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Via AmericaBlog, Gallup says:

If it becomes clear Alito would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, Americans would not want the Senate to confirm him, by 53% to 37%.

. . . The views about Alito, especially whether he should be confirmed if he opposes Roe v. Wade, are highly partisan. Majorities of Republicans and conservatives favor confirmation in that circumstance, while even larger majorities of independents, Democrats, moderates, and liberals are opposed.

If you were convinced that Alito would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, would you, personally, want the Senate vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court, or not?

     Yes, confirm             No, not       No opinion

       %                          %                 %

All    37                       53               10

. . .

Ind.  33                       60             7

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:37 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The American People (4.00)
    apparently believe in Litmus tests.
    •  Yes (none)
      but unfortunately they don't vote.  The name of the political game is turnout.  And if we don't find a way to organize we are sunk.  They have the churches as a base to organize and they've been incredibly effective.

      What to do we have to counteract that?


      If you want something other than the obvious to happen, you've got to do something other than the obvious...

      by trillian on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:36:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You Forget the AARP (none)
        Bush and the GOP pissed them off with their attack on Social Security. They have juice - they have an organization they will GOTV and they will vote Dem.

        On election night 2006, the pundits are going to come to the conclusion that the seeds of the GOP's electoral demise were sown the moment Bush decided to try and reform SS. There is a reason SS is called the third rail of electoral politics.

      •  so what if we don' t have the churches (none)
        The repubs did not get the entirity of their votes from the church block. They got many non-church goers to. The Dems will just have to work that much harder to get their base out. Its always been harder for the Dems because so many of those for whom we fight hardest are the underpriveleged and disenfranchised who have been out of the self-representation system forever.

        YOu are absolutely right though. Its all about turnout and this time we have to get get our groove back and find the message that will bring out our base in droves.

        "Guns don't kill people, people kill people, and monkeys do too (if they have a gun)." -Eddie Izzard

        by peaceandjoy on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:15:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They don't have all the churches (none)
        I am not so sure they have all the churches. I think they have the fundamentalists and the Catholics.  Many of the rest are pretty liberal.
        •  Who says Catholics aren't liberal? (none)
          Are you stating an official Catholic political position as a designated spokesperson or just talking out of your ass?

          Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

          by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:31:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some in the Catholic hierarchy (none)
            ie, certain US bishops, have formed a political alliance with the extreme right evangelicals to end abortion access and block gay marriage. That's not a liberal position. These bishops have threatened to excommunicate Catholic politicians who don't support abortions, and priests have delivered sermons telling their communicants that if they vote for such politicians they are committing a sin. And they are currently purging their ranks of gay priests, even the ones who adhere to their vows of celibacy.

            Then there's the whole Opus Dei movement, which is scarily illiberal, and has altogether too much influence within the Church right now.

            That's not the entire Catholic Church. Also, many American Catholics are quite willing to disregard current Church doctrines if they think the Church wrong. Birth control, for instance, is widely practiced.

            Official Catholic positions on the death penalty and the duty to care of the poor are quite liberal. Unfortunately, nobody in the Church these days seems to be turning those issues into political do-or-die lines in the sand. Church-supported charities that do help some people, yes... but brimstone for anyone who dares to support Roe v. Wade.

            In sum, the Catholic Church is nominally liberal in some of what it says, but in what it does, it is increasingly moving to the far right.

            Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

            by Canadian Reader on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:58:54 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Er, editing makes fools of us all... (none)
              "...threatened to excommunicate Catholic politicians who support abortion access..."

              Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

              by Canadian Reader on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:01:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Let's just be clear about the handful then (none)
              -- and minority extremists. The squeaky wheel bishops and hardline groups that were making political hay during the 04 election campaign got coverage from the Rove-directed press, but a smackdown from the Vatican (even on abortion).
              The GOP is trying to use hardline Catholics to artificially make their minority extremist position seem more widespread than it is.
              My family that DOES practice goes to mainstream churches and Sandal-Catholic liberal churches and they don't politicize personal choice -- that's actually regarded as grotesque.

              Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

              by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:06:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly! (none)
                The GOP is trying to use hardline Catholics to artificially make their minority extremist position seem more widespread than it is.

                Many don't believe all of that nonsense that the GOP is pushing through the Catholic hierachy, especially those who live in areas that are percieved as conservative (like me).  However, these people are considered to believe all of the wingnut nonsense, when, in reality, they do not.  Many attend church and take all of the  conservative crap w/a grain of salt.  Others do not attend church.  I am in the latter group.

                I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:38:45 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You got that right! (none)
              Official Catholic positions on the death penalty and the duty to care of the poor are quite liberal.

              But, they are not implemented.  IMO, that is due to scare tactics by the repubs/wingnuts re: abortion.  Specifically there are some Catholics who really believe that if abortion is not overturned/severely restricted, the next step could possibly be the euthanasia of senior citizens and others who are perceived as expendable/financial burdens on society by the fact that they are recipients of entitlement programs.  (ex. Social Security)  

              I know that is ridiculous, but there are enough who hold that opinion to make a difference/influence on the perception of the Catholic vote.  

              Also, look at the stances taken by the current Pope.  All very conservative that appeal to the  wingnuts.

              I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

              by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:31:32 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  ps (none)
              I am Roman Catholic.

              I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

              by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:32:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  are you comment (none)
                and your tag-line related?

                playin with ya...i had 16 yrs of catholic education.  haven't stepped in a church in years.

                explain how sending young people into battle without armoured vehicles is supporting the troops?

                by bluestatesam on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:52:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  asdf (none)
                  Have written a few diaries re: having a disability and existing on social programs and plan on possibly writing more.  Decided to kill two birds w/one stone by changing my tag line, so I would not always having to put it (being a tbi survivor) in a diary (for some who did not know).

                  I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                  by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:11:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  catholics (none)
                sorry for the missplellings. Just a really bad typist.
            •  not this church-going Catholic (none)
              My spouse and I attend regularly, we teach catechism, and Bush can kiss my red, rosy butt.

              Go see Pax Christi and National Catholic Reporter, then read Fr. Andrew Greeley and Sr. Joan Chittister  and you'll find reports of the death of liberals in the Catholic church are greatly exaggerated.

          •  I'm not sure but I seem to remember that Bush .. (none)
            carried the Cathilic vote in 2004.  I'm sure that Rome and some conservative bishop's effort to deny communion to Kerry during the campaign was the result of considerable efforts of Rove to reach out to Catholics- part of his evil plan to build a permanent majority- and resulted in him doing much better with Catholics in 2004 than in 2000.
            •  Bush won the Catholic vote (none)
              According to this CNN exit poll, Bush won the Catholic vote 52-47 (Protestants--lumped together, so including evangelical and mainline Protestant chuches--went to Bush 59-40).
              •  Wait a second here, are we (none)
                entering the nomination for a SCOTUS justice, or appointing another "Arturo Bocchini?"  From what I see of this Alito, Bocchini seems a fair comparison.

                And all this talk about Catholicism, it sounds like the wrangle that led to the Lateran Conference in 1929.

                Are we supporting the a Supreme Court nominee, or a Lay Priest for the Parish?

                Alito, his record of legal opinions speaks for itself.  Don't be black and discriminated against, don't be any sort of "non-conformist" up to and including gay or lesbian, don't be female unless you are part of some sort of "Massaie Rurali" or "Fasci Femminili," and for heaven's sake don't be disabled and seek access.

                Alito's apparent "misogeny" is in keeping with that of say, the late Sir Arnold Mosley, and like most of that ilk, and seeks to drive women back into the "family," and away from more worldly pursuits like say, financial independence, political power, freedom and control over their own bodies, freedom to be "non-conformist," etc.

                So, in Alito, if you are seeking a fair justice, forget it.  This man is an ideologue, with what I detect to be very strong crypto-Fascist inclinations.

                Read his record for yourselves.

                "same old fears, same old crimes-we haven't changed since ancient times.." "Iron Hand" Dire Straits

                by boilerman10 on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:54:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  No, they fudged the numbers intentionally (none)
              By hyping and massaging portions of the WHITE Catholic support they hacked away huge swaths of the (claiming to be) Catholic population.
              The agenda was to flatter the idea of Smirk & Sneer having a right wing mandate when there actually is none. The administration uses Catholic extremists to stand in as symbols, betting that a lazy media and inattentive public will believe more of the public is against privacy and choice on abortion than in reality.
              It's no different than the First Poseur grabbing the nearest right wing black person for a cynical photo op to show that the black folk are down with Dubyah's thinly veiled racist policies.

              Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

              by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:19:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unfortunately. (none)
                The administration uses Catholic extremists to stand in as symbols, betting that a lazy media and inattentive public will believe more of the public is against privacy and choice on abortion than in reality.

                Seems to be working...

                I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:43:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Keeping a tight fact-check on lazy media -- (none)
                  -- bu getting the 'no mandate' truth out about Bush's extremist support kills two birds with one stone!
                  It reminds people about both his extreme agenda and his lying shifty ways to accomplish it (and not just on civil rights, but judges, Iraq, tax cuts, SocSec and every other Bush Boondoggle.)

                  Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

                  by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:54:20 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Another reminder. (none)
                    Cuts in social programs have disproportionately affected people with disabities.  And daddy bush signed the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) into law.  Click herefor diary w/links to other sources.

                    I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                    by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:17:10 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Really! n/t (none)

            I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

            by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:23:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  You may be right (none)
          I live in the South so to me it seems like they dominate all the churches (except the single little unitarian church).  Not that the churches are monolithic, they are not and there are plenty of liberals in all the churches in my town but the liberals don't use churchgoing for politicking.  The conservatives do (and have been encouraged and coached to do so).  And I think it's been wildly successful for them.

          It's kind of like libertarianism.  It is never going to go anywhere because libertarians just aren't "joiners."

          If you want something other than the obvious to happen, you've got to do something other than the obvious...

          by trillian on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:35:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Catholics are progressive (none)
          Catholics have been a strong base of the Democratic party for a very long time now. Yes, official church positions on some social issues are regressive (and most Catholics disagree with these), but there is definitely a strong sense of social justice that runs through the Catholic community.

          They have the fundamentalists, including fundamentalist Catholics.

          I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game... -Howard Zinn

          by Jawis on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:53:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It hurts me to see Catholics bad mouthed (none)
            They ARE among the best of our kinda people, AFAICT. The only way I could back off from that is to call them (I'm not Catholic, so it's them) the best. John Kerry, the Kennedys, and the list goes on.

            Yeah, the Catholic Church has a LOT of bad baggage and you can all discuss that without me.

            We should do better with the fundamentalists than we do. Abortions go down with Dems in charge, but they get no credit from many Catholics for that. Being against the criminalization of abortion doesn't make anyone pro abortion. If we could only sell the idea that government's job is to bring the change they want -- and a lower number of abortions is the change they get when Dems are in charge -- we should get the wider support we deserve.

          •  BTW Jawis: I DID NOT mean to say (none)
            that you were bad mouthing Catholics. I don't want to leave that impression.
      •  'What to do we have to counteract that?' (none)
        Principles and priorities that most people actually support -- if Dems would shake off the GOP koolaid and realize the myth of the right wing 'mandate' is hooey and stop trying to pander to it.
        Yesterday in the Senate was a great example: standing firm on Iraq/TraitorGate/Scalito earned the Dems some deserved props. If they did more gutsy stuff like that, apathetic voters wouldn't be so inclined to turn away from the choice between GOP and GOP-ish.

        Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

        by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:39:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My .02 and links (none)
          Seems to me that one possibility could be focusing on the social justice aspect.  Specifically, focus on the numbers of people that have been hurt by the wingnut stance on social programs.  Put a face to the person and individualize this.  Ask something like wtf is so moral about balancing a federal/state budget by reducing entitlement programs for those who need them the most?  

          This diary briefly discussed the hypocrisy in the wingnut values.

          This one lists several terms that are used by wingnuts in forcing their views on others.  Seems to me that it would be possible to turn them around and use them against the repubs.

          Also, some Hubert Humphrey quotes:

          Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism.


          Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.


          We are in danger of making our cities places where business goes on but where life, in its real sense, is lost.

          and my favorite

          It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.


          I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

          by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:07:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Curious (none)
        Why has it not occurred to anyone that ther is no possible way that Scalito would overturn Roe?  The rethugtheocons need their wedge issue and they can only get so much mileage from gay marriage.  Gay marriage is a dog and pony show but the one thing that divides people is under the big tent of religious morality.  On that single count alone, there is no way the theocons would ever let Scalito go on record to say he would overturn Roe.
    •  big mistake.... (none)
      for the GOP to believe this doesn't matter, or worse, that the majority of people believe as they do...

      Of course, a majority of people ALSO erroneously believe R v W overturned would make abortion illegal, which it does NOT.  If they knew that fact, these numbers may be different...

      Nothing rhymes with "month"

      by topicalstorm on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:59:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  PH factor bedamned (none)
      I was unsure about Reid a few years ago when he was my Senator. It's time for a fight. Give 'em hell Harry. The American People got your back.

      Alito? This is a joke, right? I am going to wake up and it was just a nightmare?

    •  American people don't decide this -- 7 Dems do (none)
      The American people have these opinions, but it's not the American people who decide on this. It's a small handful of (some centrist, some less so) Democratic Senators who are in the Gang of 14/Gang of 7. Several of them might put their own fear or paranoia about political survival in their own red states above the Democratic Party, the very large progressive movement in this country, or the 53 to 63% of the public that was shown in this poll. That is why it's important to show these Senators that Alito is a Constitution in Exile adherent and a conservative that is to the right of Scalia, as Mark Tusnnet, Jeffrey Rosen, and other leading progressive legal scholars have emphatically stated.


      Senators Reid, Durbin, Dorgan, Leahy, Schumer, Nelson, Pryor, and Landrieu,

      The decisions that are made in the next five to seven days will determine the future of jurisprudence in this country for the next 30 years. Do not let Bush, Rove, and Boyden Gray tactically out maneuver you by playing Alito up in the press as a moderate thinker. The progressive half of this country and the U.S. Senate Democratic Caucus must not allow a president who was installed into office by a 5 to 4 party line Supreme Court vote, to pack the U.S. Supreme Court for the next several generations with an extreme right wing ideologue at the very moment when the country is mourning (from Hurricane Katrina) the death and maiming of the very disadvantaged people who have been thrown away and abandoned by radical right-wing, government-is-always-the-problem economic policies. If Bush, Boyden Gray, Ed Meese, and other right-wing thinkers succeed in packing the Supreme Court this year with a clear Constitution-in-Exile adherent, at the very moment that no holds barred classist and racist extreme-capitalism has been shown to be an ideology that works to forsake the least among us, then something about America and what is good in humanity will indeed have been forsaken forever. Hurricane Katrina happened just a few weeks ago, and conservatives have already completely dismissed it, and moved onto to their ideological dream of taking over the Supreme Court. Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, and a small handful of other inside the Beltway ideologues do not own this entire country.

      Every major opinion poll that has been released in the last six months shows that 70% of Americans think that the Democratic Party should fight Bush much more than they currently are. Bush and the GOP have been majorly bloodied by Miers, Libby, Iraq, and gas prices. As Mark Tushnet and other progressive legal scholars made clear yesterday on TV and on the internet, Alito is to the right of Scalia and Thomas. THIS NOMINATION IS the battle that will decide the future of the Supreme Court for 20 to 30 years into the future. All of the filibusters for the Appeals courts seats that took place earlier this year will mean nothing if Alito gets on the court. His seat means more than all the Appeals court seats combined. Dems must wage this fight by filibustering. Even if the GOP pulls the nuclear trigger option, Dems will still win the fight, because Alito's authenticity as a validly seated judge will always be questioned because it was done via the nuclear option. A counterfeit nuclear option justice will undermine the extreme right wing's never abating designs on important Warren Court precedents, that should remain part of the American legal system. Dems MUST FILIBUSTER. There is no point in saving the filibuster for a rainy day. The GOP could pull the nuclear trigger at anytime anyway. If not now, when? If not this, what? There will be no better time to take Bush on than now.

  •  Fundamentalists v. Pragmatists (none)
    Confirming Alito will doom Republicans at the pools for many election cycles to come.
    •  And who wants a pool full of dead Republicans? (4.00)
    •  I think that that's overstating it (none)
      1. Confirming Alito does not equal immediate abandonment of Roe.  But it probably means upholding parental notification and overruling Stenberg.

      2. I doubt Roe will be explicitly overruled.  If it will, it will be overruled sub silentio.  Adopt Rehnquit's approach to evaluate abortion restrictions under "reasonable basis" test and let most/all of them stand.  Has same effect, but not same headline "Roe is overruled."

      3. Overruling Roe if it happens is not likely to have a dramatic impact on the vast majority of women of this country.  The vast majority of states will keep abx legal (so no one other than true believers on both sides will care).  Those that won't are so solidly red that some defections won't hurt the GOP or help the Dems.
      •  Huh? (none)
        Confirming Alito does not equal immediate abandonment of Roe

        Did ya hear what his momma said yesterday? "Of course he is against abortion". You think he would upset his 90-yr old momma? ;)

        •  Yeah so?! (none)
          Isn't Reid against abortions too?
          •  how is this an answer to his question? (none)

            scalito is against abortion. once he over-rides Roe, than it is easy for scalito and his radical right wing judges on the Supreme Court to Ok a ban on all abortions--ie make having an abortion, no matter in what state--llegal

            "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

            by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:40:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Every Cause Needs a Slogan: (none)


              Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog, its too dark to read. Groucho Marx

              by M A P on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:19:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Wha?! (none)
              Since when have you heard conservative judges (i.e., Thomas, Scalia, Rehnquist, Alito or anyone else) advoctae a constitutional ruling prohibiting all abortions?!
              •  radical conservatives like scaliton and company (none)

                are picked BECAUSE the radical religious right wants them. as you can see, they didnt want miers, so no miers..this guy gets to committee, b/c he is APPROVED by the RRR

                the RRR has ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS said they want to make abortion illegal

                get w/the program dude. this is what the RRR is about. its why they'd prefer girls get cervical cancer than risk girls might be having sex.,.if you dont know what im talking cervical vaccine and prolife groups.

                these guys suck big time. maybe you're one of them. then you'd suck big time too..

                VETO ALITO!

                "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:10:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am with the program (none)
                  the social conservatives want Roe overruled and then make abortion illegal in the legislature not by judicial fiat.  You cannot show me a single piece of writing by any serious conservative judge or academic who advocates the position that abortions are unconstitutional even if the legislature wants to allow them.  that's just a scare tactic and you know it.
                  •  you're honestly telling me?? (none)

                    you're honestly telling me that my saying the radical religious right wants to outlaw abortions, is overboard?

                    are you nuts? what planet are you on??

                    im sure when they [mis]use the word "holocaust" when talking about abortions, it means they just want to bring hte matter to the states.

                    you have NO IDEA whats going on. get with the program dude.

                    if you want to protect Roe, vote Dem. and if you want to keep abortion legal, veto scalito!

                    "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                    by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:11:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Sheesh (none)
                      They do want to outlaw abortion.  No question about that.  BUT NOT BY JUDICIAL RULINGS!!! They want Roe overruled so that they can go and pass all sorts of laws prohibiting/restriction abx. They don't want justices telling them that the MUST prohibit abx.  Don't you see the difference?!

                      As for your response, I don't want to protect Roe.  I think it is one of the worst decisions to ever come out of the Supreme Court.  I do want to keep abortion legal, but not by relying on heretofore unknown "rights."  i want to have it legalized by the democratic process, not by the undemocratic second-guessing by judges.

                      •  brown v. board (none)

                        "i want to have it legalized by the democratic process, not by the undemocratic second-guessing by judges.

                        would you say the same for brown v. board?

                        we have THREE branches of govt. not two. if you want two brances, i suggest you move to another country.

                        "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                        by AmericanHope on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 01:19:51 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  There would still be five votes for Roe... (none)
          even assuming that Alito is confirmed and votes against it: Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kennedy.  The reaffirmance of Roe in Casey was by a 5-4 vote, but it occurred before pro-Roe Ginsburg replaced anti-Roe Byron White; Kennedy was the deciding vote in favor of retaining Roe then, as he would be after Alito.  (Of course, the smiley-face in your comment may mean you already know this.)
          •  And you want Roe... (none)
   depend on whether or not 85-year-old John Paul Stevens keels over before January 2009???

            The Chimperor Has No Clothes

            by DC Pol Sci on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:46:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Dumb question.... (none)
            .... How can Alito honestly claim to believe a right to privacy exists when he believes a woman can be coerced to tell her husband that she want to have an abortion? I'm  not a lawyer, so maybe someone can explain that one to me.

            "When the Nationals took over the NL East lead in early June, Frank Robinson should have declared: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

            by crazymoloch on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:44:38 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Because even if right to privacy (none)
              exists, and even if it includes abortion, it does not necessarily follow that that right is absolute and not subject to any restriction.

              Think 1st Amendment.  Right to free speech exists, but if you want to demonstrate for or against something you still must obtain a permit from the city and notify them that you will be gathering at some public place.  So, no absolutes.

          •  I thought Casey was 6-3 (none)
            or did I hear wrong?
        •  And he likes tomatoes! (none)
          Mind you, if he nailed a way to grow a decent tomato in the NorthEast, I might become his biggest booster.

          Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

          by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:44:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Grishka, (none)
        You can't agree with both 1) and 2).  They contradict each other.

        If the Court starts using a rational basis test for abortion restrictions, what does this mean?  Does this signal, sub silentio, as you put it, to the state legislatures that they're free to go out and start passing total bans on abortion?  That as long as there's some rational relationship to a valid state interest, it will be upheld?  I think that's exactly what it signals, and states will argue that there's a valid state interest in protecting the life of the unborn.

        That is greatly at odds with your argument in 1), which says all you end up with is parental notification and Stenberg being overruled.

        Think about it:  all it takes is for Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito to get Kennedy to sign onto an opinion stating that, for instance, a partial birth abortion ban should be reviewed under the rational basis test.  Then, Texas or some similar state (remember it was the Texas abortion law that Roe explicitly overturned!) passes a total ban and loads its preamble with 30 or so valid state interests.  

        Mind you, usually, even if a law doesn't explicitly state a valid state interest, if rat basis is all that's being used, if the Court can think of one sua sponte, it will supply its own rational basis.  But loading the preamble up with a bunch of supposedly valid state interests at least gives the Court a few suggestions.

        After the first case that confirms a rational basis standard for some abortion questions, then, what happens?  Does Kennedy start to argue for "rational basis review with a bite," like in Romer v. Evans?

        Then, what happens if Stevens dies, and Bush appoints Priscilla Owen?  You end up with five solid votes to overturn Roe...

        No, Grishka (and, by the way, looking at your comment history, I think there is a "rational basis" to conclude that you might be a troll in any case...witness that your comment spews the same Republican talking points I heard from Tucker Carlson last night on MSNBC), I think we have to make our stand for Roe with THIS nomination.

        The Chimperor Has No Clothes

        by DC Pol Sci on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:45:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No my point in #1 (none)
          was that you don't end up with IMMEDIATE overruling of Roe.  And by the time you do (if ever) too much political water would have passed and people would care more about the then-current issues rather than who appointed Alito.
          •  how do you know? (none)

            i thought john roberts controls the docket on the supreme court. i didnt realize it was you.

            "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

            by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:41:43 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  neither me nor john roberts (none)
              It is actually any 4 justices who can grant cert.

              I know because Ayotte is already on the docket.  Appeals in the federal Partial Birth Abortion Act are inevitable and given the fact that last time it was 5-4, it is almost inevitable that cert on that would be granted.  

              I don't KNOW.  That's like saying how do you KNOW that Alito is anti-Roe.  You have your signs that lead you to reasonably believe that.  I too can read the writing on the wall.  

              •  not at all the same (none)

                saying that scalito is anti-roe b/c we can look at his record, his friends, family, speeches, opinions etc.

                saying you know what roberts is gonna bring to the docket..useless..YOU HAVE NO IDEA

                "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:06:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Like I said (none)
                  Roberts doesn't control it.. Any 4 justices can vote to grant cert whether Roberts likes it or not.

                  And again, like I also said, parental notificationis ALREADY on the docket.  PBA is coming as sure as December will follow November.

                  •  yeah (none)

                    and they'd never bring the matter of roe's legality to the table..

                    they want to overturn Roe, how hard is that for you to understand?

                    "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                    by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:13:31 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  How many states (none)
          What is the sense on which/how many states would write law to outlaw or seriously limit abortion?
          •  Well....all (none)
            unless you can guarantee that a particular state will never be run by republicans and/or pro-life democrats ever again.
            •  Majority supports Roe (none)
              Comments here suggest that the vast majority of Americans support Roe, why would they elect local legislators that would roll back the availability of abortion?

              Even here in Oklahoma, a seriously red state on federal issues is majority blue on local/state issues. If it's as popular as everyone says, there is no real threat that a ban will be implemented.

            •  Not ALL (none)
              Florida is run by Republicans and/or pro-life Dems.  But Florida's constitution has an explicit clause dealing with right to privacy.  So, Florida is not likely to outlaw abortion.  Same with many other states.  Oh, NY has been run by the GOP for 12 years (and NYC is about to vote for a GOP mayor for the 4th straight time) and there have been no attempts to limit abortion
              •  emergency contraception (none)

                the radical religious right got the NY legislature to torpedo emergenct contraception for rape victims.

                once the RRR is empowered by overturning Roe, no state is safe. and of course, once the RRR makes it illegal to get abortions even on a federal level, then it will get really obvious.

                if you're so into abortion rights, why not just leave Roe? seems like you're real busy convincing people that we'll be safe w/out Roe, yet you dont seem to care to fight to keep Roe.

                Very republican. tell people, jump, jump..theres a net underneath that ditch..and then..splash!! nothing but dead sea!

                you're a big fat fraud like the rest of the republicans. your time on this site is getting old and boring

                "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:16:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why not keep Roe?! (none)
                  Because it has no basis in the text history or structure of the Constitution.  It is pure judicial power grab, a power grab to which they are not entitled.  I am all for honest debate, and letting the chips fall where they may.  I am adamantly against running to the courts just because you happen to have lost the legislative debate and asking the courts to rescue you.  The courts are not super-legislatures and should not be treated as such.  Most Western European countries have legalized abortion without the benefit of Roe.  They did it democratically, by legislative and popular votes.  There is no reason US cannot do the same.  (In fact it was doing the same in the late 60s early 70s when states began to reconsider their restrictive abortion policies.  Then SCOTUS stepped in and short-circuited the process resulting in a never-ending battle of whether to keep or junk Roe).
                  •  moron (none)

                    its not a super legislature..its a f-king 3rd branch...

                    suggestion: stop repeating GOP talking pts for one day..and try THINKING

                    "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

                    by AmericanHope on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 01:21:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  27 (none)

            "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

            by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:42:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Yep, (none)
    Roe is what allows middle class Suburban women to be conservative and they don't want THAT taken away.  Otherwise thay might have to become, gasp, pro-choice and switch churches.
  •  Will he be confirmed? (none)
    Looks like most people wouldn't want him.  

    I cannot believe the HUBRIS of GWBush.  Why does he keep doing this kind of Bull????

    (-5.63,-6.10) "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by CyberDem on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:35:58 AM PST

    •  To be honest . . . (none)
      I don't see this guy getting confirmed.

      The most terrifying verse I know: merrily, merrily, merrily, merrilly, life is but a dream. Joan Didion

      by dbratl on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:39:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Dollars to donuts (1.33)
        he gets confirmed.  Tradesport is trading at ~80 for confirmation.

        And the GOP members of the Gang have already said that they will go nuclear if thee is a filibuster.  (Added bonus of going nuclear... stalled nominees like Myers, Saad, Kavanaugh, and Hayes get confirmed in a jiffy).

        •  Are you still trolling here? (none)
          Offering your sound analysis of the Alito nomination: "Tradesport is trading at ~80 for confirmation."  This is a serious thread about a serious topic, not a game.
        •  Heh (none)
          And Tradesports said Dean would be the nominee in 2004.

          Tradesports and $3 gets you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:21:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you willing to bet on the confirmation? (1.00)
            I am willing to wager a good amount of money on it.

            And GN, the discussion is decidely NOT serious.  If it were, the nuiances of the abortion debate would be discussed not a silly poll by mostly uniformed public that purports to wholly support the full reach of Roe and oppose any nominee who doesn't share the view.

            •  what a moron (none)

              if the public is for Roe they are "uninformed" ..but if they were against it, then its their "values"

              you're such a fraud.

              America is prochoice, the GOP isnt. VETO SCALITO!

              "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

              by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:18:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  $3, Armando? (none)
            You guys must have cheap Starbucks there.

            The Chimperor Has No Clothes

            by DC Pol Sci on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:48:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Why don't you think he is going to be confirmed? (none)
        I am not necessarily a fan of Alito, but I would like to know why you think he isn't going to end up with about 65 votes.  So far I have heard about a handful of disturbing opinions, but I haven't heard anything that would cause Republican moderates to turn on him.  A lot of those disturbing opinions (like the FMLA case) were the result of him following the then existing precident, only to be overturned by the Supreme Court.  The only cases I find really scary is his spousal notification decision and his holding that laws against the private sale of machine guns (not assault rifles) are unconstitutional. He has tried to wiggle his way out of the former and I haven't figured out a way to tar him with the later.

        He seems to have a states rights philosophy sort of like that of Scalia and Thomas. Very reactionary, would take us back to before the new deal.  He also seems hostile to individual rights when they conflict with big government. That is pretty much par for the course over the last bunch of appointments.  It would be nice to have a supreme court justice interested in looking out for individual rights and freedoms, but then again it would be nice to have a congress that did the same thing.      

        Apparently he has been talking up his support for Griswold v. Conn. and has been trying to sound like a noderate conservative. They say he is very courtly. He is unlikely to make many gaffs.

        Unless we catch him with something we can bork him with he will probably skate by with over 60 votes.  I am all ears to hear how he can be stopped.

        •  I'm with you. (none)
          The PA spousal notifical law had excemption for the health and saftey of the woman... so it's really hard to find judicial fault in his ruling that there was no undue burden since the women did not have to notify if there could be a problem.

          The FMLA ruling is intertwined with the constitution ammendment because he was stating that it was beyond congresses power to force STATE GOVERNMENTS to give these benifits.

          The gun ruling is probably the most telling and nothing that seems disturbing to me.  He would uphold the letter and intent of the bill of rights.  He probably would have been a disenter on Kelo vs New Loundon... one case that I strongly dissagree with the outcome.

          So I have yet to hear a truly extremist decision, one that was not based on facts and precident, but on beliefs that are not supported by facts.  With the number of cases that he has precided over the fact that not one has been brought forward citing true activism or extremism basicly tells me that there is nothing there.

          •  How about Throwing Black Jurors Off a Case... (none)
   that extreme enough for you ?

            An African American had been convicted of felony murder by an all white jury from which black jurors had been impermissibly struck because of their race.  Alito cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion in a 2-1 ruling rejecting the defendant's claims. The full Third Circuit, in a split decision, reversed Alito's ruling, and the majority specifically criticized him for having compared statistical evidence about the prosecution's exclusion of blacks from juries in capital cases to an explanation of why a disproportionate number of recent U.S. Presidents have been left-handed.

            Alito nomination is NOT "all about abortion" as too many here believe, and IMO, are obssessive about.  Alito nomination is about the FULL SPECTRUM of civil liberties.  

            •  And .. (none)
              at the time there was no precident for overturning a jury verdict SOLEY because of perceived bias in picking jurors.  Nothing extreme, just applying case law as it stood.

              We keep trying to apply WHAT WE WANT to the judicial process rather than the law and precident at the time.

              •  You're WRONG (none)
                Case law, as it stands since 1986 (Batson v. Kentucky), allows overturning conviction based on discrimination in picking jurors.  And in the case that Alito heard over 13 years later, the discrimination was ACTUAL not perceived.  

                You're worst than FAUX NEWS in making up shit and trying to present it as fact !

                •  No true (none)
                  This is not about the judge telling blacks they can't serve as jurors, this is not about the state making ornerous burden on blacks to prevent them from serving, this is not alledging any factial or procedural error in the case...

                  This is about laywers using thie time honored process to remove jurors from the pool before trial for ANY OR NO REASON.

                  •  Time Honored Process EXCLUDING BLACK JURORS... (none)
                    ..for out and out racist motivations is what this is about !

                    And Judge Alito IGNORED PRECEDENT that had existed for over a decade outlawing this practice.

                    When there is prosecutorial misconduct that affects a verdict, it's the JOB of the appellate judge to make a ruling that overturns the wrongfully-obtained conviction and send the case back down for a new trial.

                    Judge Alito FAILED at his JOB, and was chided by his colleagues on the full Circuit for doing so.

                    Now, are there any other Jim Crow practices that have been stricken from books you wish to see revived and ignored upon judicial review when challenged ??!!!

                    •  In the particular case... (none)
                      You are applying what you WANTED over what was a REASONED OUTCOME.  Proving that prosecuters were intentionally encluding black jurors is extremly difficult.  Under the standard that you would use anyone who felt that they were discriminated against could just get a new trail until they felt that justice was served.

                      It would be nice if everything BAD was easy to prove, but that's not always the case.  

                      •  Racism is just...Oh, coincidental... (none)
               what you and Judge Alito would assert.

                        Or as Judge Alito would say, excluding all the black people from the jury pool is just as happen chance as having 4 out of last 5 Presidents to be left-handed.

                        BULLSHIT !!!!

                        You are applying what you WANTED over what was a REASONED OUTCOME.

                        You're too lazy to understand the facts.  Alito's bad decision was OVERTUNED and the fact that the other judges on the Circuit called Alito out on his bullshit decision is just more evidnce that he is quite tolerant of racism.  

                        And apparently you are too.

            •  This is serious (none)
              I was sort of involved in an early case on this subject back in the 1970s.  The whole sweep of the law has been against excluding blacks if it even remotely looks like they are excluded because they are minorities. This is serious stuff, even if Alito's decision appeared to follow existing precident. The case law has been moving the other direction for over a generation. Thank you.  
    •  See the Libby card (none)
      See it, do you see it, you haven't seen me take anything out of my pocket, keep your eyes focused on Scooter, go on watch the birdie.

      Now are you sure that the card you picked was Scooter?  From the six figure dead illegal war pack?


      It was really the Alito card from the focus on the foetus deck!

      A thank you very much, my assistant will be passing the hat in just a couple of minutes - you've been a great audience.

      Halley Seven, United States Nil - You see, it can be done!

      by ian1973uk on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:53:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bilifuster (none)

    How else can I say it?

  •  Kinda tricky. (4.00)
    What if he voted to limit it in certain ways but not overturn it outright?  That's quite a different poll

    Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

    by AnthonySF on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:36:24 AM PST

    •  Well, what if (none)
      the question was, "Should women be required to obtain their husband's consent in order to obtain an abortion"?

      -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

      by sidnora on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:40:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which... (4.00)
        wasn't the issue in Casey.  The issue was a spousal notification provision, not a spousal consent provision (which, IIRC, had several exceptions).  There's a big difference between the two.

        Also, IIRC, the majority of people in polls also support most notification/consent measures.  There's about 25-30 percent on each end ("ban it outright!" and "no regulation whatsoever!"), with a plurality in the middle somewhere, supporting some form of regulation.  Abortion is one of the many areas where attempting to make blanket statements about what "the American people believe!" is almost inherently misleading.

        •  That's why, (none)
          although I think a filibuster is warranted, we shouldn't go around saying "but 50%-60% don't him if he overturns Roe!" because there's a lotta gray.

          Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

          by AnthonySF on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:50:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Consent vs. notification is a distinction without (none)
          difference. I am more concerned with his wording in the dissent. He said that a woman could make a better more informed choice if she consulted her husband. Of course it's a paraphrase, but it's a disgusting idea. This implies that women can't make these decisions as independent adults. It may be "wise" for a woman to discuss these things with her husband from a marital standpoint, but neither wisdom nor morality should ever be issues of legislation.

          Also, what about single women. Do father's of single women's babies have less stake in the pregnancy.

          Finally, WTF, are women baby receptacles. A man should not even need to be informed that she is pregnant much less whether she is terminating.

          •  Why is it a distinction w/o a difference (2.00)
            especially if notification provisions have a host of exceptions (i.e., if wife fears physical abuse notification is waived, if the pregnancy was a result of sexual assault by husband notification is waived, if husband is hard to reach/find-- same thing).  You will never convince the public that notification (i.e., family discussion) is same thing as giving a right to veto and taht notification is bad.  The public supports such measures almost 2-1.
            •  I am not arguing it from a political standpoint (none)
              I just think that the idea of notification is repugnant. It treats women like second class citizens. I don't disagree that much of the public thinks that married women are subservient to their husbands. That doesn't make it good or right. And before you shoot back well lack of notification makes men second class citizens in the pregnancy decisions. I will answer that for you yep they are, sorry it's biology. I didn't make it that way, their god did apparently.
              •  Huh? (none)
                How does the sharing of information make anybody second-class citizens?
                •  Does a man have to inform his wife he is (none)
                  having a vasectomy?
                •  it doesn't. (none)
                  Legislation that requires a woman to share information with her husband, however, does. There are no comparative laws requiring men to share comparable information with their wives.
                •  In a healthy marriage (none)
                  How does the sharing of information make anybody second-class citizens?

                  the 'sharing of information' would not be an issue. The problem is that there are many unhealthy marriages. That's why 1/3rd of the murdered women in the country are killed by their husbands or boy friends. Lots of men conduct their marriages as if they owned their wife.
                  Should men (in order to preserve the sancity of marriage) be required to 'notify' their wives when they frequent strip clubs or engage in OOW sexual relations or fill a prescription for Viagra or have a vasectomy or indulge in viewing pornography?

                  "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

                  by colleen on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:19:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I would be fine with (none)
                    a notification requirement for vasectomies. The rest, no.

                    And again, none of it makes anybody second-class citizens. I just don't like seeing needlessly hyperbolic and self-destructive rhetoric, especially for a cause that I fundamentally agree. All I can hope is people that would use this rhetoric aren't in any position of decision-making about efforts on public persuasion.

                    •  You're welcome (none)
                      And again, none of it makes anybody second-class citizens.

                      to hold this position even while presenting no evidence to the contrary or even providing a notion of just how obviously subordinate gender roles must be codified before you would have a clue that there's a problem.
                      Me, I've spent my entire life (57 years thus far) dealing with men (and women for that matter) who are utterly convinced of that the subordination of women is the natural order of things and am fully aware what I'm talking about.
                      I know what my mother had to deal with and I know what my grandmother had to deal with negotiating their second class status as wives and and their second class status in their attempts to make a living. And they weren't things you will ever have to deal with. Never.

                      This provision in the law is clearly a loophole which will allow those inclined to subpoena the private medical records of women who have had abortions and make quite certain that their husbands know. And, while perjury isn't that big a deal when a republican outs a CIA agent and lies to law enforcement it's a TRAP law for women who weren't subordinate to their husbands...  

                      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

                      by colleen on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 02:58:54 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  And just so we are clear (none)
                It is his child too.

                Let me pose this hypo.  Suppose there are embryos created by H&W and stored in a tank somewhere (as a result of IVF attempts).  Can a wife (or a husband) unilaterally go and destroy those embryos?!  I think most people would say no.  They are a joint creation and decision should be made jointly.  Now, of course if the embryo is in a woman's body, that changes the calculus somewhat.  So no one is arguing for a "joint decision."  But at least notifying the guy about what is about to done with his child/embryo (however you want to call it) is perfectly reasonable.

            •  So explain to me how does the notification system (none)
              work. Does she need to bring a signed note from her husband that says "She told me and it okie dokie with me". If she can't get said note, does she have to go to court to get it. If she gets a judge that's hostile to abortion, which in some parts of Penn. is likely, what happens. Are there costs involved.
              •  No (none)
                Under PA law, W needed to sate (under penalty of perjury) that she has told her husband or that she is invoking one of the exceptions.  That's it.  Sure "penalty of perjury" sounds serious, but how exactly would one enforce it?!
                •  Well then it's a silly law that should (none)
                  be thrown out because it's not enforcable. Unenforcable laws should never be on the books as they clog the courts with needless law suits. Does she also have to stipulate to his state. Can she tell him while he's sleeping, drunk. It's a stupid law on top of being repugnant.
                  •  Plenty of laws are not enforceable (2.00)
                    When was the last time you saw someone cited for jaywalking?  Or for speeding 2 miles an hour, which technically is illegal?  A dumb law is not necessarily unconstitutional.  The Constitution does not mandate smart legislating.
                    •  Right, but you aren't going to see (none)
                      a bitter squabble over whether someone was jaywalking. Whereas this law opens up the potential for he said, she said law suits. If he wants to divorce her for being a bad wife that's his choice, but the courts should not be involved in forcing marital discourse over a woman's personal choice to terminate a prenancy.

                      And as a side note people are cited for jaywalking in big cities frequently. And my wife's town has a zero tollerance policy for speeders, will give you a ticket for 1 mph over.

                      •  Well if he wants to divorce her (none)
                        for being a bad wife or a "baby killer" in his view... he ought to know that she is a bad wife or a "baby killer."
                        •  Nope (none)
                          As it turns out it's none of his business.
                          •  So says you (3.00)
                            I disagree.  I think the husband deserves to know who he is sharing his bed and life with.

                            But the point is not even that.  The point is that there are (as our discussion evidneces) good arguments on either side.  So let's hear them, let's marshall the best arguments we can find, and then let's vote.  The Constitution is not an appropriate vehicle to resolve these debates.

                          •  Lol (none)
                            "I disagree.  I think the husband deserves to know who he is sharing his bed and life with."

                            Your going to legislate that. Good luck. You make me laugh. There are no good arguments on the other side, just things like the statement you made.
                            Let me try this:

                            "It's his kid too". Nope, not a kid under the law.

                            "I disagree.  I think the husband deserves to know who he is sharing his bed and life with.". Not legislatable, but an admirable goal.

                            Anymore, this is fun.

                          •  Your argument is crcular (none)
                            It is essentially "the law SHOULD not be that way because as of now it ISN'T that way."  

                            "It's not a kid under the law" is a correct statement of current law.  But that's not the argument we are having.  We are having an argument what the law SHOULD be.  Whether or not current law classifies fetus/embryo as a "kid" is somewhat irrelevant.

                          •  Oh that's a different argument altogether (none)
                            If you want to declare the fetembryo a kid, that's fine, but it's a different argument. We are talking about informing your spouse, not about Roe. If you want Roe thrown out, that's fine, but it's not the topic we were discussing.
                          •  Well first off (none)
                            Roe has been limited by Casey.  Second, we are discussing what the law SHOULD be in general.  I recognize that under Casey spousal notification is unconstitutional.  The question is, in the bastract should it be.
                          •  My argument was only circular (none)
                            If you say that a fetembryo is a kid. But if it's a kid, that implies a lot more than spousal notification is a good idea. And so that's why I said it's a different argument. If it's a kid, then woman and doctor should go to jail or be executed. If it's not a kid, well, then all I said above holds.
                          •  Not necessarily (none)
                            There can be a recognition that a fetus though not a fully formed human being is also more than a flake of skin.  It cna be both moral and legal recognition.  Does not necessarily have to be a "kid" with full rights.
                          •  Can you say slippery slope. (none)
                            This sort of designation endangers the reproductive rights of women. Plus there's no Constitutional provision for a "semi-human". There are people and non-people.
                          •  I don't buy the slippery slope argument (none)
                            I don't believe in reproductive "rights."  I think legalized abortion is a good idea, but I don't think it's a right.

                            As for lack of Constitutional provision, so what?  But neitehr the Constitution nor morality also does not require that the fetus be treated exactly the same as as a flake of skin.

                          •  The constitution (none)
                            refers to "people"  As stated above, under the constitution, you are either a person or you're not. The constitution would seem to suggest that a person is someone who is born, considering phrases such as "born or naturalized."

                            There ain't nowhere in the constitution that says "conceived or naturalized" or anything like that.  Even if you threw out privacy, I think you could, at the very least, have an arguement about how abortion could be legal (though perhaps not a right) based on that alone.

                            However, we also have this nice little thing called the 9th amendment, which is where the right of privacy comes from (as well as about half of the amendments in the bill of rights).

                          •  Right to privacy (none)
                            certainly doesn't come from the 9th.

                            9th is not a repository of secret rights that can be "discovered" every time there is a new Justice on the Court.  It is a statement that a citizen of a given state by virtue of that state's more generous grant of rights can enjoy rights other than those listed in the Federal Constitution.  I.e., citizens of New York can have more rights than citizens of say KY.  (And it is often true, because NY has relatively more stringent requirements on warrantless search and seizure compared to other states).  Also see MA where gay people now have a right to be married unlike in other states or under the Federal Constitution.

                            The fact that the Constituion doesn't say "conceived" does not mean that the Legislature is without power to extend full or partial protection to the unborn.  It's like the Constitution doesn't say that private discrimination is illegal.  But the Legislature can ban private discrimination in businesses.  

                          •  The Constitution says jack (none)
                            About state rights beyond the 10th Amendment.

                            Behold...the 9th Amendment:

                            The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

                            I.E. there are some rights which the people have which aren't listed in the constitution...period.  It doesn't say "New York can give it's citizens some rights and Connecticut can refuse to"  That's in the 10th Amendment.  This says that "just because we didn't stick something in the 1st amendment or 5th amendment or something like that means that right doesn't exist"

                            Saying that no rights exist other than those specificly enumerated in the first 8 amendments makes the 9th amendment a worthless piece of paper with no purpose or meaning, and nothing in the constitution is without purpose or meaning.

                          •  You are plain wrong (none)
                            10th Amendment is about the power of the states vis-a-vis the feds, not vis-a-vis their own citizenry.

                            9th Amendment is a guarantee that the Federal Constitution cannot circumscribe greater rights that people may posess under their state laws.

                            If one adopts your interpretation, there is a new "right" that appears in the Constitution any time 5 justices think that it is a good idea.  

                          •  Fine, from (almost) the horse's mouth... (none)
                            From Find Law

                            Aside from contending that a bill of rights was unnecessary, the Federalists responded to those opposing ratification of the Constitution because of the lack of a declaration of fundamental rights by arguing that inasmuch as it would be impossible to list all rights it would be dangerous to list some because there would be those who would seize on the absence of the omitted rights to assert that government was unrestrained as to those.

                            Madison adverted to this argument in presenting his proposed amendments to the House of Representatives. "It has been objected also against a bill of rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against. I have attempted it, as gentlemen may see by turning to the last clause of the fourth resolution."

                            Now, the article goes on to say that "the Amendment states but a rule of construction, making clear that a Bill of Rights might not by implication be taken to increase the powers of the national government in areas not enumerated, and that it does not contain within itself any guarantee of a right or a proscription of an infringement."

                            However, I don't think there is much confusion in Madison's statement of "it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure" and that he was worried about this fact.

                            In otherwords, the worry was that the belief that the federal government had the power to restrict the rights of people if those rights weren't explicitly protected in the bill of rights, and the 9th amendment was meant to say "no no no no, there are other rights that people have which the federal government cannot infringe as well"

                            It's not a matter of creating new rights.  In a way, everyone has the right to do whatever the hell they want.  The question is which of those "rights" can the federal government regulate and control?

                          •  Key words that you're not (none)
                            paying attention to are: "General Governement."  i.e., the feds.  That is exactly what I have been saying.  There are other rights out there conferred on people by virtue of state and local enactment.  They cannot be limitd by the feds on the account of not being listed in the Constitution.  that is what the 9th Am is about.

                            To the extent that you are arguing that the Feds ought not regualate abortion I agree.  It is beyond their power.  But the STATES can.

                          •  Except (none)
                            That there is that pesky thing called the 14th amendment.

                            Which has the courts have come around to see as saying "whatever the bill of rights restricted the congress from's now restricting the states from doing that as well"  with the only real exception being the state's police power.

                            Before the 14th Amendment, the states could do things like...regulate speech and things like that.  However, not now.  At least not with the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment.  Basically the only amendments in the bill of rights not included are the 2nd and 10th amendments because they specifically mention the state's rights within them.

                            Now, many of the conservative members of the court want to reverse this trend and reassert the right of the state to basically regulate whatever the hell they want, but that's not the current precident.

                          •  14th doesn't incorporate everything (none)
                            It has never been held to incorporate the 9th or the 3rd or the 2nd or the 7th Amendments.  

                            (As an aside, the whole notion of incorporation is dubious to begin with, but that ship has long sailed and I am not willing to reargue the point).

                            Indeed, if the original 9th is understood to give people additional rights if the states want to confer these rights upon them, icorporation would be meaningless.  The rights derive from somewhere.  Original 9th understood that these rights derive from state charters.  If you incorporate the 9th, what is the next level you look to?  

                          •  I yield (none)
                            Whenever someone brings out the flake of skin argument I yield. It's so powerful. I have better things to do with my time at this point. But I will close with Roe doesn't treat Fetembryos like flakes of skin. You can say it does, but it doesn't. Respond if you like, but I am done following.
                          •  Sue me, I'm Buddhist, but... (none)
                            looking at it from the teachings of all the great religions, everything is transient, and the real truth is found in heart wisdom.

                            Please don't puke until I'm finished.

                            The heart consciousness determines all moral consequence. Ergo, to abort or not lies fully within the free will of the individual, and their karma is their attitude.

                            Fine, you say. But what about the child?

                            My own mother had an abortion before she had me. Was "I" that fetus? I believe in the unity of consciousness, and that "my" consciousness lives eternally somewhere. So if I was at one time an aborted fetus, big deal. What matters is that the karma of "my" mind stream led me to a certain destiny.

                            I don't "like" abortion, as codified for the masses, a one size fits all law for this mass society.  Nor do I like a restriction of free will in the prohibition of same. I'd rather live in a society that treated the individual with respect and wasn't telling them what they should do in this private matter. As for minors, PARENTS are responsible, and if a child has a baby, if there has to be a law, then make the PARENTS support the child.

                            "Daddy, what did you do in Bush Two?"

                            by omfreebogart on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 01:33:11 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Wait a minute! (none)
                            I think the husband deserves to know who he is sharing his bed and life with.

                            Doesn't the woman????

                            I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                            by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:33:42 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  OK, but that's the legislators' job (none)
                    Passing silly laws is NOT the job of the supreme court to fix. That's what the legislature is for. The SC determines if laws are constitutional, not whether they are silly or not.
                    •  I already discussed the constitutionality of it (none)
                      He was saying that it was okay because the women wouldn't go to jail for perjury if they lied on the forms because it was enforcable. I was just making the point that silly unenforceable laws shouldn't be on the books.
                •  You probably wouldn't enforce it (none)
                  Alito actually pointed that out in his dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.  From footnote #5:

                  "In considering whether Section 3209 would impose an undue burden, I do not take into account a fact that seems glaringly apparent, i.e., that Section 3209 would be difficult to enforce and easy to evade. Section 3209 does not require a woman to provide any proof of notification other than her own unnotarized statement. Thus, if a woman claimed that she had orally notified her husband in private (the mode and place of notification to be expected in most cases), it would be exceedingly difficult in most cases for the Commonwealth to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she had not done so.

                  "Proving that a woman violated the law due to a false statement concerning one of the exceptions would also be hard. As noted (see footnote 4, supra), the Commonwealth would have to prove that the woman did not "believe [the statement] to be true" (18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 4904(b) (1983)). Consequently, if a woman certified that she did not notify her husband because he was not the father, the Commonwealth would have to prove that she subjectively believed that the husband was the father. Or, if a woman certified that she did not notify her husband because she had reason to believe that this would lead to the infliction of bodily injury upon her, the Commonwealth would have to prove that the woman subjectively believed that she would not be harmed. It seems likely, therefore, that Section 3209, if allowed to take effect, would be widely evaded and infrequently enforced and would consequently be less likely to produce either the good or bad effects that the opposing parties claim.  [**118]"

        •  I just got back here (none)
          and you are correct, I misspoke (mistyped?) "consent". I plead the "too early, wasn't fully awake yet" defense. However, I don't think, in practical terms, it's that big a difference.

          The thing that blew my mind about Alito's position is that it seemed to assume that 1) the husband is around to be notified, and 2) he is the father. This indicates a frighteningly simpleminded concept of what marriages may be, especially bad ones.

          -8.25,-8.36 As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it? - William Marcy Tweed

          by sidnora on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 03:35:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Notification equals a consent requirement (4.00)
        for all practical purposes, nobody is fooled by the terminology.
        •  How? (none)
          A consent requirement implies nothing can be done legally without the agreement of a person. A notification on the other hand has no bearing on whether an action can be undertaken or not. I don't understand this supposed equivocation.
          •  to some extent notification allows extortion (4.00)
            Once a husband knows he can apply pressure, whether monetarily, physically, by threatening divorce, or simply by plain old browbeating.  Or he can call a 10 family members to stage an "intervention"--or tell the local pro-life pastor and turn it into the whole community's pet project to change her mind.  Or he can simply drag out an argument and wheedle out enough concessions long enough that abortion becomes dangerous.  Most of which are 100% legal, and the rest of which are often very difficult to prove, if you can even bear to take your own husband to criminal court.

            Face it; a thousand kinds of coercion can happen with notification, and I don't see why this has to be legally mandated for notification if cheating isn't, if membership in a neo-nazi organization isn't, except by automatically assuming that any chance to get that woman to carry a baby to term is a good one.

            •  IIRC (none)
              The decision allowed the pregnant woman to withhold the information if sharing it would endanger her health or welfare.

              The whole legal requirement is silly because it is unenforceable and/or can be waived at whim.  The issue isn't its silliness but whether it infringes unreasonably on the pregnant individual's right to privacy.  Is the state of being pregnant a matter which may remain absolutely the pregnant individual's business?  

              Ethically, the issue is irresolvable because of a conflict between viewing the matter as concerning the pregnant individual's body, the fact that a fetus exists because of the biological contributions of two individuals, and the well-worn chesnut of whether a fetus is bestowed with personhood or not.  In this climate, courts and legislatures have a difficult mediating ground to tread.

              I know I'm in the minority here, but I do not think that privacy is always an absolute.  There are many cases in which individuals need to inform others of their medical condition.  And while, unlike those other cases, this is not one which concerns the health and safety of others, it does speak to the fact that fetuses come into existence as a result of the biological contributions of two individuals.  All the judgement requires is for one of those individuals to say to the other, "You know that biological contribution you invested in the production of a fetus?  I no longer wish it to be in my body, so I'm terminating it."

              I'm sorry, but I don't see how this is an unreasonable infraction on the pregnant individual's privacy.  It's an infraction, yes, but not an unreasonable (hence not unconstitutional) one, IMO.

              "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Trudeau

              by fishhead on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:19:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  100% true, nobody should be fooled (none)
              by the claim that consent is not required, that was the whole purpose of notification anyway.
    •  Limitations on Abortions (4.00)
      I recently suggested in a comment here that Republicans believe Democrats want abortion to be available at any time, to any body, for any reason, with no caveats, at taxpayer cost. I was slimed for overstating the position. Have I?

      Is that the platform? Does it include (I don't see how it could not) eugenics, decision to abort based on hair color or sex or potential IQ, or as casual birth control? Do progressives fear this discussion on "slippery slope" grounds?

      I believe that many more Republicans would get off the pro-life bandwagon if the alternative was not so polemic.

      Where is the public on a reasoned middle ground between absolute pro-life and absolute pro-choice? Do progressives really believe it is appropriate for a minor to have to get guardian permission for collegen injections but not for abortion? The Third Way study (is that a DLC front organization?) implied that parents urged minors to get abortions (4 of 5 pregnancies in children under 15 are aborted) more often then not.

      •  I agreed with your entire point (none)
        until the parental notification.  I do think there should be some middle ground, but that 1 girl out of 5 is the one that will probably get beaten or kicked out of the house if she tells her parents.  And I'm sure the same girl getting collagen isn't the same one too afraid to tell her parents if she's pregnant.

        Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

        by AnthonySF on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:56:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's why... (4.00)
          most courts have found that in order to survive constitutional scrutiny, a notification provision must have exceptions and/or a judicial bypass mechanism to allow for those situations.  (Indeed, IIRC, the provision in Casey provided exceptions for, among other things, domestic violence and where the woman believed the spouse was not the father.)
          •  Okay (none)
            how does this work?  I mean, if we're talking about a scared clueless 15 year old girl, or a woman who is in danger of her life from her spouse, how do they go about getting this exception?  To work, it would have to mean no red tape and no impression of an obstacle to such individuals.

            "Virginia Woolf's idea of a room of one's own has never been the place for middle- and working-class women. We work with interruptions." - Ananya Chatterjea

            by sarac on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:25:03 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It depends... (none)
              on the precise contours of the statute.  For exception requirements, I believe it normally requires a sworn affidavit (which can be done as a form at the doctor's office) attesting to the fulfillment of an exception.  Judicial bypass is typically a little trickier, but is designed to be a similar submission, just an anonymous court filing, at least in most cases.  Different statutes handle it differently, and I am by no means an expert on all the various state statutes.  Obviously, the requirements in one state might have the effect of violating the undue burden standard--it all has to be looked at on a case by caes basis under the current standard.
              •  IMO (none)
                It depends on the precise contours of the statute.

                That is justification for the right to privacy being absolute, as you have stated that it depends.  How the hell can a constitutionally-legislated/judicially mandated right to privacy "depend"?

                I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:42:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Clarity (none)
                  I think, in RB Ginsburg's opinion, that Roe, et al, left right to privacy in murky waters. It's not that it isn't there, it's that we don't know what it is exactly, and as a function of being precedential, is subject to evolution. Many, including me, would suggest that "right to privacy" is not clearly stated in the Constitution except in so much as it is explicitly stated, and that does not included one's body other than for search purposes. As is exampled by our laws on drug use, prostitution, and sundry other crimes that pertain to what we do to ourselves.
                  •  hmmm (none)
                    To me, some of what you are saying compares apples to oranges.  Guess we just disagree.

                    I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                    by Street Kid on Thu Nov 03, 2005 at 04:43:03 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Either/Or, not apples v oranges (none)
                      Either the gov't can tell me what I can or cannot do to my body (except in so much as it effects another), or it can't. The right to privacy expressed by Roe and other similar decisions says the gov't cannot tell me what to do under certain circumstances. I would suggest that deciding to use currently illegal drugs is substantially less impactful societally than deciding to abort a fetus, particularly to the fetus. All I want is consistency. Either/Or, not subjectively yes now and no later. Make it black and white. Make it into real law, not precedent. Base it on a principle, not a desired outcome. If that principle is that a fetus can be aborted by the woman, say under what circumstances, and with what limitations. If it is until the umbilical cord is cut, say so. If it is on the basis of IQ potential, say so. Make the law clear. Make he legislators get behind what they stand for. We are way past the time to shuck and jive. Get the debate over with.
            •  My mother-in-law - (4.00)
              All kinds of religious right, believes the hype, a single issue voter on abortion. When I first met her, she actually told me that pregnancy was either a reward for a godly life (i.e married women) or a divine punishment for immoral behavior. This is the sweetest lady you can imagine on most things, raised wonderful sons (well, one) as a single mother. She believes her divorce was her punishment for "giving in" before marriage (the DAY before, mind you). She has backed off over the last few years, due largely to the influence of my husband and myself, but also due to switching congregations (of course now she thinks demons possess people and Jungian psychology is prophecy, but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day).

              My most effective argumant was printing adoption paperwork in abundance and giving it to her, asking how many retarded and/or disabled children she thought she was able to take care of. I also said she could give extras to her pastor to pass out in church, and told her where they could get more, as I was sure such staunch Christians would  love to take in all those babies they had saved.

              She looked at me like I had gone insane, literally not understanding why I was so angry. I advised her to visit a state orphanage. She did so, and has been at least less anti-choice ever since, agreeing that there are, perhaps, some mitigating circumstances. Neither she nor anyone else in her congregation adopted any children, disabled or otherwise.

          •  See above (none)
            Judicial review is very tricky in many parts of the country I bet. I would be curious are their costs involved, lawyers etc.  Who pays?
          •  Parental Notification (none)
            I would like to see a magistrate, preferably female, available in every jurisdiction, 24/7, for counseling so a minor who had problems telling her parents would have a competent ad hoc guardian for conversation. My gravest concern is that the decision to abort is life changing for the girl, and that the harm done to her psyche is permanent (I admit, as a male, I have no sense of the hormonal impact of being pregnant, and I don't have a sense of the psyche of a pregnant person). For many, it's no big deal (but should be) but for some it's damaging. A calm, smart, knowledgable, third party would provide a touchpoint for this teen who can't apparently trust her parents with this conversation, both before and after the procedure. Isn't it also likely that the parental notification issue for the teen is a larger issue?
            •  Like a warrant (none)
              No more process than a medical professional calling the magistrate on duty, explaining the situation, and handing the phone to the patient.
            •  Available counselling 24/7, sure. (none)
              But that person shouldn't be a judge or magistrate, and there should be no legal requirement that forces children in such a predicament to submit to it. Legal training does not qualify anyone to provide emotional counselling. You need a skilled psychologist or social worker for this, not a magistrate.

              Everyone says "minor" and then cites 15 year old girls. Fifteen is still a child, but starting to become an adult... starting, sometimes, to be able to cope with following this horrid legal maze some people want to set up. Fifteen is old enough to fall in love, and maybe to have consented to sex... though given the outcome, obviously not old enough to have thought through the consequences. Maybe in some very, very exceptional circumstances, with plenty of support from somewhere, fifteen is old enough to bear a child without being terribly damaged by the experience. But, most often not.

              What about the real children -- the ones who are 13... 12... Puberty is coming earlier for girls these days (maybe it's the hormones in the milk), so we could even be talking about a child as young as nine, whose body may be able to become pregnant, but who is nowhere near able to cope with bringing an infant to term, emotionally or physically. And who has, by statutory definition, been raped by someone -- most likely someone in her family.

              Let's set up a rule, shall we? The younger the girl who is pregnant, the more automatic an abortion should be. Nobody should be allowed to try to talk a 12 or 13 year old girl into going through with a pregnancy. That's abuse, all by itself.

              And if she's afraid to tell her parents, nobody should force her to. She's the one who lives with them. If she thinks they'd beat her or throw her out on the street, or abuse her emotionally for the rest of her life by calling her a slut and a whore, she's more likely to be right about it than some magistrate who hasn't even met the parents. Or worse, a magistrate who has met them, and thinks the parents are such fine upstanding members of the community they couldn't possibly be doing bad things in their home.

              What happens if she tells the exact truth to a magistrate, and gets called a liar? You think that won't harm her?

              The only reason an abortion is going to inflict harm on a child is if everyone around her is telling her abortion is a terrible sin and she will burn in hell. What she needs to be told is that she is a good, valuable person who didn't do anything wrong. The person who did wrong was the man who molested her. Yes, she has been through a terrible ordeal, but from now on she will be protected from the abuser, and no, she doesn't have to bear his baby.

              Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

              by Canadian Reader on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:46:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Responsibility (none)
                My thought is that someone should have their name affixed to the document that says this child was counselled. That someone stands in the place of the parent, who, for reasons agreed to by the person who was qualified to take that place, thought is in the best interests of the minor to do so. The decision has consequences and somebody of majority needs to take responsibility for them. Just as the doctor would get ink on the document for any other procedure.
            •  True story that recently happened. (none)
              Friend of mine elected to terminate her pregnancy for reasons that will remain private.  Her reasoning, "Sometimes being a good mom is knowing when to do the right thing."

              I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

              by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:45:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Do I really need to explain this? (none)
        Do I really need to explain the difference between a medical procedure (abortion) and a cosmetic procedure (collegen injections) to you?  

        I don't feel like it, but I do want to make this point.  I think a lot of the hesitancy or objection towards parental notification has to do with the parental abuse/incest/fundie parents scenarios where the parents would not be acting in the best interests of the child.  Exceptions where the child has to prove that the parent isn't acting in their best interest would be onerous that it would have the effect of muting any child in that situation.  That's why I am opposed to parental notification/consent.

        Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

        by bawbie on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:00:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I find it fascinating (1.57)
          that people can argue with a straight face that a child who cannot drink, drive, buy cigarrettes, get ANY OTHER medical procedure on her own, go to R-rated movies or be out on the street after (in some places) 9 or 10 pm is mature enough to make a major medical/life decision on her own simply because she has managed an extraodinarily complex task of having sex.
          •  I actually have sympathy for this viewpoint (none)
            But, do you really think it's a major life decision. Perhaps having a baby is a much bigger life changing event. I have heard reported that most women feel relieved afterward, not any sort of regret. To you it might be a major decision, but I am betting you never had one, so really, how do you know?
            •  I am not saying that (none)
              the decision to abort especially by a 12 year old girl is a wrong one.  But it is certainly not the one taht she should be making without any adult guidance.
              •  And I am saying maybe it's no bigger deal (none)
                Then choosing a brand of condom to use. Maybe you are putting more weigh on the decision than actually exists. That said, it's a medical procedure, albeit a safe one, so generally speaking parents should probably know it's happening. But, you see by framing it as oooo it's some big lofty decision, you are humanizing the baby, which is fine, but it's 1) not how it's viewed under the law, and 2) probably not how it's view by most of the women having the procedure.
                •  again (none)
                  the way it's viewed under teh current law is irrelevant to the discussion.

                  As for medical procdeure being safe, so is taking Tylnol.  But no school nurse will give you Tylenol w/o parental consent.

                  And finally, I do think that it is a bigger decision than choosing a brand of condom.  If it weren't the pro-Roe people wouldn't be saying how "every abortion is a tragedy" and we need to decrease their number.  If that is not a recognition of additional moral considerations I don't know what is.  

                  •  It's a bigger deal to some people (none)
                    like the "every abortion is a tragedy" folks. But, I fall into the "every abortion is one less mouth to feed and car to put gas in, camp". There are lots of abortion camps, but you are superimposing your view or those that think abortion is a a big deal, on abortion onto everyone that has one and I am simply pointing out that it's not necessarily the way everyone feels. Nor should it be.

                    Abortion is a personal decision and should not be interfered with by complicating it with all sorts of ooo aahh moral crap including the relationship between husband and wife. There, that's my view.

                    •  An honest question for you (none)
                      I'm not intending to be sarcastic here, but truly curious regarding your stated view.

                      There are plenty of un-aborted toddlers that are an extra mouth to feed and divert gas money. Would you view a prohibition on "post-birth abortion" in these cases as moral crap?

                      •  Hehe (none)
                        I haven't stopped beating my mother either. I don't view fetuses as children. So your question is irrelevant.

                        But, I actually am a big believer in post-birth adoption of unwanted kids. I love kids, fetuses and embryos ain't them.

                        Further, I believe that we should take care of ALL the kids that are here, and unlike most of  the wingnuts who claim this, I am willing to pay a few extra tax dollars to do it.

              •  Oh good, (none)
                I am not saying that the decision to abort especially by a 12 year old girl is a wrong one.

                 because 12 year old girls properly belong in the 6th grade and forcing them to carry children to term is child abuse.

                But it is certainly not the one taht she should be making without any adult guidance.

                Statistically speaking (and by wide margins) she had a good deal of 'adult guidance' when she was impregnated and is the victim of a crime.

                "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

                by colleen on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:09:44 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  But at the same time... (none)
            At the same time, I find it hard to believe that "a child who cannot drink, drive, buy cigarrettes, get ANY OTHER medical procedure on her own, go to R-rated movies or be out on the street after (in some places) 9 or 10 pm is mature enough" to go to a judge to get around a parental consent law if she is placed in danger by notifying her parents.
            •  so getting pregnant ... (none)
              shouldn't force maturity on her?

              You want to protect a 14 year old girls right to an abortion without her  parents knowledge?  Won't the women's health centers help her find a sympathetic judge if she refuses (for whatever reason) to notify her parents?   Maybe I should visit the local abortion clinic to find out how they think this might or might not work, or are they making "slippery slope" arguments like the right does?

              •  Sympathetic judges (none)
                I have heard that there are jurisdictions where there are no judges that will hear them...perhaps it's urban legend. But I know that there have been recusals in the past.
              •  Current bypasses are too complex (none)
                My point is only that the judicial bypasses I've seen are generally too complex for minors to navigate by themselves.  Sure, some women's health centers will help, but the prospect of having to go to court before a judge as a pregnant fourteen year old is frankly not a realistic option.  If we're going to have parental consent laws (an option which I don't think is necessarily bad), I think the bypass needs to be easier than going to court--perhaps having a doctor determine whether consent is necessary, of a designated person at a hospital or clinic rather than the circuitous route through the court system.
              •  On maturity (none)
                Also, getting pregnant shouldn't force maaturity on her.  Actually, it doesn't matter whether it "should" or not.  The fact that she became pregnant may even be an indication of immaturity, at least in some cases.  Alternatively, it might be an indication that she did not know where to find help regarding contraception, etc.  In either case, it seems unrealisitc to expect this girl to understand how to navigate the court system to obtain a judge's permission to have an abortion.
          •  a minor (none)
            does not need her parents' permission to get pregnant or give birth. Therefore she should not need parents' permission to terminate a pregnancy.
            •  are there other medical procedures.. (none)
              that a minor can have without parental consent to treatment?
              •  Only ones that have to do with sex (none)
              •  what about child abuse? (none)
                If a child breaks an arm because they are thrown down a flight of stairs by their parent(s), do they have to have parental consent to put a cast on it?

                Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

                by bawbie on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:33:58 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  it depends on the state. (none)
                some states have what's called emancipated minors, who can make their own life decisions.
                southern states are more likely to view the child as chattel. take, for instance, the crazy situation here, where a minor, even one with a child of her own, must get parental permission for her own medical treatment, even though she can give consent for her own child.

                of course, if you transfer "ownership" of child from parent to husband by getting married, then the married minor can make decisions about medical care - it seems that having a husband to tell you what to do somehow makes you more responsible. and it's in the presence of laws like these that we're trying to teach these young women that they're worth something.

            •  Ability to have sex (none)
              does not mean maturity.   It is bizarre to suggest otherwise.  

              The parents are completely responsible for this child, for what she does, for how she does in school, im some states for the torts that the child commits, for providing food, shelter, and medical care.  But when it comes to abortion, parents are prohibited from knowing?!  Because the girl is sooo responsible as to have sex at 12 AND to not use adequate protection?! (Yes I know sometimes protection fails, but that is not why most 12-14 years olds get pregnant).  That's bizarre.

              •  Hmmm... (none)
                You missed the give birth part. So let me ask...should a girl have to tell her parents she's about to go to the hospital to give birth. That's a medical procedure, and one which is considerably more dangerous than abortion. I am curious where you stand on this?
                •  Well, two parts (none)
                  1. In most cases parents would know that she is about to give birth.  Unless she is morbidly obese, it's kind of hard to hide the pregnancy in 9th month.

                  2. Most hospitals if the girl showed up would at least attempt to contact parents for all sorts of consents (blood transfusion, in case it's needed, payment, insurance, etc.)
                  •  Nope (none)
                    You missed the point. This is a question of legality so

                    1. is silly because it doesn't go to legality.

                    2. I don't think any of that is true in the case of pregnancy. I don't think parents are informed, perhaps somebody more knowledgable than I. But I am pretty sure that there needs be no parental consent in this case.

                    Again, you didn't answer my question "Should parents have to be informed that a girl is giving birth". Not are they generally. Should it be a law.
                •  Emergency (none)
                  I'm no medical professional, but my guess is that any medical procedure performed as an emergency (such as birth) requires no such pre-operative notification much less permission. I'm sure they ask around when the bill comes, though.
                  •  Consent is still required (none)
                    Techinically, if the patient is conscious, the physician needs to get informed consent.  The only time that requirement is waived is when the patient it unconscious.  However, the degree of informing often declines in any emergency situation (and it may be verbal rather than written)...and in practice, consent is often assumed when a patient shows up at the hospital.
              •  Does that mean (4.00)
                You are going to legally compell the parents to take responsibility for the child then, since you're basically saying they should have a veto right over the abortion?  So using your own logic means that the parents now have responsbility over raising the baby and not the teen having the baby, correct?

                Or do you think that the person isn't mature enough to get an abortion on their own, but once they have the kid, they can be allowed to go on their own?

                •  I most certainly DID NOT (none)
                  suggest that they have a veto.  I suggested they be told, and ideally have a VOICE, but not a VOTE and CERTAINLY NOT A VETO.
                  •  Umm (none)
                    In a parent/child relationship, parental notification just about amounts to parental consent.

                    I mean, girl goes home and says "Mom! Dad! I'm getting an abortion" and they say....."no."  Well, theoretically under parental notification the child has fulfilled her responsibility and can now get an abortoin because she "notified" her parents.  However, in real life, it's doubtful that the parents are just gonna let the kid skip away to the abortion clinic after tell her that she can't get an abortion.  They're either going to make sure she doesn't get one, or punish her in some way if they find out that she has.  That's why parental notification = parental consent in virtually every respect except for name.

                    •  That is just unproven speculation (none)
                      You have no data to support this, and as nice of a theory as it is, it is not what facial challeneges to teh statute are made of.

                      In order to lodge a facial challeneg to the statute you must show that there are NO CIRCUMSTANCES under which it would be constitutional.  (Which differs from "as applied" challenge where you have to show that in this case the statute is unconstitutional).

                      •  Parental notification has already been ruled (none)
                        Well, the constitutionality of parental notification wasn't the argument I was making.  I'm arguing whether there should be parental notification laws, not whether they are constitutional.

                        How, since you brought the constitutionality of them up...

                        Your standard for facial challenges is correct...except in cases dealing with the 1st Amendment or abortion.  And since we're dealing with abortion...congratulations, your standard for a facial challenge is incorrect.

                        In fact, the standard set in Planned Parenthood is that the law places an "undue burden" on the woman's right to choose.

                        Now, presuming that the right to choose is a constitutional right that all women have that right regardless of age, one may be able to argue that parental notification would, in fact, place an undue burden on a female minor's right to get an abortion.

                •  Minority (none)
                  I believe that common law holds the parents as responsible for activities of the minor, including being responsible for costs incurred. It may be true that giving birth ends minority status. Does anyone know?
              •  What? (none)
                But when it comes to abortion, parents are prohibited from knowing?!  

                Where did the "prohibited" come from?  Of course the child should tell their parents. But requiring it is something completely different than what should happen, and the utter opposite from prohibiting it

                Pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space because there's bugger all down here on Earth.

                by bawbie on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:39:15 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  That's almost like saying (none)
            You need parental concent to report child abuse by your parents against you to the police.  Of course its not necessarily the same, but then again, sometimes it is the case.

            In a way, because all of the other things you listed are less serious than getting an abortion is a reason WHY parental consent can be forced on those and not on this.

            Look, I understand your position.  The gut check reaction seems to be "why the hell shouldn't they get permission?" But then you have to look at all the possible consequences if you require it.

            Things like Drink, Drive, and Buy cigaretts, and movies are all, shall we say, entertainment or otherwise "fun" things, if you will.  No matter how you describe it, there is no true medicinal value to those things.

            However, name just about any other medical procedure out there which isn't an emergency, but isn't, at it's core, beautification.  It's hard to lump abortion in with other medical procedures because it is so unique in it's purpose.

            This ultimately comes down to the question of "should they tell their parents" vs. "they must tell their parents" in very much the same way an almost parellel debate occurs when it comes to spousal notification.

            Can a parent force their child to become a parent themselves? If you think the answer to that question is "yes" then I guess you are in support of parental consent (or even in some cases notification, since they amount to nearly the same thing).

          •  Re: I find it fascinating (none)
            that people can argue with a straight face that a child who cannot drink, drive, buy cigarrettes, get ANY OTHER medical procedure on her own, go to R-rated movies or be out on the street after (in some places) 9 or 10 pm is mature enough to make a major medical/life decision on her own simply because she has managed an extraodinarily complex task of having sex.

            And yet you argue with a straight face that this girl is ready to be a mother?

          •  yeah (none)

            b/c if you're not old enough to drink, you're definitely old enough to have a baby.

            what an asshole you are

            "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

            by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:44:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I am firmly opposed to parental notification laws (4.00)
          Many many years ago, my clinically depressed younger sister became pregnant and was so distraught that she was talking about killing herself rather than telling my parents. Fortunately, she came to me (I'm quite a bit older than her) so she didn't have to go through the process alone.  But whenever I think about parental notification, I think of my weeping sister talking about how she would rather die than tell my parents.  

          As for regret: the experience was painful, and from time to time she has wonder "what if" about that pregnancy, but she -- and I -- firmly believed that that abortion saved her life. (she now has a beautiful baby boy, a wonderful husband and a career as a psychiatrist)

          "Mommy, did people know that Bush was stupid when they voted for him?"

          by litigatormom on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:34:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Abortion Myths Dispelled - Required for Dialogue (none)
        "I believe that many more Republicans would get off the pro-life bandwagon if the alternative was not so polemic."

        I think your point is well-taken.  But what is this "reasoned middle ground" you speak about?  I am not sure what it is but I would give you an award if you did!  :-)

        Perhaps one of the reasons we can't speak reasonably about abortion is because of an inability to agree on facts (isn't that always the case?).

        Here are some examples:

        • Teen abortions are down, not up.

        • The vast majority (95%?) of abortions performed on teens occur with the knowledge/consent of parents.  The Repub myth that there are hordes of out of control teens seeking abortions behind their parents' backs is simply that - a myth.  The 5% who seek abortions w/out parental consent probably have a good reason.

        • Approximately 1/2 of all women who have abortions are married and/or already have children.

        Until we can "get real" (thanks, Dr. Phil) about contraception (think Abstinence Only Sex Ed) we won't be able to get real about abortion.

        Wake me when it's over.

        by floridaprof on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:01:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Abstinence Only Sex Ed? (none)
          Is your idea of "being real"?

          It pushes kids to oral and anal sex. Ask around.

          So if you don't consider those sex, I guess it does work...

          Stop mad cowboy disease!

          by wrights on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:30:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  That's my question (none)
          When should an abortion be an option? The current perception on the right is that progressives see it as I have stated above. Do Democrats believe, as a platform plank, in any limits at all? The partial birth abortion foes would suggest that even a healthy baby, full term and partially birthed, with waiting adoptive parents, is subject to termination under the current scenario, and that Democrats will fight to the death to keep it that way. It's hard to disagree that that's wrong, and find a leg to stand on.
      •  Minors and perimission (none)
        Field trips to Disneyland require permission.  Traveling alone on airplanes.  All treatment in a doctor's or dentist's office requires permission.  But an abortion may not even require notification.  We understand that there may be situations where notification would not be in the minor's best interest, but there needs to be a flexible and nuanced public policy to deal with such situations.  If the parents cannot even be notified for fear of retribution, there's something seriously wrong in the parental relationship that needs to be dealt with.  Forcing a child to carry a child is abuse.  But an abortion without parental knowledge makes a mockery or parental responsibility.

        Please, if you disagree, add some insight, don't downrate!

        •  Since (none)
          having a child in most states makes the minor an adult in the eyes of the state, abortion is a grey area that brings up many issues that are nuanced and impossible to work around.

          Noticication should be encoraged but should not and can not be enforced.

      •  There Clearly Is an Abortion on Demand Crowd... (none) at dKos.  Anyone who has read the abortion threads can see that.  They mistake majority support for legalized abortion with support for abortion under any and all circumstances.

        Most Americans support legalized abortion, with restrictions that create no undue burden.  Undue burden means examining the restrictions to see whether it has the effect of negating the underlying right.  When people argue that any restrictions are a "slippery slope," they are out of the mainstream.

        •  Back to the original question (none)
          Is it the belief, in this crowd, that abortion on demand is not only the correct position for true Democrats to hold, but that given what is known about Alito, Democrats should use all the arrows in the quiver to make sure neither he nor any other nominee of his ilk gets confirmed, or go down in flames trying?

          Or is the position of the majority of Democrats that there is a rational middle ground between "abortion on demand" and never, no way, no how, and that the position needs to be defined and enacted into black letter federal law, i.e. that some restrictions are appropriate and acceptible?


    •  Roe (none)
      The question is about Roe.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:57:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know. This is what it says above: (none)
        If you were convinced that Alito would vote to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, would you, personally, want the Senate vote to confirm him to the Supreme Court, or not?

        I, and I bet most here, don't feel he'll vote to overturn it -- but that he'll nitpick away at the edges and make it more restrictive.

        I'm just saying that those are two different questions, and I don't think the poll would be AS lopsided in our favor if "parental notification" or something was added -- although I would hope so.

        Visit and follow every 2006 Senate race.

        by AnthonySF on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:02:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well (none)
          We disagree then.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:05:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  i'm not willing to take that chance (4.00)
          whether he wants to overturn roe or dismantle it piece by tiny piece is irrelevant to me.

          the whole issue is off-limits.  a politician/judge does not get to decide what i am physically or emotionally capable of doing with my body.


          •  And I have no doubt that (none)
            the rest of the public isn't in the mood to take that chance either, particularly in the form of a Bush nominee.  This is easy, but it seems as if some are making it difficult by parsing the nuances of some of Alito's written decisions.  Bush nominated Miers, but was beaten back by conservatives concerned that she wouldn't overturn/damage Roe.  Bush, in turn, nominated Alito, and immediately sought and got approval from out-of-the-mainstream conservatives who were confident that Alito would be sufficiently hostile to Roe.

            WTF is so hard about this?  Why in the world would we play the GOP's game by nitpicking and parsing through rulings, in attempt to avoid the obvious?

            •  thank you (none)
              i never thought this would be the place for so many people saying dismantling roe wouldn't be so bad.  and if roe were a states issue kerry would be elected and such horseshit.

              what really baffles me is that people don't want to recognize that LAWS DON'T STOP ABORTIONS.  it makes them more dangerous, more difficult, and unregulated.

              where are people out there talking about real solutions to prevent abortions?  where are the people willing to step forward and say we have to make a better place for our children and those who would bring them into the world?

              when single parent homes are no longer associated with poverty as the norm, we might eliminate a great deal of what these batshit crazy people want to call "unnecessary" abortions.

              my apologies in advance for being hostile, but this my fucking body we're talking about.

      •  Roe and Alito (none)
        CSM just released a story about Alito and Roe related opinions. They say that of four opinions on the matter, he opined on the pro-choice side in three. They suggest that without respect to his personal opinions, he seems to respect the law and precedent above his own (albeit unstated) apparent and presumed policy preferences.
        •  Different when you're on SCOTUS. (none)
          When you're a circuit court judge, you follow precedent because you know you're just going to get overturned if you don't.

          When you're a SCOTUS justice, you don't.  There are some who feel constrained by stare decisis to one degree or another and some who don't.

          If all SCOTUS justices were constrained by precedent, Brown v. Board of Education would never have happened.

          The Chimperor Has No Clothes

          by DC Pol Sci on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:54:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So Track Record is a non-starter (none)
            I understand your point. Does that mean we should disregard lower court opinions and arguments as counsel as being deferential and unindicative of the nominees propencity?

            I think that means we are left with raw qualifications and ethics as the only characteristics valid for consideration, unless the nominee has written policy pieces or given speeches.

  •  Which just goes to show (none)
    That thirty seven percent of the American public are complete and utter jerks with no sense of empathy whatsoever.

    Either that, or their so in the "cult o' Bush" that they'd go along with him if nominated Adolph Hitler.

    Suspicion is Guilt. As long as you aren't a Republican White Male.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:38:14 AM PST

  •  Good information . . . . (none)
    Thanks Armando.  Very useful.

    What this indicates is that the Republicans will try to present him as another stealth candidate and do everything in their power to obfuscate his real stance.

    Dem's should keep it simple and define him based on his Casey opinion. All possible conversation topics should be studied for a way to quickly lead them back to Casey.

    If the issue is the illegal strip search, the Dem mouthpiece should acknowledge the horror of the decision and then quickly lead back to a statement like "This underscores a central point about this guy.  He is determined to take rights away from individuals.  For example in the Casey decision . . . "

    If the issue is employee lawsuits, the commentator should respond "Exactly right.  This guy is always ready to stand behind a corporation, but when it comes to standing behind women he's anxious to take away their rights and give the state the authority to control their lives.  Take the Casey decision for example . . . "

    All roads should lead back to Casey, and this guy should be defined almost purely by his anti-abortion stances.

    The most terrifying verse I know: merrily, merrily, merrily, merrilly, life is but a dream. Joan Didion

    by dbratl on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:38:45 AM PST

    •  Unfortunately, the only part of Casey (none)
      where he wasn't in the majority (and in accord with current law) is the spousal notification provision, and I just don't think that people see the seriousness of this.  (It's a good way to distinguish him from O'Connor, though, since her section of the joint opinion on this topic was excellent.)

      All the appellate decision in Casey really shows is that he was results-oriented.  Fact is, the undue burden test was very unclear at the time he considered it -- not that it's so clear now -- and given an unclear test he gave it the content he wanted, just like any other activist judge.  I don't think it's as damning as many people do, nor does it necessarily prove that he would overturn Roe.  It proves that he wouldn't have voted for Roe in the first place, but the same could probably be said of Kennedy, O'Connor, and the 1991 model Souter.  (That said, do I think he will vote to overturn Roe?  Probably.)

      "If you [just] wanted to reduce ignorance, you could ... abort every Republican baby in this country, and your ignorance rate would go down."

      by Major Danby on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:45:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see your intellectual argument . . . (none)
        . . . and I might even agree with it.  The problem is the Republicans play an emotional game.  They are simply in a different league than us in terms of manipulating information to create visceral reactions.

        Most Americans don't know what Casey is, and have no clue as to the constitutional issues involved.  The key is to assert the apellate ruling in Casey as strongly anti-Roe, and assert Alito as the conservative ring-leader of the decision.

        Given the stakes, whether this reflects reality is unfortunately besides the point.

        The most terrifying verse I know: merrily, merrily, merrily, merrilly, life is but a dream. Joan Didion

        by dbratl on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:33:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see your tactical argument (none)
          and I might even agree with it, also, but I'm leery of building the foundation of my argument on less than firm soil.  For Democrats, any weaknesses in our arguments tend to be exposed (whether or not they actually exist), though of course IOKIYAR.

          I'm actually sort of grooving on the GOP's efforts to hide Alito's true beliefs on Roe.  Shows that they know where they stand with respect to public opinion.

          There's another diary posted earlier today on liberal support for Alito that has some other good material on this topic.  It is possible that Alito will merely eviscerate rather than overturn Roe, for all the difference that will make.

          "If you [just] wanted to reduce ignorance, you could ... abort every Republican baby in this country, and your ignorance rate would go down."

          by Major Danby on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:15:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Adding fuel to the fire (none)
          Don't you think that this tactic will blow up, and cause thinking people to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Any real grounds for opposition will pale in the light of this overstatement.
    •  Playing for keeps this time (none)
      and I don't care if Alito's got a sense of humor, a fancy education, and loves dogs.  Whether he is confirmed or not, BushRoveCo must be tagged with his more extreme positions, and if that's a little unfair, well, I have three words for that: Bush vs. Gore.
    •  What is his real stance? (none)
      Are we assuming his "real stance" is pro-life based on his nationality, his party, his decisions, the fact that he was nominated by GWBush, speeches and writings other than those as a judge or counsel, or what is Mom said?
  •  Hence, it will not become clear (none)
    until after he is confirmed that Alito will overturn Roe.  "Respect for stare decisis, especially super stare decisis, but there are always limits to this for decisions that it becomes clear are wrong, can't say whether Roe falls into this category because that would be prejudging, etc."

    I wonder if they asked about eviscerating Roe along the lines of what Casey itself did?

    "If you [just] wanted to reduce ignorance, you could ... abort every Republican baby in this country, and your ignorance rate would go down."

    by Major Danby on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:39:17 AM PST

  •  Jesus Christ (none)
    Thank God a poll has come out that gives me hope in America. After the poll showing that a majority of Americans thought that intelligent design should be taught in schools and evolution tempered I nearly jumped out of my office window
    •  No need to jump (none)
      Just wait for the Rapture and you will fly right out and straight up to the Pearly Gates.  Shouldn't be long now.

      "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths . . . I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - B. Bush

      by The New Politeness on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:37:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Aren't the Red States (none)
    showing higher incidents of out of wedlock pregnancies?  How do these Washington idiots think they represent their Red state women with such a drastic blow to a court ruling of this magnitude?  

    Oh, I get it.  They will also be passing an "initiative" (bush speak) that will encourage them (The very rich REDs) to adopt any and all unwanted births, whether it be from rape, carelessness, or whatever.  They will embrace the newborns regardless of the problems, and raise them as their own.  

    I forgot about that.  

    Healing BEGINS with impeachment...

    by valeria on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:42:21 AM PST

  •  Education comes from action (none)
    I think the American people are beginning to see the contradictions.  They spew the message that every life is sacred but then stand by and watch the elderly, children, and others die in the Gulf Coast.  If they truly believed what they preach, we would have seen GW, Lott, McCain, Pat Roberts, and all the others, not in suits, but in work clothes carrying people out of there on there backs!! It's clearly about nothing more than power and FINALLY the American people get it!
  •  If Roe was in States - Kerry would be President (none)
    Alito voted to confirm a State law. Remove this issue from national politics just like Prohibition  returned alcohol to the States.
  •  Nina Totenberg's Analysis This A.M. (4.00)

     Nina Totenberg's got Alito's (and maybe Roberts') number:  they won't necessarily overturn Roe, they'll just "eviscerate" it, rendering it a nullity.  Still "on the books", as it were, but, in Totenberg's words, with a "wall" around it making it virtually impossible to invoke as a right.  

     In other words, what a Supreme Court with an Alito and Roberts on it would do is allow radical right state legislatures to put up virtually any regulatory impediment to having an abortion that they can dream up.

     And, in this way, Alito can "honestly" (cough, cough) say, "I believe Roe is well-settled law and I would not vote to overturn it, while giving a wink and a nod to the radical, theocratic right that, with him on board, Roe is as good as gone.



    . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

    by BenGoshi on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:44:18 AM PST

    •  Well (none)
      radical state legislatures are elected so they will only put up regulatory impediments if the voters will stand for it.

      Don't you think that's a fight we can win?

      If you want something other than the obvious to happen, you've got to do something other than the obvious...

      by trillian on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:46:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In 1955 (none)

         if you put desegregating buses in Alabama to a vote, either by the state legislature or referendum, what do you think the outcome would have been?

         In 1954, had you put desegregating the schools in Topeka, Kansas to a vote of the "duly elected legislators" of the Great State of Kansas, or to a referendum of all Kansas voters, what do you think the outcome would've been?


        . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

        by BenGoshi on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:51:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This isn't 1955 (none)
          The clear majority of voters today think that abortion should be permitted.  They may think that it should be rare, but it should be permitted.

          What the pro-choice people overlook is that they have won the basic issue. It is only when right is permitted to paint the supporters of the pro-choice position as extreme does the right make any headway.  

          In short, the domino argument made by Naral is unpopular because it allows the right to paint the pro-choice position as extreme. The left benefits from the same position taken by the NRA.  The domino argument is wonderful for raising money.  It is not so great with voters in a democracy because it assumes the voters aren't smart enough to make reasoned and rational decisions.

          •  Fine. You go ahead and advocate . . . (none)

             . . . rolling those dice.  Me, I know that if Roe is overturned or eviscerated, in various and sundry states around the nation, there will be more orphaned children, more botched back alley abortions, and more wealthy young women who'll go to New York "for the weekend," while their poorer sisters "on the other side of the tracks" carry unwanted fetuses to term.

             You are free to think that I or people who share my view "just want to raise money."  I so much do not have a "money-stake" in this it's not funny.  

             You are also free to think that,  because it's "not 1955",  in state legislatures and via referenda pro-choice and access to safe abortions issues will always "win".  You are free to be utterly wrong, as well.  But, again, those are not dice I care to roll with other people's lives.


            . . . religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. H.L. Mencken

            by BenGoshi on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:06:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  In many states... (none)
            abortion might as well be illegal already. Abortions are, for all practical purposes, already unavailable to women living in many states due to the outright thuggery, intimidation, and criminal activities of anti-abortion groups. In many states, doctors are afraid to perform abortions, and women are afraid to seek them to such a degree that it might as well be illegal. If Roe were overturned tomorrow abortion would remain legal in those states that chose to protect a woman's right to choose, in those that don't it would be illegal. But the practical situation for a woman with an unwanted pregnancy on her hands would remain virtually unchanged.

            But of course abortion is far from the only issue at stake here, and in many ways the debate falls into the right's hands. Alito can offer his assurances to moderates that he thinks Roe is settled law, all while giving a wink to the right wing. There are a lot of things about Alito's judicial opinions that are disturbing, for instance his finding that the Congress of the United States did not have the authority to regulate machine guns because it could not be definitively shown to effect interstate commerce.

            He should be judged on his judicial record and judicial philosophy as a whole, not where he stands on one issue.

            Let me be clear--I want to see Roe upheld, and I don't want another vote against it put on the Supreme Court. But it is not the only issue that matters. In practical terms, I'm not sure how much Roe matters in today's political environment anyway.

  •  Interesting.... (none)
    ... this suggests the political cost of a successful fillibuster might not be very high, and that a fillibuster answered by the 'nuclear option' would be a political gain, even if it's a loss on Alito. I'm sure that is all subject to change, but it should be helpful in persuading fence-sitting Democrats like Salazar and Lieberman.
  •  Perhaps this poll will give (none)
    the moderate Republicans the courage of their convictions. Anything's possible; Bush's poor polling gave the Democrats the courage to stand up.  

    Is anyone very worried about the damage he'll do to the environment by granting states increased regulatory authority?

    •  Great point! Which Ones?? (none)
      I am sure that there are some moderate Republican senators in some moderate states. Who are they? And who needs to point out to them the danger of rubber-stamping an out-of-step ideologue?

      Specter JUMPS to mind though he won't ever run again.

      •  Great point! Which Ones?? (none)
        KOTCrum wrote:  "I am sure that there are some moderate Republican senators in some moderate states. Who are they? And who needs to point out to them the danger of rubber-stamping an out-of-step ideologue?  Specter JUMPS to mind though he won't ever run again."

        The answer to your question is yes, there are some moderate Republican senators in some moderate states.  Specifically, there are four.  Specter from Pennsylvania, as you mentioned, Chafee from Rhode Island, and the Maine sisters, Collins and Snowe.  In addition, there are four non-moderate relatively conservative mavericks who frequently go off the reservation.  They are Graham of South Carolina, McCain of Arizona, Voinovich of Ohio, and Warner from Virginia.

        The following message is by way of being a possible prediction as to how this fight will turn out.  I predict victory for Alito because of the defection of one of the moderates I list above.  Here's how this drama will play out, I believe.

        To begin with, there will, in fact, be TWO critical votes in this fight, the vote on the nuclear option (to declare illegal and judicial filibusters in the Senate) and (assuming the nuclear option carries the day and there is no need for a cloture vote) the vote on the nomination itself.  Of the two, the former will be infinitely more important and significant.  

        Who will vote on which side of the nuclear option?

        Well, I assume, as a given, that every Democrat will vote against it.  There are 44 Democrats in the 100-member Senate, and one independent, Jeffords of Vermont, who usually votes with them.  So that's a hard-core of 45 votes against the option.  

        How will the Republicans line up?  Well, at this point, I think it would be useful to take a look at the members of the Gang of 14.  Here's the complete list:  The
        14 senators, according to the New York Times, are "on the Republican side,
        Mr. McCain, Mr. Graham, John Warner, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Mike
        DeWine and Lincoln Chafee, and on the Democratic side, Mr. Lieberman, Mr.
        Byrd, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Daniel Inouye, Mark Pryor and Ken Salazar."

        Assuming that my prediction is correct and that all Dems will vote against the nuclear option, and, furthermore, assuming that all Republican senators but the four moderates and four mavericks will vote for the nuclear option, that means that the firm breakdown at the moment is 47 votes for the option and 45 votes against.  That leaves the eight GOP moderates and mavericks up for grabs.

        First the mavericks.  McCain and Warner have made it plain that they oppose the option, which takes the no votes to 47.  Graham has made it plain that he supports the option, which then gives the yes votes 48 votes.  Voinovich has not participated in the Gang of 14's activities, and there is nothing to suggest that he is doing anything but being a good Republican on this issue, so I count him also a probable yes vote, bringing the yes total to 49.

        Now the moderates.  Chafee already has said he doesn't like the nuclear option and will probably vote against it, bringing the nos to 48.  The two moderate Maine sisters, Collins and Snowe, are also probably no votes, bringing the no column to 50.

        Which leaves one GOP moderate, Arlen Specter.  If he votes for the option the vote would then stand at 50-50 at which point Cheney would have to cast the deciding vote.  He would vote in favor and the option would pass.  

        So the only way the option fails is if the no votes receive 51 or more votes.  What will Specter do?

        Arlen Specter is a moderate pro-choice Republican.  He was instrumental in defeating Bob Bork, for instance.  (I well remember a mesmerizing Saturday afternoon watching him interrogate Bork in a special Judiciary Committee hearing and watching Specter become convinced that Bork's judicial philosophy of a static Constitution was repugnant to him.  It is not true that the liberal interest groups killed Bork's nomination.  What killed Bork's nomination was the influential moderate Specter's conclusion, based on rigorous questioning, that Bork's philosophy would be a disaster on the Court.)

        On the other hand, Specter got rolled a bit last winter by his right-wing Republican colleagues on the Judiciary Committee when he was up for the chairmanship.  He finally got that seat, but only after being forced to publicly pronounce his intention to grease the skids for Bush's Supreme Court appointees.  In addition, he has had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO with the Gang of 14.  That tells me that, on balance, Specter has had his kneecaps broken, and will vote for Alito and for the nuclear option.  That means Cheney casts the deciding vote, the option carries the day, there is no need to have a cloture vote, and the final vote on Alito is 53 to 47.  There are three Republican defectors, Chafee, Collins and Snowe all voting against him, and one Democratic defector, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, voting for him.

        Now, in the unlikely event that Specter rediscovers his balls and votes AGAINST  the nuclear option, thus dooming it, then the filibuster WILL be legal, and a cloture vote WILL have to take place.  60 votes are needed to break the filibuster in that case.  Can the anti-Alito forces muster the numbers to prevent that from happening?  Let's assume that all the Republican senators, including all the moderates and mavericks, vote for cloture as a matter of party loyalty for a total of 55 votes.  That means that the Republicans will still need 5 Democratic votes to win.  Can they get them?

        I assume, at the outset, that all Democratic senators outside of the Gang of 14, plus Jeffords, are automatic votes against cloture (and if that side prevails the Alito nomination is doomed).  So I further assume, therefore, that the pro-filibuster anti-Alito side starts out with 38 votes.  The most fertile ground for Republicans to explore is almost certainly the 7-member Democratic side of the Gang of 14.  Let's review them again, in that quote from the Times:  "Mr. Lieberman, Mr.
        Byrd, Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, Daniel Inouye, Mark Pryor and Ken Salazar."

        For most of these people, the big question will be how they will balance their moderation with their party loyalty.  Here's how I would call it.

        First Nelson:  Nelson is basically a DINO and will vote to close debate:  56 votes.  

        After that the situation gets a bit more problematic for Alito supporters.  Of the remaining six senators I believe Salazar is the next likely target of GOP lobbying.  Salazar is an interesting case.  He is extremely independent, a sort of Perotista type.  It is worth keeping in mind that the Colorado Democratic party, from which he hails, spawned Richard Lamm, another independent political figure who tried to appeal to the Perot constituency, in Lamm's case as a presidential candidate in 96.  I get the impression that Salazar is cut from the same cloth.  So I always keep a close eye on what he says.  I find him an intriguing figure.

        And this morning, to the New York Times, he may have tipped his hand.  The Times reports as follows:  "Some Democratic members of the group said Tuesday that it was premature to rule out a filibuster on Judge Alito's nomination. "It certainly is a possibility," Senator Ken Salazar, a Colorado Democrat in the group, said.  "It may include some Republicans as well as Democrats," Mr. Salazar said, criticizing the president for naming a man instead of a woman to succeed Justice O'Connor. "America deserves better than what we got here.""

        To my ears, this sounds like some significant unhappiness.  If I'm right, then Salazar is probably another vote against cloture, which then leaves the Alito opposition with 39 votes against cloture, one short of the number they need to kill Alito's nomination.

        That means, assuming Specter surprises me and votes against the nuclear option, that the ultimate outcome of the Alito nomination and, more specifically the filibuster against him, will depend on the decisions of the remaining 5 Democratic members of the Gang of 14.  They are Lieberman, Byrd, Landrieu, Inouye, and Pryor.  In general, when push comes to shove, I've concluded that party loyalty generally prevails with these five senators in cases like this.  If I'm right, then that would leave the anti-Alito pro-filibuster forces with 44 votes to 56 votes for cloture, the cloture motion would therefore fail, and the nomination would be dead.

        Which means that, in the end, this will all boil down to Specter.  Will he remain true to his pro-choice roots, and to his finest hour, when he killed the Bork nomination, and therefore vote against the autocratic and high-handed nuclear option?  Or is he another emasculated Kerry-like retread, whose spine has been flushed down the toilet and who will vote for the nuclear option as a result?  Time and history await the answer.

        It will be interesting whether, come February, this message will prove to have been accurate.  We shall see.

        Yours in reform,


  •  What's also interesting (4.00)
    Is that I don't quite interpret the poll to mean that 37% of the country wants Roe v. Wade overturned -- it's just that 37% of the country does not think Alito's position on Roe v. Wade (a) should keep him off the court, OR (2) is enough to overturn Roe v. Wade anyway.

    The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:45:38 AM PST

  •  Nice poll (none)
    One interesting figure - 35% of REPUBLICANS would not want to see Alito confirmed if he would overturn Roe v. Wade.
  •  I will repeat... (4.00)
    The Democratic mantra on Alito should be this:

    "The Alito nomination is a desperation play by a desperate President who now is too weak to stand up to the extremist wing of his own party.  These extremists scuttled the Presiden't first pick, Harriet Miers, and forced him into choosing Alito, a man whose views on a number of issues places him well outside the mainstream of most of America."
  •  One of my most guilty pleasures is to read (4.00)
    this blog:

    This woman says many things that I would like to say in a way I would like to say it. Her quote:

    A bitch is weary of this battle. My ass is weary of being judged to not cherish life by people who never once participate in any life but their own.

    says it for me. For far too long, liberals have been branded with extreme example alert impregnating women for the sole purpose of marching them off to have abortions. IMHO it seems to me that liberals are more concerned about life and the quality of life than conservatives are. The idea that some people suggest that we enjoy the idea of someone having an abortion sickens me.

    It saddens me that a woman has reached a point that an abortion is her only option, but I recognize the fact that it is something that she has to do for herself. I cannot make that decision for her. Whatever decision she has made in regards to her life I have to respect, because as a man I will never have to decide to have an abortion.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:55:58 AM PST

  •  Great insight (none)
    How about these, would you vote to confirm Alito if he supports:

    • converting the US to Islam?
    • flying the swastika over the White House
    • giving the death penality for any crime, no matter how small.
    • deporting all caucasians back to Europe
    • etc.

    He will not oppose RvW.  He will evade a direct answer.  So, one will have to assume the answer they prefer according to ones own agenda and squeal as appropriate.

    What is the point?  Fun - ain't it terrible - woe is me  alas.  The image of a soapbox buried deep in the woods comes to mind.

  •  It is all about respect..... (none)
    Frist was wounded yesterday because he did not think that the Dems were respectful enough when they went balls to walls at the Security Council about how weakly the current admin had performed and to forced the rest of the investigation.

    There is a Point to this comment:  

    They HAVE NO RESPECT for how average Americans feel about this.  They have only contempt for us and them when it isn't election season.

  •  Gee, maybe a litmus test is a good thing?! (none)
  •  I'm not surprised (none)
    Time for the GOP to start painting Alito as either supportive of or undecided about Roe.
  •  There's that pesky 30% again... (4.00)
    The same 30-odd percent of Americans who approve of Bush are the 30-odd percent who want Roe overturned.

    It's also the same 30-odd percent who plan to vote Yes for Arnold's propositions here in California.

    There is no reason for the other 60+% of us to put up with this perceived domination by the RightWing anymore.

    Time to stand up, folks. Harry Reid and Howard Dean have showed us how.

    "I ain't no stinkin' monument to justice."

    by menodoc on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:59:01 AM PST

  •  It is a pointless question (none)
    Unless and until people before being asked are told that overruling Roe does not make
    abortions illegal, the question has no value.  Well, it has political value because it is a nice talking point, but in reality it is empty and pointless.  It is especially empty and pointless when those same people support abortion restrictions yet do not realize that Roe v. Wade & Doe v. Bolton as written do not permit almost any restriction at any point.
    •  Yes (none)
      It is harmful for your view.

      Nodoubt about that. Thus it is "valueless" to you.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:04:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is irrelevant to my view (1.25)
        Alito is going to get confirmed.  I can bet my monthly salary on that.  So a poll like that makes a nice talking point, but in the end is irrellevant.
        •  Not THAT view (none)
          Your view that Roe shouldbe overturned.

          And whether you think he will be confirmed is about as irrelevant as it gets.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:22:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is irrelevant to that view as well (none)
            As many people in the Goodridge debate never tired of pointing out, it is irrelevant what the public thinks about a constitutional claim.  It is only relevant what the Constitution says as interpreted by the High Court (of the State or the US).  Much like I could care less what the public thinks about judges who uphold constitutionality of burning the US flag or of judges who throw out convictions of the clearly guilty because their constitutional rights were violated.  We could have a system where we resolve these constitutional questions by plebescite, but we don't, so public's views are somewhat irrelevant.
            •  Harmful to your view (none)
              You'resaying the frat that a majority of Americans disagree with you on Roe is irrelevant to this nomination process?

              Pffft. What a joke.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:53:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Quite relevant. (none)
              The justice needs to confirmed by the senate who has a constitutional duty to "advise and consent" to the nomination. Many of those same senators are up for re-election next year, so it's very relevant if a senator confirms a justice whom the majority of her or his constituents disapprove.

              I am totally confident not that the world will get better, but that we should not give up the game... -Howard Zinn

              by Jawis on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:02:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  The question... (none)
          ... is not necessarily whether Alito will be confirmed, althogh that is certainly an important part of it. It's also whether pulling out all the stops (including a fillibuster) to try to stop him would be a good thing or a bad thing for the party politically.
          •  It would be neutral (none)
            Filibuster=nuclear option=Alito gets confirmed.  In 2 months time people forget who he is and what he does.  Go out on the street and ask 10 passerbys to name 3 SCOTUS justices.  (Not all 9, just 3).  Most will probably name O'Connor, she has been in the news.  But I bet that's it.  So by the time elections roll around no one would care how people voted on Alito.

            When was the last time SCOTUS confirmation mattered?  Arguably with Thomas.  But not because he was conservative, but because of the whole sexual harrassment thing and the treatement of Hill in the Judiciary Committee which was viewed as shabby.  But that's it.  No reason to think that it will be any different now.

            •  Supreme Court issues (none)
              do not necessarily motivate large numbers of moderate voters, who, as you say, don't pay much attention. But they are a substantial motivating factor for the people who are politically active - Bork's defeat was a huge issue for conservatives, and to some extent still is. So I think that both the positive and negative political fallout of how the Democrats approach this nomination are significant.
    •  moron (none)

      if people think overturning roe makes abortions illegal, than its certainly the case that people are prochoice.

      and further, moron, nothing is stopping the court from overturning Roe and then declaring it illegal to have abortions at all.

      just as it is federal law that every state must make abortion legal, it could easily, and much more easily w/scalito and co., be federal law that every state make abortions illegal.

      what part of your stupidity induced republican moron thinking doesnt understand this?

      "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

      by AmericanHope on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:47:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When abortions were "illegal", (none)
      they were called D&C's!

      I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

      by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:01:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That would be great Armando (none)
    if this decision were actually up to actual Americans or their representatives. The decision will be made by traitors and those who harbor them.

    "Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly there is no possible way we can remain free" - Frank Burns

    by Central Scrutinizer on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:03:58 AM PST

  •  I am so sick to death of Roe! (none)
    Okay, let me get this case somehow is so important, that a candidate should be confirmed or denied based on that one case?  NO!  That is NOT the case!

    To me, Roe is important, but it's one case amongst many.  I am so damned SICK AND TIRED of the right and left rallying their troops over what actually is a minor case compared to the vast amount of jurisprudence out there.  I care about abortion rights, but I also care about the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments.  Does Alito care about these amendments?  His decisions don't seem to reflect it!  I care about Title VII, the FMLA, prisoner's rights, employment rights, and individual freedoms.  Most of all, I want a judge who respect stare decisis and believes in the rule of law - and will stick by a judicial philsophy even when it may lead to a result the judge may personally disagree with.  These are rights and ideas that go so far beyond Roe.  Alito's decisions reflect the fact that he in fact does not value these rights as I believe the founding fathers valued them.

    How did we devolve as a nation to get to a point where one case (Roe) somehow dictates a judge's entire judicial philosophy?

    I am pro-choice, but if Alito was anti-choice, yet valued all those other rights I listed, I would heartily say he should be confirmed.  The fact that he is anti-choice is just the least of the issues I have with him.

    •  I am sick and tired (none)
      of people telling me what I should care about.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:06:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He didn't tell you what to care about (nt) (none)

        A peace vigil has as much effect on foreign policy as a debug vigil would on broken software.

        by RequestedUsername on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:12:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am not saying you should not care about Roe! (none)
        I am just saying it is one case amongst many.  While we debate the merits of Roe, so many of our other fundamental freedoms are being chipped away...and no one is making a bit stink about it.  Why is that?  I mean, at this point, if you look at the way the 4th amendment has been interpreted, there might as well not even be a 4th amendment!  To me, the right to be secure in my own person as I am walking down the street is certainly at least as pressing as whether or not I can get an abortion.  The fact that Alito said that a 12 year old can be strip searched for drugs, when she was not even listed on the search warrant...that is at least as troubling as his dissent in Casey.
        •  One case among many (none)
          That you think we care TOO MUCH about.

          This is a semantic game.

          You are telling me to  care LESS then.

          I refuse your "advice."

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:15:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  it would be nice... (2.50)
            if liberals cared about other things other than screeching about Roe. all this "right to privacy" when other aspects of Alito's record should be highlighted. it's no wonder that working class folks, catholics, immigrants and people of color now think the Democrats care more about defending the right to kill fetuses than they do about the everyday issues that impact them--Thomas Frank is right. there are segments of the Democratic coalition that are uncomfortable with hardline pro-choice positions (people of color--one poll says 50% of Latinos want Roe overturned, Catholics, union members). How will Alito impact discrimination? Business interests vs working people's interests? What about his opinion on the constitutionality of the Family and Medical Leave Act?

            but i guess liberals just want to debate abortion, abortion, abortion. i'm not saying it's not important, but the single-minded obsession and litmus testing (by extremists of both sides) is just digusting and diverts from the other issues we could highlight to show Alito's extremism.

            •  Thank you. (none)
              My thoughts exactly!
            •  It would be nice (none)
              if people who OPPOSE Roe would stop pretending they support it.

              As if support for Roe precludes other things.

              Typical ihlin.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:51:37 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  it seems Roe does for you (none)
                have you ever written a post on the Supreme Court that dealt with something OTHER THAN Roe and the right to privacy?
              •  How does this equate? (none)
                As a woman still in her child-bearing years, for whom pregnancy might well be fatal, I am keenly interested in the fate of Roe v. Wade.  I support Roe v. Wade because of my own situation, because I have a sister, because I have friends who are young women, because I care about the fundamental equality of women, and because I believe the case was properly decided.  

                I have marched on Washington for Roe v. Wade.  I have been put in a position to be denied holy communion because of my activism on behalf of Roe v. Wade.  I fought hard during this past election in large part because I knew a woman's right to choose was at stake.

                Be that as it may, our country has reached a terrible point in which I am actually forced to worry about other issues of greater importance to me.  For example, I believe that if it becomes legal for the executive branch to name any citizen an enemy combatant and strip them of their constitutional rights--then my right to abortion means very little anyway.

                Sure, it's unlikely that I will be hauled off to Gitmo--but so long as the possibility exists, I feel that it puts me and my country in greater jeopardy than overturning Roe would.  It is unlikely that my country would torture me, but so long as our continued violation of the Geneva Convention goes unchecked by judicial review, we are all lesser citizens.

                And because I believe that, I think that Democrats make a fundamental strategic mistake when we focus on abortion to the exclusion of other issues.  People of good conscience might disagree on abortion, but can they disagree about torture?  Can they disagree about free speech?  I just don't think so.

                So ultimately, I'm confused about why you would equate the position that Roe is not the most important issue as being equivalent to not supporting Roe, or wishing it to be overturned.

                •  TO THE EXCLUSION OF (none)
                  And what issues are being excluded?  What SCOTUS issues are being excluded?

                  NAme one.

                  The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:53:24 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Disability rights. (none)
                    ADA legislation.  The ADA Restoration Act that has been kicked around briefly.  Link upthread.

                    I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

                    by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:06:31 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I just named two (none)
                    I haven't seen any Jose Padilla front page dairies or intimate looks at what this nominee might think about the imperial powers of the presidency.  Or our commitments to international treaties, for example.  Roe v. Wade tends to drown those issues out on this blog, but more importantly, in the national media.

                    This is certainly not a diss on you or the front page--as it's not your responsibility to post about things I want to hear about.  You can post what you like, and I certainly don't want you to -stop- posting about Roe v. Wade.

                    I do, however, wish that Democrats were raising other issues as forcefully so that they were not drowned out.  Perhaps the solution is for me, and people who believe, as I do, that Roe is casting too large of a shadow, to start writing the posts about the other issues involved here.

            •  If The Shoe Fits . . . (none)
              WTF is wrong with you good folks?

              The point here is that Alito is BAD and we need to have his nomination stopped.

              AND a woman's right to choose is what is written on the box where the initials TNT usually appear. You know that box, the one that goes "kaboom."

              I don't like Bush. I would like to stop his presidency. Shall I concentrate on everything he does wrong, or on the methodical falsification of intelligence leading us into the Iraq War?

          •  Refuse my "advice" as you put it (none)
            But the fact remains that the Supreme Court is there for more than just confirming or overturning Roe v. Wade.

            Besides, at this point, with all the restrictions that accompany abortion, Roe might as well not exist.  If Roe were overturned, abortion would still be legal in most states.  This means that Planned Parenthood would still be able to bus people from states outlawing abortion to those allowing it.  That is not so different from how things are now, given there are two abortion clinics in the STATE of Mississippi.

            If Roe is overturned, then maybe the yelling and screaming about this one issue and so-called "judicial activism" would be calmed down just a tad, and we can actually have a rational discussion on the issue.  Roe also is a big reason why many people vote Repug, who would otherwise vote Dem.

            Though this is probably being a bit too optimistic...I mean, after all...if Roe were overturned, the right and left would find some other smoke screen issue to yell about, rather than, god forbid, actually engaging in a rational discussion about the very real decline of this nation.

            •  A Rational discussion on the issue (none)
              Yes, that's what we will get.

              Amazing comment.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:12:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Actually.... (none)
              There is now ONE abortion clinic in Mississippi, since Katrina. I agree that there are other things to worry about with Alito, in particular his stance on disability rights and FMLA. All we need is another conservative on the court so we can give corporations even more of a free ride.

              That said, Roe is an issue that invokes several important considerations. It is a privacy issue, it is a medical issue, it is a social issue. It is an important guarantee for many women that we HAVE come a long way,  baby. And it is also an important part of the issue of separation of church and state (another issue I worry about with the judiciary), and another example of our government rejecting science in favor of misguided "majority rule."

              I don't think Roe should be overturned, although I do think some clarification would be nice. It should read thus -

              "As involuntary servitude (slavery) has been prohibited, so is the act of forcing a woman to bear and/or raise an unwanted child, as this involves the mother's rights being subordinated to the supposed "rights" of the fetus for the duration of the pregnancy, at least, or until the child reaches its majority, at most."

              But you are right about this - there's always something else to scream about.

        •  also, (none)
          support for Roe varies. i'm sure it's popular on the coasts, less popular in the South and Midwest. also with urban vs rural divide. so just because a national poll says the public may agree with Roe, politically, it's still a troublesome issue. man, if the left spent 1/10th the time and energy we do on abortion and Roe and spent it instead on trying to find ways to end poverty, we'd have poverty licked by now...
      •  I think he is trying to say (none)
        There are many important issues. By focusing on Roe we tend to overlook other, in some ways, more important issues.  
      •  I am sick and tired (none)
        of the lack of interest in disability rights!

        I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

        by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:04:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sick of women's rights being rolled back (4.00)
      If the discussion annoys you think of how annoyed women get when debate and decisions are made FOR them.

      Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest. - Denis Diderot

      by Peanut on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:58:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Abortion on demand (none)
    That poll is interesting, but it's really not relavant. Alito has not said he would overturn Roe. That's why he got the appointment over some more extreme judges like Edith Jones. His Casey decision does not indicate hostility towards Roe. Rather, it indicates that he is much more likely to permit restrictions on the right to privacy. Also, he indicated to Spector that he agrees with Griswold and he gave a very pragmatic answer to the issue of respecting precedent.

    What liberals need to undertand is that while Americans do not want Roe overturned, they also are very willing to accept some restrictions on abortion, particularly late-term abortion. That's a political fact. That means that arguments against Alito focusing on these restrictions will not have the same political effect as arguments about overturning Roe. Further, it will be hard to hit him on the overturning issue without a "smoking gun" peice of evidence, which thus far is not out there.

    I think his decisions on issues like descrimination need more scrutiny from the left. I haven't been able to review them yet, but this area seems important in determining his philosophy.

    Focusing too much attention on Roe, based on what I've seen so far, might be playing into their hands. He will be able to deflect these arguments pretty easily with reasonable answers about precedent and Griswold.

    Gerardo -

    by orlandoreport on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:06:30 AM PST

    •  Pfft (none)
      Not relevant to you.

      Incredibily relevant to a bunch of us.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:07:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's his point (none)
        The left is treating abortion as a monolithic concept that a nominee can be either for or against. The right is destroying abortion on a piecemeal basis. Defending the monolith doesn't work, which is why a monolithic survey question "isn't relevant".

        A peace vigil has as much effect on foreign policy as a debug vigil would on broken software.

        by RequestedUsername on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:14:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's your opinion (none)
          And the question of HOQ to fight for these rights enters your thought process not at all apparently.

          The poll speaks for itself.

          IF you want to argue with it, be my guest.

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:16:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The poll asks the wrong question (none)
            Which is exactly the point. Even if he wanted to, Alito probably wouldn't vote to overturn Roe itself. He would just vote to make it inapplicable in more and more cases. Try polling on that.

            A peace vigil has as much effect on foreign policy as a debug vigil would on broken software.

            by RequestedUsername on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:23:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong question? (none)
              How so?

              Certainly not for political purposes.

              This is THE question politically, whether you like it or not.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:25:18 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Holy christ (none)
                Slow down and read what you are responding to.

                A peace vigil has as much effect on foreign policy as a debug vigil would on broken software.

                by RequestedUsername on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:27:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  More questions (none)
                I conceed that this poll represents one of the questions that needs to be asked, both from a substantive point of view and a political point of view.

                My point is that Dems focus too much on this issue but then give less attention to issues highlighted by the GOP - namely restrictions on abortion that a majority of Americans support. So, despite this poll, many Dem candidates are getting hurt on the abortion issue because they have trouble addressing the issue of restrictions. The GOP has been able to control the agenda by focusing on things that a majority of Americans can support. By focusing too much on Roe, Dems focus on an allegation (overturning Roe) that is easily rebutted by nominees like Roberts and Alito.

                Putting Alito aside for the sake of this discussion, can Dems support any nominee who would permit any restrictions on abortion? Let's say a ban on third trimester abortions that has well-crafted exceptions for the life and health of the mother.

                Gerardo -

                by orlandoreport on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:52:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  "incredibily relevant to a bunch of us" (4.00)
        If you had a 14 year old daughter who was pregnant and she went out to get an abortion, would you as a parent, be perfectly happy NOT knowing that this was going on - terrible thing, parential notification.

        Seems that today a husband has no rights except to assume financial burdens.  A marriage is supposedly a union (when convenient).  Making a baby takes two last I heard.  But this union doesn't count for squat if the mrs wants to garbage dump the kid.  It might be half mr - but he doesn't count at all.  Why doesn't mr rate getting the news of the impending procedure?  Hell, if it goes wrong, he would probably be financially responsible - and he doesn't even have the right to know about it.  Now that is enlightened fairness.  

        Alito seems to favor some common sense kinds of restrictions.  But before he speaks, let us crucify him on the cross of uncertainty.

        More and more, this appears to be the definition of enlightened progressives.  Sometimes they scare me.

        •  It's not about the parents being happy. (none)
          My God, talk about misplaced priorities. It's about a girl being coerced to tell her parents when she's afraid to.

          A 14 year old daughter is not her parents' property.

          And as for the other business -- if you've got a good relationship with your wife she will talk it over with you, and take your feelings into account.

          If you've been an asshole, why would you expect her to care what you think? If she's a bitch, why would you suppose she'd be a good mother for your child? If there isn't enough trust between you that she'd tell you voluntarily, you'd be terrible parents, anyway.

          I seem to see a common thread here. You want to legislate a right to be told because you have no confidence that the women in your life would want to tell you.

          Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

          by Canadian Reader on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:29:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess I don't fit in here at all (none)
            You didn't answer my questions.  I infer from your evasion that a 14 year old is responsible for her actions and her parents are not.  I don't agree with your position that 14 year old pregnancies are ok and no corrective actions by parents are desired.  After all, if the parents can be kept in the dark, then their responsibilities are relegated to the state (?) or reduced to zero.  Except, of course, when a suit for moola can be brought - then watch the responsibility adhere to the parents.

            I tend toward the maximization of individual responsibility instead of victimhood.

            This tripe of being responsible but not having access to essential information fills the lawyers pockets and it will continue.

            •  No, you don't fit in. (none)
              Most people here do reading comprehension quite well. I didn't evade anything; you just didn't want to understand my answers.

              Pregnant 14 year olds are scared kids. They need an adult to stand by them. In 95% of teen abortion cases (see thread above), this support comes from one or both of the parents, who take the girl to have the abortion she needs. For 5% of the cases, the parents are dysfunctional enough that that's not an option. This law would force the 5% through hell.

              You can't seriously be arguing that the only issue in such hard cases is who pays the bills! What a narrow, peevish, self-centered thing to say.

              Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

              by Canadian Reader on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:39:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Alas (none)
                There is so much perception that you lack.  You come across as a pregnant 14 year old.  Ah ha - I see!!!  When you get older and perceive the results of your folly, you will learn insight.
      •  Again, my .02, (none)
        I am not supportive of the postion of "trading" rights in order to preserve them.  IMO, that makes absolutely NO DAMN SENSE!

        I am saying that there are other issues to focus on and one of them happens to be Disability Rights!

        Hell, w/a large percent of the troops in Iraq coming back w/traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, possible psychological disabilities (PTSD) as a result of all of the bullshit going on over there, Disability rights, social programs and a single payer health care system are issues that need to be addressed NOW.  As opposed to taking a "Wait till the next election" attitude!

        Come on, WTF are people to do in the meantime?  


        I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

        by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:13:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Public Opinion on Alito Means Squat (none)
    That and 5 supreme court judges can get you appointed president. Of course Scabito will water down his white male supremacist attitude for the senate, especially talking to moderate red-state dems. These are the same dems, by the way, that are now SHOCKED that Bush lied them about intelligence to get them into a war. These same dems will again be SHOCKED that Scalito thinks Stare Decisis is an old Christmas carol.

    Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party - DNC Chair Howard Dean

    by easong on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:11:23 AM PST

  •  Yes, I'd take him (none)
    The question of whether anyone will have the chance to "overturn" Roe depends on the right case at the right time coming before the court, not to say this couldn't be engineered, of course.

    I've always thought that Roe might not be overturned but distinguished over time, and with the changes in medical knowledge I would expect that to be a foregone conclusion these days.

    I want someone with credentials (academic, professorial, commentary, or time in grade and an understanding of Constitutional jurisprudence and its history.  I trust the effect of being a part of the institution of the Supreme Court to be a sobering one, and I'm not convinced that the gravity of the position, once attained, might not truly ameliorate the politicization of the candidate.

    Put another way, I'd rather trust that the ethics involved in being an Article III judge requires attention to precedent, and that we can and must continue to expect arms' length treatment from our judiciary. Not to do so means we might as well gut the system now and vote for it.  That's not what the framers intended. Individuals will continue to fail the system, but I don't think that it necessarily follows that the appointee will be as venial as the appointer.

    I am interested in many, many other issues besides this particular litmus test.  I have also had doubts about how accurate is our understanding of  the public's views on this, an issue which could be decided at the state level if thrown back to that forum.

    "Never think you've seen the last of anything." --Eudora Welty

    by gazingoffsouthward on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:12:18 AM PST

  •  Most Americans Find Alito Not Extreme (none)
    CNN/Gallup pushpoll just reported on CNN.

    I think it was 51% find him not extreme, 53% say he won't overturn Roe. They didn't mention that probably 99% never heard of him.

    This has to be the most fraudulent poll ever published to date. It may give us some idea of the degree to which his confirmation is open to debate.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:13:25 AM PST

  •  yet another case of treating a judge (none)
    like a politician.

    We elect legislators to enact policies that we prefer. We confirm judges to apply the laws that the politicians have enacted.

    We should not be picking our judges based on the outcomes that they will achieve. We should be picking based on the soundness of their legal reasoning, knowledge and experience.

    If RvW is not supported by the constitution it should be overturned.

    •  Sure (none)
      Since you would like to see Roe overturned tat makes sense for you.

      Do you go to the Right Wing blogs and criticize them on the same grounds?

      This notion of the Supreme Court as outside the realm of politics is just so much nonsense.

      BTW, do you have any criticism of Bush for picking judges on that basis?

      I missed those.

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:19:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Roe is bad law, and unnecessary (none)
        If 63% of Americans support Roe's holdings, what's wrong with just enacting it as democratic law?

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:31:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why not the First Amendment? (none)
          Wht have a Constitution at all?

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:33:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, the FIrst Amendment is actually in it (none)
            Roe is not, and I think you'll be hard-pressed to find even many liberal legal scholars who agree with the decision.  You'll find more if you ask something broader, like "is there a way to justify abortion as a Constitutional right", although I'm not sure you'd get a majority even then; but you'll definitely get almost nobody who thinks that Roe as written is correct.

            "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

            by Delirium on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:42:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ahh (none)
              Just as I thought.

              So it's because you WANT ROE overturned that you wrote that original comment.

              Had nothing to do with the 53%.

              The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

              by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:50:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I want abortion legal, and Roe overturned (none)
                Hence my comment on the percentages.  I want abortion to be taken out of the hands of the Supreme Court.

                "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                by Delirium on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:05:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why? (none)
                  Why would you want that if you want it legal?

                  Taking it out of the Court, as you distort it, makes it vulnerable to a ban, a FEDERAL ban.

                  Up is down with you?

                  Say you don;t caRE. tHAT IS MORE BELIEVABLE.

                  The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:09:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Roe as precedent rather than black letter law (none)
                    Hasn't RB Ginsburg said that Roe as black letter law would be preferable to Roe as precedent?
                  •  because I don't think it was correctly decided (none)
                    I want abortion legal, but that does not mean that I am willing to do anything that results in abortion being legal.  I think Roe was incorrectly decided, and the ends do not justify the means, especially since there are other, less objectionable ways of making abortion legal—namely, making it so in law.

                    Abortion is not vulnerable to a federal ban in any case, because regulating abortion is not within the federal government's enumerated powers, at least under a correctly federalist view of the constitution.  And even if we take the "liberal" view of federalism (i.e. it doesn't exist), abortion is not going to be banned anyway, because there is not anywhere near majority support for doing so.

                    "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                    by Delirium on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:41:06 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  that's basically my view (none)
                      Although I also think Roe was wrong, which Ginsburg (apparently) doesn't.  But, in general, I do not want the legality of abortion to depend on the Supreme Court.  A substantial majority of Americans oppose banning abortion, so it's ridiculous that we have to depend on nine justices on the Supreme Court for it.

                      "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                      by Delirium on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:43:46 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Don't Forget (none)
              That we also have Planned Parenthood as well as a precident, which many people, if I am correct, believe is a much better written opinion.
              •  not sure about that (none)
                I wouldn't be able to confidently say either way, though, until I've seen more of what legal scholars have to say about it.  But the general feeling I've gotten is that it's considered a bit of a messy compromise, and considered almost inevitable that it'll have to be returned to again at some point in the future.  And since it didn't completely rewrite Roe, it also depends on the integrity of Roe at least in part, although admittedly this may not be essential—it's possible that the authors of Planned Parenthood would've completely replaced Roe with new reasoning if there had been no other considerations, but didn't want to be seen as "overturning Roe".

                "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                by Delirium on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:08:07 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  IT is returned to (none)
                  just like the First Amendment and every other area of the law.

                  This is just so mcuh nonsense.

                  The law is NOT static.

                  Whatever gave you the idea it was?

                  The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

                  by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:10:40 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  sure (none)
        Lucky for me a decision i disagree with is not supported by the constitution.

        Which grounds should i be criticizing right wing blogs on?

        In reality the courts are not apolitical, but that is the ideal that we should strive towards. Since judges are bound by the laws of the land, their ability to act as free agents is limited in ways a legislator is not.

        Of course the law  typically has some degree of ambiguity or different ideas confict requiring a judgement as to which should trump the other. So there will always be some degree of difference in how judges rule. Hopefully that can be minimized such that who the judge is is not a crucial matter in a case.

        BTW, do you have any criticism of Bush for picking judges on that basis?

        Yes, Miers was of limited credentials/experience and was offered on the basis that should would rule 'correctly'.  Give me a judge who will reason well based on his philosophy and let the chips fall where they may.

    •  thanksDennisBoz --you were more succinct (none)
      than I managed to be, and painted the point in clearer terms as well.  Just as I continue to expect our judges to live their oaths, I continue to expect that reasonable people can and should disagree, and that we liberals defend strongly the necessity to express one's opinion.

      "Never think you've seen the last of anything." --Eudora Welty

      by gazingoffsouthward on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:37:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  16% (none)
    that's the percentage of folks who voted for bush and never believed he would nominate someone to overturn roe vs. wade.

    16% of 121,480,019 is 19,436,803.

    "I don't think Feingold and Clinton are really that far apart on Iraq." -- Howard Dean, 10/23/05

    by BiminiCat on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:19:07 AM PST

  •  tactics (none)
    I say, let Alito get confirmed.  You're just not going to get anyone better than him, and the political capital that would have to be spent to even try to defeat him just isn't worth it, compared to the need to win big in 2006 and then in 2008.  Even if you do defeat his nomination, the remaining list contains even worse ideologues.

    From reading his cases, I see Alito to be a witheringly intelligent jurist: he may be conservative, but he's not a Bushie, and he's not an ideologue like Scalia, whatever anyone says.  The cases on which we're hammering are basically not exactly what we say they are: we're attacking him for the results of the cases rather than the legal issues on which they were decided.

    But most of all people... his reasoning clearly seems to be that there are some precedents that are too central to the law to strike down.  That means, Griswold.  And that means Casey/Roe.  At most, with him on the court, we may see a weakening of Roe's protections against state laws (which, in case you know anything about the issue, ALREADY happened with Casey), but lets face it: we lost 2004 and we'll get that no matter what.  But if we don't squander ourselves trying to smear this guy, then we will be ready to exploit the HELL out of any judicial threat on choice from the legislative side.  

    Can anyone who supports opposing this guy tell me exactly how far down the road they are thinking?  What's next?  What's the gameplan after screaming for his head and pouring millions into trying to defeat him?  What then?  To what purpose?

    •  Wait for the next nominee (none)
      What strategy do you have in mind?

      The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

      by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:24:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  er, what? (none)
        Wait for the next nominee?  Like Brown?  That makes 0 sense.  

        The Miers thing pushed Bush into a nice little corner.  Alito was a nomination of weakness and capitulation, not of strength.  He's likely the best we can expect (Miers would have been better, especially if she stayed in the news longer, but oh well).  But guess what: we aren't getting a Ginsburg on the court in this seat.  

        Our only ace in the hole right now is our resurging media control: how we play out these struggles determines how powerful the case will be in 2006.  And from everything I see on the field right now, launching a blistering attack on this nominee will serve to:

        -allow Bush et al to avoid talking very much about Libby and the failing case for war
        -re-unite the split that Bush has been causing amongst his own allies
        -waste tons of our money
        -play into the meme that Democrats are bitter obstructionists who oppose judicial decisions based on results rather than sound legal reasoning
        -maybe get us someone later on who surely WOULD stealthy get in and then destroy Roe entirely.  This guy, from my read of him, would not do so: he'd likely weaken it al la Casey, but I think from where the field lies, that's GOOD for us, not bad.  If we can retake Congress and the White house over the next couple of years, then who is on the court is moot.

        •  Zero sense? (none)
          Alito was a nomination of weakness it is true - because he is placating the Wingnuts.

          Frankly, your post makes zero sense.

          Why in Gawd's name do you think the Wingnuts are so happy?

          The SCOTUS is Extraordinary.

          by Armando on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:03:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  er (none)
            because Bush nominated someone they like (he got elected, and he can do that now, remember? And continue to do it until someone gets in.  For us it's merely a matter of rolling the dice, and we can't expect to be very happy with whomever we get).  However, strategically, it's not clear that we can do any better than this, and pretty darn clear that making this our huge fight, as opposed to Iraq and Libbygate, is a tactical error.  Reid seems to understand this, thankfully.
        •  Makes perfect sense! (none)
          Read somewhere that O'Connor will stay until the next nominee is confirmed.  Seems to me like it could be that dubya is trying to push her out fast w/all of these wingnut appointments.  Are the wingnuts and dubya afraid of how she might rule?

          Shit, in that case, let him keep nominating nutcases.  The dems can delay the confrimation on procedural grounds.

          Then hit the media w/dubya being obstructionist!

          I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

          by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:48:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  No (none)
      We study this nominee's record to the very last jot and tittle.  We implore our senators on the judiciary committee to cross-examine him closely and do everything possible to flesh out this nominee's judicial philosophy as completely as can be done.

      Then, if a complete picture shows that this nominee presents a threat to what we believe the Constitution guarantees us as citizens, then we "Bork" him.  We do everything possible to reject this nominee, even if we have to invent creative new blocking techniques. We spank Bush in whatever press we can for not being   a president of all the people, and keep spanking him until he nominates someone who will not be an enthusiastic rubberstamp for the wingnut agenda.

      And then we keep it up until we get one who does not pose such a threat.  We do not have to accept Samuel Alito's confirmation as a fait accomli.


      The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

      by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:59:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (none)
    But not just because of Roe.  Roe is a bellwether subject that gives a heads up to all the other objectionable stances Alito has taken.  And I don't feel the Dems have anything to lose on a filibuster.  They have been ignored on any number of process issues anyway.

    Theocracy is tyranny

    by Druidica on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:23:30 AM PST

  •  Roe is illustrative of a much larger issue. (4.00)
    The rolling back of constitutional law, generally, and individual rights, especially, to the level of the 1870s or earlier.

    I am talking about the widespread, systematic repudiation of the essential legal fabric of the nation.

    Roe is very important in and of itself. But the real problem is much, much larger.

    Alito must not be confimed. The stakes are far too momentous.

  •  the nominee has been pro-choice in decisions (none)

    This is paraphrased from a Christian Science Monitor article, below is the link.

    For example, of the four abortion cases in which he participated as an appeals court judge, he voted on the pro-choice side in all but one. A 1995 Alito vote striking down a Pennsylvania abortion restriction in particular is raising eyebrows among some legal scholars.

    "That [1995 case] strongly seems to indicate that Alito is not a policy-driven true-believer who's used every possible opportunity to advance one side's preferred outcome

    rich....I'll await the hearings to form my opinion.

    •  It's the first impression that counts the most (none)
      .. and it appears that the majority of Americans think that Alito is anti-choice.

      But wouldn't that be hilarious if Alito turns out to be more balanced than it appears at first glance, like you are hoping .. he gets in, and still simultaneously disaffects both the GOP moderates and the wingnuts.

      It may yet happen.

      No one thinks Alito is another David Souter, but if he is even handed and fair in his decisions he will most certainly piss off the wingnuts - anyone to the left of Ashcroft probably will.

  •  Polls (none)
    Polls can be used in interesting ways, and are not always as straightforward as they appear.  I would argue that most of those polled dont know what the consequences of overturning Roe would be (the authority to rule on abortion would go back to the states and it would remain legal in most states) and also dont understand that Roe allows so few restrictions on abortion.  Gallup polls show, for instance, that only 39% of Americans believe that abortion should be legal under all or most circumstances, while 60% believe it should be legal in only a few circumstances or illegal in all circumstances(June 2005).  Clearly, a majority of Americans disagree with the policy prescriptions of Roe, even if they dont know enough about the case to realize it.  But all polls miss the point entirely in this case, since abortion has been taken out of the realm of popular democracy by judicial fiat.  Ultimately, polls dont matter because the American people have been deprived of the right to decide this issue themselves.  Its a little hypocritical to cite polls supporting Roe when the whole point of Roe was to take away the people's power to make up their minds for themselves through normal democratic processes.  Return the issue to the people, and let us decide for ourselves.  The result would probably be a compromise, state by state, and what would be so wrong with that?  After all, who can be against democracy?  
    •  What is wrong.. (none)
      When you say "us" you are spreading a pretty wide loop.  There is a segment of the American population which is really not physically qualified to judge on medical procedures such as abortion.  This choice must be between a woman and her Dr.. Not some wanker politican in Washington, or state capitol.  Would you like a politican making medical decisions for you?

      While returning jurisdiction to the states would probably be a good idea only - ONLY if the procedure was legal in all states.  The whole purpose of Federal Laws is to bring uniformity to the law and thus have 1 law which is in effect for all 50 states.   Some states would go taliban and place undue burden on those seeking Medical attention.

      Thus while Roe is the law of the land, and untill something better is enacted, it should stand.

      •  Right Right Right (none)
        and if it returned to the states, as it was pre-Roe, then states where abortion was legal -- such as New York -- would once again become magnets drawing women from other states where it was illegal -- such as Pennsylvania -- and once again operators of commercial abortion clinics would be making millions of dollars off the misfortune and misery of others.  And those who could not afford the exhorbitant rates charged by those clinics would once again be forced into illegal back-alley butcheries or try even more drastic things.  Does anyone not get why the symbol of the pro-choice movement is the coat-hanger?

        The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

        by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:37:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Yes... Roe is about abortion, but much, much more (none)
    IMHO, Roe v. Wade puts a chain on the Big Dog of Big Government with regard to conscience. It restrains the religion-drunk lunatic minority who would force (via control of the three branches of the federal government) all people, not just women, to conduct their lives according to the religion-drunk worldview instead of according to their own individual conscience.

    Every woman affected by an unwanted pregnancy necessarily affects everyone else that she is intimately connected with in her life... whether that be husband, boyfriend, lover, parents and siblings, and whomever else I may have missed.  When the religion-drunk lunatic minority force her (through their co-optation of government), to bear children which she does not want to bear for whatever reason, all others in that web of intimate connections is affected forever by the decision imposed by that lunatic minority.

    And then, having imposed their decision upon that web of people, the lunatic minority collectively dusts their hands and walk away, as if to say "our job (and our obligation) is finished here."

    Excuse me, but BALDERDASH!

    And if anyone does not believe that the project of the religion-drunk lunatic minority stops with Roe, then they have not been paying attention.  

    The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

    by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:40:33 AM PST

  •  As a Catholic (none)
    who considers herself pro-life, yet will fight to keep abortion legal, let me add my two cents, hopefully, without sounding condescending.  (Btw, I am a philosophy professor who deals with issue of abortion nearly every semester.)

    I agree with those who say we should avoid playing the rightwingers' (and a large number of the Catholic clergy fall into this camp)game of painting abortion as a simple "either/or" issue.  What determines the moral status of abortion is whether or not a person is involved.  A person is not simply a living organism - it is a being who possesses a functioning central nervous system, which makes possible moral patiency.  Until near the end of the first trimester, there is no evidence that a fetus has a functioning central nervous system.  You draw the conclusion.

    By speaking of abortion in terms of "human life," the rightwingers have obscured the important distinctions that many Americans, whether they realize it or not, do recognize.  Those who proudly claim the "pro-life" label are not necessarily moral hypocrites if they back off from asserting that abortion is always morally wrong.  Their dim awareness that in some circumstances abortion would at least be permissible is a sign that they haven't completely fallen prey to the blowhard posturings of those supposed "moral authorities."

    The Democrats will fail to appeal to the majority of Americans if they continue to treat the American public as simpletons as the Republicans do.  In recognizing the moral complexity of abortion and the impossibility of encoding in law all of the details necessary to deal with that complexity, Roe v. Wade wisely left the door open to individual discretion when it is appropriate to do so.  I may be wrong about this, but even yahoos like Alito realize that there is no justification for shutting the door and locking it.  They will go for restrictions, but they won't completely throw out legal abortion.

    What restrictions Alito would approve will depend on his views on other issues of freedom as found in the Bill of Rights.  It is his rulings on those issues that scare the shit of me and would of others as well.  We need to focus on those issues.


    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by blueinnc on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:46:24 AM PST

    •  I am curious to know... (none)
      as a professor of philosophy, what the different views are as to when potential life becomes actual life, and under what circumstances -- if any -- that any claim of a "potential life" to become actual trumps the competing claims of the mother... an actual, not potential, life.

      What, exactly, is the moral status of potential life, and why does a large, vocal minority seem absolutely convinced that the moral status of such potential life, (seemingly) always and everywhere, trumps the moral status of an actual life?

      How do the circumstances under which the pregnancy was initiated change the discussion, such as in the case of rape or incest? Does it matter, from the so-called "pro-life" point of view if the mother-to-be is only 11 years old?

      Then, on to political theory: who ought make the decision -- the affected individual, the legislature(s), the Courts, a vocal minority -- and under what circumstances?


      The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

      by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:23:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those who use the "potential person" (none)
        argument really haven't thought through what they are claiming.  An embryo in the very early weeks of life shouldn't be accorded the rights of person because it has the potential to be a person.  I may potentially be the next POTUS - does that mean that a band now should play "Hail to the Chief" everytime I step in a room?  As for when a potential person becomes an actual person, no definitive answer can be given.  The law can only operate within imperfect, somewhat arbitrary parameters, much in the way in which we legally designate 18-year-olds as adults.

        As for the claim that abortion is a medical procedure that should be a matter between the woman and her doctor, I don't necessarily disagree.  But I do want to point out that even Roe v. Wade permits the state to set restrictions,within reason, to abortions.  One of my main concerns in my first post was to note that although many who consider themselves to be pro-life would permit abortions under certain circumstances (and therefore support Roe), they don't want to be associated with those who believe that there should be absolutely no restrictions on abortions.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

        by blueinnc on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:47:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whoops (none)
          I see I didn't answer all of your questions.  Why do some pro-lifers seem to think that the rights of potential persons always trump the rights of actual persons?  Because such people are idiots.  Next question.

          "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by blueinnc on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 12:50:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Using terms differently (none)
          I've heard "potential person" used, and I think that construction can be distinguished from that of "potential life."

          The "potential person" construction, as you have noted, is ontologically overloaded.  It packs into it (smuggles in, IMHO) presumptions about the future which may or may not come to pass.

          The construction "potential life," however, while not precluding potential personhood, does not presume it as an inevitability. Also, by using the term "life," it leaves the discussion open to considerations of what life qua life actually comes to. Is it just the normal physiological function of the body?  Is it something more?  How much more?  Where does consciousness come into the calculus, and for how much does that count? In brief, what part of the human being is the being part?

          But the question and distinction between "potential life" (as in: "could be but is not yet") and actual life (the woman), I think, is important for assigning moral status, significance, and the resulting consideration deserved. Does not the existing, actual life in certain real ways morally "outrank" that which is not yet?

          It seems that we are pretty much "singing from the same hymnal," and if not on the exact same page it seems that the songs are at least in the same key.

          I suppose what I find mystifying is those who claim to be "pro-life" who completely disregard as inconsequential that of the woman. Is she not "life" any more -- life worth moral consideration -- once she becomes pregnant?  


          The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

          by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:09:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Curious (none)
            You open up your response with a none-too-well disguised insult using language which I did not...  then prattle on addressing questions which I did not ask, and pontificating on issues irrelevant to the ones I did raise.

            Then, after directing you back to the actual language used and distinguishing it from the other construction which you quite perplexingly imported into the discussion, you ignore the discussion altogether and do not respond.

            Pretty sloppy and shallow behavior for a purported professor of philosophy.... a claim which I did not believe in the first place.  You do not act like any professor of philosophy (or graduate student, for that matter) that I know.

            The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

            by PJBurke on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 11:50:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (4.00)
      Abortion should be between the doctor and the patient.  Judges, lawyers, next door neighbors, government officials, priests, siblings, parents, etc. should have no say whatsoever in the decision.  It is a private matter.  Whether I think it is right or wrong or whether any of the named people think it is right or wrong should not matter.  That is how I see it.  There is nothing worse than people sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong.
      •  No need to even try (none)
        to improve the straight-forward eloquence of your statement.  You nailed it.  Case closed.

        The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

        by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:44:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  What is the role of the doctor? (none)
        Should the doctor counsel, or does she have no more import to the decision making process than the oil-change guy? "Between the woman and the doctor" overstates the importance of the doctor to act as other than implementor of the procedure. The woman orders the procedure, and the doctor performs. Would it make sense to say that the decision to get an oil change is between the car owner and the mechanic?
        •  Exactly!+ (none)
          The woman orders the procedure, and the doctor performs.

          Here's another one:  Just like the mechanic, the doctor is performing a service.  The doctor works for the patient, in a sense, he/she is an employee and can be terminated at will.

          Actually heard a doctor say something like this to a person who refused chemotherapy.  

          I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

          by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:26:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This Catholic agrees! n/t (none)

        I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

        by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:23:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Problem: It's Not the People Who are Simpletons, (none)
      it's the citizens.

      Almost every idiot can be convinced of a rational argument in real life. But citizens aren't found in real life.

      Citizens are located in the audiences of the Republicans' private mass media property. We can't reach them with any message without the Republicans' permission.

      The Republicans don't allow their media property to be used for discussion of even grade school complexity or attention span, they forbid most messaging that's contrary to their interests, and they use their properties 24/7 for mindless escapism and fraudulent propaganda.

      Under our Constitution, it's they, not we-the-people, who have the rights of speech, assembly and press in those media which are the only places the citizenry can be reached.

      So yes, the citizens are simpletons for political purposes. Every reasonable average citizen must be a simpleton, except for those few percent who have a hobby or passion for aggressively educating themselves about public and world affairs.

      To my eye, noboby has found a way to make an approach of your style reliably successful in the system we have. Animal emotion remains the only consistently proven political style here.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:41:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Happy Idiots (none)
        I'm going to be a happy idiot and struggle for the legal tender
        Where the ads take aim and lay their claim
        To the heart and the soul of the spender
        And believe in whatever may lie in those things that money can buy
        Though true love could have been a contender
        Are you there, say a prayer for the Pretender
        Who started out so young and strong only to surrender

        -- from Jackson Browne's The Pretender

        The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for entrepreneur. -- GW Bush to PM Tony Blair Snopes "debunk": Not Persuasive

        by PJBurke on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 06:24:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  This poll is merely (none)
    a starting point. Not a conclusion. It really is early days and the spin is going to be strong very soon. The poll is an indication to go to work on killing this nomination. Talk at them, write about it. Grassroots work countering the spin.

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

    by Rolfyboy6 on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 07:46:31 AM PST

  •  I don't get it (none)
    I mean, the guy's friggin MOTHER, who he speaks to every damn day, came out and said, "of course he's against abortion" and the media is still pullin this 'if' question.

    I mean, what fucking more do you need?   Does the guy have to bomb a clinic?  His opinions are there for all to see, his mother comes right out and says that he'll overturn it and the media plays this "well, he said he'll support Griswold" game.  Big clue, media dopes:  Saying that you'll support Griswold does NOT mean that you'll support the notion that choice comes under its purview.

    I mean, damn!!!!

    •  You lost me! (none)
      the guy's friggin MOTHER, who he speaks to every damn day

      Has it ever occurred to you that he may be telling mommy what she wants to hear?  Or is it a possibility that mommy may have not been quoted accurately?

      I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

      by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:28:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    Sam Alito, unlike the other conservatives on the Supreme Court, seems capable of "evolving" --once he 's on the bench...

    Alito does not appear to have a "closed mind", an agenda, or political philosophy that is totally overriding all else...

    He is said to be "smart," and that CLEARLY seperates him from most other conservatives...

    And, it is unlikely that he will try to turn the clock back to the 1950s, as most Southern Bubbas and Religious Conservatives hope to do...

    So, if the Red State South thinks that they are going to be able to go back to Jim Crow...with their new "conservative court"...they could be saddly mistaken.

    As long as Bush is forced to "go with brains," and stay away from the party hacks and ideologues... Blue State Progressive should have nothing, too much, to worry about... Roe is probably "safe," even if some of the more "creative" restictions are put into law on a state by state basis.

    Still, I would prefer to see Democrats, and other progressives, working the economic issues with the Bubba Red State Republicans...and NOT constantly playing in the Religious Rights' "Sand Box" on these "social issues."

    More Content, Less Chat.

    by BALTHAZAR on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:15:02 AM PST

  •  RoVe and Alito, and Libby (none)
    As I understand, in our legal system you can't be forced to testify against yourself or your spouse.  I assume this is an extension of the right against self-incrimination.  If Karl Rove and Scooter Libby move to Massachusetts and get married, does that mean Patrick Fitzgerald wouldn't get to make them testify against each other?

    This came to mind as I was reading about a case in which Judge Alito ruled that if a Chinese woman sought asylum to avoid a forced abortion, she should get asylum and so should her husband, but not necessarily her boyfriend if she weren't married.

    Maybe a senator should ask Alito about this.  Actually, bringing it up could help conservatives by illustrating an unforseen side effect of the Massachusetts law.  But the idea of Karl marrying Scooter probably sticks so tightly in conservative craws that they couldn't stand to talk about it.

    We're all pretty crazy some way or other; some of us just hide it better.

    by david78209 on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:15:36 AM PST

  •  Rollback (none)
    Maybe I'm just sleeping under a rock, through this whole process, or maybe just exhausted, from these past 5 years -- plus many many years of watching these Nixon-Reagan-Bush coupsters steal what they can't buy, and buy what they can't win in real elections.

    But -- I have no intention of following the dictates of officials, judges or otherwise, installed by non-Presidents.  And you should not, either.  (I'll reserve my "And what if 51% of the US electorate should vote to re-instate Slavery?" polemic for another occasion.)

    Ed Schultz, on his radio show last week, answered a caller's complaint about the abuses of power: "We just have to work harder to win in 2006."

      "But they just steal the elections!"

      "Well then, we just have to work harder to keep them from stealing it."


    If they steal an election, then that disqualifies EVERY SINGLE ACTION they commit thereafter, and WE ARE NOT BOUND by them.

    Once the Constitutional compact is broken, then the correct action is to ROLL BACK the government structures, actiona, and judgments to status quo ante, in order to redress, as much as possible, the damage done to us as citizens.

    (Not that we can do as much of that redress as we ought to for the people of Iraq, but I'm sure there's a price tag that an impartial world body could mediate for us to pay.)

    That is why John Roberts is not the Chief Justice, and Alito will not be on my Supreme Court, no matter the outcome.

      (Not that it's not worth a damn good fight -- let's make sure to take every opportunity to ram the whole thing back at them, until the entire scam unravels.  Stakes are so high these days, we really don't give up until dead or in the actual chains these guys intend for us.)

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:19:25 AM PST

    •  Even if There's a Solid Conviction (none)
      to the effect that Bushco stole election 2004, surely it would be a Constitutional crisis to try to get his Court appointments annulled, one that would likely be challenged to that Court itself.

      Best bet would be to impeach the particular Justices, but it's hard to say how that could be permissible since they themselves wouldn't have committed high crimes or misdemeanors.

      My assessment of the United States is that it saw how much trauma was generated by Watergate, and the powers that be concluded that no matter what the crisis, the system will never be allowed to work that way again.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 11:48:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No to Roe.. maybe not (none)
    In fact, his judicial rulings tend to indicate that this early assumption may not be quite correct:

  •  interesting post armando (none)
    do YOU think alito would vote to overturn roe?  or would he just allow more of a burden to be placed on abortion access by states?  where do you think he would draw the line?
    •  I'm not Armando (none)
      But, realistically, no judge is EVER going to say that he would over turn Roe- so, this is really just an interesting hypothetical exercise.

      I'd go so far as to say that the Court will NEVER overturn Roe explicitly- it will simply chip away until it is meaningless.

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

      by JakeC on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:19:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Latter seems likely. (none)
      At least that appears to be what is being done to social programs.

      I am a traumatic brain injury survivor.

      by Street Kid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 10:29:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ScAlito won't show his cards (none)

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

    by annefrank on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 08:49:01 AM PST

  •  Fight vs. Yield (none)
    Whether Alito would overturn Roe or not is somewhat immaterial.  If there is no hope of defeating this nominee for any reason - not just this one - does it make sense for the Democrats to waste their efforts fighting this, thus displacing Iraqgate and all the other Bush screwups from the front page of the paper?  Although people dislike the direction the country is going, I don't think there has been a huge turn against Bush.  When his popularity hits 30%, then I'll consider the population to have turned.

    It is too early to tell.  If Alito does not go before the senate until early 2006, then the political landscape might well be different.  Were the hearings to start today, I think not making a big deal about it would be more effective in returning congress to the Democrats in 2006.

    This is a complex chess game, and one must think ahead to the end game, and might need to sacrifice a piece now to gain advantage later.

  •  Why do we run away from this issue? (none)
    I saw Dean on Hardball the other night not answering Matthews' question on whether or not the Democratic Party is pro-choice.  

    After viewing a Survey USA poll, available at , I found that a number of states that went for Bush are even majority Pro-Choice.  Even my home state of Texas is solidly Pro-Choice.

    Yet we keep on avoiding the issue.  I think this is something we need confrontation on, to show the American public who stands on their side and who stands on the side of the clinic-bombing, bible-thumping, confederate flag-waving extremists.  The choice is very clear.

  •  Curious (none)
    Has anyone found any quotes of any worth from any of the Democratic members of the gang of 14?  Seems the Republicans do not consider Alito to be extreme enough, but it's the Democrats that matter.

    I did read that the 14 are meeting tommorow.  If they announce they will not support a filibuster, they might as well swear the guy in now.

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

    by JakeC on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:08:41 AM PST

  •  We are in a win-win situation (none)
    Kos seems to be the only one I've seen who may agree with this point of view, but I view the coming confirmation battle as a win-win opportunity for the Democrats, even if Alito gets confirmed.  Pundits and Democratic activists seem once again to be shaking in their boots in the face of the Republican Propaganda Campaign, but the use of propaganda assumes that a strong noise machine will be in place to dispense it.  That was the case for the Iraq War, tax cuts, and Bush's reelection campaign.  It can't work now.  Why?  Because this confirmation battle won't even be dominating the airwaves on CNN.  The Iraq War and scandals will.  I thought the Democrats move yesterday in the Senate was brilliant and long overdue.  Suddenly, the supposed position of strength the Republicans held earlier in the day when DeWine boasted of using the nuclear option was null as they were dragged into a special session to discuss prewar intelligence.  As Fitzgerald's investigation gets closer to Cheney, headlines from Iraq continue to stream out, and more revelations from the Delay-Frist-Abramoff scandals emerge, the White House and the RNC will be overwhelmed.  In the past, Rove and co. were able to sell and bully their way to victories on the Iraq War, Patriot Act, Tax Cuts and reelection by focusing all their spin efforts on one issue at a time.  For the Alito battle, they'll be scrambling on all fronts.

    That's why the Dems should filibuster.  The administration is weak, as is the Republican Party.  The Dems should fight Alito on ideological, not judicial grounds.  America is still overwhelmingly pro-choice and disapproves of any nominee that would overturn Roe.  A Dem filibuster on these grounds would put Republicans in an awkward position.  If they enact the nuclear option, they'll score a temporary victory in securing the Alito nomination, but would inflict long term damage on the party.  With every day that passes, Congress slips further towards Democratic victory in 2006.  I don't see the Iraq mess ending before then or 2008, I see the scandal continue to creep closer to Dick Cheney and Bush (combining with the scandals and incompetence of 8 years of Bush rule), making a Republican victory unlikely in 08.  If the Republicans enact the nuclear option, they'll have a hell of a time being in the minority.

    Also, an Alito confirmation is political suicide for the Republican party.  Alito would be the most powerful campaign tool of the Democratic Party since Barry Goldwater's 'extremism' speech.  Tilting the court so far out of the mainstream will turn the Republicans into a fringe party and guarantee a decade in the political wilderness.

    With Alito, the Republicans may well win the battle, but their long term outlook is very grim.

  •  Clinton Speaking at Rosa Parks' Funeral (none)
    If you're logged on at 12:15 EST.

    Its ONLY on CNN - not even CSPAN. Tsk.

    "Stop comparing Bush to Hitler. Hitler was a decorated war veteran who saw front line combat." - Bill Maher

    by Jank2112 on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:11:28 AM PST

  •  Proof again (none)
    While we know from grim experience that there is a conservative coalition capable of winning national elections, this poll helps demonstrate again that the supposed far-right Christian conservative majority in this country is a myth.
  •  I'm to the left of Nader yet....... (none)
    Alito seems a very thoughtful jurist, notwithstanding his conservative bent, I think Bush has made a mistake here.  Alito, notwithstanding  is not a firebrand in the mold of Thomas, Rhenquist or Scalia.  Lefty colleagues of his only have good things to say about him.  Given how right wing most of the political environment in this country is, what can we reasonably expect from Bush.  The NY Times has just done an analysis of Alito's decisions, particularly on abortion and the main thing they found is that he gives a great deal of import to marriage.  I'm not crazy about this, but his rulings have been measured and consistant.  Not nearly as hooked up to ideology as the three riders of the apocalypse named above.  Anyways, this is not a rational process now, it is in the realm of politics, so we shall see what we shall see
  •  What about cases like this? (none)
    World's Youngest Mother - A Peruvian girl named  Lina Medina gave birth at age five. I rather doubt the sex was consentual. The shamans in her village thought she had a tumor. She was unable to explain what had happened.

    It is a very rare occurence for children below the age of 10 to give birth, and it almost always due to rape or incest. What kind of evil people would force a child to give birth? Imagine the psychological consequences.

    Abortion wasn't exactly an option for Lina in 1939, especially since the fact that she was pregnant was unthinkable until a month before she bore her son. It is immoral to make babies "suffer the consequences".

    My youngest sisters are 12 and 15, and would be just about as prepared for pregnancy and child rearing as Lina. At least they understand they have options. The idea of those options being taken away scares me to death, and I will fight those who suggest ANY limitations on abortion rights with every last breath in my body. For me, for my sisters, and for all women.

    Is it abused? Sure. There are people who use it as last chance birth control, which is deplorable, but understandable, especially since many faiths consider birth control just as bad. Do you really want these kinds of women responsible for children anyway? The good outweighs the harm by so much that it is absolutely mind-boggling to me that any woman would oppose it.

    Babies having babies become welfare moms. They work low paying jobs, and complete less education. Furthermore, they don't vote, and are more likely to embrace religion. They become marginalized from an early age, and then the religious right, which pronounced this sentence upon them, gripes about their taxes going to trashy single mom. Is that what you want for your daughters?

    •  When is abortion an option? (none)
      Any body, any time, any where, for any reason, at taxpayer expense is a position that will keep progressives in the minority forever, and will in over time and in fact lead to a tighter and tighter control over when abortion is an available option.

      Exclude eugenics, exclude partial birth procedures, exclude genetic analysis for other than congenital brith defects, exclude post vitality termination as options and the vast majority of Americans will sign on. The issue will disappear from the landscape, the availability of abortion will remain, and anyone that disagrees will be labeled inconsequential.

  •  I've changed my mind ... Reverse Roe! (none)

    Let's just get it over with!  Let's reverse Roe, make prayer in school manditory and hire only white males for any enterprise that receives federal money.

    Let the Wingnuts win and then once the revolution is over we can join the rest of the world.

    I'm sorry, I'm a child of the sixties AND I'm getting tired.  Maybe we need a high temprature and a good bleeding before this illness is over.

    Oh and by the way ... scAlito is just perfect for the Supreme Corporatiion.

    I feel better now.

  •  they all should have thought about this (none)
    before the election.

    accept it....roe is dead.

    We deserve the government we elect.

    •  Demolosers (none)
      When are the Demoliberals going to accept the fact that they L-O-S-T the election last year. Polls don't mean sh_t. I voted for Clinton and Gore...but after watching Kerry and the dwarves suckle up to Rev. Sharton's teat, I couldn't bring myself to vote for pro-war, except when I am not, Kerry.

      Yep, the Republicans can be assholes, but the Dems are offering no coherence message, other than they hate Bush.

  •  You know you're going to upset Repubs (none)
    If you make up headlines with words that rhyme with "Alito", don't you?
  •  Looks like... (none)
    an overwhelming number of folks want the Senate to just say no!  Since this legislative body is so in to transparent government these days, I would expect to see this nomination die in committee, don't you think?
  •  Restitution (none)
    "try to get his Court appointments annulled"

    I guess maybe I was just speaking personally, most likely things don't play out that dramatically.  BUT, I go with the legal idea that the thief should not be allowed to profit from his theft, and should be forced to disgorge the spoils...

    If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State...

    by HenryDavid on Wed Nov 02, 2005 at 09:14:11 PM PST

  •  Alito (none)
    I personally don't think Alito is so bad. Sure he's a conservative, and I would much rather see somebody liberally inclined sit on the court, but from what I've read, he's not a blind conservative. Although he apparently doesn't agree with the Roe v Wade decision, it doesn't appear likely that he would try to overturn it if given the chance. Also, I read some stuff on his decision on an issue over the separation of church and state, and again, it didn't seem like he was employing an overzealous sense of conservatism in that decision either. It will be interesting to see how his record plays out in the coming weeks, although he seems pretty solid right now. I would much rather have an intelligent conservative who at least puts thought into his decisions, rather than some ideologue. Clearly, it's not a surprise that Bush chose a conservative, but at least thus far, it seems like he chose a competent one, as opposed to Harriet Miers.

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