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BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'

Bill D 07 Nov 05 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Martin gibson 07 Nov 05 - 06:17 PM
Bill D 07 Nov 05 - 11:09 PM
Peace 07 Nov 05 - 11:18 PM
Al 07 Nov 05 - 11:24 PM
Amos 07 Nov 05 - 11:25 PM
Bill D 08 Nov 05 - 12:28 AM
Ebbie 08 Nov 05 - 12:38 AM
GUEST,petr 16 Nov 05 - 03:35 PM
GUEST,marks 16 Nov 05 - 07:34 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 16 Nov 05 - 07:41 PM
Amos 16 Nov 05 - 07:52 PM

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Subject: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 01:32 PM

I couldn't get a long sentence into the title box, so I hope this will do.

Yesterday, the Washington Post had a long op-ed article by two conservatives on what conservatives REALLY want in Supreme Court judges, and why they think Alito is a good choice. (Yes, the Post does print articles on both sides)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/04/AR2005110402276.html

(This will not be available forever, but I have copied and saved it in case we need to refer to it...I will post some clips from it)

This article is about as clear an explanation of the notion of 'strict construction' and the idea of 'not legislating from the bench' that I, personally, have read. I expect that 'most' conservatives will read this and nod in agreement, but I found myself seeing both the lure of the the 'strict constructionist' philosophy, and the weaknesses in the argument.
(Now...how to explain this without typing for 3 hours!....maybe I will do it in stages when I have time)

Basically, it (the article, as reflecting the authors' views), seems to assumes that the Constitution, IF strictly read, would support conservative viewpoints.

" When conservatives say that we want "conservative" judges, or "strict constructionist" or "constitutionalist" judges, what we mean is pretty simple: We want judges who won't make stuff up. We want judges who won't view the Constitution as a mirror in which, at every turn, they see reflected their own opinions and policy preferences. We want judges who will play it straight, read the Constitutional or statutory text (our text, not foreign ones, which the court has relied on in cases like last session's Roper v. Simmons , which held execution of juveniles to be unconstitutional), and apply it as fairly as they can to the individual case before them."

The Constitution has this problem.....it is vague in many ways, and cannot specifically address most detailed issues. Nor should it, if it is to guide a large nation for centuries! It tried to set forth basic right, freedoms and ideals that would protect everyone, and not favor anyone. Even the part about "keep and bear arms" is not spelled out in detail...and abortion is NOT mentioned at all....yet conservatives convince themselves that they can defend one right, yet deny another, based on the general outline of men 250 years ago who had little idea what we'd be facing today.

It is a strange way of twisting the language to say that a judge should not "make things up" and should be strict in his reading of the constitution, and still assert that we need judges who will vote in a pre-determined way for various conservative principles.

In the article, they say "The Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection of the laws can't be ignored every time a public university wants to prefer some applicants over others, based on race."
   They don't even seem to consider that some people's idea of "equal protection" is different from theirs. It is not obvious that 'equal protection' means protection only FOR institutions who wish to set application standards in their own way, no matter whether it is 'fair' or not. Setting quotas, or introducing a system of extra help for minorities is not automatically unreasonable, although certain applications of it may be. You certainly can't find a clear rejection of the idea in the Constitution!

well...enough for now...You note I did not specifically affirm or deny and particular right or position...I only note the tendency of a clear conservative argument to assume that, properly read, the Constitution is a conservative document.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 06:17 PM

So who do who want? How about Al franken or Jerry Springer from Air America, your 2 big spokespeople.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 11:09 PM

all I get from all that writing and thinking is Martin Gibson, making his ususal refreshing non-comments?

sheeesh!

Did anyone read the editorial? Do I write bad titles? Should I hire Bobert to make up thread titles?

If I refresh this 27 times, will someone look in out of curiousity?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Peace
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 11:18 PM

"Alito, Samuel A. Jr.
Born 1950 in Trenton, NJ

Federal Judicial Service:
U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Nominated by George H.W. Bush on February 20, 1990, to a seat vacated by John Joseph Gibbons; Confirmed by the Senate on April 27, 1990, and received commission on April 30, 1990."

Just George following in his dad's footsteps, Bill. "But the town has no need to be nervous."

I feel sorry for the USA, tell ya the truth. Your Constitution is about to take a beating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Al
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 11:24 PM

I read your post and the article on which it is based. Whole lot of thinking going on. Here's what I think. When political structures cease to benefit the citizenry, and when they worry more about internal consistencey, it's time for them to have a makeover.
Al


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Amos
Date: 07 Nov 05 - 11:25 PM

A Letter To My Fellow (Normal) Americans
by Beth Quinn

Dear Fellow Normal People,

In case it hasn't hit you yet, the jig is up.

The Radical Religious Right now owns all three branches of America. Or they will in a few months, when Sam Alito gets his seat on the Supreme Court.

Bush's nomination of Alito is the whole enchilada. It's the Religious Right's quid pro quo for putting him in the White House. Bush owes them big-time, and their tab for services rendered is one Supreme Court.

And so Bush has given the ultraconservative Alito to the nut cases he's beholden to, thereby handing them the third branch, lock, stock and barrel.

Considering they already own the White House and Congress, we average, normal Americans should be quaking in our boots. And I'm talking about average, normal Republicans; average, normal Dems; average, normal people of faith; average, normal women and gays and immigrants and minorities and the disabled.

That's because our average, normal freedoms will be dead in the water when Alito replaces Sandra Day O'Connor as the court's swing vote. As the gleeful Pat Robertson explained it last week:

"We can see the majority shift on the court – instead of going 4 to 5 against the Lord, we'll now be going 5 to 4 in His favor."

Who knew the Lord was such a steady litigant before the court? Certainly not I. But there you have it.

If you doubt it, I've compiled a little list of folks who are dancing in the streets about Alito's nomination. Just look who's got Happy Feet now:


Chuck Colson, the born-again Christian commentator and Watergate convict, says the Christian community "is not going to put up with foot-dragging in the Senate confirmation process."
Did you hear that, Senate? The Religious Right wants Alito confirmed pronto – and these folks have the juice to demand it. They own you, too, remember?


Tony Perkins, president of the wildly right-wing Family Research Council, is "thrilled" with Alito because, he says, until now the courts have been "the last bastion of an anti-Christian viewpoint."

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice couldn't wipe the grin off as he called Alito's nomination a "Grand Slam" for the Religious Right.

And a chilling statement from Dan Swarthout, president of Christians Reviving America's Values, who lauded the Alito nomination with these words:

"We need someone on the U.S. Supreme Court who stands for the true principles of America. In fact, I think most of America would agree that it is time for our nation to stop our tolerance for diversity."
So, fellow normal Americans, we now live in a country where the Supreme Court will be safeguarding intolerance. Good luck to you all.

I hope for your sake that your god is their god.

© 2005 Record Online


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 12:28 AM

well...by twisting and squishing and interpreting, I can make the article Amos quoted fit the theme of the article I quoted.

"tolerance for diversity" is now for all practical purposes dead? As in "We want judges who won't view the Constitution as a mirror in which, at every turn, they see reflected their own opinions and policy preferences."??? Whose opinions and policy will the radical right see reflected in the Constitution?

"tolerance for diversity" is now for all practical purposes dead? Don't tell the Black & Latino voters that...better to co-opt them and convince them that conservatives are in favor of one of their favorite single-issue planks....even if it is smoke & mirrors.

Methinks Beth Quinn may be a teensy bit overwrought....at least I hope so! I don't 'think' Tony Perkins, Pat Robertson, Dan Swarthout, and Jay Sekulow have the inside track to dictate American norms for the foreseeable future...even with Alito on the court. I can't imagine living in this country if I'm wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 Nov 05 - 12:38 AM

I keep hoping and even expecting that one day, before irreparable harm has been done, there will be a misstep that will clearly show the gaping chasm to the 'party faithful.

But if my brother and sister in law in Oregon are indicators of any sort, at this point the faithful remain so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 03:35 PM

well, all the right wing columnists (including the Mudcatter Dougr)
demanded that all supreme court nominees get an up or down vote.
By that catechism, Harriet Myers should have received a vote, but I guess in this case she was denied that. By whom? certainly not the democrats..

can you say hippocrits?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: GUEST,marks
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 07:34 PM

Kind of doubt the religious right is near as influential as they, and folks who worry about them, think they are. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, et al., are really nonentities these days.
Even a secular society can benefit from a strict view of the constitution. The right to bear arms is a constitutional issue, where the ability to get an abortion if you want one is not. This is an issue left up to the States to decide - just as several States had already removed abortion prohibitions before the Roe v Wade decision. Social progress will go on absent court mandates. But, an Alito on the court may just stop nonsense like the Connecticut decision which allowed the municipality to take private property - not for public use - but on behalf of a private business entity.

I really think there is not much to worry about if Alito gets confirmed, just wish I could explain it better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 07:41 PM

Everybody knows that Alito (and most conservatives) are 'right'. But are they 'correct'? I think he is (and they are), by and large.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why Conservatives think Alito is 'right'
From: Amos
Date: 16 Nov 05 - 07:52 PM

The problem is not the bloviating Limbaugh of the religous right, but the many quieter RR members who use the false history and the convoluted rationalizations of organized religious teaching to justify reactionary impulses based on obsessive control and repression of the human spirit.

They are found at all echelons from Governors to carpet technicians and their rationalizations distort the ideals of American politics and social construction tot he state of a feudal or fascist theocracy thinly disguised as a "moral" code, when in many cases it is netiher moral nor a code. Rather it is a thin veneer of justification lying on top of some pretty vicious social impulses.

These are the minds that abhor science, want to prohibit sexual difference, think marriage is the provenance of their particular religion, and militate against any sociual engineering that is based on inherent equality and individual private liberty.

It has nothing to do with whether they are Christian, Muslim, Jayne, Baptist, Zarathustrian or Jewish; it has to do with their misguided belief that they have a right to dominate as public property those areas of life which should be matters of individual conscience and private freedoms.

A


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