call - not Patrick Leahy's. Tough noogies, Pat.
I've had my share of complaints about Specter but I'll give him credit for the job he did running the hearings. Everybody had a say and ample opportunity to question the nominee. And when Kennedy tried his little stunt over CAP, he could easily have refused to look into it - thereby leaving the matter hanging out there and giving the Dems something to bitch about. Instead, he had his staff work tirelessly at the Library of Congress to pour through the papers and found to the satisfaction of any reasonable person that the charges were baseless. And he didn't let the fat bastard bully him.
The Dems will keep trying for a delay, though. Why? As BullDogPundit explains: "It's All About Abortion". Go read his piece and it'll all makes sense.
Â“If they want to filibuster, frankly, bring it on." - Sen. Orrin HatchI actually hope they try it. They have no justification. The hearings are over. They pulled out a couple of items they were holding onto since December which flopped. They have nothing else. A filibuster would further marginalize the Democrats as a party of Left-wing kooks and the GOP would benefit in November.
January 12, 2006
For all intents and purposes, the hearings are over. Alito did a superb job and allowed the Democratic Senators to demonstrate a new level of buffoonery.
Despite Democrat attempts to delay it, Specter will hold a Committee vote most likely on Tuesday, the 17th. Despite Democrat attempts to delay it, the nomination will go to the full Senate for a vote most likely by next Friday, the 20th. Alito will immediately take his seat on the bench and we say goodbye to ol' Sandy (don't let the door hit your ass on the way out).
With luck, sometime over the next three years another Justice, maybe Ginsberg but most likely Stevens, will get tired of always writing dissenting opinions and decide to pack it in. And we get to watch this whole game play out again. Doesn't Justice Janice Rogers Brown have a nice ring to it?
An editorial in today's OpinionJournal.com sums it up best:
It's a sign of how little Democrats have on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito that on Day Three of his confirmation hearings they were still pounding away on his membership in an obscure Princeton alumni group that flowered briefly at the judge's alma mater. They can't touch him on credentials or his mastery of jurisprudence, so they're trying to get him on guilt by ancient association.This wasn't some display for the cameras on the part of Alito's wife. This was genuine emotion from a woman who spent hours upon hours listening to a bunch of hypocrites try to smear her husband and could take it no longer. And anyone who hears or sees this story understands that (even the moonbats, though they'll never admit it). Now anybody that wasn't paying attention before will be aware of the partisan bullying that went on yesterday, and support for this nomination will go up even more.
Senators Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer did their best yesterday to imply that Judge Alito was racist and sexist by linking the nominee with the views of some members of Concerned Alumni of Princeton, which back in the 1970s and 1980s took issue with university policies on coeducation and affirmative action. The questioning was mean enough that Judge Alito's wife left the hearing room after GOP Senator Lindsey Graham apologized for the comments of his fellow Senators. "Are you really a closet bigot?" Mr. Graham asked the nominee. "No, sir, you're not."
Democrats don't realize it, but by engaging in these underhanded and uncalled-for tactics they're just lowering the bar of their own credibility. If Bush gets to make another Supreme Court appointment in the next three years, it'll be an even harder task for them to try and derail it.
And while I've often taken issue with Sen. Graham, I have to commend him for defense of Sam Alito and his heartfelt apology for the reprehensible behavior of his colleagues on the Committee. There are as many as eight other Senators that owe Alito and his wife an apology. Don't hold your breath waiting for it, though.
UPDATE: From ScotusBlog's Liveblogging report: At 9am -
Specter reconvenes the hearings. Specter reports that in going through boxes of CAP's founder's personal papers, no files, letters, or cancelled checks for Prospect magazine were found with Alito's name on them. No meeting minutes from 1983-84 have Alito's name. The CAP founder has no recollection of Samuel Alito and did not believe Alito was heavily involved in the organization, if at all.Translation: CAP is a non-issue and didn't even need to be brought up considering that all the paperwork that Kennedy wanted to subpoena had already been released and reviewed by the NY Times last month. Nice try, fat loser.
UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin reprints comments about Alito's wife posted on Kos' site by some lower life forms masquerading as human beings. Some examples: "She should go f*** herself" and "What a phony, fraudulent, sheltered twit."
How sad to be so twisted and bitter.
January 11, 2006
All in all I don't sense a real aggressive approach on their part in these hearings. John McIntyre at The RCP Blog concurs:
Barring a change of tactics that would have to come soon, it looks like Democrats are giving Alito a pass. I still wouldnÂ’t rule out the possibility of a filibuster, but one would think that if the Democrats' plan was to filibuster, they would be making a more aggressive attempt to paint Alito as out of the mainstream with the hope of peeling away a few moderate Republicans and stiffening the spines of conservative Democrats.I also like how the GOP Senators are taking the opportunity to cogently explain their view of the role of the Supreme Court (for the benefit of the home audience). They've also picked apart the concepts of Roe being an undisputable precedent and relying on foreign law to make Constitutional decisions.
What is interesting is when you look at the liberal blogs and what they are talking about, the energy is clearly not on Alito, and that should tell you a lot. I think the left-wing blogosphere is coalescing around the idea Bush and the Republicans are toast based on Abramoff, Iraq and the PresidentÂ’s spying on the American people. They correctly have determined that Alito is a losing battle for them and they are moving on. And I wonder if that is what we are seeing with Senate Democrats as well.
Mark Levin comments on the Dem Senators:
Sam Alito will be confirmed. The only question is how much more damage the Democrats will inflict on themselves during the course of these hearings.And NRO's Bench Memos is keeping score.
UPDATE: A.J. Strata pulls quotes from some KosKids. They're all pissed off because the media isn't piling on Lefty attacks against Alito. Of course the press would if they thought it would make a difference, but they at least have the sense to recognize how stupid the Dems look right now.
UPDATE II: Teddy's been hitting the Chivas (and the Liberal Groups have been no doubt hitting him). He's grasping at the Princeton think. Specter just smacked him down. I suspect there's no substance to this line of attack, but the fat Senator from MA just made sure the MSM got their highlight reel for this evening.
UPDATE III: To John McIntyre's earlier point about the Liberal blogs on Alito. I got an email from MoveOn.org today spurring me to action against the "corrupt Abramoff Republicans". But nary a single word about Alito, the hearings, the Supreme Court...zip, zero, nada.
Drudge has it above the headline "Unstoppable?". It really illustrates the frustration of the Democrat Senators. The talking points and questions provided to them by PFAW, NARAL and other Left-wing interest groups are being casually batted away by Alito like so many annoying mosquitos.
January 10, 2006
BullDogPundit looks at yesterday's performance, and concludes that the Dems have a losing hand:
There's a saying trial lawyers have that goes something like this: "If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If you have the law on your side argue the law. If you haven neither, try to baffle them with bulls*it". Well, it seems pretty clear that since the Dems have neither of the first two on their side in the Alito hearings, they're opting for the latter.John O'Sullivan's take on day one: "Is that all you got?" (I'm paraphrasing, of course).
Certainly overconfidence wouldn't be prudent. But as Dan Balz writes in the WaPo this morning, while activists are riveted the average Joe isn't paying any attention anyway.
January 09, 2006
A judge canÂ’t have any agenda, a judge canÂ’t have any preferred outcome in any particular case and a judge certainly doesnÂ’t have a client.In other words, rulings should be based on the law and the merits of the case. Not based on whether or not you sympathize with either side, not based on what you think the law should be and certainly not based on how you interpret the way society has "evolved" since the days of the founding fathers or the way other countries handle the issue.
The judgeÂ’s only obligation Â— and itÂ’s a solemn obligation Â— is to the rule of law. And what that means is that in every single case, the judge has to do what the law requires.
Defining "constitutional" is simple. You ask the question, "Is it in the Constitution?" You don't ask "Is it in the Constitution's subtext?" or "Can you find it in the Constitution if you read between the lines?".
A Justice Alito will ask the first question and stop there. Which is why we need him on the Court.
Q&A starts tomorrow morning. 9am.
See also Michelle Malkin.
The President is taking the high road. Is his team prepared? We shall see.
UPDATE: 12:15pm - the next three hours will be the opening statements of the committee members, ten minutes each. 100 minutes will be the Republicans and 80 minutes will be the opening salvos from the likes of Chucky Schumer, Teddy Kennedy, Joe Biden and Pat "Leaky" Leahy. Expect Arlen Spector and maybe even Mike DeWine on the GOP side to be low-key in their support, saying they're taking a "wait and see" posture.
But the tone of the Democrat statements will lay the foundation for the smear campaign that will hit the airwaves this week.
If I can find a site that has a good round-up of "notable quotes", I'll be sure to link it.
UPDATE II: Excellent song parody about the Democrat Committee members and their puppet-masters on the Left (to the tune of "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music. Check it out here.
Thanks to NRO's "Bench Memos" for the heads-up.
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