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View Diary: Bipartisan Opposition to Roberts (198 comments)

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  •  Foot stomping (none)
    Democrats can stomp their foot if they want, and they should vote against him if they think he is a bad choice. But they aren't going to be able to stop his confirmation. They have not, if you ask me, come up with any good rebuttal to the "Ginsburg Precedent" canard. Biden was up there saying that she answered this question and that question, and all the GOP had to do was release a reel of her saying "I can't answer that" or "no hints, no forecasts" over and over. And they use a clip of Biden basically telling her not to answer anything she does not want to answer. I've really been surprised at how little has been done to even try to overcome this attack. Until that happens, the "answer questions or else" line is not as effective as one might hope.

    I certainly don't want one of Bush's nominees on the Supreme Court, but he won. The public knew he was going to pick SC justices and he won anyway. So they gave him permission.

    •  I Disagree (none)
      My posts explain why.

      3 words - "Another Clarence Thomas?"

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:34:14 AM PDT

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      •  Armando, (3.60)
        you've done a hell of a lot of work on this matter. When I criticize re: Ginsburg I am criticizing the people who just say "he refuses to answer questions, vote no!!!" or someone like Biden, who blusters and mugs for the camera and does not realize that his past comments and his showboating are one of the reasons that Roberts was able to get away with greasing his way through the hearings.

        I think a lot of the comments on Roberts here amount to this:

        #1 He looks "crazy" or his eyes are strange - reject him
        #2 Bush picked him - reject him
        #3 He won't tell us every single thing we want to know - reject him
        #4 He might be a white supremacist/he's an asshole/he's evil incarnate - reject him

        These may be great attacks if people want to let off steam, but they are not being well articulated for the American public. All the talk about "framing" and yet I haven't seen a lot of emphasis on shifting the public opinion in a way that will make them want to oppose Roberts. Or at the very least, wound the GOP politically for confirming Roberts. Instead they had Chuck Schumer up there pouting because he didn't get answers to a question about favorite movies.

        It just comes off, to the average voter I know, as people who are pouting because they lost the election and didn't get their way.

        •  I have not made any of those arguments (none)
          I made a detailed argument related to your #3, but none of the others.

          I think if you are going to judge the oppositon to Roberts on the worst articulation then you would have a point. But that's not fair.

          And not realistic.

          The vote is on the 26th. The rationale will be buttoned down by then.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 08:47:44 AM PDT

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          •  Armando, as I just said, (none)
            you've done a lot of work and kept a very high standard. I am talking about a lot of the comments from others.

            I think most people were unable to focus and have brought too many different subjects into the fight. Ultimately to the average voter it comes across as looking for a reason to oppose someone. You've given a lot of valid reasons to oppose Roberts. But I can't say the same about a lot of the other comments I've seen here. I can't count how many times someone just ran a photo of his eyes and that was supposed to be the smoking gun.

            •  And as I said (4.00)
              It is not fair to judge a position by its worst articulation.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 09:07:35 AM PDT

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              •  Worse... (none)
                At times this type of stuff was just about all the analysis one could find, aside from your diaries and some other diaries. I will admit I haven't read everything, but overall I think that a lot of the arguments, especially the one involving Ginsburg, have never been properly diffused.
            •  Here's a very good reason (4.00)
              why Ruth Bader Ginsberg was allowed to refuse to answer direct questions and Roberts should not be allowed to do so.

              When the Clinton was considering nominees for the Supreme Court, he made a list of potential nominees and then consulted with the Republican opposition.  He met with Orrin Hatch, head of the Judiciary Committee, and they went over the list, discussing who the Republicans were willing to vote for and who they would flatly reject.  Hatch suggested that the majority of Republicans could vote for Ginsberg, potentially heading off a nasty senate confirmation fight.

              Clinton nominated Ginsberg, and more than enough Republicans voted for her so that she was easily confirmed. This was not largesse granted by the Republicans - it was part of the deal.  Clinton took the advice of the senate and the senate consented to his choice.

              Bush has refused to even listen to the opposition in the senate and has nominated a candidate with very little background as a judge and whose available writings as a member of the justice department are now 20 years old.  And Bush refuses to release any more current information on him.

              In the case of Ginsberg, senators in both parties had access to years of her previous opinions, knew well her judicial philosophy and agreed in advance of the hearings that she would be confirmed.

              It is not acceptable for Roberts to refuse to answer questions relevant to his political philosophy since there is no other way for the senate to understand his approach to the cases he may face.  

              •  So, if... (none)
                a majority of Senators agree in advance of the hearings to support a nominee, then the nominee doesn't have to answer questions?

                A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 11:20:34 AM PDT

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                •  Not necessarily (none)
                  However, if the President does NOT seek the *advice* of the Senate on the nomination, then he only has himself to blame if he does not get the *consent* of the Senate if the candidate stonewalls.

                  The nomination of Ginsberg was a case where Clinton DID seek the advise and consent of the Senate on a nominee that had a longer judicial record than Roberts.  There is no double standard wrt the Ginsberg nomination; it is entirely up to the Senate to decide what to do in response to any particular nominee's answers in hearings, based on the circumstances.  Roberts' circumstances are clearly different from that of Ginsberg.

                  To me, the Constitutional obligation to advise and consent on the President's nominations means the President should consult with the Senate to ensure the candidate will be approved.  He doesn't have to, but he should.  It does not imply an 'up-or-down vote'.  What it implies from the Senate is for the Senate to offer its advice and to consent(or not) to a nominee according to its own rules and procedures.  If those rules and procedures allow for a filibuster, then the President risks losing the nomination if he fails to consult a significant minority that is capable of maintaining a filibuster.

                  •  Except (none)
                    A person can listen to "advice" and then choose to go another way.

                    And, your second paragraph has nothing to do with what I questioned initially.

                    My position: either a candidate has to answer questions, or they don't.

                    Your position seems to be:  A candidate has to answer questions up until the point where he/she has sufficient support to be confirmed, at which point they can stop.

                    Well, given that Roberts has enough votes to confirm, and there isn't going to be a filibuster, then I guess under your analysis he did the right thing in not answering questions.

                    A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                    by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 12:25:23 PM PDT

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                    •  Have you changed a single mind? (none)
                      There was no advice accepted or compromise given in this example, Bush did what he wanted.  If the Democrats had any common sense at all they'd do what they damn well feel like also, but they won't.  There is no limit to the number of times the Democrats will be bamboozled by this administration, which is good from your perspective, but please don't condescend.  There was no Democratic input on the nomination.
                      •  Whose mind am I trying to change? (none)
                        Is your response even meant for me?

                        Recap- the first post I replied to was answering (titled: Here's a very good reason) stated that  Ruth Bader Ginsberg was allowed to refuse to answer direct questions while Roberts should not be allowed to do so because Orrin Hatch had signed off on Ginsberg.

                        I replied that, did that mean that if a majority of Senators all agreed on a nominee in advance, that he doesn't have to answer questions (Keeping in mind- the advise and consent clause refers to the Senate, not the opposition party in the Senate).

                        The reply I got to that was that, well, if the President doesn't listen to the advice, then he shouldn't be counting on the consent.

                        To which I simply pointed out that "advise" doesn't mean supplying a short list to choose from- the President can, at his peril, do whatever the hell he wants with that advice.  I then returned to my initial point- that either a SCOTUS nominee has to answer direct questions, or he doesn't, it shouldn't matter what the current nose count is.

                        To which I got your reply, which doesn't seem to be a reply to what I wrote.  If it was, then I ask- whose mind am I trying to change?  How am I being condescending?  And, based on which of the above leads you to believe that somehow I consider it to be a good thing when the Democrats are "bamboozled" by the administration?  (I don't actually believe they are being "bamboozled" in this case, I just think they are backed into a corner that there is no escaping.)

                        A flame rescued from dry wood has no weight in it's luminous flight yet lifts the heavy lid of night.

                        by JakeC on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 02:55:23 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Past Practice (none)
                My understanding is that Bill Clinton's autobiography suggests much less of a quid pro quo with Hatch. Even Hatch characterizes his views as more of a warning the Bruce Babbitt would have problems from Western Democrats. In any event, Ginsburg is hardly the only precedent for not commenting on issues that could come before the Court. Virtually all nominees have done that, with some exceptions for those that had already written or spoken on a matter explaining what they had said.

                Just out of curiosity, when did not being able to predict how a judge might rule become disqualifying?

              •  I don't see it that way. (none)
                I doubt that the Senate Republicans would have picked Ginsburg if they had a real say. Clinton wanted Cuomo or Babbitt (some say he wanted Hillary but I don't really believe that one). Cuomo was too wishy-washy and Clinton was told by members of his own party not to pick Babbitt. So he went with Ginsburg. That wasn't consensus as much as running out of options.

                I wish Roberts had answered more questions, but I do think that he answered a fair amount. As many as we are going to get answers to from this administration.

                Democrats have no real options here. I think he is the best of a very bad situation. If I were the democrats I would get maybe 30-35 votes against him, just to send Bush a message. But no filibuster, and no crying "UNFAIR!!!" unless there are stronger counters to the arguments the GOP have been throwing out on this matter.

          •  Armando, the fight is quixotic (none)
            at this point, but I'm so glad you're still in there. The supporters of Roberts attack his opponents, but offer almost nothing to prove Roberts worthy. They feel he is a good candidate, but for some reason don't give the same weight to the feelings of those who see things differently.

            The argument that a smart, rich, privileged man who has enjoyed extraordinarily advantaged life, surrounded by people exactly like himself, is entitled to become the Chief Justice because he was nominated is ridiculous. The entitlement class now enjoys an almost absolute presumption that their right to rule.  Questions regarding the nominee's fitness, integrity and legitimate inquires into the nominee's true perspectives are scorned as pestering annoyances from far below. Those charged with the responsibility to insure the very basic questions aren't left unanswered have failed in that charge and accepted the presumption.

            At very least, Roberts disqualified himself when he lied about his participation in the Federalist Society. The Democrats tolerance of perjury from all those who testify before any committee is disgraceful, this is no exception.  Democrats have not served the nation, its future or their own political careers well  as placate the majority,   for some reason they still manage to delude themselves that limp resistance is the least dangerous path, it's not.

        •  It's equally bad for any 'side' to confirm (none)
          ... based on a lack of 'evidence' of his views, when neither the documentation nor his answers have been forthcoming, as was promised.

          You're ignoring points that have been made here having nothing to do with the trivialized, diminishing versions you posted. That's not an affirmative case for the guy, either.

          This isn't an appointment, like Bush's other (disastrous) appointments, that should be rubber-stamped and let's all keep our fingers crossed.

          The very fact that Roberts won't be forthcoming and the WH has gone back on their promise to give the Senate what it needs to look at judicial temperament is reason enough not to confirm.

          All Roberts has shown is that he's very good lawyer.

          •  Exactly!! (none)
            This secretive administration is continuing the secrets and telling the Dems - just get over it!
            BushCo is not following expected protocol in releasing docs but the Dems just roll over and bow down -and carry on - oh- and complain.
            Roberts is nothing more than a political hack! in 2 previous Republican administrations and assisted in placing Bush on the Throne!  That should be enough for Dems right there!
            Dems like to jockey, rationalize, and frame for the NEXT Bush assault - rather than just being honest about each and everyone of them as they're presented.

            Cheney died a natural death - on the phone with Halliburton.

            by annefrank on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 10:59:43 AM PDT

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      •  Armando is on crack. (none)
        haa haa...

        okay seriously now.

        Why should a city mayor talks about those very large issues? Isn't he suppose to run a city? not foreign policy or federal court?

        SO I propose modifying the question to make it harder/more effective for new yorker to chew bloomber.

        1. Iraq. (How does it effect NYC national guard, inc ase of riot/lights out/ terror attack.  How does Iraq affect city budget/federal resource allocation?)

        2. Bush performance. (really, he screwed up big time in NOLA. Ya think the bastard will help NYC when its under attack again? Bush wouldn't know squat. He'll have his pet goat moment again, just like he did during 9/11 and katrina. )

        3. Tax. (NYC is screwed. a lot of local issues, housing, health care, some federally funded city services.)

        4. NCLB. (same thing, plenty of local specifics)

        5. Bush environmental issus? NYC is downwind from midwester coal plants. Acid rains.

        6. Bush energy policy. (It's $3 bucks.)

        7.  Justice nominee. (Gay issue, city right issue, state issue, property, will Bush insisting on taking over NYC security when attack happen? I am sure there are a lot of local related issue)
      •  you must be joking (none)
        Calling him another Clarence Thomas is a joke.

        Gerardo Orlando www.orlandoreport.com

        by orlandoreport on Sat Sep 17, 2005 at 12:34:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  vote yes (none)
      Strong democrat agrees.  Roberts is so gay, and so in the closet.  There's no way he can vote yes on restricting gay marriage.  born in another time he would be trying to wed his boyfriend, instead of having a beard, and two adopted children.  Born twenty years later, he and his life partner would be having children with their two best lesbian friends.
      •  Whoa! (none)
        Roberts, gay?  I've not heard that rumor.  Where's that from?

        And, I dunno, even a gay person can be self-hating and self-defeating enough to support conservative policies that seem to go against them.  Just look at the Log Cabin Republicans (shudder.)

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