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  •  There's Another Group Worth Polling (4.00)
    The good news is that there's only 100 respondents.  The bad news is that 55 of them are in the same group for which 65% vs. 9% favor his confirmation.

    It's up to Senate Judiciary Democrats to turn the tide here.

    •  McCain and his supporters should (none)
      join them.

      The Bush Torture Statement is pressing the one button that can be expected to activate even a totally Koolaid-intoxicated Senator - their prerogative to control  who gets on the SCOTUS. Bush has done an unimaginably stupid thing in snapping his fingers under their noses here.

      Remember that the Senate passed the anti torture amendment 96 to 2 (or something like that). Bush then went and negotiated in bad faith with them, and eventually lost. It was a HUGE struggle.

      Think of how much of a worm a GOP Senator has to be who votes to confirm this guy now.

      This REALLY hurts Alito's chance of being confirmed, IMHO.

      The Perfect is the Enemy of the Better

      by dabize on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:36:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ain't gonna happen (none)
        Sen. McCain is a devoted conservative.  He voted for Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas -- you name the controversial Republican nominee, and Sen. McCain voted for it.  Sen. McCain voted against Ted Kennedy's civil rights bill in 1990.  Sen. McCain was one of 25 Senators who voted against tabling Jesse Helms's amendment "to grant an extension of patent to the United Daughters of the Confederacy" in 1993.  Then-Rep. John McCain even voted against establishing federal holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1983 -- his first year in Congress.  (Bob Dole managed the floor in the Senate for that bill, and I believe, although I could be wrong, even Newt Gingrich voted for that bill.)

        The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

        by jim bow on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:54:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Turning the tide means... (none)
      ... publicly making the case that Alito can't be confirmed, and building that case convincingly so that a sufficient number of senators will line up behind blocking confirmation.

      Just saying "I don't want Roe to be overturned" and voting "no" isn't enough to get it done.

      Yes, Senator Feinstein, I'm talking to you.

      ModestNeeds.org Response For Hurricane Evacuees

      by socal on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:37:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  correct (4.00)
        Just voting 'no' isn't enough unless there's a majority (or a sustainable filibuster that won't get nuked.)

        It's funny -- had Republicans played fair with the judiciary from 1995-2000 with Clinton's nominees, I might not have a huge problem with Alito.  He's clearly qualified, and is not a frothing ideologue like Brown or Pryor.

        But they put ideological tests on the table, and it's time for us to enforce them.

        •  Exactly which SCOTUS nominees (none)
          did Republicans block?
          •  None. (none)
            So?  I'm talking about the balance of the federal judiciary.
            •  Given the fact that over the last (none)
              40 years (from 1968 to 2008) Democrats have occupied the White House for only 12 years it would seem logical that the federal judiciary should be roughly 2.5:1 conservative.
              •  Look. (none)
                When I go over to RedState.org, I try to engage in factual clarifications, but not head-on arguments.  I know that I'm just a visitor there.  You might want to consider the same.

                Also, your endpoints are screwed up there -- very few Nixon/Ford appointees remain in the federal judiciary 30+ years later.

                •  The judge I will be clerking for next year (none)
                  is a Nixon appointee.  And he has not taken senior status yet. ;)
                  •  Ahh, the personal anecdote. (none)
                    You are a 'full blown lawyer', no?  Then surely you are aware that your singular anecdote in no way refutes that your end points are wrong?  What law school did you go to?

                    "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                    by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:10:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  What other endpoints would you like (none)
                      Lets take 1980-2006 (since few carter people are on the bench too).  That gives us 18 GOP years and 8 Dem years.  Same ~2.5:1 ratio.
                      •  1. (none)
                        1.  What are the figures for Carter's appointees?

                        2.  Where are you getting the figures?  Link please.

                        3.  Don't spend too much time, since it is irrelevant to the question at hand.

                        The point was that Republicans did not give Clinton the same consideration they are now asking of the Democrats with respect to non-SC appointments, thus your stats have little to nothing to say about this.  I'd also remind you that I didn't make this point.

                        "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                        by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:22:46 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  And I never hid my (none)
                  preference for conservative judges.  Policy matters are a different story.  But constitutional interpretation is not a political thing.  (Or at least shouldnt be).
                  •  Constitutional interpretation (none)
                    Are you a strict constructionist?

                    Could you please point out the strict language in the Constitution which gives the President the ability to break the law?

                    Also, could you please point out the strict language that negates Article I, Section 1 of our Constitution:

                    Article I
                    Section 1. All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

                    Point out the language that says any legislative powers are vested in the Presidency in contradiction to Article I, Section 1.

                    "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                    by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:18:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Did I ever espouse that view? (none)
                      Congratulations on defeating another dangeorus strawman.

                      If you want to talk about interpretation, let's.  Executive branch interprets laws all the time.  That's what agencies are for.  They promulgate rules and interpret laws.  Their interpretation can be challeneged in court, but are generally given great deference.  So, yes the executive does often have a say in what the laws mean in practice.

                      •  I asked a question. (none)
                        If it seems I'm arguing against things you haven't said, it is mostly because you've said very little about what you actually think.  So, I'm left to guess.  But, I did ASK.

                        So, then you and I agree that the legislature is the sole branch vested by the constitution in CREATING the law.  That's a start.

                        You are right that the executive branch interprets laws all the time.  We also agree on this.  However, this is not a function of them exercising any sort of constitutional power.  It is just the resultant consequence of the fact that the executive branch is required to follow the law.  They interpret it to the best of their ability in order to follow it.  And when their interpretation is found lacking they are required to follow the interpretation the courts have ruled the legislature intended.

                        Alito is arguing with questions that presume the opposite.  It is his contention that the executive is vested with some legislative role and therefore the courts should consider the executive's interpretation of how the statutes were to be understood when the executive signed the bill.  There is NOTHING in our constitution which supports this reading.  NOTHING.

                        Something you might not have thought about... another group that regularly interprets the law?  American citizens.  We do it all the time.  And just like you said, our interpretations can be challenged in court, and just like the executive, when our interpretations are found inadequate we are required to adjust them to the legislatures understanding as interpreted by the courts.

                        "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                        by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:45:16 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  But sometimes the Executive (none)
                          interpretes the law to be unconstitutional and refuses to enforce it at all.  See history of Dickerson v. US.  So that too happens.  It is all part of the dance and balance of powers.

                          And in some respects the Executive does create some laws (or technically rules that have force of law).  E.g., affirmative action was created via executive order.

                          What happens if Executive and Legislature disagree with the meaning of already enacted statute.  For instance if the executive believes that the statute doesn't really add (but merely restates) the existing body of law and the legislature believes otherwise?  Or vice versa, if the Executive believes that the law is much broader than the legislature believes.  (We are not talking about statutes that are crisp and clear, but those where there are ambiguities).  How are those disagreements resolved?  And that is an interesting constitutional question, don't you think?  

                          •  Prosecutorial discretion (none)
                            Yes, the parts of the executive that make up the criminal justice system have the power of prosecutorial discretion.  In effect, by exercising this power they can grant an unofficial pardon to those who commit crimes and thereby skirt the law by simply refusing to exercise the law.

                            However, this is a far cry from the ability to interpret law and it is also the height of abuse and injustice were the executive branch to use this power of prosecutorial discretion to skirt the law.  This practice, used in an illegitimate way, would fundamentally collapse the rule of law in our society.

                            Is that what you are advocating?  That the executive should feel free to break the law knowing that the attorney general, the President's former counsel, is willing to grant unofficial clemency to the President?

                            "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                            by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 02:11:20 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  O shit (none)
                        That's what agencies are for? ONLY because Congress said so. Tomorrow Congress says they aren;t and then what?

                        More bullshit from you.

                        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                        by Armando on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:49:43 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Agencies are just an example (none)
                          Executive will always need to interpret laws, for example to decide if your actions constitute criminal activity under a given statute so that you can be charged.
                          •  No (none)
                            The Judiciary and a jury of my peers will decide that thank you.

                            Sheesh, you are off your game today.

                            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                            by Armando on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:59:54 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Before you get to that (none)
                            the executive needs to interpret the law to decide whether to charge you.  Then the judiciary gets involved.  Or it doesn't because you may just cut a deal.  I didn't say that the Executive is a last word, but there is always room for them to interpret laws.
                          •  Only if they do so in good faith... (none)
                            And notice that 'interpret' does not mean 'ignore'

                            "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                            by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 03:55:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sheesh (none)
                            for the 50th time, I do not support the Executive ignoring laws.  Is that clear enough?!
                          •  So you condemn the NSA spying? (none)
                            Do you think it is an impeachable offense?

                            "... the Republicans have fucked reality so hard they need a physics professor to straighten them out." -- hamletta

                            by manyoso on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 05:07:53 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I do condemn NSA spying (none)
                            So far I have not heard any convincing argument as to why or how the President gets to single-handedly order warrantless searches.  If there is an argument I am open to hearing it, and reserve the right to change my opinion, but I doubt that such an argument exists.

                            I do not think that it is an impeachable offense.  Just because the President is acting potentially unconstitutionally (something that I believe is occuring, but has yet to be adjudicated) does not make the offense impeachable so long as he has good faith belief that his actions are indeed legal.  It seems that the Administration has that belief and in good faith.  That having been said, I think the program ought to stop.

                          •  Then interpetation (none)
                            of the EXECUTIVE variety - to wit, in the exercise of the EXECUTIVE power is what you mean.

                            A lot different than what Administrative LAw Judges do.

                            Do you understand what you are talking about?

                            I get the feeling you do not.

                            The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

                            by Armando on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 07:11:50 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  What difference does it make? (none)
            We are talking about the merits of THIS nominee.

            Or do you think it should be a tit-for-tat game?

            Happy New Year, Impeach Bush

            by coigue on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:54:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the problem... (none)
          they DID have a Senate majority at the time they were enforcing those loathsome "tests" and ticks, and (I suspect) had the nominees gone through the process, many (though not all) of the nominees would have been voted down by the Republican Senate (wrongly, in my view).  We have neither a majority of the Senate, nor, even concievably, barring substantial movement, 51 no votes, which makes it a little more difficult of a sell.
      •  Nor does ... (none)
        ... "I disagree with the nominee's jurisprudence on issues A, B, C, D, ..., the nominee won't provide information, documents, etc. on issues X, Y, Z, ..., and I'm voting 'no' for those reasons" suffice.  There has to be an overarching reason to vote against the nominee.

        Going back to Adam B's quote a while ago -- if you want to kill a snake, you don't poke it in 20 different places.  You chop off its head.

        The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

        by jim bow on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:03:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  91% of 55 equals 50.5 (none)
      so if 9% of Republicans don't vote for Alito, then Cheney gets to cast the confirming vote (this, of course, assumes that Lieberman doesn't cross the fence).  If two more republicans could vote against him, then he'd fail to be confirmed, and a filibuster would be unnecessary...bush would have to go to his next "first choice"...Alberto "nipple clamps are okay" Gonzales.

      Hey, remember Harriet Meyers?  We need to keep asking about her, too...she's the nomination that never happened, according to the whitehouse.

      Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

      by darthstar on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 12:39:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yet! (none)
      yet 9 % of 55 would be a little over 5, thereby givign us a win on the alito confirmation
      •  The new math sucks. .09*55=4.95 (none)
        Is it still called 'new math'?  

        Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right

        by darthstar on Wed Jan 04, 2006 at 01:01:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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