Via Sullivan, a link to SCOTUS precedents that may be at risk, and Matt Yglesias is right– there are a lot of economic issues that are being overshadowed by the social issues.
The usual supects on both sides of the aisle are going to focus on a few issues, however, chief among them abortion. The Kossacks are already manning the battle stations, petitions are being signed, and Peope for the American Way’s Save the Court website is taking volunteers.
Meanwhile, the folks at Confirm Them are also working themselves into quite the lather, and the hysterics about Alberto Gonzalez have reached a fevered pitch as we are exhorted to ‘STOP GONZALEZ NOW!’ So much for the notion of the President being allowed to choose the nominee.
At any rate, I have to admit to finding the Democratic response a little amusing. They can sign 92 billion petitions, get a million volunteers to form a human wall around the Supreme Court, and the simple fact of the matter is it just does not matter what they think or what they want. Elections mean things, and the Democrats are the minority party. Their only recourse is the filibuster, should they find a nominee objectionable.
So thus, the real participants in this debate are not the Democrats- ignore them. They can do what they want to try to shift the balance, but the real power brokers are the seven Republicans who approved of the recent compromise. This is, for the most part, a debate that will happen inside the Republican party. Sure, it would be all puppies and hugs and rainbows if Bush selected a nominee that 100 Senators could support, but that person does not exist. This is a debate between the conservative hardliners and the moderate wing of the party, and the real key is to peel off enough of the moderates to break the filibuster. If Bush selects a nominee that is acceptable to them, it matters not a whit what the Democrats think, and John McCain’s statement this morning should be a sign of what is to come in the form of a nominee:
Another conservative Republican, Senator John McCain, who is from Justice O
You’re right, the filibuster is all the Dems have, but if they don’t use it to stop a far-right Supreme Court Justice, when are they going to use it? If they hold back saying, “Hey, if we use the filibuster, the Republicans might take it away from us!” it’s as if they never had it in the first place.
If they’re going to filibuster and have it mean something, now is the time.
John, you’re right. I wish that O’Conner wasn’t retiring, but she is and that’s that. Dems have to realize their only way to win–I use the term lightly of course–is to get some Republicans on their side. Continuing to push for impeachment and screaming about abortion is not the way to do this. Dems need a smart strategy, one that’s also bold, but not off-putting. I think as pressure mounts from the right to nominate a real religio-nutball, if Dems chill out, they could come out on top, at least in the long run.
In the least, this is going to be terrible to watch.
I find it interesting that the argument always comes back to what will the Dems do.
The reality is that the far right constitutes, at most, about 1/3 of the country. So what are the moderate Republicans going to do?
We will all suffer equally under any wingnut that Bush nominates and Frist gets confirmed. I’d like to see some Republicans grow some balls.
Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.
The Democrats might usefully come up with a plan to reform Social Security. It’d be a start.
Sojourner- Did you even read my psot? The only thing the Democrats can do is hurt themselves, as this is a battle between forces within the GOP.
What matters is, precisely what the moderate Republicans do, and the Democrats better realize it. Ralph Neas, the NOW gang, and the folks at the Daily Kos aren’t going to like pretty much ANYONE Bush nomninates outside of George Mitchell.
But yes, their behavior after the nomination is selected does matter. If Bush chooses someone the moderate Republcians can go along with and who really isn;t that objectionable, and the Democrats filibuster, they are just hurting themselves.
And you might remind yourself- according to many within the Democratic party, none of the conservatives on the court right now could get confirmed because they are too ‘extreme.’
Unless we see a change in this administrations tactics, I don’t forsee this as a problem. Their first instinct seems to be to force a nasty fight. And with the Dobson crew already vetting prospective justices it’s even less likely.
I’ll be happy if I’m poven wrong and will, reluctantly, back a moderate nominated by President Bush. It’s just not something I expect in the least.
Thanks for sharing Ricky.
Sorry, John. I wasn’t clear. Frankly, I don’t think the moderates have the balls to go up against their own leadership. DeWine has said as much. McCain is already weasling.
And once again, even in your response to mine, you talk about how the Dems need to play this. How about how the moderate Repubs play this? How about they take the lead, stand up to Bush and Frist, and say “Hell no”?
You know as well as I do that Bush is going to choose somebody he knows is unacceptable to the Dems and the moderate Repubs. It’s the only way to hold onto his base and his base is all he’s got left. The ball isn’t in the Dems court at that point, it’s very much in the moderate Repubs’. And I have zero confidence in them.
So much for the notion of the President being allowed to choose the nominee.
you mean after he has sought the advice of the United States Senate, as stated in the Constitution?
Because sojourner, the moderates have to do two things: determine if the nominee is acceptable, and if not, determine that they can go against the nominee without being destroyed.
The Democrats, on the other hand, are coming from a position of near complete impotence. They have nothing by hysteria and the filibuster on their side, so how they play their hand and how they behave is far more important.
What in Bush’s past history suggests that he would do this? Unless aliens abduct the president and replace him with a brain-flipped clone, he’ll do what he always does. Toss out whoever best suits his radical-right agenda and strong-arm the moderates into playing along.
And unless Bush’s support numbers hit levels reserved for spam emailers and bleeding anal sores, the moderates will play along.
If you liked the Schiavo circuis it’s safe to bet that you’ll love these nominees.
Why would Bush need to “hold onto his base (which is) all he’s got left?” He’s not seeking re-election.
I mean, I could entertain the equally plausible fear that, now free of vote-getting pressure, the inner-Poppy in Dubya–a real moderate-to-liberal squish–could come to the fore.
Anybody think President Bush will use the “advise” language in the Constitution like President Clinton did?
Hey, look at that. Quoted on the front page. Neat. Probably because I suggested Justice John Cole had a nice ring to it.
“Like” vs. “confirmable” are two greatly different things. There are moderate conservatives just like O’Conner out there that are quite capable of being nominated and appointed in short order.
The Democrats can encourage this by submitting more than a faux list of targets and come out with a real list of moderates that a simple majority will agree on. If they do this well within the public eye, with as much noise as they can muster (which isn’t much), then they can come out on top no matter who ends up getting the nomination.
Oh and Ricky, if you’d stop congratulating yourself for being such a hilarious smart-ass, you might find tons of Democratic sponsored Social Security solutions.
While I could do without the shrill tone, pulpit-thumping and petitions -do- accomplish something – they help the people who DO still have to accountable and re-elected gauge the reactions of the nation. I think it would be foolish of any Senator to ignore these things when deciding how well to toe the line laid out by someone who was rejected by 49% of the voting population.
Personally I’d be tickled to see the fillibuster thrown out. Sooner or later, no matter what certain majority leaders may think, all tides shift. Won’t they feel stupid when they are the minority and they took the lone weapon out of the holster themselves?
He has to hold onto his base because that’s what intimidates most of the Repubs in the House and the Senate into voting his way. Most of Bush’s proposals are decidedly unpopular with the American people (Social Security reform, the Iraq war, etc.). But he gets his way because of the perception that the wingnuts hold all the power in the party.
“If the left-wing base ramps up the rhetoric to a point that even people who by any standard are moderate cnservatives are unacceptable, they will lose enough of the seven Republicans.”
The Dems have approved 205 of Bush’s judicials nominees and filibustered 10. You’d think, by reading John’s post and others like it, that the left wets itself over every nominee tossed up by the administration, but that’s patently untrue. The real question is whether Bush will abide by the tradition of advice and consent, and provide a nominee amenable to the Sane 7, in which case, I don’t see a filibuster in the offing. Of course, he might also, without consulting the Senate, nominate a totally unacceptable, far-right ideologue.
But…nah, he wouldn’t do that, right?
Elections do have consequences. At this point, I think it wouldn’t hurt to let Americans be reminded of that. Speaking as a Democrat, I think we should pretty much sit on the sideline, perhaps forward a few names as Reid has done and let the Republicans do their best or worst.
If it is their worst, then American has gotten the jurisprudence it so richly deserves and we hammer it to hell and back in 2006 and 2008.
I disagree with your assessment on the Democrats. If Harry Reid is smart, he should use this as an opportunity to tear the GOP apart. If he follows McCain’s lead, the SCOTUS appointment would crystallize the divide in the GOP between the middle and the far-right. If Reid comes out with a statement like, “Alberto Gonzales would not be my first choice, but on the whole, he would make a decent Justice and will represent the SCOTUS well…” the far right would come UNGLUED. At that point, Reid and the rest of the Dems can start readying the new seats that they will pick up in 2006 after the GOP civil war that will ensue.
You are absolutely right asnd I am not sure why you think this conflicts with what I have written. the Democrats haveto be smart, and not just run with apocalyptic rhetoric, as they appear to be doing. Like I said- Ralph Neas isn;t going to like whoever Bush nominates. ted Kennedy is going to be an insufferable prick no matter who is nominated. The urge to join them, particularly prior to a nominee has even been announced, should be avoided.
From reading the left-wing blogs (oops, magazines) today I’ve observed a couple of things. First, people are scared (I’m a woman, I’m scared over the possibility, likely or not, of Roe being overturned). There is a lot of bluster and overreaction, as there tends to be online where there is no time delay between thought and expression.
But if you look a little deeper, Dems are discussing which conservatives are acceptable. We’re not pushing for liberal judges – we know we won’t get that. We are looking at people like Gonzales, and others like the four Reid recommended. We’re looking for moderation, someone to help keep this country from going completely off the far-right deep end.
And abortion will play a huge role in this. Roe v. Wade was decided on the precedent of Griswold v. Conneticut, which made contraceptives legal for married couples. I would not like to see the Griswold decision exposed to re-evaluation. For the same reason I want Roe to stand. I am a legal adult, with the right to control what I do to my body. And these laws restricting access to abortion, the conscience clause laws in pharmacies – they all hint towards a time when women may not be considered actual sovereign adults again, without ever specifying whose permission I would need to attain to make such decisions. Lawmakers? Pharmacists? My paternal uncle?
To use a tired and worn phrase, it is a slippery slope I fear. We live in all too interesting times.
I say the Democrats should vote against any judge that they truly believe would be a bad jurist and calmly give factual reasons for it. No bitching, no over the top rhetoric. Then they should fillibuster the person but again, just give facts. Once the Republicans abolish the fillibuster, they should voice their displeasure but not lose their minds.
The key is to oppose with in a calm, reasonable way. Because their response will be the only thing they can control. Then, when the Supreme Court quickly works its way to over turning Roe vs Wade, use that to win every election until abortion rights are again federally mandated. I hope Republicans are thinking to what will happen to their support if Roe gets over turned. Are they ready for a rash of teen-age girls and doctors being arrested and women dying in underground abortion clinics here? Or more realistically, since all Roe will do is ensure that abortion is not a federally protected right, the battle between blue abortion states and red illegal abortion states is going to be nasty. I see alot of Americans getting thrown in jail and states turning on each other.
I completely agree with you, I am I sorry if there was some misunderstanding. The Dems will NEVER get anyone they are even closely happy with. However, the Dems and McCain are locked in a symbiotic relationship that they can only achieve each of their desired goals if they work together. And if they are split by Rove and co. they will both die a publically humiliating death.
Abu Ghraib Gonzales, The Voice of Moderation
“I say the Democrats should vote against any judge that they truly believe would be a bad jurist and calmly give factual reasons for it”.
I agree Jorge, but monkeys will fly out of my butt while I”m having sex with Halle Berry before that happens. I mean, i also think that Republicans should calmly debate any Democrat who questions the qualifications of a Bush nominee, but again, see my above reference about monkeys, my butt, and me banging Halle Berry.
And while some of cburke’s rhetoric may be a bit overwrought, she touches on one of the reasons WHY Supreme Court nominations get so testy over Roe V Wade.
My fiance’s best friend is as feminist and liberal as they come (she worked for Lynn Yeakal in ’92 when Yeakal ran against Arlen Specter) and she’s also an attorney who graduated from an Ivy League law school (Penn) and while she’s as staunch a supporter of Roe v Wade that you’ll ever find, she’s also said that it’s poorly written and reasoned and while she never would, she could tear it apart from a legal standpoint.
I’m not a lawyer so i can’t say one way or the other if she’s right, but that’s what she said.
Do I like Gonzales? Oh, no. But I think, based on records I have searched out so far, I would prefer him to someone like Cornyn, McConnell, or Luttig. I’m still reading up on Garza, who seems to be the rumor-mill front runner.
I’m not quite so sure I understand this headline from the Times.
“Warn Bush”? Warn Bush of what? Kicking and screaming?
Well John, while I generally disagree with your political assessments, I have to admit that you attract some pretty decent commentary. That is what keeps me coming to your blog.
First off…Will Bush actually take the ‘advice and consent’ clause seriously, or will he attempt to push through a base acceptable idealogue?
My guess is the latter.
The idealogues will not be satisfied until they’ve detonated the nuclear option, so they will push a nominee so unpalatable that the Democrats willhave no choice but to filibuster.
We will see if the nuclear option has the votes, my guess is that it will…but barely. Of course…this means the majority party will break the rules of the Senate to write new rules. This has some interesting implications.
If the Senate breaks its rules to write news rule how legitimate will be any legislation, appointee, or nominee approved through anew rules process, especially when the Dems recapture the process? This would result in an politically legitimized argument for redress, and could potentially precipitate Constitutional blowback of the kind not seen before, all caused by the idealogoguery of Republicans…who broke the existing process…and the Democrats who want both legitimacy and revenge. This could mean impeachment proceedings when the Dems control the process later on.
I think its an entirely likely scenario that hasn’t been properly thought through by the current majority party, and its certainly one that would be no less extreme in its consequence as the employment of the nuclear option.
I think the four Republicans Reid suggested (Martinez, DeWine, Crapo or Graham) would be perfectly reasonable comprimises. They’d be widely supported and easily confirmed. Anyone who isn’t an extremist would accept any of them. Oh wait…
I think this diary takes the most realistic stance:
I’ll settle for a guy who 80 Senators would be willing to confirm.
I’m merely highlighting the insanity that the man who wrote legal opinions justifying the creation of a class of non-persons and legalizing torture would be the “moderate consensus candidate”.
I’m all for a Gonzales nomination — it would give us a shot at once again looking into the administration’s support of torture.
Not all conservatives like a Gonzalez nomination.
So with the moonbat left and thumper right getting all cranked up over him, he is probably not going to be the one.
Gonzales is a non-starter. You know and I know that this nomination will be pitched straight at the drooling fringe.
“At any rate, I have to admit to finding the Democratic response a little amusing. They can sign 92 billion petitions, get a million volunteers to form a human wall around the Supreme Court, and the simple fact of the matter is it just does not matter what they think or what they want.”
Yeah, we know, the USA isn’t a democracy.
…oh, that wasn’t what you meant? Then, damnit, think about what you meant; the heavy bias towards majority rule in our national legislature and the undemocratic character of our judiciary are nothing to be proud of. And you will not take joy in the victory of the radical right; I think you may already know that.
The radical right has something to prove, too–they’re losing public support. Iraq has turned into a quagmire. Most of their domestic policy initiatives are unpopular. That means, to maintain power they pretty much have to appoint a sympathetic majority to the Court; if things continue as they are they’ll be out of power in less than a decade. Now, maybe the Republican leadership will compromise on a moderate; it would be the strategy that keeps the most power. It’s possible we’ll see a realignment within the Republican party. But the indications are that the radicals in charge will hang on as long as they can; it’s what they did in the Clinton impeachment, after all, and it’s what they are doing in Iraq.
So it’s showdown time. May freedom and justice prevail.
“That means, to maintain power they pretty much have to appoint a sympathetic majority to the Court.”
Wait, I thought these Radical Right types hated the judiciary. Now I’m all bugaboo…
Many MommyCools can remember when women didn
“Wait, I thought these Radical Right types hated the judiciary.”
They do. That’s why they want to corrupt it.
“Another woman needs to be appointed to the vacancy.”
Janice Rogers Brown is a possibility. She’s quite radical, and would probably, even in the Rhenquist Court, often be a minority of one.
“I’ll settle for a guy who 80 Senators would be willing to confirm.
Posted by Kimmitt at July 1, 2005 03:52 PM”
I’ll settle for one that 51 are willing to confirm.
The Disenfranchised Voter
I say let the Republicans nominate a pro-life judge. I don’t think they have the balls to overturn Roe vs Wade. While the every day idiot pro-lifer may be stupid enough to think outlawing abortion would be good, the intelligent conservatives understand better.
However, Gonzalez should not be put on the court. Anyone who calls the Geneva convetions quaint and outdated does not deserve to be a judge, period.
Fuck that guy.
I’ll settle for one that 51 are willing to confirm.
Right, well, that’s kind of the difference between me and you — I have an interest in the soundness of American institutions.
Abortion is not endangered. O’Conner was the 6th in the 6-3 decision. Kennedy also pealed to support it. With of course Renquist, Thomas and Scalia desenting. But I will concede there are other cases libs beleive in that would be overturned….