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In nominating John Roberts, President Bush chose the smallest target possible for this slot. We have a nominee with sparkling credentials but almost no paper trail. What does that tell us?

The filibuster fight worked. You don't nominate John Roberts if you believe you can (and should) ram through a nominee with 50+1 votes. You only choose someone like Roberts if you believe you need as many votes and as smooth a ride as possible, and that you don't want to risk having 41 Senators block your nominee. Had the Republicans succeeded in executing the nuclear options, John Roberts would not have been the nominee. Period.

That also suggests that the President didn't want to spend any political capital pushing this nominee -- whether because he sees himself as weakened or conservative judicial philosophy as unpopular, Bush has chosen a nominee that does not automatically force a debate about what "strict constructionism" really means because his paper trail does not reveal it in action.

Think about it: he could have chosen any number of equally qualified (Mike McConnell) or more experienced (Luttig, Wilkinson) nominees. He could have chosen a female or minority candidate. He didn't. Why? Why did he not give his conserative base the Absolute Sure Thing they had been promised? (And yet, why are they so happy?)

Because he wanted this to be easy. But we don't have to let it be.

This is not to say that Roberts will not ultimately deserve confirmation. He probably does. But it does allow us the opportunity to set the terms of the debate, by bringing forth to the American people those issues that we know are affected by this choice -- and by explaining to them why the elections in 2006 and 2008 matter. ("If you want judges who will protect your right to privacy against the Republican-run federal government, vote Democratic.")

This is also not to say that Roberts' actions on the bench won't be indistinguishable from that of Justices Scalia, Thomas or Rehnquist. However, the President has sent up a nominee that makes it clear he does not want to have to defend such views all summer long. He's weak, and the country needs to be reminded that this pick represents that.

During the next few months, the point will not be whether Roberts responds to the requests with documents and answers; it is that we are asking these questions and keeping these issues before the public. The point of our opposition is not, given what we know now, to block his confirmation by any means necessary -- it is to reveal what conservative legal philosophy is, so that the public will want to guard against it, and vote against it, in the future. If we can use this as an educational moment, we can take back the Senate and the White House.

How else have we won? Notice that the nominee was not Brown, Owen, Myers, Estrada, etc. By denying them confirmation for so long (and in Estrada's case, at all), we prevented them from having the minimal federal judiciary seasoning they'd have needed for this slot. All of them -- whether for their views or their age, or even their competence -- would have been worse than Roberts.

One final note: John Roberts is getting a lot of bad-mouthing, from MoveOn and others, for being a "corporate lawyer". Guess what? I'm a corporate lawyer too -- I've represented (and continue to represent) major pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and the like. So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site. Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills. So don't knock him for his clients -- knock him for what he believes -- assuming, that is, that we can figure it out.

edited to add Another Final Note: The only way that the public will start to see this as the sign of a weak President is if that's how we start talking. Remember: there's only so much we can do in terms of affecting who fills this slot -- unless you think we can filibuster nominees until January 1, 2007 without prompting the nuclear option *and* take back the Senate next year, Republicans are in control. So define "victory" as something other than getting a Good Nominee here -- that's impossible.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:02 AM PDT.

Poll

Does Roberts' nomination reflect a victory for Democrats?

29%226 votes
20%158 votes
26%206 votes
23%178 votes

| 769 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips, recs, etc. (3.95)
    I know I've said previously on dKos that, basically, "hey -- this is what we get for losing elections."  That doesn't mean we lay down and make this easy.

    "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

    by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:13:29 AM PDT

    •  I agree with (none)
      you 93%.
      •  Your seven percent... (none)
        ...is swirling around in my coffee.  I can't decide how I feel about this.

        "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

        by The Termite on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:02:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with (4.00)
          the headline and every mention of Democrats and victory in the same sentence.It could've been worse but this isn't how my dictionary defines victory. Rest I fully agree with.
          •  disagree... (none)
            wasn't all the talk about W not "dividing" the country?  so he picks a blank slate who appears to have smooth sailing through confirmation so far... and at best we hope he "souterizes" even though he clerked for rehnquist and just might be a clone.  a very young one at that.

            You take this pick and spin it as a "win" for us because it shows "weakness" on W's part.  The GOP is going to spin it and say W could have severely divided the country, but "wisely" chose to keep the country together!!

            Now when Rehnquist finally does retire, he can pick some crazy winger, and say that he put unity first before replacing O'connor with a "uniting" pick, but for Rehnquist, he can go ahead and go with his convictions.  Once Roberts gets redefined as a "centrist" who can be easily confirmed, W can pick someone right of Roberts, and redefine that person as just "right" of center!!!

            this is not a sign of "weakness" on W's part.  We must fight so that Roberts is not defined as the new center.  If he is confirmed, it MUST not be an easy process!!  If his confirmation is unanimous or close to it, then he will indeed be defined as the new center.  That more than anything will be a huge loss for us come the next nomination to SCOTUS.

      •  I agree and disagree. (4.00)
        You seem to imply that ultimately he should be confirmed. I am not so sure about that.

        But I completely agree with your Bill Sher-like strategy to use the hearings to educate the public about why voting for Democrats is the smartest thing to do. So, win or lose, people know that Democrats favor a Court that protects worker' rights, the environment, privacy, etc. and Republicans do not. What will probably end up as a big setback for the court can and should result in gains at the polls in 2006 and 2008.

      •  "One final note:" (none)
        "John Roberts is getting a lot of bad-mouthing, from MoveOn and others, for being a "corporate lawyer". Guess what? I'm a corporate lawyer too -- I've represented (and continue to represent) major pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and the like. So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site. Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills. So don't knock him for his clients" - quote from acbonin

        What are you talking about! One cannot stand-up for and be the mouthpiece of corporations because the money is good and then claim that in his heart he is for the little guy.

        That is why I quit law school. Yes I wanted big money for my family but I WOULD NOT COMPROMISE MY VALUES and try to play both sides with some type of muddied self-justification. There are other ways to make big money without prostituting ones values.

        Better that you would have left the above out of your post. Move-On is right. You are wrong. Sorry that is the way it is.

        •  Being a lawyer (none)
          is NOT prostituting your values, any more than an ER doc chooses who he will treat, based on their politics.  

          I've represented big corporations, small companies, rapists, murderers, and others accused of crimes. That doesn't mean I am a rapist or a murderer.  I always found it annoying when other lawyers asked me how I could defend rapists. Well, they are entitled to a defense as much as the mentally ill housewife who goes on a shoplifting spree.

          By the way,during Roberts' nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 152 members of the D.C. Bar wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee to support Judge Roberts, saying Roberts is "one of the very best and most highly respected appellate lawyers in the nation, with a deserved reputation as a brilliant writer and oral advocate." The diverse group of lawyers signed, ranged from Democratic lawyers like Lloyd Cutler and Seth Waxman to former President George H.W. Bush's White House Counsel C. Boyden Gray. These lawyers emphasized his "unquestioned integrity and fair-mindedness.

          I've appeared many times before conservative judges.  Once they put on the robe, most leave their politics aside. They are fair, for the most part.

          So forgive me if I don't join the chorus singing "the sky is falling".  Roberts has one hell of a resume, so he is eminently qualified. And if Lloyd Cutler supports him, it's because although conservative, he will be a fair minded judge.  He's ten times as smart as Thomas (a real moron) and we will find out during the hearings if he is another Scalia. My guess so far is that he is not Scalia.  If he's anything like Souter, I'm satisfied.

          We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

          by Mary Julia on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 12:17:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh come on Mary! (none)
            Comparing a lawyer to an ER Doc is a big stretch isn't it? An Er Doc or any Doc for that matter isn't interested in a patients politics nor can they gain professionally from their patients politics. The reverse is true for a lawyer.

            Lawyers have many more choices as to who they serve than a doctor does. Some of the posts below evidence that.

        •  You might want to reconsider... (none)
          I am an attorney who had the same reluctance to compromise my principles for a lucrative big-firm job.  (That, and it was too hard to get hired as anything but a contract lawyer.)

          I hung a shingle and currently do debtor-side bankruptcy work.  Sure, I don't rake in the big bucks and have an army of paralegals and secretaries helping me, but I'm able to make a living, have a life, and keep my self-respect.  

          I also helped settle a case against the Portland Police for attacking anti-Bush and anti-war protesters in August 2002 and March 2003.  That gives me deep satisfaction (as well as giving me a bag of money)>

          •  Thanks (none)
            and good for you. You are doing reputable work and have reason to be proud.

            For myself it is to late to reconsider. Law school was too many years ago. Besides I am happy running a successful business now. I must admit though that my schooling has contributed many times to my success and kept me out of a lot of jams.

            Portland Police huh? Now that is a honorable way to make a nice check while serving the community and society in general. Keep up the good work.

        •  You got that right! (3.50)
          Each time a lawyer for the pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc. win a case for them, they just help provide more empowerment to the Corporatocracy in this country, and it just widens the divide between the rich and the poor even more. Corporations have more rights and privledges in this country than Joe Citzen. For that, I blame the politicans -- Republican or Democrat -- who take the bribes from the corporations large coffers and the lawyers who represent them. Period.

          So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site.

          Then this site will (if not already) slowly graft into the "status quo" of, for, and by the lawyers who get paid handsomely to keep propping up the Corporatocracy or pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc. (e.g. BIG BID'NESS!)

          Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills.

          And why some of the readers have to work 2 or more jobs to pay their bills. But hey, it's all fun and games until someone loses a no-bid multi-million dollar government contract, eh?

          I'm a giving a big "NO" on Roberts for three reasons:

          1. Rightwing theocrats like him!
          2. He's too green (and I'm not talking about the wallet)
          3. His carreer suggests to me that he is by, of, and for the Corporations much like Biden is by, of, and for the bankers. His master is Mammon.
        •  Lawyers and Clients (none)
          My wife and I are attorneys working for state government and I am struggling with the issue of what an attorney's client list says about that attorney.   Certainly there are other paths that can pay the bills besides working for a large firm defending corporate clients.   My sister, for example, is a county public defender.   My recently deceased father-in-law did work for a firm in Ohio but fought fiercely for funding of legal aid programs at the state and national level and was a leader in developing pro bono programs, both for the broader legal community and as an individual attorney.

            After thirty years in private practice he moved on to helped to found Civil Justice Inc.
          - "a Maryland not-for-profit corporation formed for the purpose of increasing the delivery of legal services to clients of low and moderate income while promoting a statewide network of solo, small firm and community based lawyers who share a common commitment to increasing access to justice through traditional and non-traditional means." (from their Mission Statement).   So I do think we can tell a lot about Roberts by who he has represented.   This includes the Judges for whom he clerked and his work for the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations (especially the latter).

          "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it The Present."
          -- Babatunde Olatunji

    •  very good analysis, ac (none)
      [and I'm still not sure how dangerous, or how independent minded he might turn out to be in the end.  Hopefully, he will not be a Scalia clone.]
    •  86% cocoa content n/t (none)
    •  In this Orwellian vision of America (4.00)
      where a chimp is president, war in Iraq repairs the damage of 9/11, and the burgeoning deficit builds an economically sound America, why shouldn't we Democrats celebrate to have John G. Roberts as a Supreme Court justice?  

      The world has gone mad.

      First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

      by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:59:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes yes yes (none)

        Bush denies presidential timber.

        by Lumiere on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:10:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes, it's like (4.00)
        how you change your view of health after being diagnosed with a disease.  When the scan shows it hasn't spread to the next vital organ, you now call that 'good news'.  

        I see this as an expected disaster.  Being expected doesn't make it less disastrous; being disastrous doesn't shock me.  

        This guy's views need to be exploited and dissected to the nth degree, and Democrats need to paint a very clear picture of what a perfect world looks like to people like him, Scalia, Bush, etc., and ask, 'Is this the world you want your kids to live in?  A world with no workers rights or environmental protections, a world where what benefits the few the most prevails?"

        I don't think he deserves confirmation because his views are bad for America.  But that didn't stop Congress in the past from handing Bush whatever he wanted and I can't imagine why it will now.  But I am not going to pretend it's anything less than another horrendous step towards a far worse America.

      •  Indeed (4.00)
        How can this:

        This is also not to say that Roberts' actions on the bench won't be indistinguishable from that of Justices Scalia, Thomas or Rehnquist.

        be reconciled with this:

        SCOTUS: Actually, We've Already Won

        I think Rove has just managed to pull a last rabbit out his execrable hat.  In fact, I just wrote this diary, because I'm dismayed by the lack of any real enthusiasm for a fight this morning from most Kossacks.  I also am extremely frustrated that so many people seem to have forgotten the lessons of the past year.

        Lesson 1: Fights are won and lost quickly.  First impressions matter, and if you're going to fight, you have to be resolute -- and fast!

        Lesson 2: Rove is a master of misdirection.  Roberts is a stealth candidate.  What's happened to our radar?

        Lesson 3: Divided fights are diluted fights and diluted fights don't win.  Argument can be made that Kerry lost because his message was unfocused; we won on Social Security because we stay focused and got out of the box early and stayed on message.  We also did a great focused job on Bolton and on the nuclear option.  Where's that laser-like focus now?

        Sigh.

        •  Roberts is a stealth candidate. (none)
          What's happened to our radar?

          Indeed.

          First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

          by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:16:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  We Fight, And We Fight Hard (none)
          But the fact that Bush gave us such a small target gives us a big opening to define the terms of the debate -- if Senate Democrats are smart enough to use this as an educational opportunity.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:19:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What frustrates me (none)
            is that I believe that if this nominee had been announced before Rove was fingered as Cooper's source, the reaction at dKos would have been Rove is trying to screw us with this stealth candidate, so let's fight back.

            Instead, everyone is framing this choice as a sign of Karl Rove's weakness and need for diversion.

            Excuse me?

            If this is a sign of weakness, then why is the talk around here all about how we just have to suck it up because there's no way to fight Roberts unless we maybe think up some magic question that we'll shoot at him come September?

            Rove is using his troubles to give Roberts cover, not vice versa.  What does that tell us about what we should be doing in response?

    •  who is this guy?!?!? (4.00)
      somebody have the numbers, stats & weight of this guy???

      what i've heard i'm not happy with.  pretty conservative.  entrenched in GOP politics.  hopefully he's independent & takes his position seriously.  (speaking of which, have we given up on fighting this??)

      i don't like that he's very young.  your war is a failure & a lie, you used up your 9/11 trump card, history will remember you as a lying, spoiled brat who almost (hopefully there's a recovery) ruined the country. is THIS how you decided to leave your legacy, george?

      thanks for the analysis, acb.  i'm still wary.

      •  There may be an advantage in youth (none)
        he may grow up.

        Then again, he could catapult us back into the dark ages...

      •  not sure, but...... (none)
        -http://www.nathannewman.org/laborblog/archive/003236.shtml

        and

        (highly questionable but fun in a way):

        Rising Sign is in 22 Degrees Taurus
        Calm and deliberate, you hate to move quickly or act hastily. Very practical, every effort must count or you can't be bothered. Patient, persistent and steady, but very stubborn -- you can't be pushed or pressured into anything. You seem outwardly self-assured because you tend to repress your inner tension and turmoil. You exude an earthy warmth, friendliness and charm. You demand comfortable surroundings and appreciate the good life. Be careful of a tendency to be overly self-indulgent. At times, you are lazy and difficult to motivate. Overcoming inertia is a problem for you and, because you are not by nature a self-starter, it is often necessary for you to receive stimuli from others in order to get moving.

        Sun is in 07 Degrees Aquarius.
        You get bored with the status quo and are generally open to new things and ideas. An individualist and a free spirit, your friends are quite important to you as long as they do not try to tie you down by making too many emotional demands on you. Your thoughts are offbeat and you're a bit eccentric, but not always very changeable. As a matter of fact, you can be quite stubborn at times. Very fair-minded when dealing with large groups or broad issues, you are not always emotionally sensitive to the needs of individuals. Extremely objective, with good powers of observation, you would be qualified to study technical and complicated subjects, like science, computers or maybe even astrology.

        Moon is in 21 Degrees Pisces.
        You have strong feelings and are extremely sensitive. It would help if you had a thicker skin -- you tend to react emotionally to every situation you come across. Kind, gentle and considerate of the feelings of others, you are good at taking care of the sick, wounded and helpless. But you tend to absorb the energy of others -- so avoid those who are always negative. You have a rich, creative and lively imagination, but you should be careful not to spend all your time daydreaming. Very intuitive, you have good ESP and may be quite clairvoyant or psychic. Remember that you too have the right to get what you want from life. If you are always defensive and kowtowing to others, people will take advantage of you and exploit you.

        Mercury is in 25 Degrees Aquarius.
        You tend to be very opinionated -- you have strongly felt notions about things and are quite vocal about expressing and defending them. Yet you are also an original thinker -- you enjoy shocking others with your offbeat, original thoughts. You appreciate and need mental and intellectual stimulation. Your judgment is usually fair and impartial -- you can be a good critic because you can remain objective and unemotional about most things.

        Venus is in 20 Degrees Sagittarius.
        You are very aware of the need to maintain a high sense of morality in a relationship. Your loyalty and interest will remain constant in any relationship (either friendly, personal or business) that is based on fairness, honesty and justice. But you will become greatly hurt and disappointed if the other person takes any but the high road with you. Also, you cannot tolerate anyone being overly emotionally possessive of you. You are known for your friendly, outspoken manner.

        Mars is in 08 Degrees Aries.
        You are very independent and self-assertive, and you have lots of physical energy. You are not satisfied unless you can be the first to do something. As such, you are more comfortable in leadership positions than you are as an underling. When you are challenged by anyone for anything, you delight in the competitive process and will fight long and hard for your beliefs. You are bold and courageous and often act without thinking. At times, in your zeal to get ahead, you are tactless and offensive -- learn that cooperation with others can often bring you nearer to your goals quicker because of the support you will get.

        Jupiter is in 23 Degrees Cancer.
        You must be emotionally secure in order to grow and develop. You are happiest when your family and community support and nourish you and boost your morale. Whether your childhood experiences of love and emotional dependability were positive or negative will set the tone for your emotional growth and stability as an adult. When you feel at ease with yourself, you are able to offer assistance to those who need a helping hand.

        Saturn is in 20 Degrees Scorpio.
        You tend to release emotional energies only very reluctantly. This is partly due to your fear of what horrible calamity might occur should they be released -- your emotions are terribly complicated and intense. Try not to repress these energies entirely, however, or you will succumb to negative and destructive forms of compulsive behavior. Give yourself the freedom to look awkward or silly once in a while. The relief you feel will be quite therapeutic and the embarrassment (whether it is real or imagined) will pass quickly.

        Uranus is in 25 Degrees Cancer.
        For you, and for your peers as well, the demand to be free from entangling emotional bonds is of paramount importance. You have a unique and unfettered view of family life and will be attracted to experimenting with freeform styles of relationship commitments. This may lead to a rootless, unsettled lifestyle.

        Neptune is in 28 Degrees Libra.
        You, and your entire generation, idealize all of the various experimental approaches to relationships -- including "living together", the formation of communes and collectives and the whole concept of "open" marriages. There is a stress on weakened commitments on an emotional and contractual level, but there are heightened expectations of the level of commitment and mutual support on the spiritual and metaphysical level.

        Pluto is in 26 Degrees Leo.
        For your entire generation, this is a time when the relationship of the individual to society as a whole is being thoroughly re-examined. Major attempts will be made to find a balance between the need to be self-sufficient and the need to honor debts of social commitment.

        N. Node is in 05 Degrees Capricorn.
        You rarely get involved closely with anyone unless he or she has something specific and practical to offer you. You tend to be "all business" when it comes to dealing with others. You're usually so intently focused on a particular goal that you rarely have time for social niceties or casual fellowship. But you can definitely be counted on by others to get things done. When you say that you'll do something, you do it. As such, you're a valuable member of any team situation and will probably rise to a position of leadership within the group. Your trustworthiness and sense of responsibility are unquestioned. But do try to avoid the temptation to "use" others to reach your goals -- they might come to resent you.

        I hear people say that he could go either way and (despite the evidence and present sphere of influence) I am hoping,  if accepted, for the best.

    •  yay! (none)
      finally a sensible analysis of the nomination. The "victory" line might be stretching it a bit, but then again, maybe not.

      It's not that we should be happy about Roberts, it's that we should decide the BEST way to use this to our advantage. And I think you hit it on the head.

      All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

      by SeanF on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:14:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This (4.00)
        looks to be another attempt to turn the democrats against one another and although it is early it seems to be off to a good start.

        It is yet another track on the top 40 album of the moderates versus the base.

        It's a lock!  It's a travesty!  We should fight and filibuster!  We should concede and get back to Rove! He's a wingnut!  He's a reasonable choice! This is the best we could have hoped for! This is a slap in the face!  This is what we get for losing Ohio!  We didn't lose Ohio, it was rigged! Etc ad nauseum....

    •  Sigh (3.96)
      This diary is so obviously correct that it pains me to see how many dissenting views there are.  After seeing so many comments in the last 12 hours along the lines of "Roberts is the worst nominee imaginable," my mind has sort of become numb.

      Look, folks, when people say "elections have consequences" that is not the same thing as saying the Democrats must roll over and accept every outrageous action until 2008.  We didn't accept the destruction of Social Security.  We didn't accept John Bolton.  There are plenty of fights we can win.

      But there are good losses too, and this is the concept that many refuse to accept.  You can lose in a way that makes people sympathize with the principle you fought for.  You can lose in a way that sets the stage to make a compelling case later.  If you send a clear message to the American people that "we oppose Roberts because X will happen if he is confirmed," and then X does happen, now you have your campaign issue for 2008, 2012, and beyond.  "Elect Democrats so we can roll back X and make sure it never happens again."

      Right now, we haven't agreed on what X is.  It might be Roe v. Wade, it might be destruction of environmental laws and other protections, it might be a lot of things.  I will guarantee you this: if the Dems don't settle on a unified message, if it ends up being the same old shotgun approach that "Roberts will outlaw abortion, birth control, favor corporations over people, destroy the environment, reverse the civil rights movement, etc." it's not going to get us anywhere.  We need a straightforward argument that people can understand, and we can use in future elections, not a boundless rant that says Roberts is the spawn of Satan who will destroy everything good about America.  Fortunately, we have over a month before the confirmation hearings, time we can use to get the message straight.

      I don't get why people don't understand that there can be a "good" loss, or at least a productive loss.  How have the Republicans gotten into power?  By campaigning against every liberal accomplishment of the last century.  They are not afraid to take our victories and turn them into campaign points, and it wins them elections.  We need to do the same, unless we believe the Republicans never pass a bad law.

      Imagine yourself as a wingnut for a second.  What would you think about Roe v. Wade?  You'd probably consider it the biggest disaster ever.  Oh no, the Supreme Court ruled that there's a constitutional right to murder unborn babies!  But rather than saying "that's it, we lose, end of the world" the Republicans built an electoral strategy around it.  It wasn't easy, because their position is the minority, but they used it as a rallying cry for their base, they employed a legislative strategy that involves poking around the edges and creating wedge issues, and they gained political ground because of it.

      We should be upset any time one of our precious freedoms is lost, or any time one of our hardwon liberal gains is rolled back, but remember, we are not just a bunch of helpless victims, we are the activists here.  We can be smart about it and use those defeats to craft a winning strategy for the future, rather than living day by day counting up losses and wins depending on how today's voting went.  We are supposed to be the ones driving the Democratic Party towards a winning, progressive agenda; so let's get to work.

      •  A maiming kick (4.00)
        in the testicals is better than castration.  The bombing of the World Trade Center is better than worldwide nuclear war.  The melting of the polar ice cap is better than global warming.  All of that is certainly true, but how are maimed testicals, a blownup building, or a melted polar ice cap objectively good because they aren't castration, nuclear war, or global warming?  

        C'mon.  I think a diary entitled, "Thank God, George Bush Didn't Nominate Hermann Goring," is about as appropriate as calling Robert's nomination a "victory."

        First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

        by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:12:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is (none)
        a high quality post, and makes many good points, but I think one point of disagreement is whether the nomination of Roberts in and of itself constitutes a victory.

        I don't think so. He may well have been chosen over Luttig because he is even more conservative on business-related issues, though Luttig is more conservative socially.

        People on both sides are also making a mistake in not considering Bush's next appointment. Originally it was thought Rehnquist would retire and there would be two nominations at the same time (or nearly the same).

        Bush benefitted from Rehnquist's delay, because he can replace O'Connor with a solid conservative sold as a "moderate," but then replace Rehnquist with a super conservative, arguing that pick doesn't change the court's composition.

        And generally speaking that is correct. The real problem will be if Ginsburg or Stevens retires, one of which is very likely before 2009 (and there's a small but real chance both do).

      •  Sorry (4.00)
        I just can't support the view that because the Repubs won the election, getting a staunch conservative who'll be on the bench for 3 or 4 decades is a victory because he isn't a lunatic fringe conservative. Oh hurrah.

        This position supports a business as usual attitude, which is what infects many, if not most, levels of the Democratic Party and its elected officials. It seems almost impossible to convince the biz as usual crowd that the nation, if not the world, is in dire straits, facing unprecedented problems that need a passionate and unyielding response.

        Imagine the difference if the Dems in the Senate were to unite and oppose this nomination and state unequivocably that they won't support ANY nomination Bush makes until and unless the administration owns up to lying about the Iraq war, fires Karl Rove and levels with the American people. Ah, but that would be true opposition party tactics and as we all know, a good half to 2/3 of the Party's elected officials and "consultants" advocate going along to get along while appeasing their corporate donors.

        To counter a dangerous, extremist administration, you need to overturn the apple cart -- something the powers that be in the Dem Party apparently have no stomach for. Instead, let's celebrate non-victories by concocting some process-heavy analysis that shows things could be even worse than they are. Bah.

        •  Business as usual? (none)
          The point of my comment was not that this is a loss or a win.  Indeed, focusing on that definitional issue really misses the point.

          The point is that no matter what you call it, this is an OPPORTUNITY.  Every bad thing the Republicans do can and should be used to help us win future elections, if we handle it the right way.  If we don't handle it the right way, and we let the opportunity slip away, that's a loss by any definition.

        •  Sympathetic to your outrage (4.00)
          ...but you ignore the key fact that we do not have the strength to overturn the apple cart.  We can scream and bluster and moan all we want and it won't do a lick of good.  Republicans have the votes to confirm Roberts and the American people are not going to look at Democratic screaming and taunting and say, "Yah, I want me some more of that!"

          Look, if tomorrow we find dirt on Roberts that could derail his nomination then we should use it.  But as it is, there is nothing about him that isn't true of every Republican Senator in Congress.  We don't have a super majority in this country who will turn on Roberts simply because he is a staunch conservative.  If we did, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.  That is what, "Elections have consequences!" means.

          Now, that doesn't mean we give up or don't oppose Roberts at all.  It just means we do so in a dignified matter while we acknowledge the reality that the man will be confirmed absent some shocking revelation.

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

          by manyoso on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:31:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not (none)
            I'm not talking about screaming and blustering and moaning, I'm talking about using this opportunity to state calmly and unequivocably that we won't approve ANY nominee or anything else that we can stop until and unless the Bush administration comes clean and stops stonewalling on how and why they started the Iraq war and the dishonest and even criminal ways they fostered support for it.

            The point is not if we can win on votes or not -- the point is that Dems take a courageous stand on the future of our democracy. Are we supposed to wait until we have the votes to "win" to strongly take a stand and call the administration on their dishonesty and criminal handling of intelligence? We'll be waiting a long time.

      •  Elections do have consequences (none)
        And the elections that elevated enough Democrats to the Senate to filibuster judges who are out of the mainstream and will turn our constitution on its head should have consequences too.

        I'm not going to like any nominee Bush comes up with.  And Roberts is not the worst possible nominee.  But he's not a lot better than almost anyone else mentioned.

        What's the advantage to this guy?  What can we console ourselves about?  What positions does he hold that we can take solace in?  I don't see any.

        He's not a moderate and that's the only kind of judge I feel the Senate should confirm.

        •  Consequences (none)
          of having 44 seats in the Senate and not having the White House is that you can discourage the president from picking the looniest member of the loony bin. That worked. Bush apparently considered, but did not choose, committed extremists for this nomination.

          Only confirm moderates? We don't have the numbers to make those kind of demands. If that gauntlet was thrown down, and a filibuster was attempted, we would lose the cloture vote. The 44-seat Democratic caucus contains DINOs like Landrieu and Lieberman, remember -- they will not vote to filibuster Roberts or any similar nominee. Neither will the RINOs like Chafee vote to filibuster -- IIRC Chafee has voted for nearly every Court of Appeals judge Bush has nominated, even though many are farther to the right than John Roberts.

          Should we make the point that Bush is placing a very conservative judge on the court, and that this is why Democrats need to work harder to win elections and why people who care should vote for Democrats? Absolutely, yes. But we do not have the leverage to successfully demand the appointment of another Harry Blackmun.

          This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

          by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:56:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you fight and lose (none)
            You exhaust every remedy you have.  You fight.  You fight so that when the next election comes around and you want to say that you'll fight to preserve mainstream values, the people believe you for a change, because they saw you do it.

            And the Harry Blackmun comment is a strawman.  First of all, it's a strawman, because Harry Blackmun began his career so conservatively that he was called a "twin" to Justice Berger.  Secondly, Harry Blackmun ended his career significantly to the left of any sitting justice.

            I would tolerate a Lindsey Graham, or a justice like O'Connor, and we have every right to demand one.  We may not get one, but if we fail to demand one, then we deserve to keep losing elections.

            When did we become such damnable cowards?

            •  Lindsey Graham? (none)
              From what I know of Graham's record, he would be no better in terms of his Supreme Court votes than John Roberts. He is at least as conservative philosophically.

              There is a strong possibility Graham would be more dangerous because Roberts, I believe, will feel significantly constrained by stare decisis (as Rehnquist has -- e.g. Rehnquist's opinion for the court affirming Miranda) while a non-judge politician like Graham would, like Clarence Thomas, blow up every precedent he disagrees with if he can get five votes to do so.

              This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

              by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:41:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  So youi like the taste of crumbs (none)
        This nomination demonstrates the only concession the Senate Democrats "won" through the so-called "compromise" to avoid the nuclear option is stealth SCOTUS nominations that will give them political cover when they refuse to filibuster them.  

        "Well, we didn't know enough about him to vote against him," they can say after Roberts murders Roe v. Wade on the SC.  The Senate Dems are rehearsing this script now, even some of the best of them: Kennedy, etc.    

        Arguing that a stealth nomination to SCOTUS is a Dem victory because it's not an in-your-face nomination is like arguing that the Japanese weren't really defeated at the end of WW2 because they got to keep their emperor.  

        Obviously the Democratic Party has grown fond of feeding on the crumbs

        •  Did you read my comment? (none)
          My point was that this is an opportunity, and more than just an opportunity to win or lose a single confirmation vote.  If you see it as a simple win-or-lose proposition, then guess what, the odds are stacked against us and we will most likely lose.

          But it's about more than that.  None of us like living under a Republican-controlled government, but we're supposed to be about finding a way to change that.  Part of finding a way means taking the things the Republicans do, the bad things, and fitting them into a dialogue where we explain to the American people why their way is bad and ours is better.

          Nowhere did I suggest that we should just put this one in the win column and go about our business.  That would get us nowhere in terms of retaking power.

      •  asdfads (none)

        "To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is
        not the highest skill. To subdue the enemy without
        fighting is the highest skill."
        ~ Sun Tsu ~
        The Art of War

        Every man for himself.

        by JLFinch on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:07:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  if Dems confirm Roberts, courts moves way right (none)
      Legal analysts on PBS last night were unanimously in agreement that Roberts is clearly more conservative than O'Connor.

      Roberts is at least as conservative as Rehnquist, and (without a paper trail) could very easily end up being a Thomas or Scalia. Democrats in the Senate, and on DailyKos, should be very much aware of this fact before they are falsely lured into the conservative frame that Roberts is somehow a palatable centrist choice.

      Dems fought for the filibuster for a reason -- for the very situation the Senate is now in with Roberts. Democratic Senators would abdicate progressive principles for a generation if they do not use the filubuster now in a circumstance when Bush is CLEARLY trying to move the court as far to the right as the Senate will let him.

      -----------

      The New York Times lead article today makes it abundantly clear that Bush is stealthily but clearly attempting to move the court rightward:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/20/politics/politicsspecial1/20bush.html?oref=login&pagewanted=pr int

      Mr. Bush, and his chief political lieutenant Karl Rove, have made clear that they viewed the Bush presidency as an opportunity to build a lasting conservative legacy that would produce fundamental changes in the government, and what Republicans describe as a long-lasting political realignment. The retirement of Justice O'Connor, a swing vote on the court, presented him with a clear opportunity to do that.

      After the difficult spring Mr. Bush has had in Congress on issues like Social Security, the nomination of Judge Roberts may be an easier route to this end than some of Mr. Bush's legislative initiatives.

      Mr. Bush is also someone who relishes confrontation and political combat, perhaps never more than when he finds himself under attack, as he certainly has during these rough three months in Washington. In this case, though, Mr. Bush may have found a way to accomplish one of the overarching goals of this presidency -moving the court to the right - without a reprise of the kind of polarizing battles that have sometimes marked the Bush presidency.

      The front-page Washington Post analysis of the pick says the exact same thing:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/19/AR2005071901946.html?sub=AR

      President Bush moved boldly to shift the Supreme Court to the right last night by selecting federal appellate judge John G. Roberts Jr. to succeed Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

      By picking Roberts, Bush displayed his determination to put a more conservative stamp on the court.

      •  Yeah (none)
        that's the problem. Regardless of how the Dems respond to this or use it to frame arguments against Bush and the Repubs in the future, we'll be facing 3-4 decades of the dismantlement of the New Deal and all the things we have won in terms of civil rights, environmental protections and privacy/health issues, just for starters.

        Say goodbye to America as we know. Personally, I thank the conventional wisdom hawkers who convinced Kerry to vote for the war, pushed Kerry to forefront in the primaries and then helped shape his campaign as mush, mush and more mush, without even a tepid response to the swiftboat liars. I'll be thanking these in the box DC insiders every morning for three or four decades, if our republic lasts that long.

    •  Super diary - you should be writing more (none)
      acbonin, great writing, you should be contributing more.    This cuts through the clutter.

      You see through the reactive thinking that pervades discussions in the blogosphere, and have the patience to deconstruct it and persuade.   We all need to make more productive educational use of the blogosphere to achieve our ends.   We need to think of blog readers as foot-soldiers of public persuasion, not just wonkonerd readers checking up on who's up and who's down.

      On the basis of this diary alone, I'd put you on the front page as a regular.  

  •  actually (4.00)
    I think that he may have finally figured out that he HAS no political capital to spend....
  •  we'll see (none)

    he strikes me as bad.

    but apparently he did argue at least one case i like: for the states against microsoft

    "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 Jul 20, 2005 at 07:20:25 AM PDT

    •  He's also argued.. (none)
      ..in favour of affirmative action programs (and against them), in favour of some environmental laws (and against a lot of them), etc.  This fellow could be anything from a Scalia to a Souter - he needs to be thoroughly questioned, but otherwise this looks like the best we could ask for in an asshole-ish administration which normally doesn't shy away from their typical asshole-ish behaviour.
      •  If you have looked at his briefs (4.00)
        you will notice that he is much closer to Scalia.  Much closer.  This guy won't turn.  Not a chance.  He is a true conservative.  Do not give Roberts the benefit of the doubt.  Bush Jr. has learned from his father's mistakes.  
        •  Unfortunately, (none)
          being a "true" conservative isn't a disqualifying factor or extraordinary condition.  There will need to be something more concrete than political disagreement or the Gang of 14 will cave.  Not only the Republicans, but folks like Salazar, Pryor, Nelson & Nelson, even Reid for that matter, aren't against conservative judges per se.

          "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

          by jmaier on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:54:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  please give examples (none)

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:57:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  my briefs (none)
          If you look at my briefs and listen to the arguments I make in court, you'd think I'm a shylock who thinks charging 25 to 30 percent interest is fair and reasonable.  I make the arguments necessary to effectively represent my clients.  The briefs that we are all worried about simply show that Roberts has done the same.

          We're working with someone who is, for all intents and purposes, a judicial blank slate.

          •  Well Then..... (none)
            "If you look at my briefs and listen to the arguments I make in court, you'd think I'm a shylock who thinks charging 25 to 30 percent interest is fair and reasonable."

            If that's the case, then YOUR briefs are "stained".

            Break out the OxyWhite!  :o)

            </sarcastisnark>

          •  i don't get it (none)
            how do lawyers live with themselves? You come on here joking about how you helped some company fuck people over. Did I miss the punchline? It truly seems as though the legal profession attracts people who are completely willing to trash their values and  morals, as well as other people's lives, for a buck.

            Under the circumstances, I am very wary about taking any lawyer's positions on this guy seriously, since it all revolves around the notion that, "we're all doing it, so he must be ok." Fuck that.

            •  how's this? (none)
              Much of the time, corporations are suing other corporations.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:28:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  WTF? (none)
              To the poster who said that lawyers are all out to make a buck, geez, do you think that stereotype you're promoting is actually TRUE?

              I'm a lawyer.  I don't live in a mansion, I don't drive a BMW.  I've represented indigent clients in criminal proceedings.  I've also represented big corporations in litigation. I sometimes represent clients for free. To claim that I have no values is very insulting.

              I'm part of an adversary process.  I'm not the judge.  To state that because I am a lawyer, I'm some charlatan interested only in the size of my retainer is ridiculous.

              We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

              by Mary Julia on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 12:29:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  uh (none)
                My point really was that for an alleged democrat to defend some corporatist anti-women anti-environment Supreme Court nominee because "all us lawyers do it" is where it gets really ugly to me. Just because some people are willing to defend ANYONE, no matter how corrupt, for a living doesn't mean we should accept this lifetime appointee's history of assaulting democratic values. His history shows that he has actively sought out or otherwise made himself extremely available to the worst companies and advocacy groups imaginable. He owns stocks in all these companies. He has "spent most of his professional and personal career fighting environmental regulation." His wife is the ringleader of an anti-abortion group. That some people here give that a pass simply because he's a lawyer is utter bullshit, and they should be ashamed for whoring their values for such a lowly sum.
          •  But it all depends (none)
            I obviously don't know what type of practice you have or work for, but do you jump from issue to issue to issue, arguing and advocating for conservative viewpoints almost everytime.  If you can't tell where this guy is coming from, you have something wrong with you.  He has chosen his own employers and causes to fight for.  Why would he all of the sudden change "sides" now.  
            •  PS (none)
              I'm not saying you argue for a conservative viewpoint or anything like that.  I'm just stating that Robert's actions explain a lot.  
            •  most legal practice (none)
              Is completely apolitical and has nothing to do with constitutional law.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 12:47:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Souter was not: (4.00)
        -A member of the Federalist Society

        -A prominent Washington corporate lawyer

        -A member of two Republican White Houses

        -A partisan political hack

        This guy has been carrying GOP water for three decades.  The chances of him being a left-of-center jurist are slim and none.

        DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

        by DWCG on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:37:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Add endorsed by the business lobby (none)
          Unanimously endorsed by the business lobby:
          Glenn Lammi, chief counsel of the conservative Washington Legal Foundation, identified at least three possible nominees that big business would cheer: John Roberts Jr., Edith Brown Clement and Janice Rogers Brown. All three are federal appeals court judges.

          Corporate America would favor Roberts and Clement because both were once private practitioners who represented business interests -- experience the Rehnquist court now lacks. Given their past experience, the thinking goes, both judges might be friendly to corporate America.

          There's a chance too that either Roberts or Clement could influence the court to decide more cases deemed critical to business. The court under Chief Justice Rehnquist has been criticized for not taking up enough cases each term generally, and business cases in particular.

          DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

          by DWCG on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:04:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Good points, except (none)
          I wouldn't call Roberts a hack, if that implies something less than the highest standards of professional competence.  In practice, Roberts was one of the most sought-after Supreme Court lawyers in the country.  He was in a class with Carter Phillips, Steve Shapiro, Seth Waxman, and so forth.  If President Kerry (sigh of regret here) had nominated Waxman to the SCOTUS, it wouldn't be fair for the GOP to call him a partisan hack just because he served in the Clinton administration.  Same goes for Roberts.

          Join the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy -- www.acslaw.org

          by yella dawg dem on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:07:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting... (none)
      but apparently he did argue at least one case i like: for the states against microsoft

      Because so did Robert Bork and Kenneth Starr.

      http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200106/00-5212a.txt

      It's unfortunate that case got a reputation as being Liberals against Business.  There's a more interesting story there, especially also considering the judge who had his decision overturned on appeal was a Reagan appointee.

      I also never quite understood Bork's position.  I have to read up on that, as he has argued in the past that consolidation of markets is not necessarily bad, when the results are good for the consumer.

  •  one other resource (none)
    Just did a quick Google query.  If anyone wants to look at all the briefs he wrote or signed in the Solicitor General's Office, click here.

    "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

    by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:20:29 AM PDT

    •  SocGen record of limited value (none)
      During the Bork process, as the Senate Judiciary Committee report stated, "Supporters of Judge Bork's confirmation have argued frequently that his record as Solicitor General supports the claim that he favors minority and female rights."  But as Bork himself testified in his confirmation hearings for SocGen, "I view it as a post of being the attorney for the Government... I will enforce the policy of the Government... as the Government defines it.  I do not define it." [In response to a question from Sen. Hart as to "What if the Government takes a position... that you think is wrong and have said in the past is wrong, what will you do?"]

      The pro-choice groups are going to do what they want to do, but for Democratic Senators, attacking the positions in Roberts' briefs -- as opposed to trying to probe his own thinking and how it did or didn't affect the way positions were stated in the briefs -- is mostly counterproductive and a waste of time.

      Pursuing the Ackerman test is the only promising way to get at a qualified nominee with a thin record of statements of clearly personal views.

  •  And yet, why are they so happy? (4.00)
    That is the big question right now, in my mind.

    Remember the debate when Bush was asked about Court nominations and said, "Of course I wouldn't nominate someone who supports the Dred Scott decision" ? Most of us scratched our heads, but it turned out to be "dog whistle language" to the religious right, which equates the personhood of slaves and fetuses.

    I wonder if there is other dogwhistle language that Roberts has been using?  

    I've got blisters on my fingers!

    by Elwood Dowd on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:22:04 AM PDT

    •  you mean like a DaVinci Code for (none)
      religious whack-jobs?

      I never felt so much alike alike alike alike

      by bopes on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:26:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  because the Wingers are fools, of course (none)

      If you haven't caught on, the game the Administration plays is always one of distracting and starting fights between the Christian Right and Democrats.  Then it takes a Right-biased path through middle between the two, on the borderline of hardline and moderate Republicans.  And it works, as long as moderate Republicans play along or are passive.

      If you look long and hard at what the Adminstration really does, it is perfectly ambivalent about social issues except that the Christian Right needs some pandering to.  They know perfectly well the trend in social issues is liberal and there's no point whatsoever in fighting the long term reality.  Rehnquist and Dobson have already lost that fight and the Cheneys and such really don't care.

      The present court stacking game is all about the next stage of the fight, around continued economic privilege/inequality.  But they have to fob off the Christian Right with some minor goodies to get these fellows through.

      Roberts is a great candidate for such designs.  He seems perfectly mainstream upper level Border State Republican on social issues- the old ways are fine, the new ways uncomfortable, and at bottom he probably isn't as deeply invested in either one as people on either side want to imagine.  But he's obviously been sounded out fully on economic rights and political power issues and is solid on those.

      I see the Democrats' problem with him not in 2006 or 2007 but in 2015 and 2020.

      Renewal, not mere Reform.

      by killjoy on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:51:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How can you consider it a win (4.00)
    if we get another Scalia-Thomas-Rehnquist vote on the SC ?

    Jeez

    •  because . . . (none)
      . . . given that the President is a Republican and there are 55 Republicans in a 100-seat Senate, there's only so much we can accomplish here.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:27:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If that is your idea of a win (4.00)
        I don't want to see a loss :))
        •  A loss? (4.00)
          Justice Janice Rogers Brown.  Justice Owen.  Justice Estrada.  Justice Richard Epstein.  Chief Justice Thomas.  

          All I'm suggesting is this: for a minority party, we're doing okay.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:32:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You've just gotten too used to losing (4.00)
            You're like a fan of the New Orleans Saints who is willing to accept a 3 point loss to the Patriots as a "victory" because your team did better than expected and your quarterback didn't throw an interception. Too much is on the line here for us to accept a narrow loss as a "victory."
            •  Define "victory", then. (none)
              Assume that we can't keep filibustering nominees from now until January 20, 2009, when President Hillary Clinton takes over.  Tell me what a "win" looks like for us.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:44:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I won't assume that (none)
                We can keep filibustering.  Again and again.  What, they go nuclear?  Let them.  Make them do it.  Roberts is a partisan hack as stated many times elsewhere.  He may be smart, but remember that Bush I appointed him to the federal bench when he was 37 years old.  You don't get a Bush to do that if you haven't whacked somebody.  That was 1992.  How many hits has he done for the Bushies since then.  How many will he do while on the court, a speed dial away from the Carlyle group boardroom.

                ---- Take a pill or talk?----

                by apotropaic on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:49:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  no, no, no. (none)
                  1.  He was confirmed to the federal bench in 2003 by the current President.

                  2.  If they go nuclear and win, we lose.  That's when you see Chief Justice Brown.

                  "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

                  by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:54:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No, no no what? (4.00)
                    He wasn't appointed by Bush I?  Well he was.  Falied, but he was.  Bush II finally got him through.  Why?  Payoff.  He worked on Bush v. Gore, in florida.

                    ---- Take a pill or talk?----

                    by apotropaic on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:56:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  we've nominated poeple just as young (none)
                      Elena Kagan was in her mid-late 30s when nominated by Clinton for the DC Circuit.  Alex Kozinski, a Reagan nominee, was confirmed at the age of 35 to the DC Circuit.

                      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

                      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:04:46 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  OK, OK (none)
                        Tit for tat and yadda yadda yadda. Now we are both getting off point.  

                        We clearly don't agree and won't.  I looked at some of your earlier diaries and you still seem to take solace in the law even though this executive has trampled it and spit on it and thrown it out.  You could well have, in a few months, an executive whose primary advisors have been pardoned of crimes.  Serious crimes.  They will be pardoned and keep their jobs.  The nation will be officially and demonstrably run by criminals.

                        Will you concede then that we can't keep letting them carry out their supposed parlimentary prerogatives?  Just cuz they were "elected"?

                        ---- Take a pill or talk?----

                        by apotropaic on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:11:43 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  If there's one thing I'm sure of. (none)
                          Bush can't and won't pardon Rove until January 19, 2009.  It's beyond politically unfeasible.

                          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

                          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:16:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Nothing is politically unfeasible (none)
                            That's what these folks are proving.  You have to quit assuming things like that.  I would have thought it was politically unfeasible for a president to state publically that his policy was not to fire anyone who hadn't committed a crime.

                            ---- Take a pill or talk?----

                            by apotropaic on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:20:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Sure he can (4.00)
                            GHW Bush pardoned Caspar Weinberger, among others 11 others, in December 1992. In the first months of his term he pardoned Armand Hammer---even though Reagan had just turned him down. Joe Conason in Salon

                            Reagan pardoned Mark Felt in April 1981.

                            Ford pardoned Nixxon in September 1974.

                            Presidents take heat for pardons of their friends and political allies, but they still do it.

                            Bush will surely pardon Rove at the first opportunity. And while he's at it he will probably pardon himself.

                            Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

                            by willyr on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:55:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Victory... (none)
                under these circumstances would be a moderate conservative nominee, not a far right one. We can't filibuster until 2009, but we can filibuster Roberts and demand a moderate. If the Republicans want to go nuclear let them. Bush is out of political capital. Dems need to stop rolling over and pretending the shit that Republicans feed them tastes like honey. Americans would respect the Democratic party more if they had some fight in them.
              •  If you assume we can't filibuster when we want (none)
                then we have, in fact, lost the nuclear option fight.  In fact, if we were to filibuster, this is the nominee to do it with.  Why?  Because not only is he extreme right-wing, but he has little experience as a judge.  Oh yeah, and also there's that little thing called the mid-term elections.  Last I saw, the nation was pretty firmly against the nuclear option; filibuster now and make the Republicans either push the button before the midterm elections (and, therefore, suffer the consequences), or let it go.  After the midterm elections, there will be less pressure for the Republicans to do the somewhat right thing (or at least, not do so much of the wrong thing right there where everyone can see them).

                "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

                by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:34:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  but to filibuster (none)
                  We need 41 votes, and I don't think Roberts's views -- so long as they remain relatively unexpressed -- will peel off enough Dems from the Gang of 14.

                  Lots of SCT judges have minimal federal experience before being confirmed -- O'Connor and Rehnquist had none, Souter had about a minute's worth.  Whizzer White had none.  Etc.

                  "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

                  by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:39:33 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Great analogy! (none)
              I'd substitute "49ers" for Saints and "any team other than the Cardinals" for Patriots, but the point stands.
          •  I'm waiting to see why there is any difference (none)
            between Thomas and those candidates - I don't see it.
          •  How are these judges different? (none)
            As far as I can see the only difference is that they have a clear paper trail on their right wing positions.  I'm going to need to see that Judge Roberts is fundamentally a different kind of judge from those you named before I break out the champagne.

            I think we keep getting fooled into thinking that there is a huge difference between someone like Justice Scalia and someone like Justice Kennedy--I maintain that the difference is not much.  And this judge is likely to be far enough to the right of Justice Kennedy so make that difference paper-thin.

          •  Personally (none)
            I don't see much difference between Roberts and those you named except that he doesn't have much time on the courts and thus has few decisions detractors can site. He is marginally more reasonable and certainly seems more intelligent, but his thinking appears to be more in line with the current Pope than anyone else I can think of. I mean, the Pope can seem like a reasonable, caring guy too.
      •  No.... (4.00)
        we can accomplish plenty more with a filibuster. Bush is fresh out of political capital. This country is not monolithically conservative, and we the people have a right to demand a Supreme Court nominee that more acurately reflects the make up of this country.

        I'm not saying I expect a liberal to be named, but it is not unreasonable to expect someone who is center-right like O'Connor. Bush does not have the political capital to push through an extremist nominee, and the Dems shouldn't let him.

    •  breaking: people in hell would like ice water (none)
      what do you expect?

      bush can go quite a bit to the right of o'conner before he gets into territory where dems can sustain a filibuster, and even further before the public would support a dem filibuster.

      the theocrats did not want a stealth candidate, but now they have to take it, and pretend they like it. if roberts turns out like they want, well bush had all the cards and he played the right one.

      "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" -Yeats

      by jethropalerobber on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:10:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, I disagree... (3.88)
    Bush nominated him because he has a sketchy and odd record. He has enough respect in his field and enough experience in front of the court to make him seem viable. At the same time, he doesn't have enough time on the bench for us to establish a benchmark on him. And his cases have been varied enough that there are both reasons to praise and damn him.

    I think that Bush chose him because it confuses Democrats. He's just conservative enough to put on the stoplights and make people think it's a trick. Democrats might feel nervous putting him up, because he IS such an unknown quantity, and thus spend more time poking and grilling at him than they might with a straight yes or straight no candidate.

    The nomination was meant to come as a distraction to Rove. It was meant to hog the front page and take Karl's face off. I say we MAKE the confirmation easy and put him BACK on the front page before the short attention span on the American public succeeds in reducing the issue. The Republican Party, by refusing to break with the White House, has tied its credibility to it. By continuing to erode the trust in Bush and Rove, we are eroding the trust in their party as well. We are creating ammunition for elections, and bringing back methods that will allow us to recapture two of the three branches of government. Even if the interpretation of laws like Roe are struck down, we will have the ability to introduce those as REAL laws via legislation.

    --------------
    Condemnant qui non intelligent.

    by cognizant on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:25:57 AM PDT

    •  Excellent - that is the line we should push (none)
      Because Roberts doesn't have much of a record of judicial decisions, we need to get to know him better. Roberts' cases that he worked on as a lawyer give us an idea of his political philosophy, but not his judicial philosophy. We need to know if he will be genuinely fair and impartial.

      This is a perfect example of why the Constitution requires the advice and consent of the Senate. The Senate has a duty as well as a right to thoroughly investigate nominees.

      The one thing I'd add is that the Senate Dems had better grill him intensely on Bush v. Gore. We probably can't stop the GOP from putting him in their Supreme Court sleeper cell, but at least we can put him on notice that he'll be watched. And maybe if he is forced to say all the right things during confirmation, he'll be more likely to do them on the court.

      The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

      by TomB on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:22:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  attack on both fronts (none)
      cede neither.

      "Don't want to be an American idiot..." -- Green Day

      by Black Maned Pensator on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:53:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's wrong, unfortunately.... (none)
        You forget that this site is full of people who are actively interested in educating themselves about issues. We are political multi-taskers.

        Most individuals are ciphers. There is only room above the fold for one major story, and anything that's on page 2 might as well be carved in stone and buried beneath the earth for all the good it will do us. We don't need to appeal to people like US to tell us something is wrong. We need to appeal to people who don't have the time or inclination to get past the top story of the day. And "John Roberts" isn't the news we want as the top story. He  fully represents one side of the American perspective, so convincing people that he's a 'betrayal to principles' is probably going to be a non-starter. So let's get back to the lying and obstruction, and put the White House back on the burner.

        Democrats should refuse to comment about Roberts at this point, and keep all eyes focused on Rove, and just talk about Roberts behind closed doors for now.

        --------------
        Condemnant qui non intelligent.

        by cognizant on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:34:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect... (4.00)
    ...this is the kind of nominee -- if not the nominee -- the White House had in mind all along. Someone without as much of a clear judicial history of being a right wingnut that they would look far more mild than their appeals court nominees and, if we worked to block, they would have some chance of pushing the "obstructionist" line effectively on.

    A big part of the point of dramatically going to the mat with extreme appeals court was to set expectations of who they would appoint to the Supreme Court that their actual nominee, if the opportunity arose, could seem moderate in comparison to, at least superficially.

    This is not, IMO, a victory for us. its exactly what they planned.

    Admittedly, the early announcement -- they'd hoped to go later so that they could play up the importance of getting a vote right away -- and the announcement via a national prime-time Presidential address were, of course, designed to take news coverage off Rove for a while, and to stem the free fall in Bush's numbers. So in a sense its a reaction to us "winning" politically on the scandal front, insofar as politics (unlike policy) really is mostly zero-sum so any Administration loss in popularity is a "win" of sorts for us. And the early announcement is a win, too, of sorts, as it relieves some of the time pressure on consideration.

    But the nominee is not a win; is the strategy I think they were going with all along.

    •  Here's the thing, though. (4.00)
      Suppose he had never nominated Brown or Owen.  Roberts is still well within what I'd call the realm of Reasonable Conservative Nominees -- people whose credentials and/or writings make them folks that, hey, we'd never nominate, but if they're going to nominate someone, grrr, are better than others.

      There is no one that any Republican President could nominate with a 55-seat Republican Senate who would be a pure "win" for us.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:31:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Roberts would, perhaps, be confirmed... (4.00)
        ...under any circumstances; the drama was to appease the Religious Right with appeals court nominees and at the same time reduce the friction over a Supreme, so that if there was any substantial fight (which was and is still possible) Bush could be more able to spin it as obstructionism, and so that it would be more likely that there would be no substantial fight, so that Bush could spin it is as unity.

        By feinting farther Right, the hoped-for dominant media reaction would be that Roberts (or any similar candidate) was more moderate than expected, rather than focussing on that he is a relatively run of the mill right-wing nominee only moderate by comparison to a pack of extremist nutballs.

        I agree that no one they could nominate would be a pure "win" for us, but that doesn't mean Roberts is any kind of "win" either.

        •  but remember (none)
          Coming out of the nuclear deal, Republicans were claiming that "if people with Owen's, Pryor's and Brown's beliefs aren't 'extraordinary circumstances', then clearly such people cannot be filibustered before the Supreme Court."

          But Bush didn't try to test that theory here.

          Yes, Roberts is only "more moderate than expected" and not, in all likelihood, an actual moderate.  But I don't know how we do better.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:46:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Expected? Sure. But not a win. (4.00)
            Coming out of the nuclear deal, Republicans were claiming that "if people with Owen's, Pryor's and Brown's beliefs aren't 'extraordinary circumstances', then clearly such people cannot be filibustered before the Supreme Court."

            Yes, that's pretty key to the expectation strategy I outlined.

            Yes, Roberts is only "more moderate than expected" and not, in all likelihood, an actual moderate.  But I don't know how we do better.

            Doing no better and no worse than can be expected is not a win. I don't think this is any more or less than that. I'm not saying its a "loss", I'm saying its not accurate to say "we've already won".

          •  An aside (none)
            What evidence do we have that Roberts is "more moderate than expected?"  Just because we don't know that he is a total wingnut doesn't mean that he isn't a total wingnut.  Is there some evidence that he isn't?

            "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

            by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:37:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  we don't know that (none)
              And we need to ferret out what we can.

              But, politically, he's not the obvious gift to the religious right that a McConnell would be.

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:43:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Roberts' "moderation" not very material (4.00)
            I agree that it could have been worse.  But having Roberts rather than a frothing-at-the-mouth wingnut is mostly an expression of the limited political clout Bush has right now.

            The bottom line is, what is the difference between Roberts and the "worse" alternatives on the Court?

            Given the wingnut groups' reactions and Roberts own personal track record as much as we know about it right now, it looks to me like the main difference is that Roberts is temperamentally not a wingnut in terms of how he comports or expresses himself, but his judicial positions are very likely to be right in line with Scalia's.  IOW, he's likely to the right of Rehnquist, and in line with Scalia's end points though not the arrogance contemptuousness by which he gets there.

            IOW -- a more rhetorically palatable Scalia.  That's likely to be a greater danger within the dynamics of the Court, because Roberts could be smart enough to write in a way that could lure Kennedy to his position.  Whereas Scalia was so frequently offensive that he repeatedly drove both O'Connor and Kennedy away, and Thomas embraces such perverse positions that he attracts no one.

            It's really a "choose your poison" situation.  This was in a way a much shrewder choice than a frothing wingnut, who might have been beaten and who would have been a risky challenge for Bush at a time of political weakness.  Confirming Thomas took a huge piece out of Poppy Bush's hide politically; whereas it will be extremely difficult to find any way to make this one bloody unless we find some revealing writing or Roberts says something unexpected at the hearings, both of which are unlikely given his fairly genial and circumspect personality.

            This just isn't a win. Barring the unexpected as noted above, the most we can get out of this is some public and media education about how extreme Scalia and Thomas are by trying to force Roberts to declare himself a little via the Ackerman test.

          •  what on Earth makes you think he's moderate? (4.00)
            there is nothing in his small record to suggest so.  he's simply been a conservative water carrier his whole professional life.  
  •  Sorry... (4.00)
    I don't see "it could have been worse" as a victory. The fact is we don't even know if it could have been worse yet. The Senate needs to push him very hard for real answers because "he was just arguing on behalf of his clients" is not a real answer when he has virtually no judicial record by which to judge him. My guess is the right is happy for a reason.
  •  If this is winning (4.00)
    why do I feel so bad?

    First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

    by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:30:00 AM PDT

    •  I'm not exactly doing cartwheels either... (none)
      but my guess is that the wingers are putting on their best face, to avoid causing more trouble for their embattled Architect.

      I don't think that there are any Russians, and there ain't no Yanks... just corporate criminals playing with tanks. - Michael Been

      by gp39m on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:35:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The wingers are overjoyed (4.00)
        This guy worked in the Reagan White House among other places, so he has many connections with The Right Wing. They know him and love him because he is one of them.

        Conservatives are not smiling for the camera, they are basking in the glow.

        Fox News: We Report, You Die

        by Reino on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:40:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For this reason (none)

          First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

          by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:43:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the hard religious right (4.00)
          is genuinely pleased by this guy.

          I'm a homeschooler.  Not Christian, but I am on a lot of their lists.

          They know this guy, they trust him, they are 100% confident in how he will rule on the issues that they care about.  (those involving sex, primarily).

          Many of them are also thrilled that by picking a white man, Bush is rejecting the idea that he has to compromise with anyone, anywhere, over anything.

          I can't tell you how many 'praise the Lord' for Bush posts I've seen from the religious right in the past 12 hours.

      •  "putting on their best face" (none)
        you might want to change that to  mask.the guy only has 2 yrs as a judge, this unkown has been groomed,looks like a trogan horse to me.
    •  because it's not winning! this is ridiculous... (4.00)
      Roberts is ultra-conservative, anti-choice, pro-religion, anti-environment, 100% pro Bush policies on the war prisoners and military tribunals. this is a NIGHTMARE
      •  yes (none)
        this is a loss, and styling it a win is delusional.  I agree.

        First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

        by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:14:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what then, (none)
          would have been a win? Bush and his entire administration to resign en masse and check themselves into prison? (personal fantasy of mine)

          This was never going to be a clear win. We've got to build into our plan a Bush nominee being confirmed, but still not derailing victory in 2006 & 2008. If your plan is to not let Bush appoint anyone, then I don't see that as reasonable.

          But I'm seriously curious to hear you describe what a "win" would have looked like.

          All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

          by SeanF on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:19:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There was no possibility of winning (4.00)
            Every possibility, including this one, would have been a loss.  We had no choice but to lose, and this choice, cast as a win, is delusional thinking.  Mark my words, Roberts is a disaster for us.

            First things first, but not necessarily in that order.

            by DCDemocrat on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:23:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Someone like Gonsalez was definitely a possibility (none)
              THat would have been a win.
            •  i like the front page comment (none)
              that indicates you use it to your advantage for future battles. Use it as a way to define your party and create a positive identity that resonates. Look at the actual nomination battle as a strategic retreat that sets you up for the near future in a larger war, and then it doesn't seem so horrible.

              I understand your point that the raw impact of how Roberts may influence the court is not a victory, and could be quite horrible. But that doesn't mean that we can't make the most of it.

              All extremists are irrational and should be exposed

              by SeanF on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:42:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wrong to call this a win, but (none)
            there is no way we were going to get a win at the point of Bush's nominating someone.

            If he nominated a crazy and we were able to beat him/her, that would be a win.

            If we are able to get Roberts to declare himself relatively clearly, via the Ackerman test, as to where he stands vis-a-vis some of Scalia's and Thomas' wilder opinions/positions, that would at least be a meaningful consolation prize in the level of public awareness and media coverage of how extreme S & T are; it's not a win, but it may be a base for future wins.

      •  I agree (none)
        it is a nightmare and it is doing us no good to keep pretending this guy is anything but horrendous for the nation.

        I know that the chances of a successful filibuster on his nomination are slim, but I disagree that it would be harmful to try.  The reasons this guy - and Bush - are disastrous need to be on t.v. every day, regardless of how the Republicans spin it.

        I appreciated Howard Dean's comments on this nomination and I hope the rest of the Democrats take that attitude.  

  •  A+ (none)
    Roberts may indeed try on the aluminum hat when he thinks nobody else is looking. But he is certainly not the ranting, Bible thumping, Kool-Aid bonger that the lunatic fringe believes it so richly deserves.

    I don't think that there are any Russians, and there ain't no Yanks... just corporate criminals playing with tanks. - Michael Been

    by gp39m on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:31:01 AM PDT

    •  Lunatic Fringe Will Be Happy (4.00)
      They want someone against abortion rights, the environment, individual rights, and civil rights. They got him. I don't see how they could have asked for more.

      I have no idea what we won or conservative extremists lost beyond the right to try a filibuster. We'll see how that works out.

      Fox News: We Report, You Die

      by Reino on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:39:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hang on (none)
        On what do you base your comment that Roberts is "against civil rights?"

        Rather extreme remark.

        "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

        by The Termite on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:00:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  dkospedia (none)
          For a unanimous panel, denied the weak civil rights claims of a 12-year-old girl who was arrested and handcuffed in a Washington, D.C., Metro station for eating a French fry. Roberts noted that "no one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation" and that the Metro authority had changed the policy that led to her arrest. (Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 2004).

          In private practice, wrote a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that Congress had failed to justify a Department of Transportation affirmative action program. (Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta, 2001). He also argued against Title IX as applied to the NCAA in NCAA v. Smith.

          For Reagan, opposed a congressional effort--in the wake of the 1980 Supreme Court decision Mobile v. Bolden--to make it easier for minorities to successfully argue that their votes had been diluted under the Voting Rights Act.

          Fox News: We Report, You Die

          by Reino on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:30:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you say that? (none)
      What evidence do you use to say that Roberts is not nuts?

      "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

      by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:39:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not saying he isn't nuts (none)
        Just less nuts than some of the bona fide kooks whose names had been tossed about. Again, I'm not doing cartwheels over this choice, but there are a lot of people down here in the Ozarks who still think John Fucking Ashcroft would make an excellent Chief Justice when that time comes. Now that's wack.

        I don't think that there are any Russians, and there ain't no Yanks... just corporate criminals playing with tanks. - Michael Been

        by gp39m on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:40:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly, less nuts=more effective wingnut (none)
          Thomas is singularly ineffective on the Court, often taking positions that are so off-the-wall he repels other justices who might be open to agreeing with his results.  That's a good thing (except to the extent we might have hoped for another Souter from Poppy Bush).

          If Roberts is in most of his judicial positions another Scalia (as everything about his record strongly suggests), only one who writes in a much less in-your-face-you're-an-idiot tone, that makes him likely to win Kennedy's vote in cases where Scalia might well have lost it.  That's not a good thing.

  •  FEMALE justice - a key issue is being overlooked (4.00)
    Excuse me, but why are we allowing another MAN to be nominated to the High Court when we will be going from 2/9 to 1/9 female on the most important legal body in the land?

    30 years ago, one could honestly say that there were not enough women with the qualifications to be a Justice.  Heck, even Justice O'Connor was only an Arizona state legislator and state judge (although she was a Stanford Law grad and near the top of her class).

    Today, there are hundreds of women with the credentials and life experience to be Justices (SCOTUS former clerks, arguments before the SCOTUS, top law school credentials, work as judges in lower courts).

    We have had more than enough affirmative action for white men on the SCOTUS.  They have held positions far out of proportion to their numbers in the population.  Starting now, we should have three women take the next three seats on the SCOTUS, and then alternate it so that we are 5-4 men and then 5-4 women in the future.

    Mr. Roberts has good credentials and enough appropriate experience.  He can wait his turn until a few more women have had their chance, just as many qualified women have had to wait over the centuries.

    If we don't make this an issue, Bush will nominate another man with his next appointment, and we will regress to the bad old days when "Father Knows Best."

    •  absolutely (4.00)
      It's a point worth hammering him with.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:35:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But... (none)
        it's not exactly something Judge Roberts can do anything about.  "He's not a woman!" doesn't strike me as a particularly strong ground for either rejection or a fillibuster.
      •  Especially since a recent poll (4.00)
        showed that something like 60% wanted to see a woman fill the spot.

        I'm not sure if you could label this pick a victory, but I completely agree with your premise that the confirmation hearings present the ideal time for the Democrats to begin to disseminate their two or three bullet phrases, or "narrative arc," for the 2006 elections. Why they haven't begun using them before now is beyond me, but, as you say, here is the perfect high-profile occasion for Democrats to label the Republicans as the party of intrusive government, and to ask Americans if they really want one-party government.

        •  "Where are the GOP women?" - new frame (4.00)
          We must frame this as "another well-qualified man has been nominated, but the hundreds of comparably qualified GOP women have been overlooked."

          Bush has made inroads into the female vote which he does not deserve through the same high-profile appointment and tokenism strategies he has used for minorities.

          Hammer home the "couldn't the GOP find a qualified woman?" meme and we have an issue in 2006.

          •  Be careful (none)
            what you wish for, you might get it.

            July 10, 2031

            Washington (AP)- Chief Justice Janice Rogers Brown has announced her retirement from the Supreme Court. Her reign was marked by social and economic conservatism. Along with Justices Roberts and Thomas, she led the fight against government regulation of polluters, protection of individual and workers' rights, and various government efforts to help the less fortunate.

            Also note that Edith Jones was the runner-up to Souter in 1992. Most Democrats prefer Souter, I imagine.

    •  Not overlooked in THIS household (none)
      Hope the Shrub's wife is giving him hell over this one. He deserves it.

      I don't think that there are any Russians, and there ain't no Yanks... just corporate criminals playing with tanks. - Michael Been

      by gp39m on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:44:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No way (4.00)
        Sadly, that whole thing with Laura Bush was scripted.  There's nothing this WH does that's not scripted.  Clement was floated to send a signal that the Shrub is responsive to and considerate of women's issues in general, and of his wife's in particular.

        Floating Clement let them say that this wasn't just Laura's suggestion, it was something that the Shrub took seriously.

        Of course, what it also means is that they probably were never intending to nominate a woman (or, per Gonzales, a Latino) anyway, and had all the press speculation focus on Gonzales and then Clement to give an aura that they weren't set all along on another Fido-faithful, inside-the-Beltway, privileged white conservative Protestant male.

    •  Genitalia are not an important qualification... (3.50)
      Excuse me, but why are we allowing another MAN to be nominated to the High Court when we will be going from 2/9 to 1/9 female on the most important legal body in the land?

      While I'd abstractly like to see more women, (and blacks and hispanics and...) on the Court, I think ideology, judicial philosophy, and character are more important features of a judicial nominee than race or sex.

      Would you rather have Priscilla Owen?

      •  Easy for you to say... (4.00)
        so I propose that we go to 9 women justices for the second 200 years of our country, and then we can be "gender-blind."  

        We should be about social change, not only minor personnel changes.  The message Bush's nomination of another man sends to our daughters by going BACK to one female justice is extremely negative.

        Not only is this an issue of the MOST FUNDAMENTAL  FAIRNESS, it is also a great frame to address the GOP hypocrisy and tokenism.  Our frame should be:  "Where are the qualified GOP women?"

        Frankly, I would rather have a woman, even if Owen.  I was there when O'Connor was nominated, and she was seen as being far more conservative than she ended up being.

        •  I'm not hammering them at all for choosing (none)
          a man, and I have good reason for this. Many of the women who are prime candidates are much scarier than some of the men, like McConnell especially. For women's sakes, let's not put pressure on Bush to nominate Owen, Brown or Jones when Rehnquist retires.

          Don't think that the White House isn't already set up for this line of reasoning. You wanted a woman, here you got one: Priscilla Owen. Now stop complaining.

          "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

          by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:01:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (none)
            We'll probably get our women when Rehnquist takes his powder, anyway.

            "The American people will trust the Democratic Party to defend America when they believe that Democrats will defend other Democrats." Wesley Clark

            by The Termite on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:05:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Look at history (none)
            In the short term, you are right.  Some of the women waiting in the wings make Justice Thomas look liberal.

            But we must be about social change rather than just personnel changes when it comes to the High Court.  What message are we sending to our daughters when we cannot find a single qualified woman to assume the robes of the SCOTUS?

            I'm not saying that Owen or anyone should get a free pass.  All should be challenged using the appropriate "advise and consent" protocols of the Senate.

            But we are in the historical equivalent of a burning building at the Supreme Court (and frankly, in the Congress as well).  To have such pathetic numbers of women in the highest levels of our governing system is a travesty.  That should be our highest concern in this historical moment.

            •  I think you are right (none)
              When a Democrat is in office, I'd like to see nothing but women nominated.

              I just don't think you're making a good political argument right now.

              "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

              by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:20:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh good god (none)
              Do you not realize they already know this line of attack?

              Look at the filibuster fight... The opposition to the female nominations was because we hated women.  The opposition to the hispanic nominations is because we hate minorities.

              You demand a woman... you are going to get Janice Brown.  guaranteed.

              This whole line of thinking has already become a parody of it's ownself.

              •  Yes, we should demand a woman (none)
                This is not a parody.  This is about fairness and common sense.

                If men were kept to 1/9 of jobs with greater pay and prestige they would protest mightily.

                We must demand that the GOP come forth with a female candidate.  We are on winning ground on this one, because we are replacing a woman.

                I am not asking to move forward with gender equity under Bush.  I am just asking to not go back.

                This is a winning issue.  Even if Roberts gets in, we have recaptured the "Dems are for women" position that is crucial to stopping Bush and the GOP's grabbing of the female vote.

    •  Just what do you have (none)
      against rich, white, land-holding males, anyways?

      But seriously, the fact that Bush didn't nominate a woman was most shocking to me as well.

      •  It was another (none)
        'no retreat no surrender' signal to the hard right.

        The wingnuts I know are thrilled with this.  It signals Bush's 'resolve' to do right regardless of "PC" pressures.  

        The dominionists are ecstatic.  A white man is going to return America to what it should be, Bush is doing God's work.

    •  We could build a strong coalition against him (none)
      If we wanted.

      Women, labor, blacks, the disabled, conservationist, Iraqi War Vets, and kids who like McDonalds.  Yet everyone is talking about fucking rolling over.  (And people still wonder why the American people think we stand for nothing!)

      The first ads cut should be of the Iraqi War vets who got shafted by the guy.  Run those damn ads until we all know them by heart.  On the talking head shows our people need to link it to body armor and unarmed humvees.  It's the larger issue of the president saying he supports the troops before the cameras while pissing down their legs behind closed doors.

      Buck up you weak-kneed sorry excuses for a movement!

      DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

      by DWCG on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:25:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Quotas are wrong (none)
      They're wrong for school admissions, they're wrong for employment, and they're sure as hell wrong for the most important judicial positions in the land.

      Nominate a woman over a man if they're equally well qualified; don't nominate a woman over a man because she's a woman.

      I'd be more worried about regression because of the people Bush appoints than regression due to their gender.

      I agree with Spider's assessment of voting.

      by sub version on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:04:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course it's a victory (4.00)
    The glass is 5% full, not 95% empty.

    Damn pessimists!

  •  Until further review (4.00)
     I'm calling this one a pure blunder by the White House.

     He's exactly the sort of judge Reagan would have selected - conservative and 'mildly' pro-religion. (Which means to me having a religious slant, but not to the detriment of his legal rulings.) Despite all the Kool-Aid buzz over there, this is NOT what the Dobsonites wanted. They are working themselves into believing it's what they wanted, but this isn't Roy Moore in a clown suit.

     Once again, the religious right has worked itself into denying what the reality-based community should be admitting: This is a win for us. Remember, they could have nominated anyone - the mere fact that Bush went as centrist as he dared shows that the emperor has no clothes and no political capital, and that Frist has no way to hold the Senate together.

    I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

    by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:44:31 AM PDT

    •  I think you're right (4.00)
      With Bush's poll numbers sliding, and moderate Republicans probably starting to do the distance dance from him in preparation for 2006, Frist may have already seen that he didn't have the numbers to get one of the more nutbar judges confirmed.

      I'm no Pollyanna, but 2005 has so far turned out better than I had hoped: Schiavo debacle, Social Security privatization dead in the water, possible looming indictments (over a national security issue, no less), approval numbers near 40.

    •  i don't know. Religious ceremonies (none)
      in High Schools is a bit much when it comes to Church and State. I have nothing against prayers and invocations, but a ceremony?

      "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

      by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:02:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Believe it or not, (none)
         I read the brief, if I'm pointing to the correct case.

         

        Moreover, we agree that Establishment Clause concerns are triggered
        not only by coercion in the form of direct, legal compulsion, but also
        in the form of more indirect social coercion.  For instance, we
        recognize that the special character of the public school setting has
        heightened this Court's sensitivity to subtle forms of coercion.  See,
        e.g., Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 430-431 (1962).  We do not
        believe, however, that graduation ceremonies pose a risk of coercion.
        Such ceremonies typically occur but once a year.  They are addressed
        not to children alone but to families as a whole which are, as the
        Stein court noted, a natural bulwark against any coercion.  Indeed,
        children in the family setting may hear similar invocations and
        benedictions at inaugurals and other public ceremonies.  In short,
        whatever special concerns about subtle coercion may be present in the
        classroom setting -- where inculcation is the name of the game -- they
        do not carry over into the commencement setting, which is more
        properly understood as a civic ceremony than part of the educational
        mission.

           We also recognize that modern government, for better or worse, has
        a far more substantial presence in the daily lives of its citizens
        than did the government of 1789, and thus may be capable of creating a
        pervasive atmosphere of conformity without resort to direct legal
        compulsion.  Accordingly, Establishment Clause jurisprudence must
        remain sensitive to the manner in which new forms of governmental
        power could lead to indirect coercion.

           Viewed in the framework we would urge this Court to adopt, the
        practice at issue here clearly does not violate the Establishment
        Clause, because it does not coerce religious exercise or bring to bear
        other forms of compulsion to conform.  Indeed, Rabbi Gutterman's
        invocation and benediction, with their reference to God, do not
        directly or indirectly compel nonadherents to change their beliefs,
        but merely respect the religious heritage of the community.

           We do not mean to suggest that the foregoing approach to
        Establishment Clause cases will necessarily make the requisite inquiry
        less difficult;  what we do believe is that it will better ensure that
        the "complicated process of constitutional adjudication" is not
        reduced to "a deceptive formula." Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77, 96
        (1949) (Frankfurter, J., concurring).

         That is not the message of a Thomas, to me. (Bolded parts are mine)

         Link, I think

        I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

        by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:21:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am still very squeamish about the defense (none)
          of religious ceremonies at a graduation. How long is the graduation going to go if we have a Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Shinto, Christian ceremony?

          "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

          by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:32:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You could make it more nondenominational (none)
             And most school boards would probably do that.

             To my mind, it's much the same as saying, 'So help me God' at the end of an oath like an oath of office. Does that disbar Muslims or Buddhists from holding office? No. More than likely they'd do what most folks of other religions would do: Say "God" but substitute "(insert god here)" in their minds.

            I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

            by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:36:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  "So help me God" (none)
              is not in the oath of office.  It is merely a tradition for the oath-taker to say it after the oath.  Completely unaffected by the Establishment Clause.

              "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

              by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:43:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I wrote above that I wouldn't be (none)
              against a religious invocation, even if it were a singular priest or reverend from a single religion. I object to the use of the word "ceremony." That implies something a lot more involved than an invocation.

              "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

              by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:05:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  'When I use a word,' (none)
                'it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.'

                 A word's a word. And sometimes they're used incorrectly. But looking at this case and his ruling, I'm not seeing a Dobsonite judge. Which is why I call this a mistake for Bush - once people get the briefs digested, he will be confirmed fairly easily (assuming he doesn't choke at the grilling), and the focus will be right back on the scandals - which have more time to develop now that there is the pause in the nomination process.

                 Bush bought a few days off of Rove with a subpar (for his base) nominee. That's a bad deal for him, a great deal for us.

                I tell you there is a fire. They have this day set a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty and, please God, we shall have no more peace forever.

                by Anderson Republican on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:16:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  And this is what keeps me positive... (none)
          this guy is smart as hell, and he is NO Thomas. When the Democrats are in so many ways outgunned, "it coulda been worse" is good news indeed.

          I'd like the Democrats to keep their powder dry for Rove, Cheney and the next SCOTUS round.

  •  I understand where you are coming from (4.00)
    and tend to agree.

    From this adminsitration, with the heavy Republican majority, we could not expect much even in the just right of center mold.

    I do think, however, that Roberts is the stealth nominee.  I think this adminsstration has vetted him completely and has a good understanding of where he stands on all issues.  And I think he is more conservative than we know or think.

    An out and out super conservative with a track record wouldn't fly and Bush and rove know that, but if he is confirmed before the opening of the next SC session, a lot of decisions will be made prior to next years elections which could solidify the Republican base.

    I have been somewhat amused that there is so much concern about Rove being pushed off the front page.  Sure, it will happen for a week or so, but the press does smell blood there and will get back to it.  Plus, when the grand jury findings come out, nothing will be able to kick it off the front pages.

    That could all well be prior to hearings on Roberts and it could very possibly diminish Bush's credibility even more, which will hurt the process for Roberts.

    I think we should fight this nomination based upon what track record he has, some of the shoddy work he has done as a lawyer (indicated in a post yesterday), and key in on the anti-environmental record he has.

    But, overall, I think the Rove thing will be to our benefit in this fight, not that this nomination now will be a benefit to Rove or Bush.

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:47:08 AM PDT

  •  look for writings in non-legal forums (4.00)
    If he's really an extremist wingnut, he probably has written articles about his true beliefs somewhere, possibly in religious magazines.
    I'm not suggesting this is the case, but if I wanted to know if he was a closet Dominionist, I would find out his religious affiliation and look for any article he may have submitted to a denominational magazine.
    And it goes without saying that we should scour the internets in our search as well. Does he post on Frei Republik, for example?
  •  I think that Bush needs a win (4.00)
    Hasn't had a noticeable win in months.  Nothing to crow about, nothing for the talking heads to rave about.  The White House needs to start building some positive momentum.  They do this by nomenating a can't lose supreme, getting their echo chamber blaring, the heads ruminating.  Then when the niminee sails through they are on a roll.

    Perhaps this is about the approval numbers that continue tanking.  They have to get something positive going.

    The Axis of Evil runs somewhere between K Street and Constitution Avenue.

    by DanielMN on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:49:39 AM PDT

  •  Good post (none)
    It's not a delivered victory.  But it is an opportunity for a victory.

    Remember that Bush is the master of "failing forward."  He could nominate Andrea Dworkin to the Supreme court and then still try to claim it as a victory of compassionate conservatism.

    So a great deal depends on how Democrats are able to control the Roberts debate from this point forward.

  •  How do we know this (4.00)
    guy is any different than Brown, Owens or Myers?  He has only been a justice for two short years.  He could be just as bad as them, and if you look at Bush's steller record of picking right wing radical activist judges, why would he be any different?
  •  I mentioned the corporate lawyer thing... (none)
    in the open thread last night. The Wikipedia entry on Roberts mentioned the fact that he had represented a WV mining syndicate that was detonating entire mountaintops in their search for precious metals, fossil fuels, etc.. (these companies, in the process, destroyed the Appalachian scenery, displaced entire wildlife habitats, and created enormous amounts of rock dust (with some toxic effects including asthma) that settled into the countryside.

    While I find the fact that he took this case quite disturbing, it took a few moments and some prodding to realize that often a attorney has no control over the cases he is assigned to, particularly if he is working for a established lawfirm. It would be a bit unproductive, and slightly unprofessional, to refuse a client based on their motives in a case (unless the motives were unethical or criminal).

    Joe Lieberman and Lincoln Chafee are ON NOTICE - John Orman and Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

    by Scoopster on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:51:08 AM PDT

    •  I really don't understand this line of thinking (4.00)
      How would it be unprofessional or unproductive to refuse to represent a client who was despoiling the environment?

      "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

      by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:58:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because (4.00)
        we are dealing with attorneys' special definitions of "unprofessional" and "unproductive."

        Keep thinking like a regular citizen: if someone helps a corporation that literally destroys mountains, that person is bad.  Don't be dissuaded from this common sense.  But be careful--there are a bevy of lawyers posting here who will try to convince you otherwise.

        The news is not the news. I support ePluribus Media.

        by ubikkibu on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:19:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's my dilemma here. (none)
          I know for a fact there are lawyers on our side who post here regularly - a lot of them. I know they worked hard to get the education, background, jobs, and private practices that they have. I know they probably have a much greater understanding of the law than I ever will. I also know they have bills and families that their work helps to support - and the paycheck has to come from somewhere.

          As with most cases, it comes down to individual choice. If they feel they can handle the work without letting their personal objections to a case get in the way, it only demonstrates their professionalism. You don't necessarily have to like a client to argue their case.

          Joe Lieberman and Lincoln Chafee are ON NOTICE - John Orman and Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

          by Scoopster on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:39:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Devil's (none)
            Advocate here.

            How do you feel about criminal defense attorneys who represent violent criminals and do their best to get them off even when it is likely that their client is guilty?

            I saw a lot of defense of the great things Johnny Cochran did outside of the OJ trial on this site but that doesn't change the fact that he successfully defended a murderer that everyone knew was guilty...

            Or how about the  antithesis of corporate attorneys?  You know the ones who advertise with billboards "Hurt on the Job?  Ever take this now-pulled-from-the-shelves) drug?  Dying of lung cancer (even though you willingly smoked your whole life)?  Big $$$ can be yours!

            In my experience here at Kos I have seen quite a bit of an anti-corporation bent that sometimes I think it muddies the waters unfairly.

            •  We ought to hang 'em up! (none)
              Actually, I'm still not convinced OJ was guilty.

              But otherwise I think you make a good point.

              Everybody deserves proper legal counsel, even Saddam Hussein or Eichmann.

            •  Apples and Oranges (none)
              I don't think it's a good analogy to compare criminal defense attorneys, to corporate or tort law attorneys.  The reason is this:

              Criminal defense attorneys are not really serving their clients--not in the traditional sense of the word.  They are, first and foremost, officers of the court, serving the Constitution.  They are there as a check on the government.  They are there to keep the constitutional machine well-oiled and functioning.  They're a cog in a larger machine.  The ethics of defending the constitution are clear-cut.  That it benefits the client is really a side-effect.

              Tort lawyers would claim they were having a similar function, protecting the consumer from corporations--and maybe they are.  But it's a different kind of calling when the dispute is between two private entitities. . . and the government and its citizens.

        •  Yes! A bit of common sense . . . (none)
          seems to be a bad thing around what often passes for lawyerin' in our day.

          I'm increasingly astonished at how the profession of law appears to be quite content with disassociating itself from the actual effects of its actions, and that you're automatically painted as some kind of anarchist radical for pointing this out.

          Sure, plenty of lawyers do good things, and plenty of them have designed a practice around important, progressive work. But if you lawyers think---in any way shape or form---that you somehow get pass when you participate in the mechanics of big over little, rich over poor, safe over the afflicted, forget it. Not from me, and not from most people I know.

          There's as many "bad lawyer" jokes as there are for a pretty damn good reason . . .

        •  Having worked in several law firms... (none)
          not being able to choose your clients is really only applicable to a new attorney.  One who has been with a firm a long time, who is respected and on the "partner track" can indeed refuse to work with a client he or she does not want to work with.  The best indicator of his political leanings is the timeline of his decisions.  The most recent ones, when he was at the most powerful point in his career as an attorney, are pretty indicative.

          "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa

          by cclough on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:48:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Definition of Unethical (none)
      Please.  Blowing the tops off of mountains?

      I'm from WV.  That's unethical.  

      ---- Take a pill or talk?----

      by apotropaic on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:00:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't get me wrong here.. (4.00)
        When I read that piece of work he did, it pissed me right the fuck off. I can't stand people who destroy the environment deliberately, particularly if they do it only for corporate gain.

        My point was that if he had been working for a large lawfirm, refusing to work on a major case like this would probably get him fired. I'm not going to apologize for him though - some people (like us) will take a moral stand like that even if it means losing a job. Some people, like Roberts, have other motives for not 'rocking the boat'. It could be he didn't want to put his family's financial security at risk. It could be he doesn't like to get fired (but then again who does). It also could be that he just doesn't give a shit about the environment. We don't know yet.

        These are some of the questions that should and will be asked during the confirmation process, in order to clarify his positions and discover his personal beliefs on particular issues.

        Joe Lieberman and Lincoln Chafee are ON NOTICE - John Orman and Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

        by Scoopster on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:19:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Example... (none)
      I'm working on a case where one of the several arguments being made by the firm I work for is that a section of the Lanham Act (the federal trademark act) is unconstitutional.  I'm "on the brief" in the case (listed third or fourth).  However, I (personally) do not believe that that section of the Lanham Act is unconstitutional, nor do I feel the need to remove my name from the brief.

      It's a little different if you're the lead signatory, but ascribing to Roberts personally each and every one the views articulated in the brief in each and every single case he's been involved in (regardless of his level of involvement) seems more than a trifle unfair.

    •  So you'd have us believe (none)
      That one of the best if not the best lawyer in Washington is "assigned" cases?

      That's laughable.  The best get to pick which cases they take.  And yes, we should hang him for it.

      DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

      by DWCG on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:47:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'd pretty much agree (4.00)
    with your analysis.  I have very little doubt that Roberts is a qualified, albeit conservative, nominee, and there is no known reason, at this time, for blocking his ascent to SCOTUS.

    The Democrats on the judiciary need to perform thorough review and questioning but they shouldn't participate in strongly partisan games without good cause.

    While I agree that selecting Roberts seems to indicate that Bush isn't spoiling for a knock-down, drag-out type of fight that raises the spector of the nuclear option again, I also think that this pick reflects the President's true agenda -- a pro-business SCOTUS.  Given a choice of social conservatism or crony capitalism, he'll take the latter every time while spewing rhetoric on the former.

    "Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will." MLK

    by jmaier on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:51:59 AM PDT

  •  Corporate Lawyer + Roe enemy (4.00)
    Is the perfect candidate for Bushianity: It avoids the fight described below

    Business Pushes Its Own Brand Of Justice

    Setting up a potential clash with religious conservatives, the national business lobby for the first time is marshaling its forces to persuade the White House to pick an industry-friendly Supreme Court nominee.

    Usually, corporations duck Supreme Court fights. This time, with vital interests at stake, business advocates are raising millions of dollars, plotting major lobbying campaigns, and quietly working to influence the president as he ponders a replacement for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.   

    Sandra Day O'Connor often ruled on the side of business.

    The aggressiveness marks a sea change in the way corporate America approaches judicial appointments. Ever-cautious companies have traditionally left the divisive, high-pressure politicking to outspoken social conservatives.

    Now, business leaders are working behind the scenes to influence the process, an action that threatens to break apart the long-standing Bush coalition of corporate and social conservatives.

    Companies believe that they have to get involved because a large portion of the Supreme Court's docket is filled not with social issues such as abortion rights and affirmative action but with issues that they care about deeply such as pensions and federal preemption of state laws that companies tend to prefer. About 40 percent of the cases considered by the Supreme Court in the past two years have involved business-related matters, the chamber said

    Rove's America: Thieving, Treason & Torture Inc.

    by lawnorder on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:57:12 AM PDT

  •  This diary borders on complete concession (4.00)
    First it sets up the "corporate lawyer" as a straw man.  Not all of us knee jerk against corporate lawyers.  Then it proceeds to recite the pablum that the right wing wants us to believe.  "Roberts is smart.  Roberts is complex.  Maybe he'll be a souter.  It's the best we could do.  blah blah blah."

    As I stated in a small flame up above, we CAN keep filibustering.  Again and again.  What, they go nuclear?  Let them.  Make them do it.  Roberts is a partisan hack as stated many times elsewhere.  He may be smart, but remember that Bush I originally appointed him (and failed) to the federal bench when he was 37 years old.  You don't get a Bush to do that if you haven't whacked somebody.  That was 1992.  How many hits has he done for the Bushies since then.  How many will he do while on the court, a speed dial away from the Carlyle group boardroom.

    Two words.

    No Quarter.

    ---- Take a pill or talk?----

    by apotropaic on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:58:30 AM PDT

  •  so (2.22)
    so according to you, since he is a corporate lawyer, willing to sell out his own ideals for a paycheck, he is ok?  My god, you lawyers SUCK.
    •  not quite (none)
      That doesn't make him okay at all; it's just not the grounds on which we attack him.  We attack him for what he actually himself believes.

      If I were the nominee of a Democratic president and all of you got to scan every brief my name was ever on, you'd find something that would make me unconfirmable to you, I'm sure.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:10:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  see to me (none)
        What we need is that ACLU lawyer, or that lil guy lawyer who forsakes money and practices laws based on principle and not a paycheck.  Of course law/money/power/manipulation/selling ones soul is all american law is about anyway, so of course we are gonna get supreme justices who knows how to play the game.

         I am just saying, to those of us who have  said no, who have quit jobs on principle, who are not ruled by the oh mighty dollar, the whole idea of being a corporate lawyer in itself is a huge character flaw.

         

        •  um (none)
          Do you have a mortgage?  Children?  Law school loans?

          ACLU staff attorneys earn around $35-40K a year, IIRC.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:24:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  umm (3.00)
            yes I have a mortage, but instead of buying the biggest house I could, I found one needing some TLC, and I redid it. I started a company that make safety equipment for nursing homes to hopefully save some people from tragic accidents. I try to help and make a few dollars doing it.

             I don't sell my knowledge, my time, my intellect to the highest bidder. Women sell the bodies and they are whores, lawyers sell their minds and times and they are what? future Supreme Court Justices. pfft  count me unimpressed

          •  um (4.00)
            Mortgage?  Check.

            Children?  Check.

            Loans (not law school, but similar)?  Check.

            Am I a corporate shill?  Nope.  I make around 40K a year doing work to further humanity, when I could be making 2x to 3x more as a corporate apologist.

            I'm not saying it's evil to be a corporate lawyer (or a corporate scientist), but it is a morals choice and does say something about the person making the choice.  You can subsist nicely (even with kids and loans) on 40K a year.

            "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

            by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:51:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You Make Choices, You Live With Them (4.00)
            I have bills, a mortgage, children. My wife and I each earn salaries closer to those ACLU staff attorneys than corporate lawyers.

            But more to the point, a lot of lawyer friends of mine have made similar choices. My sister-in-law and her husband are both lawyers in the Bay Area, with a mortgage and a kid on the way (and hard to find anywhere where those things are more expensive). They've both chosen not to do the corporate lawyer thing.  He's a public defender. She works for a small college (in what is basically a non-lawyer job that pays ACLU-ish salaries).

            Sorry, acbonin. It's perfectly understandable to choose a career to make more money, but you need to own up to the moral consequences of whatever choices you've made.  Nobody has to represent pharmaceutical companies in court. You've chosen to do so.  Perhaps you feel that there simply isn't an ethical or political downside to doing so. If that's the case, you can make your argument to that effect.  But simply saying "I gotta do it, there are bills to pay" doesn't fly.  My guess is that many, many Kossacks pay their bills without having to spend their time defending corporate America, let alone the pharmaceutical industry.

            Support IWT
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            The Alternative to the Corporate Media

            by GreenSooner on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:15:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thurgood Marshall (none)
              is certainly an example of a lawyer who worked for social change organizations and went on to a distinguished career on the Supreme Court.

              There haven't been many nominees with THAT kind of background lately though.

              More's the pity.

              Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

              by willyr on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:30:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I like this resume (none)
                • Cornell undergrad, Harvard/Columbia Law.
                • Law clerk to a federal district court judge
                • Research associate and then associate director of the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure.
                • Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law and Columbia Law School
                • Instrumental in launching the Women's Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, and served as the ACLU's General Counsel for eight years, successfully arguing several women's rights cases before the Supreme Court
                • DC Circuit Court Judge

                And now, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is on the Supreme Court.

                "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

                by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:41:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  God knows, this is what I want too... (none)
          but to imagine President Bush even could comprehend these notions is delusionary.

          It doesn't surprise me that lawyers are not alarmed by Roberts' CV. They've been schooled that idealism may be the best way to live, but it rarely holds through the slow grind of court, and that often you have your best shot with a truly pragmatic judge.

        •  And what if that ACLU lawyer (none)
          had defended nazis rights to free speech or freedom of assembly?

          My guess is you'd defend his taking the case because the lawyer was defending a different principle. In the law profession, lawyers are sworn to the idea that everyone deserves a decent defense.

          And I'm hardly a fan of Roberts. But as difficult as it is, we need to focus on HIS life and HIS decisions from the bench.

        •  The little guy lawyer... (none)
          ...is likely to not "forsake" the big corporate client as to be shut out by them - they want to hire a Stoel Rives or similar large law firm, not a sole practitioner or small firm.

          If you hang a shingle, you're going to get individuals and small businesses as your clients long before you have the chance to represent a faceless corporation.

      •  Attack him for 'what he actually himself believes' (none)
        without considering "what he actually himself has done"?

        That's just plain-old vanilla cognitive dissonance.

        Threecents and others on this thread are surely within accepted realms of common sense to call you lawyers on this bullshit that what you work on doesn't have anything to do with what you believe.

        There's plenty of people who understand their work to be a fundamental part of who they are---if you want to ignore that to do what you do as a lawyer, fine. But please don't pretend that compromising your beliefs because "it best pays the bills" or there are "many coporate lawyers who write for this site" makes it acceptable to many of us. It doesn't, and it isn't.

    •  My thoughts exactly (none)
      That's the bulls-eye on his chest.

      This is an administration of corporate America, by corporate America and for corporate America.  The majority of Americans believe this, so who the hell would believe they'd put up anything but a business lackey?

      Suggesting we surrender this line of attack counters all possible logic, especially of a party that was once considered champions of the common man.

      This guy will rule against average Americans in favor of big business every time.  That's the line.

      DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

      by DWCG on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:41:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Then let us quickly (4.00)
    redirect our attention back to Rove, where it belongs.

    At this point, now that a nomination has been made, the Senate Democrats are in charge of our next moves.  I say we here on the blogs get right back to the business of piling on Rove because honestly I do feel as though the Rove situation is the key to exposing the modern Republican party for the band of criminals it really is, for the long term.

    We can't do much about SCOTUS or the individual symptoms of Republicanism.  We need to stick to chopping away at the roots of Republican power, which is exactly what we're doing every time we expose more lies and corruption coming out of the White House.

    •  Two things (none)
      As Kos said last night, yes we're capable of walking and chewing bubble gum at the same time.

      Second, we obviously have so weak-kneed liberals in our ranks - people who think we should roll over.  So before we go to war we need to buck up our front.

      DON'T BLAME ME; I VOTED FOR CLARK

      by DWCG on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not either/or (none)
      As Kid Oakland suggests, we can link the two:

      At the hearing--
      Senator DemX:  Judge Roberts, I would like to ask you a hypothetical question:   if a judicial appointee is later a judge in a criminal case where the appointer, or his close associate, is the plaintiff, should that judge recuse himself?

      Apologies for lack of proper legal language.

      •  you mean "defendant" (none)
        of course.

        Of course, one could always cite the example of the Nixon Tapes case---which wasn't a criminal case, but in some sense far more significant.

        Nixon appointed Rehnquist, Powell, and Blackmun to the Supreme Court, yet they and the rest of the Court ruled unanimously against him.

        The outcome, of course was the political equivalent of the death penalty for Nixon. He resigned within days.

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:23:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think that judges (none)
      who will further the interests of the rich and powerful at the expense of everyone and everything else and wars fought for the rich and powerful based on lies are all part of the same fight.  

      Don't see why we should give up on one battlefield.  We can handle all of them.  We won't win on all fronts, but the fight needs to be fought.

  •  The danger of going nuclear (4.00)
    is that if they win, then we are screwed when it comes time to confirm the Rehnquist replacement. We won't have any dry powder left, and will be backed into a corner as the "party of no." And Bush will be able to slide in an Owens or Estrada without a second thought. (This whole scenario could change if indictments happen before then, but we shouldn't bank all our hopes on the work of a special prosecutor who may or may not have enough evidence to really inflict damage on the administration.)

    I would maybe agree with going nuclear if we knew how to use the media to our benefit, or at least were capable of repeating effective talking points every time a Democrat is on the air. Since we haven't as a party seemed to have figured out yet how to create our own noise machine, the Republicans will jump into this vacuum and have a field day if we lose on the nuclear option.

    •  The country doesn't agree (4.00)
      The country doesn't like the nuclear option.  Forcing them to even start talking about the nuclear option would hurt them in the upcoming midterm.  If we are scared to filibustering because of the nuclear option, then the nuclear option has, in fact, worked.

      "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

      by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  most of the people aren't engaged here (none)
        in what the country actually thinks. They are fixated on what they, themselves, believe personally  about what the country thinks. Have you seen one poll by them to support their arugment? No. You won't because this diary, and the people arguing these positions aren't really concerned w/ facts.
    •  much as it sucks, I say let them do it (none)
      let them "go nuclear".  the public will be more against it than anything in the past 20 years.  the next Congress with more Dems can just overturn the nuclear option.

      this can't just be a damocles sword for eternity.  if they're itching for this fight that they arguably don't have the votes for and know for a fact that the public is overwhelmingly against, then let them do it, and hang themselves in the process.

  •  Yeah he's a great choice (4.00)
    as long as you don't have a wife, sister, or daughter who has amniocentesis performed. Because if her test results come back (at week 18-20) and show an egregious anomoly or other disorder, she may want to have an abortion. And by the time the provider is selected and scheduled she may be pushing the procedure to week 22 or so. That means she'll be needing a late-term abortion.

    And John Roberts, I suspect, is the sop to Dobson, in that he will overturn O'Connor's objections to the health of the woman wording in the current BAN ON LATE TERM ABORTIONS. You know, the ban which is the law of the land, though stayed for the moment by a federal court.

    So will Rove be overturned. Maybe not. Will the Federal ban on abortion be enacted and fully enforced? You bet your sweet bippy it will.

    My advice? CVS testing or don't even bother.

    •  overturning Stenberg will be awful (4.00)
      But is there a nominee who would be nominated by this President, with 55 seats in the Senate, who won't be that fifth vote?

      Yes, that will be awful.  But we lost that fight when Kerry lost Ohio.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:13:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (none)
        If we filibuster and make it stick, then either Bush will appoint someone who will uphold Stenberg, or he will resign himself to not picking a Supreme.  That's why the filibuster is an important tool.

        "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

        by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:56:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Still (none)
        It's hard for me to walk away feeling we somehow "won."

        Reproductive rights are front and center, but women won't know about the changes coming, by and large until the day they get their test results back and are told they have to have the baby. Repeat. The state will be telling women, they have to have the baby.

        The only silver lining is available come '08 when repeal of the late term ban is a possibility, though remote unless education starts happening now.

  •  How any liberal can think Roberts is a victory (4.00)
    or how he's a good pick or how we should be relieved it's him is really beyond me.
  •  Actually, we lost in November. (4.00)
    And this is what we get for losing.  The fillibuster fight did not work.  With or without the fillibuster this guy gets on the court.

    You choose someone like Roberts because he is the kind of guy you want and it will be impossible to stop him without the Democrats making themselves look bad in front of the American public.  He is highly qualified and exactly what Bush wants:  A pro-corporate, anti-environment, anti-abortion, conservative.  If Dems fillibuster him the fillibuster is nuked and he not only gets Roberts he gets anyone he wants with his next two appointments to the court (as well as every kook and nutball he wants on every Federal Court in the land).

    So it's going to be easy for Bush and he is going to get exactly what he wants.  

    How is that a win for us?

    "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

    by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:10:35 AM PDT

    •  b/c this isn't what the right wing really wants (none)
      They wanted another Scalia/Thomas foaming-at-the-mouth guy.  They got another Rehnquist, more likely.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:14:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the right isnt happy, it doesnt mean shit for us. (4.00)
        Perhaps because of your profession you don't see another pro-business justice on the supreme court as a bad thing.  But for the average american, who is often the receiving end of injustices performed by the corporate interests you defend, this is a colossal defeat.  

        If, under the previous arrangement of justices, valid concepts like immanent domain were mutated to allow private corporations to seize the property of individuals, then what harm will a justice like Roberts help usher in?

        I too worked for a pharm company after i graduated college a year ago.  I worked as a web designer, and after six months i realized that i could no longer use my selfishness, as you have, to rationalize my involvement with this company.

        I don't mean these comments as a personal attack, but because of my populist ideals, i find it hard to agree with a pro-business sympathizer.

        The Bill of Rights, not the Ten Commandments, should be on our buildings

        by chinkoPelinke on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:09:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But it's exactly what Bush wants, (none)
        Pro-corporate, anti-environment, and anti-abortion conservative.

        So we win because it isn't Judge Roy Moore?

        Whooppeee!!!

        The guy's wife is the former executive VP of feminists for life, they have two adopted children, and he's a practicing Catholic.  If you think he is going to hear cases involving abortion fairly and objectively, that's great.  But I'll bet you he finds ten to one in favor of restricting the right of choice/privacy versus allowing the right to choose.

        "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

        by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:54:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If we don't filibuster (none)
      then when/if Bush's next appointment comes, we will talk about how scared we are to filibuster that, too.  The Repubs took more lumps from the nuclear option fight than we did.  If I can see that here in bright red North Carolina, I would hope everyone can see it.  If we are afraid to filibuster when we want to, then the nuclear option has already worked.

      "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

      by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The fillibuster cannot (none)
        be justified against this guy.  He doesn't have enough of a paper trail to show the public that he is unqualified.  

        A fillibuster will fail and the dems will look bad.  Fillibustering Roberts will acheive a pyrrhic victory, without the victory part.

        "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

        by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:59:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thie filibuster can be justified (none)
          Does it ever occur to you that the fact that this guy doesn't have a "paper trail" is an EXCELLENT reason to say no.  If the guy only spends two years as a jurist (not two years on the appeals court, two whole years as a judge of any sort) and then gets appointed to the highest court in the land...you bet your ass that's a great reason to say "I want to see what kind of judge he is first.  Try again in five years."

          A filibuster will not necessarily fail.  If the Dems can hold 41 votes, the filibuster will not fail.  Either the filibuster will prevent the nomination, or the filibuster will force the Repubs to push the nuclear option button, which will piss off the public.  If the Dems cannot hold 41 votes, then of course a filibuster shouldn't be attempted.  

          What concerns me is that people are so scared of the nuclear option that they rule out the possibility of a filibuster.  That logic is beyond stupid.  

          "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

          by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:22:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No it doesn't. (none)
            "Does it ever occur to you that the fact that this guy doesn't have a "paper trail" is an EXCELLENT reason to say no."

            Rhenquist was never a judge, Earl Warren was never a judge, Lewis F. Powell Jr,...

            Of the 108 people who have served on the Supreme Court, only 48 - fewer than half - were drawn from the ranks of sitting judges. And while judges do make up the biggest single biographical category, there have also been 25 practicing lawyers, 9 attorneys general or deputy attorneys general, 7 holders of other cabinet positions, 6 senators, 2 members of the House of Representatives, 3 governors, 2 solicitors general and 2 law professors.

            The fillibuster will fail because this guy is not unqualified.  He is right wing but in a right wing country dominated by a rightwing executive and a rightwing legislature we are naturally going to end up with a rightwing judiciary.  I don't like it any better than you but that's where we are.  As I said elsewhere, fillibustering Roberts will be a phyrric victory, without the victory part.  Might as well keep it for any Judge Roy Moores that pop up later.  

            "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

            by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:45:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Harvard in 3 years? (none)
        HLS summe cum laude?  Clerked for Chief Justice?  Thirty some cases before the Supreme Court?

        Yes, Highly Qualified.

        "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

        by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:02:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lawyer does not equal judge (none)
          Being an advocate is vastly different from being a jurist.  I don't care how well this guy knows how to argue the law from an advocate's point of view; unless he has demonstrated that he can fairly adjucate the law, he is not highly qualified.  Don't tell me that there is not an abundance of people with more judicial experience and credentials than Roberts.

          "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

          by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:23:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  you do know the polls disagree with you right? (none)
      •  Which polls? (none)
        disagree with me about what?

        "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

        by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:02:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the idea that the Republicans (none)
          could get away with the nuke. They can't. It's one among many assumptions being made along this thread to justify what people think. I agree with parts of what you said, but the assumption that the Republicans could get rid of the fillabuster isn't one of the points with which I agree. However, this being said, I think a lot of these things we are reading here are really justification for a strategy and designed to quell certain elements of the party rather than deal in honesty. It's like when people say we can't win this- how would they know- what is the mainstream? but, they think they know that, and work from those assumptions
          •  Well whatever polls say (none)
            The republicans can overcome a fillibuster by going nuclear.  And I believe they can make the Democrats look bad as they do it.  Then there is nothing to stop any other appointment.

            We lost at the ballot box.  It's time to take our mediciine.  I don't like it either.  But maybe a short history of the role of the USSC from 2000-2020 will convince future generations of Americans to actually get out and vote.

            "Although some species may be now increasing, more or less rapidly, in numbers, all cannot do so, for the world would not hold them." Darwin

            by dissenter2004 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:03:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I believe that the sky is now red (none)
              that doesn't mean that's proof that the sky is red. You remind me of one of my friends, an indie leaning conservative guy. Nice guy (well except he complains a lot) but he thinks just because he thinks, that means its true too. you haven't backed up your claim of having a special insight into the american people. all you have backed up is how you feel. that's not a very useful source of strategy here because its clear that what you feel  is best on fear, or what someone coinied as the battered liberal syndrome. we will fail, because we try. which of course, guarantees that you will fail.
  •  "don't knock him for his clients" (none)
    Why not?  You had me until that part, but I see absolutely no reason to make "corporate lawyer" less of a dirty word than it is now.  Poor little multimillionare Roberts is just forced to take any client he can get, even if that client is a bad corporate citizen?  Puh-leeze.  Rehabilitating the image of corporate lawyers is an impossible effort that I don't think would be worthwhile anyway.  We already have enough money worship in this country.

    I know you want to stick by your own, but it harms the rest of your argument.

    The news is not the news. I support ePluribus Media.

    by ubikkibu on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:14:13 AM PDT

    •  look. (none)
      He's spent most of his life in government service, not making a heck of a lot of money.  I don't blame any husband (or wife) for choosing to leave a life of relative poverty for periods of time to make some money.

      That said, corporate lawyers aren't the only ones who become wealthy.  Plaintiff's lawyers -- including class action attorneys (esp. in the securities/antitrust field), can do so as well, but then you're on the direct opposite side of said corporations and are taking on a lot more risk than you do when you get paid by the hour.

      I just wanted to put that out there; if y'all want to attack him for being a "corporate lawyer", go ahead.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:20:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How is saying that (none)
        "he just wanted to make a lot of money" a defense of poor conduct?  If you commit murder to make a lot of money (because, you know, soldiers don't get paid that well), you're still a murderer.  If you develop weapons technology to make a lot of money (because, you know, government scientists don't get paid all that much), you still created new and better ways to kill your fellow man.  If you help blow the top off of a mountain to make a lot of money, you still destroyed the environment.  The fact that you profited from doesn't make you less culpable--if anything, it makes you more culpable.

        "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

        by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:06:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but paying the bills . . . (none)
          . . . often gives you the opportunity to do meaningful pro bono work as well.  I've got my FEC work.  Roberts defended the rights of welfare families in DC, I believe.  Etc.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:10:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's a little bit dishonest (none)
            Both you and I know that most lawyers don't do pro bono work. The numbers are horrible considering the billable hours requirements. Be honest with non lawyers about this. You are, and others, do it for the money. Simple as that.
            •  Don't we all? (none)
              You are, and others, do it for the money.

              We're all doing it for the money aren't we? I work with ERP software (SAP to be exact). Why? Because it pays. And what does getting paid allow me to do? Pay the bills for one thing, it also puts me in a position to support causes I really believe in.

               We're all capitalists, we live in the U.S. what choice do we have? If most lawyers don't do pro bono work, than it says something about the lawyers that DO.

          •  Roberts' pro bono work (none)
            I would love to see a list of his pro bono clients...if there are any at all.

            And I damn well hope some Senators ask him some questions on his commitment to the legal system serving the poor and other non-paying clients.

            Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

            by willyr on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:46:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  here goes (none)
              "In one case he handled before the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, he represented a group of welfare recipients whose benefits had been terminated. He successfully argued, pro bono, that each was entitled to an individual hearing before benefits were cut off."

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:13:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And this from Orrin Hatch: (none)
                "Mr. Roberts also participates extensively in the pro bono program of his firm, assisting his colleagues prepare pro bono appeals on matters such as termination of parental rights, minority voting rights, noise pollution at the Grand Canyon, and environmental protection of Glacier Bay.."

                Hatch on Roberts, May 8, 2003

                Hard to know what his actual role in those cases was, or if he and his firm were for or against "termination of parental rights, minority voting rights, noise pollution of the Grand Canyon, or 'environmental protection' of the Glacier Bay."

                Maybe someone will check.

                Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

                by willyr on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 01:00:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  That reminds me (none)
        I got by check from the American Express class action lawsuit for overcharging me on international exchange rates or something.

        A whole whopping 28 cents!

        Cost more to print and mail me the check.

        I wonder how big the check is that went to the lawfirm of Dewey, Cheatem and How?

      •  <b>"Relative poverty"?</b> (none)
        While I don't have a problem with private firm lawyers who take your approach to professional activities -- including significant and meaningful pro bono work -- don't try to justify it by calling a government salary "relative poverty".

        Inside-the-Beltway political appointees like Roberts have for many years now made well over $100K annually.  Sure, that's a lot lower than what they could get in private practice, but the non-economic compensation -- political appointees' decision-making power -- is a big deal, as the evolutionary psychologists tell us.

        I graduated magna from a top 5 law school and have worked in private non-profits and in the federal and state governments (as a career employee in 2 jobs and a political appointee in 2 others).  Though I thought I was underpaid for the first 15 years or so, it would be ridiculous yuppee self-pitying to have described that underpayment as "relative poverty".  

        To call it "relative poverty" to make a salary in the top 10% of national income in one of the richest countries on earth is a very gross overstatement, to say the least.

        •  fair enough (none)
          Didn't realize salaries had escalated like that.

          "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

          by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:49:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Appreciate the acknowledgement (none)
            Though I'm sure some Republicans like Roberts, who grew up as a steel company executive's son, may think they're in relative poverty at salaries like that.
            •  sure. (none)
              By the way, I think there's seven schools in the top five now -- Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia, NYU and Michigan.  Which one?

              "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

              by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 02:13:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually two (none)
                Chicago, then Michigan.

                I know U of C was your school, and I loved the city but the school was in the deepest 1970s throes of becoming deeply reactionary.  And Harry Kalven had just died, which threw my principal reason for going there out the window. (Boy, doesn't that admission date me!)

                •  Understood (none)
                  Which is not to say that it's still not more conservative than any other top twenty school (esp. among the student body), but at least it's got strong liberals as well.  Someone of the ones who were there during my tenure have moved on (Schulhofer, Lessig, Kagan), but they're still doing fine with Sunstein, Strauss and Alschuler among the anchors.

                  "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

                  by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 03:14:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Frankly I think it would be bad for the Democrats (4.00)
    To do anything more THAN give him some rigorous questioning.  It would look too political and partisan.  

    If Dems want to vote NO based on his abortion stance then I think they should (and I would if I was in the Senate.) But in no way should they use tactics to block the vote.  

    This is the wrong guy to filibuster.  It would have been nice to have someone more liberal but what can you do????  The Dems HAVE to get their act together and WIN to pick the nominees.

    Also, that this guy was Harvard Law Review and a Supreme Court Clerk gives me hope that he is actually less conservative then we may think.

    AS a former corporate attorney myself, I can tell you that of course he's gonna seem too big business now.  I used to take stances all the time that I was against personally when I practiced.

    Lawyers are trained to divorce their beliefs from what they are arguing on a client's behalf.

    •  Oh yeah (none)
         Look at all the elections that Democrats have won by being unpolitical and unpartisan.  Look at all the elections the Republicans have lost by being too political and too partisan.  How many of them were there?  Zero.
         There's not a shred of evidence that Democrats lose by fighting for their principles: quite a lot to the contrary.  The people who want Democrats to back down from being "political and partisan" have a short and recognizable name: Republicans.
  •  "Corporate lawyer" is the most (none)
    positive thing on his resume.  Its the time as clerk to Rehnquest, the time filing amicus briefs, the time with Ken Starr, the time in teh Reagan White House Counsel's office, and the time as deputy solicitor general, and the time on the board of the National Republican Lawyers that troubles me.

    Litigation defense work is honest enough.  But, the fat is that this guy is a career politician who happens not to have help elective office, and while he has been a judge for only a couple of years, his decision just last week in the Hamdan case where he all but blew off the sentiments in the Supreme Court's enemy combatant cases to declare that Gitmo detainees have no rights is truly troubling.  

    This appointment was a loss.  If the Republicans hadn't successfully cast the filibuster in doubt, this man wouldn't have been appointed and we would have had someone like Edith Clement instead.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" -- Voltaire

    by ohwilleke on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:19:24 AM PDT

  •  don't know enough (none)
    mone of us do, either Republican or Democrat which is why the system needs to continue and the Senators need to have honest and open hearings and force him to state his positions.  However, I do believe that as the judgeship position is a lifetime one something inevitably happens to any individual when they are selected and confirmed. They are then free to grow or shrink as they see fit.  No one knows how they will react and each case, as many other judges have proved, is different. Everyone talks about Roe v Wade as though its overturning would be the end of the unoiverse as we know it, there is no way it could happen over night unless the real majority of American wished it.  Name me one Supreme judge whose name you remember who has changed the universe?  It is extremely difficult to reach half one's life span without revealing something about one's beliefs and the man clearly has intlelligence. Democrats are whistling Dixie if they really thought that Bush would nominate a pro-choice moderate, he nominated someone he can get confirmed. It rests on the future to see what kind of judge the man will be.  The Supreme Court do not hold all the cards, only the final hand.  The world is changing, let the Democratic party get its own head out of the sand and learn that compromise is the art of evolution. Survive or die. Focus on what is going on behind the scenes and keep the pressure on.
  •  I call a victory also in that this attempt (none)
    of a distraction from Plamegate is weak.  If the administration really wanted a distraction, they could have thrown out the most controversial nominee.  They didn't.

    I say win win for the Democrats.

  •  This is not a win. (none)
    And no attempt to spin it that way will change that fact.  This whole thread brings to mind those silly Walgreens commercials about the land of "perfect".
  •  thanks (none)
    I've been trying to figure out Bush's game with Roberts.  That's the best explanation i've seen.

    There is an unsubtle difference between breathing fire and blowing smoke.

    by Leggy Starlitz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:26:42 AM PDT

  •  A few more (4.00)
    "victories" like this one and we will be in a completely locked down totalitarian state.  (As opposed to the sloppy and incompetent totaltarian state we have.)  Your analysis is interesting, but most likely here, we have a real knuckledragger who is only 50 years old.  You'll be seeing this guy vote against individual rights, labor rights, and for corporations for 40 years.  That is not a victory as I understand the English language.

    About the best that can be hoped for is that this guy isn't what he looks to be.  Many Supreme Court justices turn out different than expected.  

    My deep suspicion is that the Repugs have a deal with Roberts to help leave RvW intact while gutting all other individual/environmental/and labor rights.  That way they continue to harvest the free Christo-facist vote while plundering the country economically.  It that sounds too conspiracy theory to you, remember that the Federalist Society is very secretive about its internal workings and real political objectives.

    •  it is? (none)
      I must've missed that at all the Federalist Society things I've attended at law school and in practice.

      They're very up front about what they are -- it's a lawyer/judge/student networking organization for conservatives and libertarians.   There's nothing secretive.

      "Any content-based regulation of the Internet, no matter how benign the purpose, could burn the global village to roast the pig." -- ACLU v Reno (E.D. Pa. 1996)

      by Adam B on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:34:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rehquist is coming, within months (4.00)
    I think he's holding out to make it easier for them to move the court rightward. One guy at a time, or it becomes too easy to get into a negotiated, "one for us, one for you" situation. They want two right wing seats, not one.

    So if we fight this one hard, will it make it harder to fight the next one hard? Will we exceed the public appetite for skepticism and concern about Roe, etc. if we challenge both hard? Or can we make more hay on the next one by being supremely reasonable on this one?

    Seems to me we want to be prudent and thorough but not negative, and avoid the MoveOn all-out effort to block.

    This sets us up better for the next one. There's no way Rehnquist is serving a full term. The guy is 80, with a very, very serious cancer. He's protecting "his" Court by holding out.

  •  You're whistling past the graveyard, Dr. Pangloss (4.00)
    If this is victory, it sure doesn't taste sweet.  

    Big Business is thrilled with Roberts, and while the Christian Right didn't get their ideal pick they do seem to be quite pleased.  The happiness of these two malign forces belies the idea that Roberts nomination is somehow a victory for Democrats and progressive America.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

    by Bragan on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:39:50 AM PDT

  •  Compare the significance (none)
       A guy like Roberts is on the Court for forty-odd years.  Your feelings of "oh, we won this one!", even if you can convince yourself of it, last for about five minutes.  Compare the weight and significance of the two, if you will.
  •  As a lawyer, I know you will appreciate evidence (4.00)
    of where you analysis is wrong.

    First, I don't understand either sides position right now that we have any clue who Roberts is. Roberts was choosen so that you could not know. The best that you can say right now, and the only thing that you should say is, I don't know.

    Where does he stand on EPA regulation? What about the Commerce Clause? How does he feel about tax policy? What about the First Amendment? How does he feel about military tribunals? How does he feel about death penalty? What does he believe about copyright law? What about the Kelo decision? What about affirmative action? What about limitations on the right of punitive damages under state law? How does he feel about the ability of citizens to sue the state? What about the ability of citizens to sue corporations?

    There is a very long list of questions that should be on everyone's mind. But, it is lost in everyone's obsession with are we in the mainstream, oh my gawd do the America people like us, etc. If you want to know one of the reasons why we have a hard time dealing w/ the Republicans. It's because we have the losers mentality. I am right now changing up jobs (from law which is risk adverse by nature), to work in a new industry that is much more entrepreneurial. Most people in this business have what I call the loser mentality because they don't approach situations with the view toward accepting that there will be risks, and planning accordingly. Instead, they try  to play it safe, or worse, ignore the risks by not even asking the questions.

    My chief concern here is the assumptions being made with not very little support behind it.

    Let me give you some basic stats that I got from CNN last night (yes I decided to go outside of the bubble).

    I may have this slightly off w/ the numbers, but I am generally in the ball park.

    Do you know the number of people supporting Roe v. Wade? 68. Number of people not supporting Roe? 29.  To all those people above talking about their is no need for Roe- you are talking out of your ass  at least according to what the American mainstream wants.

    Do you know how many people want the court to be conservative? 45 percent. Do you know how many want it to be liberal? 30 percent. Do you know how many want it to be the same as it is now 25 percent. Do you know what this means? That there is no consensus on what people think the court should be. That they are at best following their idealogical pull.

    Let's go to attacking the nominee? Again, one of the boogiemen being put out both here and the full court press else where is that attacking the nominee is outside of the mainstream. Do you know what most Americans believe? 55 percent of Americans believe that we should fillabuster (that's right fillabuster) a nominee if we don't agree with the choice.

    THere is also a sizeable majority that wants a moderate court, if the question is asked that way rather than left-right.

    By the way, I don't have the numbers, but I have actually seen all of these numbers higher than this. I haven't seen them much lower.

    I don't know who all these people claiming that this fight isn't working are coming from. Frankly, I don't care. I find their arguments in the face of  actual data specious. People such as the person last night claiming to be from VA were using terms such as the mainstream. Guess, what, the mainstream disagrees with you- including the anti abortion people along this thread. More importantly, the bulk of the American people would definitely disagree with the conservative positions that I have mentioned above, including regulation of the environment and drugs. That's true in just about every state, even conservative ones.

    So, my point is continue to pointificate, and waste time being afraid of your own shadow. Don't take any risk. But, at least be honest- this isn't about the American mainstream. It certainly as hell isn't about what the American people think. It's about your own ineffectual decision making.

  •  Roberts appears to be a concensus selection (none)
    And it appears that Leahy didnt offer strong opposition to it.

    But regardless of this, given the state of this administration ahd what it ias doing to tyhe chances for republican wins in both 2006 and 2008. I think we need not worry to much about the makeup of the court after 2008, as it will be more likely than not that a democrat will be decideing who will be replacing the next six retiring Supreme Court justices, If you look at the ages, a considerable number of justices will be either of an age resulting in retirement or leaving their posts for other reasons. Whoever holds office between 2008 and 2012 will be looking at a court with at least five justices in their seventies. Now some of these are considered liberal, however, if they leave, there will be an opportunity to replace them with candidates with  more liberal leaning stances. Bush may get to replace two justices, the next persident will more than likely replace 4, perhaps five. We have Stevens born in 1920, Ginsburg in 1933 Scalia and Kennedy, both born in 1936, Breyer in 1938, Souter born in 39, and Thomas in 1948.

    Statistical odds, given the years of birth are that at least half of these justices will have to be replaced due to natural causes, due to average mortality rates for those years of birth, regardless of the better than average quality of care they get.

    Besides, none of these guys, except for perhaps Ginsberg and Breyer are in any way shape or form "liberals" except by comparison to other justices, and remember that even the most liberal of these justices has considerable baggage that is not all that great under their robes. Breyer played an important role in the deregulation of airlines, leaving us with the current mess we are in. And Ginzberg has made some decisions that have made feminists furious.

    Even pulling the nuclear trigger in the next couple of years will weigh in democrats favor come 2006 or 2008, as the likelihood of democratic wins in both years become more obvious.

    •  Very true (none)
      I think the Republicans have made an at least historical mistake in terms of timing. By wanting it all now, they show their worse side at a tiime they should be solidifying their power to stay in power in the branches that matter
    •  What did the Democrats (none)
      say about this guy?  Were they consulted?  Was Roberts run past them?  What did they say about him?  Inquiring minds want to know.

      "Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve." George Bernard Shaw

      by Shygetz on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:12:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually so far the info is (none)
        That the Democrats, particularly those on the judiciary comittee were consulted and that Roberts was a consensus selection. That is someonw that the Democrats on th Judiciary comittee found acceptable, though not the exact type of consesus they were hoping for: a woman or a hispanic as Leahy himself was quoted as saying.) However, Roberts, in his short judicial history has issues no controversial judgements. The only one that anyone can come up with is the riduculious french fry arrest, which is really hardly a major issue. And his judgement  was pretty much what you would expect from a strict constructionist judge. If its against the law to eat on public transportation, and you get arrested, thats it. You broke a law,and no matter how old you are, you broke a law. The judge s there to uphold the existing law not to alter the law, unless the law is overwhelmingly unconstitutional. Or at least that is their take on the law. The legislature makes the law, they interpret whether the law is being applied constitutionally.

        No one expected that Bush was going to appoint a liberal. Or even a a centrist. HE was going to appoint a conservative. Expected. Roberts is someone that DEmocrats dont necessarily like. But again, he is not the kind of Red flag nominee that is triggering a massive firestorm in Senate so far (but then again, its still early in the game) Unless some smoking gun on Roberts is located, he will get the nomination and it may end up being unanimous.

        However, Democrats are going to have to get their act together and do some serious prioritization of issues to fight and not fight.Which means that things like Roe v. Wade may have to take precedence over issues like gay marriage. Democrats are going to have to pick ther battles rather than try to fight them all at once. The needs of the many will have to outwiegh the needs of the few, and life and death issues will have to take priority over those of mere convenience. This is what has cost democrats election after election, and in fact, what has allowed Republicans to siphon off Black and Hispanic voters. There are just too many socially conservative and fiscally liberal democrats around to annoy.

        However, Roberts is just the kind of nominee that Democrats want in order for the Republicans to have to face the public in 2006 andd 2008.

        And Roberts can be seen in two lights. He has openly stated that Roe is the law of the land, which may be a mere lie. But is also makes him a rather wobbly selection from the point of view of the anti-abortion crowd.

        Roberts was among the top four potential nominees that Bush discussed with Democrats he spoke with on this issue.

        Problem is that Roberts is totally a cipher. He has made decisions that have cut in both directions. Roberts experience is basically as a partsan hack, and overall he has been far from consistant in his decisions. WHile he is a statend conservative, there is nothing in his decisions that place him outside of the modern mainstream of judges. Overall, Roberts has been a cipher, and that may proove to be a problem for either Democrats or Republicans, as most people of Roberts ilk have ended up moving to the left, towards the center, as opposed to those klike Scalia, with known strong decision prior to nomination.

        Looking at Roberts decisions he seems to be against things except for when he is not. In virtually everything, he has contradicted himself. He has been against strong government except whern he was for it, he has been against abortion except when he was for it,

        In some ways, Bush got what he wanted, a nominee so unobjectionable that he would not face a filibuster. And that means a lot. It means he is weak willed enough to be influenced by the moderates in the court.

        My guess. Bush has made his concessions to the social conservatives with this one. He is not ALL they expected, but he is acceptable to them. This leaves Bush free to replace Renquist with Gonzoles, which is what I expect will happen.

  •  timebomb (none)
    They're not going to accidently try someone they aren't sure of.  Please, consider him a known quantity to their side.

    44 Democratic senators represent 3.3 million more American citizens than 55 GOP senators.

    One Man One Vote, and Democratic votes count for the supreme court.  We're just expressing the will of the people who expect a consensus candidate not a timebomb where only the other side knows what we're getting.

    •  Here are Some More Numbers (none)
      44 Democratic senators represent 3.3 million more American citizens than 55 GOP senators.

      Forgive me for doing a little horn-tooting, but I posted this diary over the weekend in which I showed in detail how Dems are a majority of the Senate representation in two ways:

      1. Dem Senators represent more people: (148 million to 145 million, using 2004 Census estimates).

      2. (Perhaps even more important) Democrats serving in the Senate today were elected by 61 million votes, while GOP senators were elected by 59 million. Also, the total votes received by all candidates, win or lose, was: 99.5 million Democratic, 98.3 million GOP.

      It is not the responsibility of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

      by Dan K on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:09:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  US Dept of Justice (none)
    With Estrada, wasn't it the case that the Justice Dept. wouldn't turn over a lot of material on the guy. Do you think this plays into it. Dems ask for the paper trail, JD says it won't turn them over, turns in to a Estrada/Bolton sort of fiasco. Now I don't know how the public sentiment on those two was, but I would like to think the American people aren't into stonewalling on SCOTUS nominees.
  •  I Wouldn't Call it Winning, Exactly (none)
    but it is the best we can do considering that we lost in 2004, in an election in which the SCOTUS was a major issue. Bush won, and he gets to nominate whomever he wants.

    That said, we probably came off better than we would have if Bush were riding high at this point. I also have to wonder if Bush's rush to get Roberts out there and deflect attention from Rove may have led them to overlook some things about Roberts, such as maybe that he isn't a fire-breathing ideologue after all.

    Like it or not, as the current minority (in office if not in population), Democrats have to pick and choose which battles to fight over. I agree that this is an opportunity to show the country what sort of nominee we would rather see if we had more say, without making ourselves look too much like obstructionists. Both sides will be using the confirmation process as a prelude to the 2006 senate campaigns.

    Also, much as I find the very notion to be contrary to the meaning of democracy, I would like to see the Democrats speak with fewer disparate voices, or at least fewer voices that step all over each other. The GOP got where it is in part because it enforced party discipline. I'm not saying the Dems should go that far, but we do need to have a clear and coherent message of what it is we stand for. Then, when some Dems do not hew to the party line, we can point out that this is (still) a free country, and we welcome their opinions, but the party has a different opinion. That way, we can demonstrate the true difference between today's GOP and the Dems: Unlike the GOP, we tolerate dissent.

    </rant>

    It is not the responsibility of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

    by Dan K on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:02:17 AM PDT

    •  We've chosen to fight none of them (none)
      If the Supreme Court is not worth fighting--if we're not willing to fight this guy because, although he will rule exactly like a right wing loony, he doesn't sound like one--then there's no fight we'll take on.  I am starting to believe that is the case.

      For the past year, that's all I've been hearing: "Let's save it for the Supreme Court".  

      Well, here we are.  And this is exactly the kind of scenario the country wants us to prevent.  Do we mean that we'll fight for choice, and the Constitution, and judges who will uphold it?  Or are we just damnable cowards who are afraid to get a little bloody in a fight unless we're sure we'll win it?

  •  WE DEMS HAVE NEVER HAD A BETTER CHANCE (none)
    than to stand up straight. Realize the truth (He'll be approved) and keep our sights pointed to Iraq, Downing Street and Karl Rove.

    I fear Karl Rove and what's next after George Bush...we cannot allow anymore Rove NEOCON building to go on. This country will not be worth living in and there won't be any jobs worth working at. The corps will be running prisons and we all will be working in sweat shops again. Or maybe just setting in the streets like all the men and women in Bagdad.

    I felt a bit of "we won"......yesterday. We forced an announcement and the guy sounds pretty clean. He's got an abortion thingy hangin around him but even that was an argument and not his personal belief "HE SAID"????...

    Look...the judge thing is a smoke screen...we all know it. Let the Senate do their thing...we Americans need to keep the arrow pointed at the Bald Guy in the White House...(Cheney and Rove)

  •  Bills, bills, bills. (none)
    I'm a corporate lawyer too -- I've represented (and continue to represent) major pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and the like. So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site.  Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills.

    Actually, I thought it was writing best-selling novels that best pays the bills?

    George W. Bush -- It's mourning in America.

    by LarryInNYC on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:14:08 AM PDT

  •  Disagree in part (none)
    that Victory is "already" won.

    Victory is attainable in this case, but could still be thrown away.

    You are right, the Dems can take this opportunity to frame the debate.

    But, they also have to avoid the potential pitfalls.

    If, as seems to be expected, after the hearings there just isn't anything to block Roberts with, the Dems have to accept his nomination.

    If a significant number of Senators choose to turn this into a blood bath with nothing to point to, that could hurt the Democrats and give credence to Republican arguments that the Dems are just obstructionist, and that they are controlled by special interest groups.

    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 Jul 20, 2005 at 09:14:27 AM PDT

  •  agree, but (none)
    we've really got to play up how conservative this guy is to improve our position for a potential rehnquist replacement.

    if that slot opens up, we've got to be set up to say:
    "you already got your rehnquist-type justice - now it's time for an o'conner."

    "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity" -Yeats

    by jethropalerobber on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:14:48 AM PDT

    •  WOW...... (none)
      ISN'T THE "WE'VE GOT TO PLAY UP" what the other side is doing.......I guess if we have to get messy you may be right. But ya know something, I bet we're better than that.

      If the Guy Roberts is a good candidate and he gets the nod then he earned it. If he's too far right the Senators have the tools to slow it all down.

      I know what you meant...and you meant well. But we should try our best not to become Karl Roves...lets beat him with being real people who don't like liar's and cheats like him. We can do it!

  •  Highly premature (4.00)
    its a bit odd to go patting ourselves on the back over this "victory".  this guy is 100% conservative republican tool.  he's going to do what they tell him, and that will be highly states rights-centric, anti-Roe, anti-environment, too pro-business.

    this is like Clarence Thomas taking the seat vacated by Thurgood Marshall.  Its a slap in the face.  Replcaing Oconnor with an anti-choice man is an insult.

    it seems just insane to declare this a "victory" for Dems.  and if anything, that wonderful "compromise" prevents a filibuster, as the Repubs. who were part of the deal will certainly not aceept any definition of this nomination as 'extraordinary'.

  •  I'm sure everyone's seen coulter's piece (none)
    but I'll post it anyway...


    "We don't know much about John Roberts. Stealth nominees have never turned out to be a pleasant surprise for conservatives. Never. Not ever... Oh, yeah...we know he's argued cases before the supreme court. big deal; so has Larry Flynt's attorney."

    So declares conservative columnist Ann Coulter in a new dispatch set for release.

    Coulter continues: It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:

    "In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as Deputy Solicitor General for a portion of the 1992-93 Term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States."

    This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.'s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying, "hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job."

    And it makes no difference that conservatives in the White House are assuring us Roberts can be trusted. We got the exact same assurances from officials working for the last president Bush about David Hackett Souter. I believe their exact words were, "Read our lips; Souter's a reliable conservative."

    From the theater of the absurd category, the Republican National Committee's "talking points" on Roberts provide this little tidbit:

    "In the 1995 case of Barry v. Little, Judge Roberts argued--free of charge--before the D.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of a class of the neediest welfare recipients, challenging a termination of benefits under the District's Public Assistance Act of 1982."

    I'm glad to hear the man has a steady work record, but how did this make it to the top of his resume?

    Finally, lets ponder the fact that Roberts has gone through 50 years on this planet without ever saying anything controversial. That's just unnatural.

    If a smart and accomplished person goes this long without expressing an opinion, they'd better be pursuing the Miss America title.

  •  Inside Baseball (none)
    I agree with a lot of this post, but I am concerned that much of the (very real) victory that acbonin proclaims here amounts to inside baseball.  Yes, this could have been much worse. Yes, Roberts is likely not the nominee that Bush would have made had he been operating from a position of strength (indeed, you might add the Attorney General to your list of those passed up because of the President's weakness . . . he really can't afford to piss off his wingnut base now, either).

    But getting the public to see this nomination as a sign of the president's weakness will be very, very tough.  What constitutes victory here -- the subtle effects of the filibuster battle; the difference between (slightly hidden) party hack and ideologue John Roberts and (open with a long track record) party hacks and ideologues like McConnell, Luttig, and Wilkinson; etc -- is subtle and only apparent to the sorts of folks who live and breathe this stuff.  Trying to convince the public that it's a victory may not work at all, and may end up instead just putting lipstick on this pig and wasting a lot of anti-Bush momentum.

    Support IWT
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    The Alternative to the Corporate Media

    by GreenSooner on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:25:36 AM PDT

  •  I caught a typo... (none)
    "He's weak, and the country needs to be reminded that this pick represents that."

    Should read:

    "He's weak, and the country needs to be reminded that this prick represents that."

    Spellchecking aside, you present a very interesting perspective on this. Seriously.

    "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

    by RubDMC on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:31:39 AM PDT

  •  Recommended (none)
    Forget the well-reasoned diary entry. Forget the entertatining and illuminative poll. I am constitutionally required to click the "Recommend" button for any diary that so seamlessly references Bruce Campbell's magnum opus.

    Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

    by amicus on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:32:55 AM PDT

  •  Only thing negative, for us (none)
    is Roberts' age; he is only 50. With good health and stamina he might be on the court until around 2045.

    Personally, I would also prefer justices who hadn't spent their whole adult lives inside the Beltway, as Roberts has, especially considering that every other judge on the court has been there for 11 years or more.

    Other than that, I agree that Roberts is probably one of the least damaging, and least conservative, nominees that Bush could have sent up. Anyone who thinks Bush would intentionally nominate a true moderate is living in a fantasy land.

    We should still point out the very real consequences of having another Rehnquist, which is what Roberts will likely be, on the court for 30 years or more. And that needs to be used as a reality check for voters and interest groups about the importance of winning elections.

    Let's use this as a motivator to not fritter away the next elections like we did the last one. Every Senate seat gained in 2006 makes it that much more difficult for Bush to fill the next SCOTUS vacancy with someone from the lunatic fringe. And winning even more Senate seats and the White House in 2008 will ensure that the SCOTUS vacancies in the next presidential term -- and there could be many -- are filled by people with whom we are more comfortable.  

    This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

    by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 09:52:30 AM PDT

    •  Not in evidence. (none)
      Other than that, I agree that Roberts is probably one of the least damaging, and least conservative, nominees that Bush could have sent up.

      What is this conclusion based on? In what way do we know that he'll rule any differently than Justice Scalia or Priscilla Owen?

      The only thing I can see so far is that if he is another Justice Scalia, he knows enough to keep quiet about it for now. And call me crazy, but I'd rather America knew straight up what they were getting. In fact, being quieter about it makes it more likely he'll sway Justice Kennedy instead of send him screaming the way Justice Scalia's brusque style often does.

      I fail to see any concrete advantage we're getting here yet.

      •  Can't ask for certainty (none)
        I said "probably". That's as good as we can do, based on his short record as a judge, which is not extremist (contrast that to, say, Edith Jones), his Washington-insider career, and his personal background. There is never certainty, and plenty of history of judges not staying locked into their perceived "ideological slot" -- White, Blackmun, and Kennedy are obvious examples. (IMO Souter doesn't belong in this category; I remember watching his Senate confirmation hearing and telling friends he was going to be another Brennan.)

        Will Roberts be persuasive to Justice Kennedy? Perhaps. More amiable than Scalia? Well, duh. I suppose the best-case scenario is that Kennedy is persuasive to Roberts rather than the other way around. Kennedy and Roberts appear to have similar backgrounds in many ways -- conservative Catholics who grew up in the suburbs, friendly, well-liked, good disposition, etc.

        You make an excellent point, though -- persuading the center of the court is a good goal when a president is choosing a nominee. When Ginsburg and Breyer were chosen, President Clinton hoped that they could be persuasive to O'Connor and Kennedy and help to build "coalitions" on the court as Justice Brennan always did. Maybe no one will ever do that as well as Brennan, but if Roberts is as likeable and non-egotistical as his reputation indicates, he may well do better at that than any conservative justice ever has.

        Of course, this may be much ado about little -- I said above that Roberts would likely vote very much like Rehnquist, and you're concerned that he's going to vote like Scalia. That's a pretty subtle distinction, for the most part. I think that Scalia's differences with Rehnquist are often driven by Scalia's temperament, and Roberts is far from having a Scalia-like disposition.

        This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

        by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:29:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, just to be clear (none)
          If I had the choice of another Scalia or another Renquist, I'd rather Scalia--who, every now and then, is prone to rare bouts of loyalty to the Bill of Rights.

          _Hamdi_ is the latest example of that.

          I believe that Roberts is going to be significantly out of the mainstream, more charming than Justice Scalia, and on the court for another thirty years.  I think we can insist on a more moderate judge.  I'd even take one that was going to overturn Roe if they were solidly centrist on other, more important issues.

          I know it's hard to think of more important issues, but there are some.  The First Amendment is one, separation of church and state is another, the lack of imperial powers for the President is a third.

          I am, however, resigned to the fact that there will never be another Justice Marshall or Justice Brennan for the rest of my lifetime.

          •  Well... (none)
            It's hard for us to argue that Roberts is "significantly out of the mainstream" if he's pretty much like Rehnquist. We have to explain to a public saddled with attention deficit how it is that Rehnquist is out of the mainstream when he's been on the court for over 30 years without the country disintegrating.

            If there is no Brennan or Marshall for the rest of our lifetimes, it is because we are not successful in putting presidents and senate majorities in place to make that happen.

            This is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.

            by socal on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:36:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It's bad (none)
    But it could be A LOT worse.  I say let him sail and jsut give him some good questions in committee.  We're gonna need the media to go back to focusing on Rove.

    We didn't get Judge Dobson.  Instead of a Scalia/Thomas we got more of a Rehnquist.  It could always be worse.

  •  Good post--but one disagreement: (none)
    You say:

    During the next few months, the point will not be whether Roberts responds to the requests with documents and answers; it is that we are asking these questions and keeping these issues before the public.

    If he's not entirely forthcoming with answers and documents, I think that's a VERY big deal and Democrats should make it so. This is the reason Democrats have given for blocking Bolton: that the White House continues to refuse to give them the documents and answers they've requested. If the WH and Roberts are even a little bit less than fully forthcoming, Democrats should hang it around their necks and tie it to Bolton, Rove, Iraq, etc. into one neat package: dishonesty, secrecy, contempt for the Senate (NOT just Democratic senators, but the Senate as an institution) and abuse of power. Even if he get confirmed, if they give the opening we should use the hearings to make those points again about Bush.

    "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

    by vawolf on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 10:01:18 AM PDT

  •  New Comic at The Hollywood Liberal Wag The Dog (none)
    Check out the latest political comic at The Hollywood Liberal.

    Wag The Dog: Bush Nominates Roberts.

    www.thehollywoodliberal.com/comic_feature_links.htm

    If you like it there are lots more.

    Thanks
    H.L.

  •  Thank you! Thank you! (4.00)
    Both you and kos.

    You've restored my faith in the Democratic party.  That we have smart people who know how to develop smart strategies towards winning.

    I woke up this morning and saw the predictable moveon.org response, and I just groaned... I'm glad we have someone who recognizes this for what it is... a sign of weakness from the Republican party.

    •  Overturning Roe v. Wade would devastate the GOP (none)
      I think this person has a point.  Take a look at the Los Angeles Times report on July 4th.  It says it all.  With the nomination of John Roberts, he could actually help Democrats in an unusual way.  If the decision is overturned, the moderate GOP will leave the party and will either join the Democrats or go into a third party.  Also, there is the possibility for women to get to the Democrats.  The most problematic will be coming from the Northeast for the GOP.  They either do not know or don't want to know.  And I think the biggest change that the American people will see is that they will become the party of theocracy.  That is where the massive losses will take place.

      http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-naroe4jul04,1,5980222.story?coll=la-headlines-fron tpage

      •  Absolutely (none)
        Today, there are a handful of zealots on both sides who worry about abortion.

        If the stance were to change, it'd wake up the middle and we'd have an honest to goodness real debate.

        The Republicans do NOT want that.

        I've heard all of the arguments of the slippery slope, of how we can't afford to risk this.  They aren't compelling, and show kneejerk reactions rather than thoughtful reflection.

      •  The end of Roe (none)
        ...would spell the end of the GOP majority. It would show people, in a very clear and immediate way, that having a Republican government reaps dramatic and disasterous results.

        The reason the GOP has gotten away with what they've been doing for so long is because their changes to our society have been incremental -- significant, but incremental. Increasing inequality, the erosion of the middle class, bad foreign policy -- all of these things change our nation slowly. People often don't draw a direct correlation between these things and conservative principles.

        Overturning Roe would. And then people would finally wake up.

        It's just ashame that things have to go so far for that to hapen.

    •  Overturning Roe v. Wade would devastate the GOP (none)
      I think this person has a point.  Take a look at the Los Angeles Times report on July 4th.  It says it all.  With the nomination of John Roberts, he could actually help Democrats in an unusual way.  If the decision is overturned, the moderate GOP will leave the party and will either join the Democrats or go into a third party.  Also, there is the possibility for women to get to the Democrats.  The most problematic will be coming from the Northeast for the GOP.  They either do not know or don't want to know.  And I think the biggest change that the American people will see is that they will become the party of theocracy.  That is where the massive losses will take place.

      http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-na-roe4jul04,1,5980222.story?coll=la-headlines-fro ntpage

  •  "Best Paying the bills..." (none)
    If there really are "many" corporate lawyers who, as you contend, actually do work by day for things they don't believe in, and then "contribute" their political wisdom to this site after they get home, that would go a long way towards explaining why this country is in it's current state.  And why we're facing 35 years of Bush "law."  

    If doing icky corporate law is the only way you can survive in this world, then you're already living on the dark side.  

    Money, and personal "need," are the fundamental rationals of Republican politics.  

    If anyone is supporting things they truly don't believe in, just to make their house payments, perhaps they should try moving to a smaller house.  

    Politics begin at home.    

  •  You may have a valid strategy (none)
    as far as trying to frame this as some partial victory, but...

    and this is a huge but in my mind,

    I keep picturing myself explaining why I (we) claimed his nomination as a victory to a woman bleeding profusely in some backwater cabin because there was no access to a safe and legal abortion. I picture her asking me why as she cries and the bedsheets get redder and redder, and I don't know what I could possibly tell her.

    If you have something I could tell to that young girl that would make sense to her I'm with you, but I just can't see it.

    And please don't construe my words as a personal attack on you, my question stands to all reading this. If we don't fight on this what do we tell that girl, and all those girls who's life's will be at great risk if Roe falls.

  •  Strategy, not Evaluation! (none)
    There's a fundamental and troubling problem with this thread that is worth discussing, I think.  All of this talk of the Roberts nomination as either a Victory or Loss for the Democrats is based on the assumption that the actions of the Bush Administration define our success or failure.  It is sheer insanity, however, to pin our hopes upon the actions of our opponent.  That's the strategy of a losing organization.  Our focus should be on our own reaction to Bush's pick, which will turn out to be good or bad for him and us not based on any intrinsic factors, but on the way both sides play the game.  

    Our strategy needs some serious consideration. For my part, I think Borking or personal attacks will play right into the "Dems are obstructionists" narrative the GOP has been laboring at.  Better to make Roberts's views as clear as possible and the stakes of his confirmation as explicit as possible for upcoming elections.  Also, casting some doubt on his social conservatism could help weaken the "christian" right's enthusiasm for Roberts and for Bush.

    Strategy, not Evaluation!

  •  Reid's List Of Acceptable Nominees? (none)
    Was Roberts on Reid's list of acceptable nominees?  How many judges were on Reid's list.  If Rove ignored Reid's list outright, why should Reid accommodate this nominee?  Any thoughts?

    -N.B.

    "It's not that I'm lazy. It's just that I don't care..."

    by npb7768 on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:01:34 AM PDT

  •  Strategy, not Evaluation! (none)
    There's a fundamental and troubling problem with this thread that is worth discussing, I think.  All of this talk of the Roberts nomination as either a Victory or Loss for the Democrats is based on the assumption that the actions of the Bush Administration define our success or failure.  It is sheer insanity, however, to pin our hopes upon the actions of our opponent.  That's the strategy of a losing organization.  Our focus should be on our own reaction to Bush's pick, which will turn out to be good or bad for him and us not based on any intrinsic factors, but on the way both sides play the game.  

    Our strategy needs some serious consideration. For my part, I think Borking or personal attacks will play right into the "Dems are obstructionists" narrative the GOP has been laboring at.  Better to make Roberts's views as clear as possible and the stakes of his confirmation as explicit as possible for upcoming elections.  Also, casting some doubt on his social conservatism could help weaken the "christian" right's enthusiasm for Roberts and for Bush. (Wouldn't the ultimate jujitsu move here be to praise Roberts in terms that make the christian right think they've been screwed again by Bushco?)

    Strategy, not Evaluation!

  •  fair enough (none)
    I see your point and, well, whatever. I suppose I agree. But THIS line:

    "I've represented (and continue to represent) major pharmaceutical manufacturers, insurance companies and the like. So, too, are many of the lawyers who write for this site. Unfortunately, that's what best pays the bills."

    I can't buy that. You choose to "represent" companies/industries known far and wide for screwing people and stomping on anyone who dares get in their way, and you justify it by saying "it pays the bills." Is this what the guy who builds bombs or manufactures napalm tells himself each night? What about the news anchor who gets on TV and knowingly lies to his audience? What about people like Karl Rove? It pays the bills.

    No offense, but this is a shite excuse for giving someone with a bad record a "pass," and an even worse excuse for standing up and defending horrible companies against the people's interests (as is often the case with the clients you defend I'm sure). Is there anything worth more than money anymore?

  •  I'm reminded (none)
    I'm reminded of what makes a good compromise.  If neither side likes it very much, then it must be a good compromise.  I think the fourteen had this kind of compromise.  Neither side was all that happy, but it was something they could live with.

    What am I hearing about Roberts?  I hear some very conservative, very neocon Republicans saying unreservedly that he is a 'fantastic' choice, that they are overjoyed, that he is a perfect selection.  The only thing I've heard from the Democratic side is Reid saying that the President has put forth someone with suitable judicial credentials. That's hardly ringing praise, more like 'That's....interesting.'

    I'm also not all that thrilled with what sounded like a hidden signal to the troops, the oft-repeated 'will not legislate from the bench', a symbol that this was Bush's offering to the far right crowd.

    I think I'd feel better if those in the other camp were a little less enthusiastic about him.

    "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
    "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

    by Stymnus on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 11:40:48 AM PDT

  •  I have to agree (none)
    Thank you so much for something so succinctly well stated.  I haven't read down the thread but by the sheer volume of replies, I suspect there are many who agree and many who do not.

    The very fact that we are so split is evidence of the win.  If we came out, guns blazing, all agreeing in righteous indignation that this simply had to be challenged, it would show that the Republicans felt extremely confident in their ability to turn this their way.

    Thus begins the spin.  We so often characterize "spin" as something that the other side does which simply outrages us (and that would be a true statement).  But "spin" doesn't have to equate to "lie" and especially not if we use the spin to our advantage.  I would like to see our side start speaking out loud what this is if we believe, in our heart of hearts, that ultimately an attempt to stop the nomination would fail.  Failing to thwart Roberts' nomination would have deeper repercussions than simply finding Roberts on the Supreme Court.  It would reinforce the labels of "obstructionist" and would impede any future, righteous efforts to that end.  So I would like to see Democratic leaders stand up and start saying things like:

    "Well, the President has had some challenges.  We're pleased to see him listen to all Americans in this decision."

    or

    "The President's numbers have been down... Most Americans think the war in Iraq is unsuccessful and don't agree with the direction the country is taking.  We're glad to see him make this compromise move for the sake of all Americans."

    Ok, ok - they may not be very good (I'm tired) but they should give an idea.  If we believe that to be the case, there's nothing wrong with turning it to our advantage.

    The revolution is coming... and we ARE the revolution.

    by RenaRF on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:07:40 PM PDT

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