Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Alito's Defenders Speak With Forked Tongue

Ok, this is a short post...because I have to go run and bind my head in an Ace Bandage before it explodes...All I want to do is ask the "good" senators on the Judiciary Committee (like Sen. Graham, for example) how they can point a finger at Democrats and accuse them of playing "party politics" with this nomination, with destroying the fabric of civility, with dragging the nomination process to new lows by using it to prepare for the NEXT election....and in the SAME speech also admonish the Democrats for being surprised by Alito's nomination when the President had promised in his presidential campaign to nominate judges exactly like Alito to the Supreme Court.


The Democrats are politicizing the process and playing election politics over Alito but a conservative, right leaning, Executive powers supporting nomination like Alito was a CAMPAIGN PROMISE?

What are you people smoking?

Have you forgotten how back in October it was CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS who kept Harriet Myers from even HAVING HEARINGS because you felt that she did not represent a fulfilment of your PRESIDENT'S PROMISE? And you have the unmitigated gall to accuse DEMOCRATS of playing politics with this process?

The PRESIDENT ran on CHANGING THE COURT. If you want to admonish someone for playing politics with the nomination process, start there.

You want judges who won't be activists and yet you owe your golden child in office to the activism of conservative Justices who decided the outcome of the 2000 election. You don't want activist judges but you will do whatever you can get get someone on the Supreme Court who will limit freedoms, disregard precedent, and invest unprecedented power in the Executive Branch.

And Arlen Spector...you are a coward. I watched you throughout this process, and I've seen your grave concerns about this nomination. I know in your heart that you understand that you are chairing a process which will fundamentally and forever change what America is, and what it can ever be. This is your legacy, Senator. You, more than any other person in this country are responsible for this sea change.

It was the Supreme Court, and the Rhenquist Five who began this process, and you have codified it. It is no good to, like Pilate, wash your hands and send it to the Senate to vote on it. You could have stopped it here, and you did not.

Sen. Feinstein stated today that the world, and our nation, is different than it was when Justice Ginsberg was confirmed. She was roundly criticized for saying that. How many times have Republicans claimed that September 11th changed everything, and that nothing in the pre-September 11th world continued to apply?

While not invoking the Republican's favorite justification for extreme changes to the very fabric of our nation, September 11th, that is a very real truth here. September 11th and the unending War on Terror will be a very large part of cases which will appear on the Supreme Court's docket.

The President says that the terrorists hate us because of our freedoms, our rights, and our way of life. How can the Republicans claim to defend those rights and freedoms, that way of life, while working far more effectively than the terrorists to remove them?

They can't...unless they lie...and that's the truth.


Blogger frstlymil said...

I don't know about you - but I'm truly ready to vote EVERYONE out of office - fire the bunch and start over. Or require that each and every one of them go to their local community college and take a U.S. Constitution class. Jeez.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Samuel Alito. Every Democrat voted against— the first nomination to lose every minority party vote in 90 years.1 The nomination now goes to the full Senate for a final vote, which could happen in less than a week.

Many of the committee Democrats based their historic opposition on what the New York Times called Alito's "extreme views on presidential authority."2 President Bush claims the power to detain American citizens without trial, torture at will, and spy, apparently illegally, on our private conversations. Confirming Alito to the Supreme Court would threaten the last real check against presidential abuse of power.

The next few days are the last chance we have to influence the Senate before the final vote. So, today, we're aiming to send in 10,000 letters to the editor to newspapers around the country, opposing the nomination of Samuel Alito and Bush's plan to put himself above the law.

You can write and submit your letter online right now, at:


Filling the nation's editorial pages with citizens' letters connecting Alito and the Bush power grab is one of the most effective ways we can show the Senate that we understand the stakes and are counting on them to stand up. And it's important to act now, because the Democrats and moderate Republicans who oppose Alito have still not decided if they will mount a filibuster to block his nomination—but they must decide soon.

Senator Leahy, the top Democratic senator on the Judiciary Committee, put it well yesterday: "The president is in the midst of a radical realignment of the powers of the government and its intrusiveness into the private lives of Americans...this nomination is part of that plan."3

Here are some key areas where Alito's record makes him a sure bet to back Bush's grab for unchecked power:

The spying scandal: Bush likely breaking the law

As a lawyer in the Reagan White House, Samuel Alito wrote that he personally believed administration officials should have complete immunity if they break the law and spy on American citizens—and worked to protect Nixon's Attorney General who was convicted of exactly that crime.4 President Bush now stands accused of illegally spying on Americans, and the issue is likely to go to the Supreme Court.

The torture scandal: Bush above the law

Alito helped create the radical argument that the president can override Congress and dominate the courts by issuing a "signing statement" to "get in the last word" about what a new law means.5 Last year, Congress passed a ban on torture and Bush, who opposed the law, issued a signing statement claiming that it simply wouldn't apply to him if he didn't want it to.6 This, too, is likely to come before the Supreme Court in near future.

The detention scandal: Bush inventing the law

After 9/11 Bush claimed the power to indefinitely detain American citizens, without trial, formal charges, or access to a lawyer. In Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court rejected his argument.7 Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the majority, "a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens."8 Clarence Thomas dissented, basing his argument on the theory of the "unitary executive"9—the same theory Judge Samuel Alito refers to as "gospel."10

Samuel Alito even railed against Morrison v. Olson, which granted Congress the power to create an independent counsel to investigate presidential scandals whom the president could not simply fire at will. Alito called the decision, "stunning" and praised Justice Scalia's "brilliant but very lonely dissent."11

Bush's ploy to increase his own power with Alito on the Court will not only throw off checks and balances for the rest of this term, but for decades to come. Vice-President Al Gore spoke on this topic last week and summed it up well when he asked:

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution? If the answer is "yes" then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited? If the President has the inherent authority to eavesdrop, imprison citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?12

With Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court, the answer may be very little indeed.

Please take a minute to write a letter to the editor asking your senators to reject Bush's grab for unchecked power and Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.


Thanks for all that you do,

–Ben, Adam, Marika, Rosalyn and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Wednesday, January 25th, 2006


1. "Senate Panel Backs Alito on Party-Line Vote," Los Angeles Times, January 25, 2006 http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-alito25jan25,0,1707725.story?coll=la-home-nation

2. "Judge Alito's Radical Views," New York Times, January 23, 2006

3. Transcript of the Senate Judiciary Committee, January 24, 2006

4. "Alito said Attourneys General Can't be Sued for Illegal Wiretaps," Bloomberg, December 23, 2006

5. "Alito once made case for Presidential power," Washington Post, January 2, 2006

6. "Bush could bypass new torture ban," Boston Globe, January 4, 2006

7. "Timeline: Sandra Day O'Connor's Key Decisions," Washington Post, July 1, 2005

8. "A Supreme Court nominee in wartime," Kansas City Star, July 09, 2005

9. "The Limits of Power: Questions for Alito," The Nation, January 6, 2006

10. Sen. Patrick Leahy'Statement on the Confirmation Vote of Judge Samuel Alito, January 19, 2006

11. "The Record and Philosophy of Samuel Alito," People for the American Way, January 2006, p.22

12. "Restoring the Rule of Law," Prepared Remarks of Vice-President Al Gore, January 16th, 2006

9:22 AM  
Blogger R said...

I'm with frstlymil. They HAVE ALL GOT TO GO. Our party, their party, every party. We've got to empty the keg and roll it out. The PARTY is over. It's become a farce.

9:15 AM  

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