Skip to main content

View Diary: Bipartisan Opposition to Roberts (198 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  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

    [ Parent ]

    •  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

        [ Parent ]

        •  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

          [ Parent ]

          •  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

              [ Parent ]

              •  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.

      •  Federalist Society (none)
        Perhaps Democrats didn't raise the Federalist Society issue because they had already verified that what Roberts said was correct. FWIW, the Senate has confirmed numerous members of the Federalist Society to judgeships & other positions. It wouldn't have been disqualifying.
        •  If it didn't matter why lie about it? (none)
          There were plenty of damaging issues not raised by the Democrats.  The gentlemen's agreement is that if a nominee chooses to lie, the issue is dropped.
          •  Obvious Explanation (none)
            Don't overlook the obvious explanation: Senate Democrats determined Roberts was truthful when he said he had spoken at Federalist Society events but never actually joined. It's pretty unlikely that Senate Democrats & the various interest groups would have just let it pass if they had evidence to the contrary.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site