Slaughter in the Senate

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Democrats' futile attempt to derail the immanent confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito by way of filibuster proved fruitless today.

When they just looked too exhausted to go on this week, liberal activists took charge and demanded action. They're calling today a defeat, but claim to have taken something valuable from the experience. They believe they have gained today.

They lost: 72-25

It was a slaughter.

This was supposed to be the great fight. John Roberts was just the guy replacing another conservative. The showdown would be O'Connor's replacement, but the only showdown we saw was the infighting inside Democratic circles; debating the effectiveness of a filibuster attempt.

Now that Samuel Alito has been painted as this extreme right-wing fanatic who will take us back to the Dark Ages, all that was left was a vote. The fact that there were only 25 votes against Alito's cloture today is an alarming omen for liberals. If Alito could get by this easy, then who won't when Bush gets to select yet another justice?

And in a really sad display, Senator Ted Kennedy exploded on the Senate floor for all to witness (video courtesy of Expose the Left).

Warning: it isn't pretty, but typical of the childish behavior of the Senate Democrats. Yet the liberal bloggers still feel a sense of pride and optimism, but they're in trouble. And tomorrow, President Bush will get a national stage to welcome us to the newest justice of the Supreme Court. Seeing him in his new black robe will only deepen the Left's wound.

Kerry's Latest Basement Yelp

Writing in the Huffington Post today, John Kerry lectures America on the importance of obstructing well-qualified judicial appointments to the Supreme Court:

Many people seem curious or even skeptical why United States Senators believe it's so important to take a stand against the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court -- why we're willing to take on a fight that conventional wisdom suggests we will lose.

The reality is simple. We care about the future of our country. We care about the millions of Americans who expect Congress to stand up and fight for their rights and their freedoms, and we also know that the Supreme Court, again and again, is the battlefield on which those rights and freedoms are decided.
Wrong, pal. The battlefield on which rights and freedoms are decided is in Congress. The Court determines when Congress goes out of bounds, not the other way around.
So let's get this straight. The time to fight is now - before we make the irreversible decision of confirming a new Supreme Court Justice. When you're talking about the Supreme Court, you don't live to fight another day. It's a zero sum game. Once Judge Alito becomes Justice Alito, there's no turning back the Senate confirmation vote. We don't get to 'take a mulligan' when choosing a Supreme Court Justice. The direction our country takes for the next thirty years is being set now.
Now that's some serious passion. While it's good for the country that the confirmation process is coming to a close, I will sorely miss these pathetic rants against a superior judge who's been lambasted beyond belief simply because he's not a guaranteed supporter of the liberals' precious right to abortion.
Will it matter if we speak up after the Supreme Court has granted the executive the right to use torture, or to eavesdrop without warrants? Will it matter if we speak up only after a woman's right to privacy has been taken away? Will history record what we say after the courthouse door is slammed in the faces of women, minorities, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor? No. History will record what we say and what we do now.
I don't think President Senator Kerry is in much of a position to talk about the poor and minorities, both of which groups will get equal justice under the law before Alito; yes, even if it means they don't win their case which tends to happen at the appellate level after you've already been tried and convicted by a lower judge and jury.
What on earth are we waiting for? We all know why President Bush nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. He is packing the court with conservative ideologues who will extend the legacy of his presidency for years to come. After all, Judge Alito was nominated only after extreme members of the right-wing killed the nomination of Harriet Miers, an accomplished lawyer who ideologues fumed lacked a track record of proven, tested, activist conservatism. Those same individuals heralded Judge Alito's nomination.
No, Miers was bounced because she wasn't of the caliber both Roberts and Alito are. If track records were so important then conservatives would have said no to John Roberts. But yes, even "extreme members of the right-wing" wanted someone a little more qualified than Bush's personal attorney to sit on the Supreme Court.
Ann Coulter, who last week suggested Justice Stevens should be poisoned, who denounced the nomination of John Roberts, celebrated Judge Alito's nomination, stating that Bush gave Democrats 'a right-hook' - high praise from an activist who said that Republicans need to nominate a person who 'wake[s] up every morning . . . chortling about how much his latest opinion will tick off the left.'
No, Coulter joked Justice Stevens should be poisoned, but I know; only Jon Stewart is allowed to tell a joke. Coulter was serious however about Alito being a "right-hook" to Democrats. You see, it was Bush who was elected president, not Kerry. Bush has that privilege, as did Bill Clinton when he "packed" the Court with liberals Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
After reviewing Judge Alito's writings as a Department of Justice lawyer and a federal judge, I have no doubt why he is so heralded by the most extreme Republicans. There is no doubt about the kind of Justice Samuel Alito will be. He will make it harder for the most disadvantaged members of our society to have their day in court. He will allow the President's power to grow far beyond what the Framers of the Constitution intended. He will roll back women's privacy rights. Empty promises made in the heat of a highly-charged and exceedingly political confirmation battle cannot erase a twenty year record.

He's "heralded by the most extreme Republicans"...and the American Bar Association, and his colleagues on the federal bench, and the majority of Americans. I'd say that’s pretty good company.
No one will be able to say, in five to ten years, that they are surprised by the decisions Judge Alito makes from the bench. They know that in his fifteen years on the Third Circuit, Judge Alito has almost never voted in favor of African-American plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases. They know that he routinely defers to government invasions into personal privacy, often going out of his way to excuse unlawful government actions. And they know that the only statement he has ever made regarding a woman's right to privacy is that she does not have one.

Ah yes, the race card. Sorry President Senator Kerry, but there's no quota for African-American plaintiffs, but to even suggest Alito is racist proves what a disgrace the senator from Massachusetts is. As for privacy, we already know the biggest offenders are the liberals on the Court who ruled last year that your private property can be legally seized by another private individual. Liberals such as Kerry have no room to lecture Americans on privacy.
People who believe in privacy rights, who fight for the rights of the most disadvantaged, who believe in balancing the power between the President and Congress have no choice but to stand up against Judge Alito.
There he goes again on privacy. I guess people who believe in the right to produce harmful narcotics should oppose Alito, as well supporters of prostitution, child pornography and every other industry that thrives in the confines of one's privacy.

I know better than anyone that elections have consequences and that the President has every right to nominate whomever he chooses to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. But I also know that Senators have the right - in fact, they have a constitutional responsibility, to question whether that nominee is the right choice. That is why the Framers required the Senate to provide advice and consent. We are not meant to be a rubber stamp. We need not rush to judgment simply to satisfy the political deadline of a State of the Union address.

I am convinced that Judge Alito is the wrong choice for America. In fact, I am convinced that he is a dangerous choice for America. This is a rare moment in Washington. We are facing the vote of a lifetime - a vote that will shape the law for generations to come. Despite the predictions of the pundits, the story is not over until the last vote is cast. We cannot win unless we try. The time to take a stand is now, to fight for the rights and freedoms of all Americans is when they're endangered not after they've been diminished. It is time to take a stand against Judge Alito, and take a stand for the kind of America we've been for over two hundred years.
Then vote no. That's how you express advice and consent. Obstructionism through a filibuster is called being a sore loser. Oh, but how great the State of the Union address will be tomorrow night, when Samuel Alito shows up in his black robe as the newest justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Poisoning Justice Stevens

Friday, January 27, 2006

Because everyone is obsessed with Ann Coulter and everything she says must be monitored:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Conservative commentator Ann Coulter, speaking at a traditionally black college, joked that Justice John Paul Stevens should be poisoned.

Coulter had told the Philander Smith College audience Thursday that more conservative justices were needed on the Supreme Court to change the current law on abortion. Stevens is one of the court's most liberal members.

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee," Coulter said. "That's just a joke, for you in the media."
Apparently it's newsworthy as well. Even though most people have no idea who John Paul Stevens is, a harmless joke about the most senior justice behind Chief Justice John Roberts will prompt some idiots to demand a trial and hanging.

I'll Show You a Radical Tool

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Surprise, the NY Times opposes Sam Alito, and begins today's editorial with the same talking points that suggest Alito would fit President Bush with a crown and throne if confirmed:

Judge Samuel Alito Jr., whose entire history suggests that he holds extreme views about the expansive powers of the presidency and the limited role of Congress, will almost certainly be a Supreme Court justice soon. His elevation will come courtesy of a president whose grandiose vision of his own powers threatens to undermine the nation's basic philosophy of government - and a Senate that seems eager to cooperate by rolling over and playing dead.
An "entire history" of supporting a larger executive? No wonder Alito is doing so well, his opponents are going on a 1985 application to argue that he has a history of granting the president unlimited power. Of course his actual record makes no implication that Alito would treat Bush like a king, it's just that liberals have to come up with other reasons to oppose a stellar nomination besides abortion restrictions.

If liberals really cared about individual rights they'd support conservative judges, not the liberal bloc that ruled last year in favor of corporations using eminent domain to take your private property. Or have we forgotten Kelo already? Absurdly, Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida used that case to defend his vote against Altio, saying the judge wouldn't have voted with Scalia and Thomas to preserve private property rights. Someone needs to remind Nelson that Alito will vote more often with Scalia and Thomas than the justices in the Kelo majority, and Florida voters need to send him home in the November election.
A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
And just think, in another week he will be on the Supreme Court and life will go on. John Paul Stevens will turn 86 this year and hopefully we'll get to go through this process allover again before the next presidential election.

Legitimizing the Voting Process

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Last time they marched in the streets, this time there's no excuse:

ATLANTA - A birth certificate might not be enough to vote in Georgia this year — legislation sent to the governor Wednesday would require photo identification before voters could cast their ballots.

The legislation would require voters to have a driver's license, military ID or state-issued identification card with a photo.

Supporters said it would help fight voter fraud. Critics argued it would disenfranchise the poor, minorities or elderly — people who are less likely to have driver's licenses.

Similar legislation last year was blocked by a federal judge because a state ID fee would have amounted to an unconstitutional poll tax. This year's bill waives that fee.
I find it a bit stretchy to equate a driver license fee to a poll tax, but that’s what a federal judge ruled last time. Now Georgia residents won't have to pay a single penny to obtain an identification card, so using the poverty card isn’t going to work.

Vigilant critics, however, will now probably argue that the process of obtaining an ID is disenfranchising and will take too much of an effort. Well maybe you shouldn't be voting if you're that lazy.

So He's Still in the Closet?

Friday, January 20, 2006

As if I needed another reason to dislike Tom Cruise:

Tom Cruise has reportedly stopped an episode of South Park that mocks him from being aired in Britain.

The show, in which Nicole Kidman and Cruise's fellow Scientologist John Travolta are depicted attempting to coax an animated version of the actor out of a closet caused controversy when broadcast in the US.

The cartoon Kidman tells Cruise, "Don't you think this has gone on long enough? It's time for you to come out of the closet. You're not fooling anyone" - referring to allegations about Cruise's sexuality.

According to, Paramount have agreed not to show the episode again, after Cruise complained.

A source tells the site, "Tom is famously very litigious and will go to great lengths to protect his reputation. Tom was said not to like the episode and Paramount just didn't dare risk showing it again. It's a shame that UK audiences will never see it because it's very funny."

So maybe the TomKat media coverage went overboard, and I didn't contribute to the fire by covering it ad nauseum. But consider this: he's a major movie star who knocked up Katie Holmes and is very open about his involvement in Scientology. Yeah, people are going to notice, including South Park.

I realize I've never been parodied on a worldwide scale before and can't relate to what Tom Cruise puts up with on a daily basis, but I really could care less if all of Great Britain thought I were gay.

Gonzales v. Oregon: Roberts' First Dissent

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This morning the first Supreme Court decision was released in which Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, and he did so with the court's most conservative members: Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Anyone who hoped Roberts wouldn't be as conservative as the man he replaced has no reason to smile:

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked the Bush administration's attempt to punish doctors who help terminally ill patients die, protecting Oregon's one-of-a-kind assisted-suicide law.

The administration improperly tried to use a federal drug law to pursue Oregon doctors who prescribe lethal doses of prescription medicines, the court said in a rebuke to former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The 6-3 ruling could encourage other states to consider copying Oregon's law, used to end the lives of more than 200 seriously ill people in that state. The decision, one of the biggest expected from the court this year, also could set the stage for Congress to attempt to outlaw assisted suicide.

"Congress did not have this far-reaching intent to alter the federal-state balance," Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority — himself, retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Scalia said in his dissent that the court's ruling "is perhaps driven by a feeling that the subject of assisted suicide is none of the federal government's business. It is easy to sympathize with that position."

At the same time, Scalia said federal officials have the power to regulate doctors in prescribing addictive drugs and "if the term 'legitimate medical purpose' has any meaning, it surely excludes the prescription of drugs to produce death."
To make a long story short, the court had to determine if lethal prescriptions serve a "legitimate medical purpose." If so, the federal government has no business telling states they can't regulate their own suicide laws. If the practice doesn't serve a "legitimate medical purpose" then the feds have every reason to step in.

The moderate and liberal justices saw a legitimate purpose; the conservatives did not. On this case I agree with the majority, and believe those with a sound mind who wish to die should be able to do so using comfortable means. I don't see how Justice Scalia could not see the legitimacy of physician-assisted suicide.

Delaying the Inevitable

The Democrats are treating this like surgery:

WASHINGTON - The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on Judge Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court on Jan. 24, officials announced Monday night, and the full Senate will begin debate the following day.

The hearings concluded last Friday, and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the committee chairman, said he intended to schedule a committee vote for this week on the nomination.

Democrats said at the time that they intended to object, and they did, a move that Frist called "unjustified and desperate partisan obstructionism."

Under the rules, any senator can force a delay in a vote for one week.

Democrats said they wanted to give senators time to observe a three-day holiday weekend without coming back to face an immediate vote.
The reason for this delay is bogus. Yes, the extended weekend was nice but it's time to get back to work. Justice O'Connor filed her resignation last summer and deserves to retire. She should be allowed to retire. Delaying Alito's vote by one week only prolongs the process that - thanks to the extraordinary grandstanding by our senators - has become a mockery.

Either way, come February Judge Alito will be forever known as Justice Alito.

It's Pronounced Justice Alito

Friday, January 13, 2006

It's been an interesting week, to say the least, regarding the judicial hearings of Judge Samuel Alito. As expected the Republicans on the committee fawned and pampered him while the Democrats desperately sought a weakness to no avail. They were however able to make Mrs. Alito leave the room in tears after hours of berating the nominee.

Like it or not Alito will be the next associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Democrats should lick their wounds and put the hearings behind them. Elections are just around the corner and the Abramoff scandal can become a big part of that. GOP leadership is almost nonexistent and a smart strategy from the Left can help reduce Republican majority in either house.

The Ponies Have Left the Show

Monday, January 09, 2006

Today marked the commencement of Sam Alito's Supreme Court hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was – as expected – a day for grandstanding by the 18 senators who got 10 minutes apiece to expound on what they expect from Alito in the upcoming days to win their approval.

It's a formality, of course, because it's pretty much in the bag that Alito will get a party-line vote. If Senator Chuck Schumer didn't vote for Chief Justice John Roberts then there isn't a chance in hell he'll support Scalito.

When finally given the opportunity to deliver an open statement near the end of today's session, the appellate judge distinguished his career as an attorney from his jurist profession: "The role of a practicing attorney is to achieve a desirable result for the client in the particular case at hand, but a judge can't think that way. A judge can't have any agenda, a judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case and a judge certainly doesn't have a client."

The speech would have been perfect had Alito said the Constitution is the judge's client, but that's small beer compared to the more important days just around the corner.

The real fun begins tomorrow at 9:30 AM when Alito will respond to questions from the senators. Some are describing it as a "grilling" as they did for John Roberts, but I have no doubt in my mind that Alito will be teaching the senators a few things this week about Constitutional law rather than the other way around.

The Get-Soft-on-Crime Model

Thursday, January 05, 2006

You know, I'm not even the least bit surprised by this:

There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a man who raped a little girl many, many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven.

The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation.

Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a littler girl countless times starting when she was seven.

But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works.

"The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom. Most of the on-lookers were related to a young girl who was repeatedly raped by Mark Hulett who was in court to be sentenced.

The sex abuse started when the girl was seven and ended when she was ten. Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of eight to twenty years in prison, in part, as punishment.

But Judge Cashman explained that he is more concerned that Hulett receive sex offender treatment as rehabilitation.

The sentence outraged the victim's family who asked not to be identified.

"I don't like it," the victim's mother, in tears, told Channel 3. "He should pay for what he did to my baby and stop it here. She's not even home with me and he can be home for all this time, and do what he did in my house," she added.
The pro-rehabilitation advocates are so fixated on "educating" criminals that they either forget or chose to ignore the importance of retribution in our criminal justice system. Repeatedly raping a seven-year-old girl warrants a long period of incarceration.

Conveniently, the idiot judge who claims punishment doesn't work but "corrodes your soul" left out in his ruling the recidivism rates for child sex offenders. It's not untypical to find numerous convictions of child pornography possession and sexual assault on the criminal records of offenders who eventually upgrade to murder - and are able to do so because judges like Edward Cashman are all too eager to release said scum back into our society.

Just for Kicks - Alito Has Been Rated 'Well Qualified'

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

In case there were any doubts:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The American Bar Association gave U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito its top rating on Wednesday as backers and foes of the 55-year-old conservative geared up for next week's Senate confirmation hearing.

The ABA's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary announced it had unanimously rated Alito as "well qualified" for a seat on the nation's highest court.
Liberal groups opposed to Alito are about to face a massacre. If I were part of one I'd just save up my resources for a fight I could win. Sadly there are some who actually believe it will be possible to derail this stellar nominee, whether you like his judicial philosophy or not.

Top liberal blogger Kos writes Alito's support is "anemic," citing poll numbers showing his support divided into thirds. Somehow this is supposed to be bad for Alito:

Support: 34%
Do Not Support: 31%
Unsure: 34%

Lest your counting ability is questionable, Alito currently enjoys a plurality of support. Liberals are hoping a majority in the unsure group will join the dissenters when the judicial hearings begin January 9th, but I am convinced his support will either remain static or increase.

Alito v. Schumer? Supporters of the judge have no reason to sweat.

Another Great Anti-Alito Cartoon

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

This one's called It's a Less Wonderful Life. Mr. Average American is reading his newspaper unconcerned about the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court; that is until an angel appears in his livingroom to show him what the future would be like with "one more extreme judge on the court."

According to the clip, with Alito on the Supreme Court, police would have more power to prosecute terror suspects, federal gun laws would be reduced and the right to "privacy" would be scratched.

I can't wait!

And of course it goes without saying the ad is dishonest and misleading. Apparently not finding a right to privacy in the Constitution is tantamount to ideological preferences. "The government didn't approve of what they were doing privately," the cartoon whines. Never mind that Justice Clarence Thomas has made it explicitly clear in writing that laws barring gay sex are "silly." But until he disregards the Constitution and decides cases based on his personal beliefs he will always be labeled an extremist.

ACLU to Babysit Police

Monday, January 02, 2006

How nice of the ACLU to insult St. Louis police officers with this stunt:

St. Louis police officers often say they feel as if people are looking over their shoulders.

That feeling isn't likely to let up this year.

The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, a frequent critic of the city police, says it plans to arm residents of the city's north side with video cameras to record officers' dealings with the public.
According to this article the ACLU believes police officers are unfairly "targeting" blacks. But is racial profiling so extreme in St. Louis that harassing police officers who already have one of the most stressful and thankless jobs in the country is necessary?

Moreover, how is a video camera going to curb profiling? Once an officer pulls you over it's done, and I would assume he would be less accommodating to those motorists who put a camera in their face.