Friday, June 24, 2005

Who Won the Elections Anyway?

In case anyone is wondering why judicial appointments are necessary, read this decision in Kelo v City of New London. The division was 5-4, with only Justices O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas dissenting. O'Connor and Thomas both wrote dissenting opinions. Kennedy and Stevens wrote the majority opinions. Souter was appointed by Bush 41, but has been decidedly liberal in his opinions. Only Scalia, Thomas, and Rehnquist have held to original construction of the Constitution. O'Connor is often the swing vote. Powerline has more.

Powerline also has the lowdown on another attempt by the minority party to determine not only who is approved, but who is nominated.

Senator Durbin officially compares our military treatment of the unlawful combatants at Guantanamo with Pol Pot, the Nazis and the Soviets, never retracts his statement, in spite of the obvious fallacy (over 30 million murdered by said regimes - not one death at Guantanamo, etc.), and the Republican leadership accepts his apology. Trent Lott made an offhand remark at a birthday party and lost the Senate Majority Leader position. Why is Durbin still the party whip?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Hat Tip to Cassandra and Liberal Larry

Cassandra at Villainous Company has some interesting history questions.
  1. Who said this (and when): "I call on those who question the motives of the president and his national security advisors to join with the rest of America in presenting a united front to our enemies abroad."
  2. What major newspaper pointed out a link between Osama bin Laden and Iraq (and when).
Liberal Larry has some thoughts on who should be the next ambassador to the UN.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The One True Church

I figure we'll get a lot of mileage out of this one. Consider this: Since the term Christian originated in Antioch, and since they have not changed the worship service in centuries, maybe the Greek Orthodox Church fits the title.

Okay, that should set up the debate. See you later.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Judiciary Votes

So far, the Democrats have honored the "deal" to invoke cloture on the three Bush nominees. Two have been confirmed (Owens and Brown) as of this writing and one (Pruor) will be voted on today.
The vote to invoke cloture on Owens had only 18 Democrats voting no. The subsequent confirmation vote was more along party lines, with only Byrd (D-WV) breaking ranks to vote for the confirmation.
The cloture vote on Janice Rodgers Brown had more Democrats voting no, but still passed eassily with 10 voting yes. Jeffords (I-VT) joined two Democrats not willing to commit either way. The confirmation vote broke almost completely along party lines, with Nelson (D-NE) being the only Democrat to vote for her. Jeffords continued to abstain.
The cloture vote for William Pryor passed easily 67-32-1, with Jeffords again abstaining.
"Moderate" Hillary Clinton (D-NY) voted no for both confirmations and the last two cloture nominations. Stay tuned for the nomination vote on Pryor.

Update 8:07 PM

William Pryor has been confirmed. The vote was almost along party lines. Three predictable Republicans voted against [
Chafee (R-RI). Collins (R-ME), and Snowe (R-ME)] and one [Murkowski (R-AK)] joined Jeffords (I-VT) in abstaining. That meant only 51 Republicans voted in favor, but the vote was 53-45 because two Democrats [Nelson (D-NE) and Salazar (D-CO)] voted in favor.

Two other judges have also beeen confirmed to the Sixth Circuit: (1)
Richard A. Griffin, of Michigan, by a 95-0 vote (Jeffords plus Alexander (R-TN) , Biden (D-DE), Murkowski (R-AK), and Obama (D-IL) abstained); and (2) David W. McKeague, of Michigan, by 96-0 (Jeffords, Biden, Alexander, and Murkowski abstained again).

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Judicial and Filibuster Watch

For most of the people with whom I correspond, the 2004 elections were all about the judiciary.  We feel betrayed.  We handed the President a Republican majority in both the House and Senate and expected that originalist judges would be appointed to stop the leftward slide of the judiciary.  The deal made by the "Gang of 14" was a slap in the face to voters.  Seven Republicans agreed to oppose a Senate rule change, thereby ensuring that the Constitutional option would fail 48-52.  In exchange the seven Democrats agreed to vote invoke cloture, thereby ensuring 62 votes to shut down a filibuster - except for "extraordinary circumstances", such circumstances to be determined by each individual Senator.

So you can watch the players, here is a list of the 14 by party and Class. Class I comes up for reelection in 2006, Class II in 2008, and Class III in 2010.
Class I
Lincoln D. Chafee (R-R.I.)
Mike DeWine (R-Ohio),
Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine)
Class II
Susan Collins (R-Maine)
Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)
John W. Warner (R-Va.)
Class III
John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Class I
Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.)
Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn.)
Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
Class II
Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
Class III
Daniel K. Inouye (D-Hawaii)
Ken Salazar (D-Colo.)

Here's what justices are supposed to do:
The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made under their authority; - to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls; - to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction; - to controversies to which the United States shall be a party; - to controversies between two or more states; - between a state and citizens of another state; - between citizens of different states; - between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, or between a state, or citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens, or subjects. (Article III, Section 2)

Notice that there is no mention of foreign law, world opinion, unratified treaties, or any other outside source. The basis is the Constitution, current law, and current treaties. Liberal judges who say that "the Constitution should grow" (liberal-speak for "move left") willfully neglect that there is provision within the Constitution for it to grow:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution,or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate. (Article V)

In that manner, changes and growth of the Constitution can be made "safe, rare, and legal", to borrow a phrase. For an oligarchy of five robed justices to write law from the bench is not the orderly change process envisioned by the fathers. It is a defeat of the representative process outlined in the Constitution. The fight about justices is not about abortion and gays, it is about maintaining the Constitution.

When an individual assumes the office of POTUS, he (or she) takes an oath that goes like this:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the duties of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. (Article II, Section 1)

President Bush is attempting to do exactly that by appointing originalist judges who will abide by the Constitution instead of twisting it and interpreting it in light of foreign law. The Left cannot stand for that to happen and will obstruct at every turn.

Currently we have a non-filibuster(?) delaying a vote on John Bolton's nomination as Ambassador to the UN. Okay, the agreement was for judicial nominations, but this is indicative of how we might see the votes in those. In the vote to end debate for John Bolton, only two [Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)] of the seven Democrats voted to invoke cloture.

Stay tuned for "extraordinary" circumstances.