Third Party & Independents Archives

Fool Me Thrice

Senator Chuck Schumer, the high-ranking Democrat who sits on the judiciary committee, cannot believe how easily President Bush was able to fool him not once but twice with his two stellar picks for the Supreme Court: John Roberts and Sam Alito, and vows not to be fooled a third time.

Speaking to the American Constitution Society, Schumer all but promised that President Bush is done picking Supreme Court justices, telling the group he and his colleagues were "too easily impressed with the charm of Roberts and the erudition of Alito."

Says Schumer, "I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances."

Like when there’s a retirement? I don’t think the American public would pleased with a Senate that refused to act if presented with a vacancy more than a year before the next election.

ABC correspondent Jan Crawford certainly put it mildly when she wrote, “some of the liberal commentary on the Court since the justices packed up and left town has been almost breathtaking in its over-the-top hysteria.”

It also doesn’t help when the media is consistently wrong in its analysis of the last Supreme Court term. Just yesterday on his blog at the Washington Post, Paul Kane wrote about Schumer’s childish plan to give Bush the silent treatment should another retirement take place with erroneous information on what the Roberts court has done, saying, "The Roberts court overturned previous rulings on partial birth abortion and campaign finance reform."

An all too familiar pattern. Certainly the Left has little to cheer about in regards to the recent Supreme Court decisions that didn’t turn out their way, but their predictable “sky is falling” rhetoric goes beyond the pale. Contrary to what you’re being told by the media and even respectable law professors, the Supreme Court did not reverse a bunch of precedents and send the country back 200 years.

The Court did not overturn any previous rulings on partial-birth abortion. Everyone swears it did but the Nebraska state law that banned the nasty procedure was scratched by the Supreme Court in 2000 and is still dead.

This year the Court simply upheld a federal law passed by Congress - you know, the branch that’s popularly elected by the people to write laws - outlawing partial-birth abortion in 2003. And it wasn’t exactly an ideological piece of legislation. The House passed it by a vote of 281-142 and the Senate by a comfortable margin of 64-34.

When it reached the Supreme Court on appeal, the nine justices had to decide whether to invalidate or uphold a fairly new and popular law supported by 345 members of Congress plus the president, to 176 members who opposed it.

For all the screaming liberals do about respecting precedent and not enacting it’s own ideological agenda, they come off mighty contradictory for assaulting the Court for upholding a four-year-old congressional law.

Campaign Finance is also alive, albeit weakened, but when the Supreme Court found it a violation of the Constitution to prohibit an advocacy group from running a televised campaign ad less than 60 days before an election, liberals went nuts.

It was a blow to students’ free speech rights, liberals argued, when the Supreme Court sided against a high school student who refused to take down a “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” banner at a school-sponsored event because the principal thought it violated the school’s policy against advocating drug use.

It would have been interesting, had the Court recognized such free speech rights that trample school policy, to see what else students could get away with. At least now we know a student who shows up at school with a swastika on his t-shirt probably wouldn’t get the support of the Supreme Court.

So Chucky has spoken. Will we witness the greatest showdown ever to take place in the Senate? It’s a fight in which at least one senator from New York is willing to participate.

Posted by Scottie at July 28, 2007 12:26 PM
Comment #227647

I can only hope the Schumer is true to his word should this unfortunate occasion occur during the remainder of this administrations time in office. The SCOTUS is way to important to allow another Bush appointee the chance to serve. We need balance, that is why I dont really care who the dems pick for president Im voting for them just in case a position comes open on the court.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2007 1:14 PM
Comment #227652

Well, Scottie, I have been saying for a long time these slow, dim, inept, incompetent, corrupt, and vain politicians have to go, before their replacements will get the message, that Americans want results and solutions to outnumber errors and problems newly created.

But, an awful lot of Americans are as slow on the uptake as Schumer. Doesn’t bode well unless Voting Out Incumbents becomes the norm for voters, and reelection the valued prize; instead of the other way around, reelection the norm and booby prize the exception.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 1:34 PM
Comment #227655


so what your saying is the court needs to be tilted back to the left eh. personaly i think former california supreme court justice janice rogers brown would make an exellent justice for the SCOTUS.


i don’t think much has changed the dems did everything possible to stop roberts and alito, but the pressure not to look like the obstructionist they truly were was acting against them. they also were faced with the possibility of the rule change which would not have allowed filibusters in judicial nominees, although i don’t believe the reps had the cajones to pull the trigger as it could have been used against them at a later date.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2007 1:48 PM
Comment #227657

dbs, excellent analysis directed to Scottie. I agree.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 1:55 PM
Comment #227658


i think the only way we’ll ever be able to clean up the gov’t is to make it the civil service it should be. these guys get way to many benefits and perks. things most of us will never see. take away thier cushy gov’t retirements and make them plan for thier retirement, and pay in to soc. sec. like everyone else. when your done, you go back to being a doctor, lawyer, or indian chief, or whatever the hell you were before. why should we have to carry these guys forever ? we also need to impose our own ethics rules on them . i don’t believe they’ll ever do it themselves. where’s the incentive ?

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #227662

dbs, I agree. I come at the remedy from a different angle however. I think we need to stop electing wealthy people hungering for power in the first place, and start electing folks like our selves to Congress. You know, folks with some common sense, enough education to add and subtract, and understand statistics, know how to act civil, and have the ability to chew gum and walk at the same time. Them kind a folks, with records and backgrounds that are clean and do them proud. There are 10’s of millions of such folks in America. But, we end up with this lot instead.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of our current politicians trying to do the right thing a lot of the time, but, after being reelected a couple times, they become addicted to the PR and marketing firms at election time, and truck loads of money it takes to hire them. Then they are hooked on the wealthy special interests that pull their strings just like a pusher does with a new addict, forcing her to prostitute for him to feed her addiction.

They all know and most even say in public that the money is corrupting the system. But, they never seem to get around to legislation that would solve the problem, do they. It’s up to us, the voters to show them the door, and keep showing them the door until their replacements finally get it. They work for us, not the corporations, and not the unions, and not the people’s in foreign lands.

We are the employer, it’s long past time voters started acting like a responsible one. For our children’s sake, if not our own.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #227663

dbs To the center, to far left or to far right does not a good Supreme court make. The Supreme Court is the last resort for justice in this country I would not like to see it ruined by ideology and politics. It should be above the fray. Look what happened the last time they based their decision along party lines, we got stuck with Bush.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2007 2:25 PM
Comment #227664

j2t2, that was a pandora’s box, I fear cannot be closed again. Was a time, when jurists held themselves accountable to the Constitution and the intent of its founders, deviating from it, only when the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers failed to anticipate the future to offer guidance. I don’t think we can turn those hands of time back, anymore than I can make myself less than 57 years old.

Some maturational processes are irreversible forcing one to accept and live with consequences of its history.

With one small possible exception for our Supreme Court. A new Constitutional Convention, in which a clearer and brighter line of separation between politics and governance could drafted. But, that is remote at best, though some valiant folks at Friends of an Article V Convention have started a movement in that direction. Which reminds me, I need to send them some money.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2007 2:34 PM
Comment #227668

The Supreme Court is just refusing to do the work of the Congress. As Scottie says, the liberals claim foul when a popular law is upheld. This is as it should be. Let elected officials make laws and go through the political process. Why is the belief in democracy a right wing idea?

Posted by: Jack at July 28, 2007 4:24 PM
Comment #227677


i think a supreme court justice should interpret the const. as it was written, and not read more into it than what it actually says. i prefer strict construtionists, or originalists.

the 2000 election was not stolen IMO. the rules for recounting the ballots was in place before the election, and you don’t change the rules after the game starts. trying to determine the intent of a voter is not an objective standard, and if the chad has to be conpletely removed, a hanging chad does not a vote make. the supreme court decided that since there was no universal standard for recounting the votes there was no way of insuring the integrity of further recounts. if the recounts had continued and ended in a stalemate the next step would have been the congress, and gore would have still lost as the reps controlled the congress.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2007 5:34 PM
Comment #227683

Times change dbs, while I can appreciate the judge having a firm grip on the intent of the constitution a developmentalist would be my choice for the next judge appointed to the court.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 28, 2007 6:49 PM
Comment #227685

The only way the left will think the Supreme Court is balanced is when there are 9 justices on it that make Ho Che Minn look like a reactionary.
And the only way the right will think the court is balanced is when all 9 justices make Regan look like a raving liberal.
Then there are the folks that know that neither liberals and conservatives are good for the Court. They know what’s needed are justices that can leave politics at the door and make rulings based on the Constitution of the United States really says. And not on some twisted political idea of what it says.
The only way to get these kind of justices on the court is to elect a president that aint gonna only appoint justices from his party. And then have a Senate that will actually look at the appointees qualifications and not their politics.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 28, 2007 7:27 PM
Comment #227687

The problem with the new line up of the Supreme Court under Roberts is that their new found majority of “strict constructionists/ originalists” really only boils down to the exact same “activist” behavior they constantly accuse the left of doing, but favoring the ideologies of the Neoconservative right.
In fact, those terms mean absolutely nothing at all in any true legal sense, and they purposefully coined them in order to be able to hang whatever they want to upon them.
Here is very good article outlining all of the ways that this new line up of the court has already imposed their neoconservative ideologies on the country.
As ideology-driven activism is their true cause, I’m sure we’ll see plenty more departures from critical rule of law concepts such as “respect for equal access to the courts, respect for the democratic process, and respect for precedent” in the years to come.

“personaly i think former california supreme court justice janice rogers brown would make an exellent justice for the SCOTUS.”

Janice Rogers Brown is an extreme rightwing ideologue with a judicial philosophy and view of government that are a total rejection of the modern legal framework that serves as the support to our entire federal system. Her extreme libertarian views will quickly become obvious to anyone who takes the time to read some of her writings, speeches and opinions. Brown completely opposes abortion rights, disability rights, anti discrimination laws, affirmative action, and any sort of multiculturalism. She is also a religious fanatic who in the typical overwrought fashion of evangelical false victimhood has declared that this country is engaged in a “religious war” and these are “perilous times for people of faith.”
It was an outrage that she was ever appointed at all to the California Supreme Court (by former GOP Governor Pete Wilson) because she had been rated “not qualified” according to the State Bar of California’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (she was the first person to ever be appointed in this state after receiving a “not qualified” rating). It is an outrage that she went on to be confirmed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and an outrage to even suggest she deserves to sit on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 28, 2007 9:23 PM
Comment #227689


“Brown completely opposes abortion rights, disability rights, anti discrimination laws, affirmative action, and any sort of multiculturalism. She is also a religious fanatic who in the typical overwrought fashion of evangelical false victimhood has declared that this country is engaged in a “religious war” and these are “perilous times for people of faith.””

while IMO abortion should not be illegal, i still find the use of it in this day and age as a form of contraception, so to speak, repulsive, and irresponsible.

depending on which side of the aisle you fall on there is IMO an extreme SP movement in this country, and i believe it is being lead by the aclu. it is IMO a tough time for people of faith, but only if they are christians or jews.

as far as affirmative action, i believe its time has come and gone, and racial quotas are patently unfair in a society that is supposed to be color blind. the job or student opening should go to the most quaified applicant, and race should play no part.

while i respect your right to your opinion, i strongly disagree, with your conclusions, and my statement was my opinion, and not intended to offend anyone. i could continue, but i believe this is one you and i will never be able to come to a consensus on.

Posted by: dbs at July 28, 2007 9:56 PM
Comment #227690


“It is an outrage that she went on to be confirmed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and an outrage to even suggest she deserves to sit on the Supreme Court.”

Don’t hold back, AD, tell us how you really feel!:-)

Yeah, it’s funny how many grassroots Dems and others had to beg and plead to get Reid and other senators to vote against cloture with the Alito nomination. There was real concern with hidden neo-con agendas with the Roberts gig, too.

Now, Chuck Schumer is having doubts about the political tilting of SCOTUS. Sorry, Chuck, that horse has left the barn, buddy.

Posted by: black & red at July 28, 2007 9:59 PM
Comment #227700

Somebody needs to explain what either Roberts or Alito has to do with a “neo-con” agenda. I watched much of both of their confirmation hearings, and I don’t remember anything at all coming up that had anything to with neoconservatism. At most, both are pretty old school in their strict constructionalism. Agree with them or not, there’s no “neo” in this very old brand of conservatism.

Schumer’s declaration isn’t news. He voted against both Alito and Roberts, and worked against confirming both. What more does he think he could do? It’s 100% obvious that he votes according to ideology instead of the qualifications of judges, and that he’ll continue to do so no matter what, just as he always has, and that he isn’t going to change.

He and his ilk couldn’t stop either Alito or Roberts because there was nothing to pin on them except the fact that neither is a hard-left judicial activist, which is what he’d prefer. Since the Dems will now control the committee, they could stop a new nominee. But then they’d have to stop another, and then another, and then another, and if these nominees are even half as qualified as Alito or Roberts, there’s nothing he could finally do about stopping the President of the United States, instead of a US Senator, from appointing somebody to the court.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 29, 2007 12:01 AM
Comment #227705

For the most part, I think this is political B.S. We knew what was getting shoved down our throat when he chose these people. They let them do it because they were more concerned with looking bad to people like Scottie, who I can’t see ever being satisfied with our real position on the matter.

What gets me is that those on the right think we’re as extreme in our fealty to the fringe as they are. They support these hard-right fringe folk, and think us Democrats are simply doing the opposite. Democrats may be rivals but they are not polar opposites. I wouldn’t have minded a moderate Republican, but Republicans seem to have lost touch with the very conception of moderation. They seem to want their policies, their way, now. They don’t seem to realize that the long term consequence of all this will be a strong push to the left for American policy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #227722


You are absolutely right. These folks knew from day one what they were getting. I also have noticed a right wing desire to seemingly assume that us liberals are just as politically biased as them. I feel that they are wrong in this assumption. I for one do not hesitate to hold the dems accountable for their misgivings. I do confess to a leaning towards liberal principals but am not so stupid as to think that there is only one approach to any matter. I also realize that there must be some compromise in order to make headway on most matters. I think republicans had everything their way for so long that they are having a hard time adapting to the term compromise. Because the scales were so heavily tilted in their favor for so long they effectively made a royal unchecked mess of governmental policy. Unfortunately it seems to take the american people much to long to realize that the wool is being pulled over their eyes. What is happening in government now is a slow and hopefully proper correction of those misaligned political policies that have made every effort to drive our principals to the extreme right. This correction is necessary to bring some rational thought back into the process of government. It is time that our legislators actually worked on setting policy rather than putting all their time and energy into party preservation and a guarantee of personal wealth beyond public service.

Posted by: RickIL at July 29, 2007 11:38 AM
Comment #227735


You know that even Arlen Specter has voiced concern over Roberts and Alito:

Of course swearing an oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee has become nothing but a joke with the ongoing Gonzo thing. I’d think a lie is a lie and if it’s told under oath they have a word for that………….?

But then the rule of law hasn’t concerned many Republicans for a long, long time unless it involves dictating decency, or busting Tommy Chong’s bong shop, etc………….. :-/

Posted by: KansasDem at July 29, 2007 1:41 PM
Comment #227738

“as far as affirmative action, i believe its time has come and gone, and racial quotas are patently unfair in a society that is supposed to be color blind.”


As a long time member of the Southern Poverty law Center I hear this baloney all the time. Our society is still far from being “color blind”. I’ll concede that affirmative action is far from perfect. No piece of legislation ever is.

It would be wonderful if we lived in a perfect society and a simple declaration such as: “It is hereby decreed by the Congress and the POTUS that every citizen must make every reasonable effort at preventing discrimination in the USA!” Well our society is not perfect so we need a law to IMPROVE diversity in schools, the work place, etc.

While it may seem unfair that a minimally qualified minority worker is awarded a job over a much more experienced white worker to meet a “Quota” such “unfairness” is hardly limited to this scenario. Sometimes an employer might choose to hire a less qualified employee because they’re more likely to remain in the advertised position for a longer period of time. There are a number of scenarios.

It’s really futile to argue the point because I’m quite sure that we’ll continue to slowly whittle away at affirmative action until it’s effectively reversed and only then will we see how well we as a society can “self-regulate” regarding racial diversity. I suspect we’ll find that we’re far from being color blind. Then the pendulum will swing back even further towards government regulation.

I hope I’m wrong, but I know for a fact that racism and discrimination are alive and well in Kansas and Nebraska.

Posted by: KansasDem at July 29, 2007 2:26 PM
Comment #227745


And, as eveyone knows, caging minority voters here, kicking them off voter rolls there, and insisting on photo IDs that make it difficult for strongly Democratic-voting constituencies like the poor and the old to vote is not racism. It’s just good politics.

Right, Karl?

Posted by: black & red at July 29, 2007 3:15 PM
Comment #227784


“As a long time member of the Southern Poverty law Center I hear this baloney all the time. Our society is still far from being “color blind”. I’ll concede that affirmative action is far from perfect.”

you can’t legislate away bigotry. and trying to do so only creates more inequity in general. an employer can hire whom ever they choose with out having to give a reason why other applicants were not hired. there will always be bigots, and they come in all colors and all races. our society will never be color blind no matter how many laws are passed. if it were that easy we could outlaw morons, and those with no common sense, but then our prisons would be even more overcrowded than they are already.

diversity is just another way of justifying affirmative action, or the awarding of jobs, contracts, or university openings in order to purge guilt. if you want to increase diversity do it by improving the K-12 education for everyone, this will give the so called under privileged minorities the tools they need to compete on an even level with all the other applicants.

Posted by: dbs at July 29, 2007 8:12 PM
Comment #227804


I also have noticed a right wing desire to seemingly assume that us liberals are just as politically biased as them.

It aint a desire. It’s fact. In fact y’all are even more politically biased than conservatives are. Just sit back and read the post one the blue side of this blog and comments made by liberals in all three columns. And do it with the open mind y’all claim ya have, and it’ll be as plain as the nose on your face.


Our society is still far from being “color blind”.

How right ya are. Unfortunately we’re a very long way from being color blind. But passing laws that favor one group over another isn’t the way to help the situation any. In fact it makes the problem worse.
Affirmative action has caused qualified folks to be passed over for jobs and promotions in favor of lesser qualified in the name of fairness. Not only is it unfair to the more qualified person, it isn’t fair to the lesser qualified one either.
When the unqualified person fails at the job, and most do, it make him/her feel they can’t so anything. It also can make the employer think that no one of that group is capable of doing the job. Specially after 4 or 5 fail at the job.
I know, supposedly affirmative action is supposed to stop an equally or better qualified person of a minority being passed over because of their race, sex, color, national origin, and such. But it flat don’t work that way. It causes employers to hire lesser qualified folks from these groups out of fear of a discrimination suite. And there are more suites than the left likes to admit. And that right there is where affirmative action fails.

I hope I’m wrong, but I know for a fact that racism and discrimination are alive and well in Kansas and Nebraska.

Again, unfortunately your right. discrimination is very alive and well. And it’s alive and well in every state.

black & red
The argument that requiring a photo ID to vote makes it harder or impossible for the ‘poor’ to vote just plain doesn’t hold water. All the poor folks I know have at least a state ID card. And a whole heap have a drivers license. Both have photos of the person it’s issued to on them.
So tell me. How is any harder for a poor person to show a photo ID to vote than a rich one?

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 29, 2007 9:24 PM
Comment #227838

Ron Brown

Sorry to burst your bubble Ron but it ain’t necessarily fact. I will concede that there are some dems who are blind party followers and would not admit wrongdoing or that their party of choice made a mistake for all the wealth in the world. But as a group in general we are genuinely concerned about the direction of this government, its policies, ideologies and a devoted commitment to the best interests of the people of this country. We openly hold our party responsible for living up to our ideologies and fully expect that they will perform their duties within the rule of law.

Can you honestly admit to holding your party to such standards Ron? Or are you like most of the rest of your party who turns a blind eye to corruption and are willing to accept a degree of corruption in government just because that is the way things are. Are you willing to admit that your party has been on an obviously corrupted agenda for the last twelve years. Do you support the party that has preached high moral standards while practicing just the opposite. Do you stand behind the party that has openly put the preservation of the party before the needs of the people. The list could go on and on Ron but there really is no need. The point is that the republican party does not seem to have learned from their mistakes. They are the party that has been repeatedly caught time and again with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Neither party is perfect. But the last twelve years of uncontested republican control has done immeasurable damage to this country.

Posted by: RickIL at July 30, 2007 9:23 AM
Comment #227859

I’m not a Republican. I’m an Independent. And I hold ALL parties to standards.
It’s true the Republicans haven’t learned a damn thing from their mistakes. And the party faithful are still defending them regardless of their failures’
But I hate to burst your bubble too. But I don’t see any of that bunch y’all elected this last time around holding to any standards but the ones that benefit them the most. And I see the left on this blog staunchly defending them.

Posted by: Ron Brown at July 30, 2007 12:18 PM
Comment #227871

Right on.

Posted by: KAP at July 30, 2007 4:10 PM
Comment #227876


I am sorry for misinterpreting your party affiliation. I have read your posts in the past and should have remembered that you are an independent.

I sometimes think that I should perhaps consider myself an independent. I do not think there is any more important need in government than to remove corruption and institute real and effective ethics reform. I sincerely believe that until our representatives and executive branch can be made to be held accountable for their actions we will not be able to claim an effective, efficient and productive government once again working for us the voters of this country. I for one believe that the democrat party has fathomed this message from their constituency. I also feel that we must give them time to work beyond what is still a nearly equally divided congress of reluctant republicans and a veto happy president who has no moral conscience.

At this point only time will tell if the dem party has learned its lesson or not. I think also that if you pay close attention that what you will see is most dems on this blog defending democrat principles not necessarily the party. One word you will see in a lot of discussions is hope. Hope that our party will rise beyond the filth associated with modern day politics. If not then I personally will not hesitate to hold them accountable at the voting booth. If they have not learned anything of the need for honesty and openness in government from this last bunch of criminals and perverts then they do not deserve to serve this country and receive a paycheck.

Posted by: RickIL at July 30, 2007 5:15 PM
Comment #227900


” I think also that if you pay close attention that what you will see is most dems on this blog defending democrat principles not necessarily the party. “

ditto ! i think you’ll find the same on the republican side, whether or not you want to admit it .

Posted by: dbs at July 30, 2007 8:37 PM
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