Monday, October 31, 2005

Bush picks Scalito

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Bush has nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. "Scalito" was a nickname his law clerks gave him because of his similiarity in judicial philosophy to Justice Scalia.

It doesn't look good...

Case History: A dissenting opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 947 F.2d 682 (3d Cir. 1991), arguing that a Pennsylvania that required women seeking abortions to inform their husbands should have been upheld. As Judge Alito reasoned, "[t]he Pennsylvania legislature could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands' knowledge because of perceived problems--such as economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands' previously expressed opposition--that may be obviated by discussion prior to the abortion." Chief Justice Rehnquist's dissent from the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision striking down the spousal notification provision of the law quoted Judge Alito's dissent and expressed support for Judge Alito's reasoning.

Planned Parenthood vs. Casey basically tried to undermine the basic tenets of Roe vs. Wade. In fact, with the help of a last minute reversal of Anthony Kennedy, Roe vs. Wade was re-affirmed in three parts. Information about the case and its implicatons for SCOTUS and Abortion can be found in my post: Does the Miers nomination mean the end of Roe?

I didn't think it was fair to criticize John Roberts on ideological grounds because he represented himself so effectively as being non-ideological, and trustworthy. His qualifications were impressive, and he deserved to be Confirmed by an even wider margin than he was, in my opinion. It is difficult at this stage to discern the response that Samuel Alito warrants, or whether his ideology would constitute the extreme measures outlined by the Gang of 14... this might justify and enable a fillibuster.

Like I said in my previous post, with the Miers withdrawal the triumvirate of rock solid Conservative judges: Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas just became a quartet. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts is a very intimidating prospect for a considerable amount of time. Only Breyer, you feel, could possibly compete with that intellectual weight from one particular POV. Conservatives should be rightfully ecstatic. Like I repeatedly argued.... suddenly Harriet Miers doesn't seem so bad after all.

I also apologize for my sucky sucky short list, but I hope it helped set the legal landscape and context for this choice.

Listen to Scalito argue in front of the Supreme Court: FCC v. League of Women Voters of California. He argues that Public broadcasting doesn't have a right to editorialize.

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Lisa said...

I'm so sorry...ok, I'm not. :) I hope he's as scary as you say he is. I'll look into the details and post something longer on my own blog, probably tomorrow. No need to apologize for anything you wrote in the last post. There was nothing wrong with it.

Graham said...

It didn't include Alito, lol! Otherwise I thought it was ok, + it got linked by Crooks and Liars so it generated a lot of traffic to the site which I'm most grateful for. Yes Lisa, I think Alito, or more pointedly, Alito + Roberts + Thomas + Scalia should make you very happy indeed :P.

Of course, I really, really want to be the first person to ask the question to the President or his Press secretary: "Why is Harriet Miers more qualified than Samuel Alito?"

Parental notification case comes to SCOTUS in December, thankfully Dems should be able to keep Scalito off the court till then. + Arlen Specter doesn't like him supposedly.

Thanks for the comment Lisa :).

Chris said...

I'm not sure Alito will be filibustered. This one is going to be tough. But like you mention, why is Alito the second choice? How and why is Miers better? Plus, the president's hollow words of praise for all his appointments are a joke. It's hard to believe anything he says.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

The public broadcasting thing is indeed scary.
I guess we will have to wait and see.
I haven't read anything as I am getting ready for class so my opinon is not solidified.
I believe that editorialization is a hallmark of free speech.

I can only say frm here on in it will pay to pay attention to the state you decide to move to.

Graham said...

Hey MJ,

That is the question that I've been screaming at the TV for the last two hours. Laura Ingraham was waxing lyrical about his qualifications and yet, he's still not as qualified as Harriet Miers according to this one guy with a whole lot of influence in these proceedings. The one thing for sure is that this is really going to be a battle. What's really interesting to me is that Republican talking points have been running away from Originalism, and their actual intentions and framing the debate in terms of Democrats playing ugly politics, and Ginsburg got confirmed, etc, etc, etc... that strikes me as strange considering they were yearning so desperately for this fight.

Hey Alice,

Yeah, there's going to be a lot of information coming out on Alito because he has such an extensive paper trail. The only thing that is certain is that Bush cannot under any circumstances afford for this nomination to fail.

Thanks for the comment guys.

Enigma America said...

I like the design, graham. A+

Graham said...

Thanks Enigma. I really appreciate that so much :).

Jim said...

The new site looks good

Graham said...

Thank you Jim, that's very kind of you to say :).

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Love the new look so peaceful and aesthetically pleasing.

He scares me more the more I get to read about him.

Enigma said...

Altio makes Scalia look like Bono.

Graham said...

hehe... yeah Enigma, there isn't much that's positive about Alito, other than the fact he has such a deep paper trail to explicate his ideological leanings to the electorate. At this early stage though I don't know what to think.

Hey Alice, I'm glad it meets with your approval, seeing as your my most regular visitor and all :).

Enigma said...

I visit often but don't always make comments.

Graham said...

Thanks Enigma :). I appreciate it. I often visit your site to, and I highly recommend it to anyone reading for diverse but progressive POV's:s

Thanks to everyone who visits my site. It really does mean a lot to me.

Chuck Williams said...

I think that you libs should like Alito. He stringently sticks to the precedents. There are cases where he was pro abortion, and cases where he was against it (if you want to paint it all black and white) and the differentiating factor was precedent.

Also, you potheads would love the fact that he reads the commerce clause just like Scalia, and thinks that the federal government has no say at all in state matters, such as the decision to arrest pot growers in California, even though they operated under a state granted license.

I'll try to touch on this subject, the Commerce Clause, and the 10th Amendment on my blog this week, and how it relates to Roe V Wade, and state's rights.

I promise. Check it out, and keep an open mind.

Graham said...

Hey Chuck, I do have an open mind, and I do think that Alito is a rigid textualist. His apparent dedication to the concept of precedent is cause to be hopeful and to consider his nomination positively. It's obviously the primary reason moderate Dems on the hill have been pleasantly surprised upon meeting him. I'm not up to scratch on the latest news on him, but I'll be writing my own profile on him during the week.

But, yeah, as a "pot smoker" lol, (I haven't smoked a joint in going on ten years btw) my immediate impressions are not positive. The Planned Parenthood vs. Casey case did fundamentally seek to undermine the basic tenets of roe. Hence SCOTUS felt it necessary to re-affirm roe in three parts. I look forward to your take on it Chuck

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