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Not Rehnquist…

posted by awelborn

O’Connor retires

And the replacement will be?

And the nomination will divide whom?

And the confirmation process will be….?



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Kathleen

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:01 am


I think Renquist will follow shortly.
This is where the promises of GWB to pro-lifers better payoff.
Biggest battle will not be between dems and repubs, it will be between socially conservative repubs and moderate repubs in my opinion.
This is going to get very ugly.



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Rod Dreher

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:01 am


Nomination will be Luttig, the Fourth Circuit conservative. This summer will be apocalyptic on Capital Hill. Luttig will be confirmed, and when Rehnquist goes later this summer or this fall, Bush will nominate someone more confirmable — I’m thinking Emilio Garza. Both sides will be exhausted from the Luttig fight.
Here’s the deal: when Rehnquist goes, that’ll mean two confirmation hearings — to get a new justice, and to get a new Chief Justice. That’ll bring about a fight reminiscent of year 8 of the Iran-Iraq War.



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Peggy

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:06 am


WH is leaking Gonzalez, whom the base does NOT like. I’ve heard Luttig as well. Another woman who is a conservative “under the radar” is a possibility as well. A Bob Novak column listing possibilities is posted at Drudge.
Hey, the press is just glad for a summer story–a BIG one at that–ratehr than shark attacks.
Apocalyptic is a pretty good word for all hell that’s gonna break loose, especially if both Renquist joins O’Connor in resigning.



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msp

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:08 am


John G. Roberts, Jr. I don’t think Rehnquist is going anywhere for a while.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:18 am


Anything like another Souter, even with the promise that the Rehnquist replacement will be ok, and I think the old saw about the Pro Lifers “Well, where will they go?” will see its end. This is make or break for the Republicans. Another Souter, and I’ll send my next check to Casey.



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Gregg the obscure

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:28 am


I suggest Janice Rogers Brown. She was already confirmed by this very Senate, so Senators would have quite a time explaining why Judge Brown was acceptable for the DC Circuit but isn’t for the Supremes. She’s not quite Scalia or Thomas, but she’s in the right direction.
If the nominee is not clearly truly conservative, Bush’s support from the right evaporates and his party faces a big crisis. On the other hand if the nominee is clearly truly conservative, the opposition party – especially their mass media subsidiaires – are going into a mode that will make late September 2001 look like early August 2001.



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michigancatholic

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:29 am


Rehnquist is very ill, I believe. He can only stay just so long.
All hell is going to break loose. This indeed is where GWB’s promises better pay off. This is at least a big part why I voted for the man. It is in GW’s second term, when he has less to lose.
God bless and God speed the President on making the best choice for all of us, including the helpless.



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Richard

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:34 am


1. I think Gonzales is unlikely even if Bush likes the idea. For one thing, Gonzales would have to recuse himself from virtually every single case involving the war – or anything else the administration has been involved in – that comes before the Court. He’s also hard to replace in his current job.
If I were throwing a dart at the board, I would say Luttig is the pick. Unless he really, really wants the accolades of naming the first Hispanic justice, in which case – barring Gonzales – he would have to go with Estrada or Garza. So it’s either Luttig or Garza.
2. I think Rehnquist wants to die with his boots on. I don’t think he has that much time left. My guess is that he didn’t want to present the Senate with more than one pick at at time.
Replacing Rehnquist with another conservative likely won’t make any real difference on these issues, by and large. Democrats have to consider carefully whether a more or less status quo pick, say someone like Garza or McConnell or Luttig – would be worth re-opening the nuclear option debate again.
Now with O’Connor steping down – this is a different story. There would not be enough votes to overturn Roe v. Wade (or Texas v. Lawrence, to take another example) since Kennedy has made pretty clear by now that he’s unwilling to do that. But O’Connor did provide the key vote in Carhart v. Stenberg, which struck down partial birth abortion state statutes. She also provided the final vote in Grutter v. Bollinger, which upheld part of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policy.
In which case I expect trench warfare, fixed bayonets, and Pat Leahy blowing the deguello on his trumpet before every Judiciary Committee hearing.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:35 am


Gregg,
Fair observation, but do recall that the Senate dispatched Judge Bork notwithstanding.
We may soon see a replay of the filibuster debate.
The Libs will pull no punches on this one, including those below the belt. Replacing Rehnqiust with another conservative will not change the balance of the Court; but O’Connor’s seat is considered dear by the Dems, especially the pro-abort fanatics.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:44 am


“The Libs will pull no punches on this one, including those below the belt.”
And they didn’t hit Terri Schiavo below the belt?
Its been “go time” for a little while, only the Cess Pool Hot Tubbers have been cowed by the neo’s to think there’s something like “collegiality” in the beltway.
Spain, Canada, and Stem Cell should be a white hot wake up call–its now or never!



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Cornelius AMDG

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:45 am


Richard is basically right — this is a hugely different situation than if Rehnquist had retired. But Bush will need someone with a softer image than Luttig. Gonzales would infuriate the base too much. I predict Emilio Garza, John Roberts, Michael McConnell, or maybe, if Bush thinks he needs to replace O’Connor with a woman, Edith Jones. Janice Brown really is too far out of the mainstream — and I say that as a conservative Republican.



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Melanie

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:48 am


I don’t know if it would help, but shouldn’t we call the white house switch board to remind the president of his promise to pro-lifers?



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Peggy

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:50 am


If the Republican party blows this issue for the base, I predict a Dem president in 2008–maybe even Hillary. She may be counting on the perfidy of the GOP Senate on this. She’s already talking the talk on immigration, which could really help her.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:55 am


Cornelius,
I honestly know nothing about Justice Brown’s jurisprudence, but doesn’t the fact that she was re-elected (technically retained, I think) in a “blue state” with a 76% vote somewhat bely the notion that she is so conservative that she is outside the mainstream? Or does “mainstream” mean the mainstream in the Beltway?



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Nancy

posted July 1, 2005 at 10:57 am


Hillary! Horrors!



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Damian

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:00 am


IF it is McCain in 2008 on the Republican side, Hillary is TOAST!



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:03 am


“IF it is McCain in 2008 on the Republican side, Hillary is TOAST!”
Riiiight.
It it is McCain in 2008, say good by to all three branches. The base will leave, because McCain is the darling of the neoconservatives and no one else.



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Tom C

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:16 am


I wouldn’t exactly call McCain “the darling of the neconservatives.” He doesn’t always play well with that group. I would describe him more as “Every Democrat’s favorite Republican.”



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:17 am


Hilarious…The bad joke of all this speculation about 2008 (which is what this thread became rather swiftly) is that McCain is the strongest candidate the GOP has in 2008 and it doesn’t matter because enough people who matter at the national level in Rep. politics would rather die first than nominate him. So you will get Hilary vs. well, could be Rudy….I p.o.’d a lot of people of few weeks ago in another thread about how lots of Reps. are going to be effectively pro-choice after years of posing as something else. Don’t care to get into that again, but a. how this discussion is shaping up shows what I was talking about and b. I have no fish to fry in this as I am a nominal Democrat who hasn’t voted for a major party presidential candidate in, well, decades now.



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Dennis

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:19 am


This is a make or break choice for Bush and the GOP as far as I’m concerned. Anything less than a solid constitutionalist in the mode of Thomas or Scalia this time, and I’m finished with the GOP. Some of the names that have been floating around in the press, though (Gonzales, McConnell, etc.) are not encouraging.
A question for fellow lawyers here: Assuming major stonewalling and filibustering from the Democrats, is it possible to recess appoint a Supreme Court justice? I’m not sure Bush would have the guts to do it, even if he could, but I’d love to see him recess appoint Bork. The reaction of the Left (especially Ted Kennedy) would be priceless.



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Cornelius AMDG

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:24 am


Mike,
I was using “mainstream” to mean the mainstream of legal thought throughout the Nation. And, in fact, I would say that she is outside the maintream of CONSERVATIVE legal thought in the Nation. I don’t have any problem with her nomination to the Ninth Circuit — there should be room for different legal theories there — but her nomination to the Supreme Court might even be opposed by someone like Judge Bork.
As for her retention votes, very few people follow state supreme court justices and their decisions, and I just don’t think that Brown’s (or any other justice’s) retention votes mean much for the political battle that is about to ensue.



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Richard

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:25 am


Anything like another Souter, even with the promise that the Rehnquist replacement will be ok, and I think the old saw about the Pro Lifers “Well, where will they go?” will see its end. This is make or break for the Republicans. Another Souter, and I’ll send my next check to Casey.
Al – as usual – makes an excellent point here.
Consider: I have seen studies which suggest that Bush has done far more than even Reagan, Bush pere or Nixon to ensure that his federal court nominees reflect his strict constructionist judicial philosophy. Everything I’ve seen bears that out. And it helps that he has a wider pool of conservative judges and lawyers to choose from than his predecessors did.
Bush has also tinkered at the edges, with some discontent from conservatives, on things like abortion or whathave you because that’s all he can really do. The Supreme Court has taken so much off the policy table for the presaident or congress.
So for those for whom key culture-war issues are salient – or just those conservatives who place top priority on reining in out-of-control federal courts – it’s make or break for Bush on SCOTUS nominations. They not going to remember that he appointed lots of great lower judges or reinstated Mexico City if he ends up picking another Souter or even another O’Connor. And they’re going to remember it when the RNC hits them up for votes and money next year. Swing voters really won’t. They’re more interested in issues like Social Security or the war.
Of course Bush would face trench warfare with such a pick. But that would be nothing new. He has more senate votres than any Republican president since Hoover. If not now, when? If a SCOTUS seat is not worth going “nuclear” over, what is?



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michigancatholic

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:37 am


Start praying, folks. This is the only difference you can make from here. But it may be the most important one!



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breakfast_club_jeff

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:47 am


Yes, time to start praying in overdrive for the unborn babies right now!



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Mark

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:48 am


Al, Dennis, and Richard have it right. Either appoint someone who will finally abort Roe, or the many, many pro-lifers who provide the margin of Republican victory in every election will stay home for the next 20 years, like they did in 92 and 96. If Roe does not go, there will be absolutely no reason for pro-life voters to ever vote for Republicans. We’ve been fooled enough. We won’t stick around and say, “oh well, maybe next time,” and give the Republicans another chance. Besides, the circus that judicial confirmations have become proves the error of imposing abortion by judicial fiat. Once we kill that abomination once and for all, we can restore some semblance of civility to the process.



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Ed the Roman

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:50 am


Gonzales, as a nominee, would be an invitation for the Judiciary Committee to go fishing on all the domestic intelligence since he became AG and all the detainee stuff since the start of the war, as well as his having to recuse himself from cases touching the war. Nominating him would be nearly insane.



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breakfast_club_jeff

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:52 am


Amen to that, the GOP brand is at stake. Better not ruin the franchise.



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Mark

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:53 am


“We may soon see a replay of the filibuster debate.” Maybe we need to adopt conclave rules. Lets just shove them all in the Senate chamber and lock the doors until they confirm a nominee. Nobody goes in, nobody goes out. I suppose I would let them pass food in, but they would have to use chamber pots and sleep on the floor.



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Mark

posted July 1, 2005 at 11:56 am


Thankfully, now that the idea of a conclave is mentioned, I do believe that W is amenable to some measure of guidance from the Holy Spirit, and he will give the matter a lot of prayerful thought.



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Mark

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:05 pm


Whoever it is, if John Sununununu says that we should “trust” the choice, he or she should be defeated 100-0.



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Emily

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:07 pm


While I would do a backflip/jig/dance of joy combo if Edith Jones were nominated, I’m not holding my breath. Her ship sailed when Bush 1 picked Souter over her. Since then she has been delightfully outspoken on all the right issues. That, however, makes her completely unconfirmable. I say Luttig or Estrada.



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SiliconValleySteve

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:10 pm


Bush will nominate someone who is widely favorable to his conservative base. This guy has guts and has risked unpopularity before. When has he backed down on an issue that he staked out? He said he wanted to appoint justices in the Thomas/Scalia mold and while it may be hard for any nominee to compete with the sterling records of these two, I don’t believe that it will be a stealth nominee.
I also believe that we have 50+ votes for a good constitutionalist but the real problem will be the filibuster. Front and center on this is John McCain. If he lets the base down, he has no chance for the nomination. If he manages a deal with he group of “moderates” to get a vote, he becomes the front runner.
If Bush makes a good faith effort and nominates a solid candidate and pushes for his confirmation, he deserves the support of pro-lifers.



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Gerard E.

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:13 pm


Luttig, Brown, Estrada…..all top-self possible appointees. Gonzales…..not so good. Very little distinguishing about O’Connor and her time on the court, other than Ronald Reagan’s infuriation of the feminists by appointing the first woman to the high court. Will start an ideological tsunami from the moment that GWB announces a possible successor. Would hope it’s someone who understands the danger that judges present as Lord High Imperial Determiners of Life Or Death. As we saw two months ago with Terri Schiavo’s agony.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:15 pm


Fair response, Cornelius.



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John

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:18 pm


Here’s a novel concept, nominate Bob Casey to the seat!



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exile

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:18 pm


This is the only reason my wife and I voted GOP. Period. This is it. A serious, conservative judge, and presumably a Christian for the Supremes. Now we can get 2! This has *got* to happen. (The idea that the first one might be a hardcore conservative WOMAN — who at least could mute some female pro-abort voices — is icing on the cake.) But it is going to get ugly. Thank goodness there’s a Fox News to hear at least something like balance in the “MSM”.



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Sean

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:20 pm


I think the Vatican should insist that before a Catholic can be nominated by the President to the Supreme Court, he or she must first receive an “imprimatur” that he or she faithfully follows Church teaching on the same non-negotiable culture of life issues applied to elected officials.



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Richard

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:25 pm


Start praying, folks. This is the only difference you can make from here. But it may be the most important one!
By all means do that. But it would not hurt to fire off a letter to the White House and to your senator.
Apparently Bush won’t make his announcement until July 8.



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Victor Morton

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:34 pm


MoveOn.org already has released an ad playing up the Schiavo case, which liberals clearly see as a winner for them (“… a family crisis affecting the most personal rights of all. There was George Bush, playing politics with our personal rights once again.”)



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Mark

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:38 pm


List of “cases in which Justice O’Connor’s has been the decisive vote or opinion, and in which a more conservative Justice might well vote to overrule the governing precedent.” –
http://www.sctnomination.com/blog/



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WRY

posted July 1, 2005 at 12:58 pm


Let’s look at the pure politics here: America is a pro-choice country, pure and simple. You can slice and dice the poll numbers any way you want, but only a tiny percentage of Americans care enough about abortion to go to the wall on this issue, and that leaves control in the hands of the pro-aborts. If Bush puts a couple prolifers on and Roe vs. Wade is overturned, the GOP will lose the House and Senate in 2006 and the White House in 2008. Sure, you say, but abortion will be illegal and they won’t have enough support for a pro-abortion amendment to the constitution. Quite wrong, I would say. Only a handful of states, if *any* would move to make abortion illegal because, with an exception maybe in Utah and Idaho, any political party that proposed it would be kicked right out of office. There simply is not a pro-life majority in this country. I don’t like that, but there it is.
What Bush will do is nominate conservatives who can be depended on to abide by the concept of “stare decisis” (to let stand things that are already decided). So, there would be no further court drift to the left, but no reversal. To take that, at this point, would take a pure judicial activist that could be sniffed out and opposed easily by a majority in the Senate.
The only way we can win America to the prolife cause is at the ballot box. As I interpret Bush on abortion, he would be willing to lead the charge *if* the people were behind him.
But they are not.
Of course, no matter whom the president nominates there will be much wailing and grinding of teeth on the left, and dire predictions of back alley abortions. It’s all a sham posture meant to discourage Bush from putting forward even the centrist conservatives he would nominate.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:09 pm


“The only way we can win America to the prolife cause is at the ballot box.”
Which, due to the blood, sweat and tears of the pro lifers, we have, several times over, so this argument is bunko.
Its not worth it, and with Stem Cell, Cloning, Euthanasia, Socialized Medicine (the inevitable product of the other three, plus globalization), Gay Marriage, Super-Eminent Domain and the rest, its getting increasingly less worth it by the day to sit on hour hands and wait for the day minds and hearts will change.
Guess what? They won’t. The more people partake of these benighted and satanic solutions to lifes problems, the more they are encorporated into the Culture of Death. Once someone’s killed a relative, hatched an In vitro baby, resorted to Embryo’s for Alzheimers. . . the more that it requires a near impossible, seismic upheaval for them to admit that they’ve done wrong, and instead of going forward on this path, they have to go back.
And the more these things are allowed to continue, the more diabolical remedies are devised to enable them to ignore the sign posts of ill effects on the path to perdition.
The notion that somehow people, without the sanction of the law, will come to their senses and recongnize these transgressions, not as simply “not ideal”, but as hard stop, mortally evil things, simply defies reason.



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Richard

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:11 pm


Prepare to be disgusted:
Moveon.org has already fired off an ad on the vacancy, pivoting off the Terri Schiavo controversy.
“…And there was George Bush, playing politics with our personal rights again…”



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SiliconValleySteve

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:13 pm


no matter whom the president nominates there will be much wailing and grinding of teeth on the left, and dire predictions of back alley abortions. It’s all a sham posture meant to discourage Bush from putting forward even the centrist conservatives he would nominate.
So he has nothing to lose by nominating a true conservative. Otherwise, I agree with much of your analysis but I don’t think we win anything by a retreat. Now lets all hear the “catholic” senators like Leahy and Kerry talk about how opposing abortion is far-right extreme. It is time for our bishops to act.



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Hunk Hondo

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:14 pm


The sources I think most highly of are saying Luttig–that the Presdt. really would prefer Gonzales but that it has been forcefully brought home to him that picking him would be stark lunacy. Fortunately the AG’s recusal problem–in addition to being a perfectly sound objection in itself–also provides both of them with the ideal face saving excuse. I agree with Al and many others in this thread that this is High Noon for Bush. If he appoints anyone but a real stalwart, the excuses will have run out.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:14 pm


Instead they will demand socialism to save them from the consequences of their actions–aids, infertility, the collapse of the family, the demographic implosion–which of course, it will be unable to do.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:17 pm


WRY,
I disagree. First, polls confirm that the number of people who want abortion outlawed is hardly tiny. Actually, the number of Americans who favor outright prohibition exceeds the number who favor absolute abortion rights. The substantial remainder comprises those who favor various restrictions based on age, waiting periods, age, rape/incest, period of gestation, etc.
Second, because a reversal of Roe would, as you note, place the issue back with state legislatures (where it belongs), those legislatures will generally pass laws that reflect the views of the middle. Those views, while hardly ideal, are considerably more restrictive toward abortion than Roe and progeny allow.
Third, because most people are in the middle they don’t place the same value on this issue as the warriers on each side. A reversal of Roe simply would not be that big a deal to them. Hence the political fallout would be minimal, especially when compared with the political fallout of a disaffected pro-life constituency.
Finally, by placing the issue back in the public square (rather than the courts) pro-lifers will have have an opportunity to influence the law based on our ability to persuade the middle. As it stands, we are close to powerless.



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Richard

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:17 pm


“Let’s look at the pure politics here: America is a pro-choice country, pure and simple.”
If by that you mean legal in case of incest, rape or the life of the mother, sure.
But for anything beyond that? Most favor not having it legal.
Obviously we all here, following the teaching of the magisterium, don’t favor it in any instance. But if tomorrow we could get an abortion regime limited to the above cases, we’d all take it in a heartbeat, because that would criminalize about 98% of all abortions. And then we’d fight to work to end the rest.
But overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t necessarily make abortion illegal. It would just return it to where it was before: in the state legislatures. Where we’d have to fight it out the place it should be fought out – democratically. And I believe mist states would opt for abortion regimes considerably more restrictive than what we have now.
And that would be a major victory – and save many lives.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:20 pm


I agree completely, Richard.



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:27 pm


There are is a lot in Al’s posts to agree with, but a lot to not…Socialized Medicine??? Flying under the radar of the Clinton’s plans of 12 years ago, which never could have succeed politically, no matter what you thought of it, we had the brief reign of HMO medicine which is now being succeeded by the nostrum of health savings accounts, blah, blah, while more people go uninsured (and worried more about retirment than folks have in decades). Nice wonderful “privatization” of everything in life is very much what the culture of death is all about, and THAT is why we are a pro-choice nation, not pure and simple, but very impure and very complexedly.



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John

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:39 pm


Richard, Mike Petrik, my sentiments exactly. Send it back to the states and while the laws adopted will not meet all of our expectations they will be much closer to church teaching than the current regime is.
Again, all kidding aside as one who has never voted Democrat or Republican on the Pesidential line why not Casey?



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Sydney Carton

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:43 pm


A note of caution here: while I hope Bush does justice to the pro-life cause, and to the nation in general, by picking a solid conservative with an originalist perspective, let’s not delude ourselves here: Even if Bush makes a choice that we agree is acceptable, there is nothing preventing that person from being a liar, changing his mind, getting drunk with power, and betraying us all.
You might as well blame Peter for entrusting Judas with the purse.
Of course, I’m praying for the best, but Bush could make an honest, hopeful choice, and that choice could betray him. Blame may be laid at Bush for not seeing in advance the deception, and the betrayal, of that choice – but that sort of blame can be laid at anyone’s feet.
I have hope that Bush will do the right thing. But even if he does, that’s not a guarantee of success. A lot more depends on that.



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:47 pm


John: Casey would be great. Just take one hard look at Bush and you can see why it couldn’t happen.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:52 pm


Sydney is right, although I’d describe the transformation process a bit differently. Living in the Beltway, rubbing elbows with the quintessential cultural elite, runs the risk of instigating a type of intellectual mutation. For example, when Souter was appointed most Court watchers expected him to be reliably conservative. Within a couple years the MSM were writing glowing articles about how he has “grown,” which is their expression for coming to be like them.



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Hunk Hondo

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:54 pm


Sydney, I agree; if Bush appoints someone who was thought to be sound and the appointee then turns his coat, Bush should’t be blamed for it. But if he appoints somebody about whom the alarm klaxons should already be sounding, that’s different.



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WRY

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:55 pm


Al: We haven’t won it at the ballot box, because no issue has been held on this as an up or down vote. If Roe vs. Wade is overturned, that is what 2008 will become. That’s fine with me, but I think we’ll lose and get President Hillary. Again, I’m not saying I like that; what I am saying is that that is the reality of it, as I see it.
SVSteve: If the bishops get involved they will kill the chances of any pro-life nominee making it to the floor of the Senate (see Kennedy, 1960). And what Bush has to lose is the House and Senate in 2006. He won’t risk it, my guess.
Mike P: You might be right on the results of overturning RvW, but if Bush doesn’t do it with an activist appointment it is a moot point. I disagree on the numbers. To find out who’s pro-choice, you add together the pro-abortion number and the “don’t-care” number. And I think pro-life numbers are overstated. You have no idea how many “pro-lifers” I’ve met who, when pushed, will end up saying basically that while abortion is wrong they wouldn’t decide for someone else. These people are really pro-choicers who don’t know it.
Richard: You too may be right, but the difficulty is *changing* the law. Most people shy away from abortion because it is so devisive. This is true of legislators as well. I believe there is a yawning gap between the numbers who wish abortion didn’t exist, and the numbers who are willing to p— off neighbors and friends and divide families over the issue.
But please, everyone, I’m not saying anyone is wrong to fight abortion on either the political or judicial front. I simply believe it cannot work in this day and age. I know that is pessimistic. I’ll shut up if you think I’m just demoralizing the troops. But as Mark Twain (I think) said, “The man who has been hit by a cannonball very much wishes he could have stepped out of the way.”



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 1:59 pm


Bruce,
You won’t get many arguments from me about how “privatization” and in reality, Classical Liberalism proper, is at the core of the culture of death.
But here’s how “socialized” medicine is just around the corner: the expense and complexity of possible remedies for what is basically the human condition–mortality, and consequent suffering–are more and more going to require an authority to step in and say, well so-and-so can have stem cell genetic therapy, and so and so can’t.
Why, because the rich will find a way to afford it, and once its available, the dying will spare no effort in trying to get it for themselves. Look at In Vitro–its prohibitively expensive, and so now, basically, its class confined. This won’t be allowed to pass for long, as infertility spreads.
Or take the demographic implosion–already we are seeing the total collapse of the privatized pension system as we know it. Once the pension benefit guarantee corporation goes belly up, the govt. will have to step in, and then how are people going to respond to being taxed to pay for someone else’s $45k pension plan, which they don’t even have? And what effect will that have on the geriatric industry, which pharmaceuticals now considered by many to be an entitlement?
The only solution to these, and the myriad other problems that hyper-technical pharmacology and medicine has waiting, not even over the horizon, is for the govt. to step in and arbitrate. And if “choice” is a value in that arbitration, then we’ll have to have some kind of solution that allows people, as I said, to long term avoid the consequences of their actions, so that they can go on pretending up is down, and there is no law. Which is very, very expensive.
Take a look at Africa–the drugs designed for wealthy americans to stave off inexorable death, have now become very expensive first world subsidies, near humanitarian entitlements, as a result of this inevitable phenomenon.
And because the result of this thanatos syndrome is inevitably death, the goverment will have to get into the business of liscencing euthanasia, if only to cut down costs.
Take a good hard look at the world we’re living it, and how its changing, and the forces that are changing it. They aren’t humanizing forces. And the result won’t be good.



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David R.

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:09 pm


There are actually a number of states, that have passed laws that would outlaw abortion if Roe were overturned. My state of Oklahoma is one of them.



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Jay Anderson

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:15 pm


Bush promised strict constructionist judges in the mold of Scalia and Thomas. If he doesn’t deliver with this nomination (and that means NO to Alberto Gonzales), then I’m staying home on Election Day in 2006 and 2008, and for who knows how long afterwards (and I’ve never missed a vote in the 20 years I’ve been eligible to vote).
Also, I’ll stay home on Election Day in 2008 if either McCain or Giuliani get the Republican nomination.



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:23 pm


Al: I think your concerns are, to put it mildly, valid; what I don’t see is a necessary big government intervention on all these fronts. Take Africa, esp. now that we’ve “forgiven” the debt we loaded on them. Why will there be more incentive for action (good or bad)than now or in the past? More generally, precisely because private interests are so important and becoming more entrenched I can’t see “government” stepping in so readily as you think. What you will see is “gov’t” facing the bill in massively expanding middle-class entitlements so irresponsibly – and the worst of that easily will be Medicare. Sorry my points are disjointed, but on a Friday afternoon when I should also be “working”…..



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William Bloomfield

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:26 pm


President Bush pledged to nominate justices like Scalia and Thomas. A nomination of Alberto Gonzales or anyone who does not have a proven record as an originalist would be betrayal of the pro-life movement and of the conservative base.



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Peter Nixon

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:28 pm


If I was–may God forbid–Karl Rove, I’d probably be pushing Garza.
The reality is that there is going to be a large political battle over this nomination at a time when the President’s approval numbers are pretty low. So if I’m Rove I’m thinking “which nomination is likely to divide Democrats and unite Republicans.” I would submit that Garza, as a Latino, would probably have that effect more than Luttig.
However, some of Garza’s decisions (see this Slate piece) might be a little hard to explain, particularly the one where he dissented in a civil rights case involving sex between a teacher and a 15 year old girl. For all I know, Garza was correct on the law, but I can already see the commercials. It may well be that the WH has already vetted Garza and decided not to go with him.
There is no question that the filibuster threat will be back, and I’m not sure how that affects Bush’s calculations. What is the best way to pressure Senators? A more moderate choice, or one that will stoke the base? I’m pretty sure which way Rove would counsel…



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Nancy

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:38 pm


And if “choice” is a value in that arbitration, then we’ll have to have some kind of solution that allows people, as I said, to long term avoid the consequences of their actions, so that they can go on pretending up is down, and there is no law. Which is very, very expensive.
Take a look at Africa–the drugs designed for wealthy americans to stave off inexorable death, have now become very expensive first world subsidies, near humanitarian entitlements, as a result of this inevitable phenomenon.

I’m not sure I understand these paragraphs, al. I think it means that all the women and children who have been infected with AIDS in Africa because of the wrongdoing of someone else (typically, the husband and father) should not be allowed access to the anti-viral drugs which save their lives, because, first, it’s their fault somehow that they’re sick, and second, it costs a lot of money.
IF that’s what you said, I think you might revisit the gospels.
But I probably misunderstood you?



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:42 pm


WRY,
First, I think it is no more sensible to lump the folks in the middle with the pro-aborts than it is to lump the folks in the middle with the pro-lifers. This is especially true since the Supreme Court cannot outlaw abortion, but will only place the abortion question back in the laps of this very group of people in the middle.
Second, you and I have a different understanding of judicial activism. You view it as a willingness to depart from precedent. I view it as a willingness to depart from statutory or constitutional text in order to advance policy preferences. I think my understanding is the more useful one, especially as to constitutional matters. The doctrine of stare decisis has limited application to a jurisdiction’s highest court. At most, it articulates a value in favor of stable law based on the assumption that the people can readily fix Court decisions they disagree with by appeal to the legislative branch. This assumption does not translate into the Constitutional arena, since only a supermajority can remedy perceived Court errors.



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Hunk Hondo

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:49 pm


WRY and others: I don’t think abortion will be decisive in the elections of 2006 and 2008. Unless things in Iraq get better–very much better, and very, very soon–I fear the Democrats are headed for massive victories, regardless of abortion (or, indeed, any other consideration). All the more reason to make sure this opportunity isn’t wasted on someone like Gonzales; there may not be many more for a long time.



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Cheeky Lawyer

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:54 pm


“strict constructionist judges in the mold of Scalia and Thomas”
Scalia and Thomas are not srtict constructionists. They would I believe eschew that term and prefer to be called originalists when it comes to the Constitution and textualists when it comes to statutory interpretation.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:55 pm


Nancy, Bruce,
My point is not that we should withold these medicines, it is that we have no choice but to provide them. As will be the case with every other very expensive remedy Stem Cell/Nanotechnology/Genetic Engineering allows us to come up with.
There will be no way of saying who should get what, except ultimately, that if everyone gets everything, and everything ultimately includes stuff like genetic therapy/selection and telomere replacement/repair then there’s no end but govt. control of the whole shooting match, because, ultimately someone’s going to have to put a limit on the thing.
If you think about any particular remedy in abstraction from other problems/remedies, then most will probably say, well, we’ll figure out a way to administer that fairly and economically. But think about these solutions/problems synthetically–what happens if stem cell research produces a cure for alzheimers. Of course that will become an American entitlement. But what about the third world, where perhaps their life spans don’t even extend to alzheimers, because they don’t even have clean water to drink.
What government is the face of such a think will be able to say, well, but we’re going to save our old folks, but let your young folks die, and watch it on a live feed. Of course not. But that’s a zero sum question–what’s spent on stem cell, is not spent on making drinkable water, or perfecting the polio vaccine, or . . .
At a national level, with a relatively homogeneous population, and especially one not dedicated to the exaltation of choice, you might be able to let the market work this out for you. I’m not saying you ought to, but in a heterogeneous global environment, with wildly divergent cultures, and a global beaurocracy dedicated to the enshrinement of choice as a entitlement, you won’t be able to simply just finesse your way through such a set of problems.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 2:55 pm


Just curious. What is the basis for believing that Gonzales would not be a reliable textualist? I am aware that he reached an opinion in Texas that pro-lifers didn’t like, but as recall it was a case of strict (i.e., faithful) construction of a statute, not an activist interpetation of the secret Privacy Clause.



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Dennis

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:08 pm


WRY,
Overturning Roe would not make abortion illegal. This is the spin the Left puts on the issue – idolizing Roe and treating it as an permanent, irreversible decision that is necessary to legalizing abortion (I wonder what these same people would say about Dred Scott or Plessy? If their jurisprudence were consistent, they would have to support both of those decisions as being the “settled law of the land” also). Even most intellectually honest leftists will agree that Roe was a poor decision from a legal and constitutional standpoint.
The main reason the left is so devoted to Roe is that, while not being necessary to abortion being legal in some or all states in some form, it is necessary to their conceception of the Constitution as requiring an absolutely inviolable license abortion at all stages of pregnancy. In this respect, Roe has established in America the most liberal abortion license in the world. Even secularist, post-Christian, democratic socialist countries in Europe have much stricter abortion laws. They know that, despite your claim that America is a “pro-choice (sic) country” most people would support far more restrictions on abortion than there are now, even if a majority wouldn’t support a complete ban. The left simply can’t abide any restrictions whatsoever to abortion – they are in love with it, like L. Ron Hubbard they revel in abortion – thus their intense devotion to Roe as an impregnable fortress.
Overturning Roe would not make abortion illegal overnight, it would simply return the matter to the states and revive pre-exisiting state laws -the situation that held for the first 184 years of the Constitution’s existence before the Court arrogated to itself the right to impose its policy preferences upon the entire nation and to discern a “right” to abortion that apparently everyone who had ever read the Constitution for nearly two centuries had missed!
On the other hand, though overturning Roe alone wouldn’t effect this, I think there is a solid case to be made that while the Constitution clearly does not mandate the abortion license decreed in Roe, a proper understanding of the Constitution and it’s legal and moral underpinnings, especially Natural Law, would in fact mandate the complete outlawing of abortion. In this sense, the Constitution is not, in fact, “neutral” or “silent” on the matter of abortion. Because abortion is simply murder and involves the most egregious denial of the fundamental right to life of every human being (a fundamental right that is truly supported by the Constitution and Natural Law, as opposed to the so-called “fundamental right” to privacy and abortion invented by Roe) one could argue that the Federal Government, and through the incorporation doctrine, the individual States are prohibited from legalizing abortion at any stage of pregnancy.
In other words, just because Roe was wrong in asserting that the Constitution mandates the “right” to abortion, it does not follow that the converse is true, i.e. that the Constitution is wholly silent and neutral on the matter.



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Brigid

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:12 pm


WRY is correct. There’s just not enough support for the supreme court to act on roe v. wade. The “middle” may want abortion limited but they don’t want state legislators deciding it any more than the supreme court. It’s a pessimistic view but an accurate one. The fight against abortion is in the hospitals and clinics all over the US where women go seeking counsel.
Who Bush nominates WILL be telling re: the 2005 elections. And Hunk mentions the War in Iraq and I mention Social Security (a losing issue for Bush from the beginning) and the economy as FAR more important for his fellow Republicans up for election this fall. Moveon.org has A LOT of $$$, so, yes, a MAJOR media-induced fight (which I won’t see in the red state I live in…)
Bush cannot go “lame duck” on this nomination. The Republicans need him to stay the course…



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:27 pm


Brigid,
What kind of “support” does the Supreme Court need in order to act?



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:31 pm


Sorry, Al, I still don’t get it – WHY would these expensive 1st world goodies (say, IVF) start being provided to Africa? The market, they say, rations needs and goods, and that alone (which I guess is the gist of what I’m saying) will ensure that lots of things (both good and bad) won’t get to the poor. After all, look at my original example of health care right now right here (nice title allusion to Amy’s book for the cognescenti) in the good
old USA.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:39 pm


Bruce,
By that reckoning the same should have held true for the AIDS drugs. But, as SARS demonstrated, even if selfishness could be relied upon to let the Market consign people to ignominious extermination, no wall nowadays can stop the next superbug–resistent bacteria, retroviruses, resurgent epidemics (TB, Polio).
Or take the demographic bomb. When we have a productive population that is merely a fraction of the aged population requiring care, we can guess that people’s ability to “honor their father and mother” will become a heroic obligation, requiring them to sacrifice their own future (marriage, children). In such a situation, extermination will seem like a humanitarian option for all involved.



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:45 pm


But only if the gov’t hasn’t stepped in on the massive scale you see happening, and which I can’t see happening….



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Dennis

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:48 pm


Brigid, that is absurd. The Supreme Court is not supposed to be a political body that “acts” based on the shifting winds of public opinion. That it has often done so over the past few decades is why the Court and its jurisprudence are in such a state of intellectual disaray. The job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution – period – not to impose the policy preferences of the individual justices or the majority of the public according to the latest poll. Just because a majority of either the Court or the public may, arguably, support a certain policy, does not make that policy a Constitutionally mandated one. If a majority truly supports a particular policy, then they should have no problem passing it legislatively. Policy disputes are best left to political branches of government – not 5 unelected black-robed mandarins deciding to impose their own personal policy preferences on the nation.
You claim that the “middle” would not trust state legislatures to make such decisions any more than the Court. Firstly, who people trust the most is irrelevent to deciding the legal and Constituional question of which body has the proper authority to the decide the matter. Secondly, if what you say were true, then we may as well just abolish state legislatures (and perhaps Congress too) altogether and consecrate the federal Supreme Court as our new dictators. What you’re proposing is nothing less than the complete abdication of all political responsibility on the part of citizens and legislatures. In that case, why bother? Just bow-down to our new Supreme Overlords and absolve yourself from the duties of responsible citizenship.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 3:56 pm


Bruce,
Then we’ll just have to differ. You see the glass half full, I see it half full of molten brimstone.



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bruce

posted July 1, 2005 at 4:02 pm


Al: Yes, we’ll differ, politely and constructively. But I will say this, I don’t see the glass half full, but rather that some people won’t get glasses of anything at all….



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Susan Peterson

posted July 1, 2005 at 4:14 pm


Isn’t it already true that what Americans really say to the third world is “We’ll save our old folks and let your young folks die”?
Or, “We’ll save our 22-24 week preemies and let your full term babies die of starvation and dehyrdation.”?
Yet I don’t know anyone here who had a 24 week premie who wouldn’t go for doing anything possible to save it (except for things he or she considered clearly immoral, such as treatments derived from aborted fetuses..don’t know if there are any such, just an example.)Or anyone here who wouldn’t support his or her parent taking the usual list of 5-20 medications that most of the elderly take in this country, many of which are expensive.
I have never heard of anyone saying , Well, I can afford this drug which is supposed to be a little bit better, but I’ll go with the old standard which has gone generic, and send the difference to Africa.
Maybe this is a subject for a different thread.
It is only tangentially relevant.
Susan Peterson



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WRY

posted July 1, 2005 at 4:28 pm


Mike,
I mean activism in the sense that anyone opposing “stare decisis” is per se an activist. Actually, I’m not scared of the word activist: I’d like to see a court that would similtaneously overturn RvW AND find in the constitution’s guarantees of “life, liberty an the pursuit of happiness” a fundamental right to life. In short, I’d like to see a court rule abortion illegal outright.
Oh, I’d like to win the lottery, too!
I think we will end abortion *after* we as a society decide that sex outside of marriage is wrong and that every marital act should be open to the gift of life. In short, the sexual revolution of the 1960s must be overturned. Too many people imagine that we can end abortion and “agree to disagree” on contraception and extra-marital sex. I think not. They are all part of the same package. They are part of a comprehensive view of sexuality, one that most of society, including many prolifers, reject.
This is why I am a pessimist.



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Mike Petrik

posted July 1, 2005 at 4:40 pm


I agree with much of what you say, WRY, but I also think that we must chip away at what we’re able. I do think we can get a Court to overturn Roe and thereby push the state of the law in a positive direction. This is a culture war and to win it requires that we win some battles.
I don’t think we can expect a Court to view the preamble to the Declaration as articulating a Constituional right, and nor should it in my view. I am aware of the arguments using the 14th Amemdment as a pretext to create a Constitutional protection for the unborn, and as sympathetic as I am to the objective I find the legal reasoning unconvincing.
Finally, I’m all for an activist court (using your definition) as long as its activism is directed toward some type of principled textualism. Any type of principled textualism would be incompatable with Roe.



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Donald R. McClarey

posted July 1, 2005 at 4:43 pm


OConnor retired. Every weathervane in the country will be dressed in mourning.



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Richard

posted July 1, 2005 at 5:36 pm


Hello Donald,
LOL
Hello Susan,
I don’t think you can put that kind of direct connection between choices taken here and our capability to save lives in, say, Africa.
The kleptocratic regimes running most of Africa are not merely responsible in large part for the suffering there (Exhibit A: Mugabe), but would also act to diminish or siphon off the effectiveness of aid sent there – as would the lack of infrastructure or even civil order in some areas.
Not to say we shouldn’t help – and we do help. Maybe not as much as we should. But I would be wary of overestimating our ability to make the kind of difference hoped for in terms of starvation or disease in the worst parts of the developing world.



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David Kubiak

posted July 1, 2005 at 6:00 pm


Why have people stopped talking about promoting Justice Scalia to Chief when Mr. Rehnquist retires?



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jb hudson

posted July 1, 2005 at 6:07 pm


My vote is for Leon Holmes. He was the circuit court judge from Arkansas that the Dem’s in the Senate tried to hold up for a long time. The thing that finally got him in was the fact that both Senators from Arkansas (who happen to be Democrats) insisted he was a great man. He is a staunch conservative and a very bright guy.



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Liam

posted July 1, 2005 at 6:28 pm


David
1986. The Scalia for Chief movement has never had a wide or influential base. Rehnquist himself would be appalled by the very idea: Scalia is his polar opposite in temperament. And Scalia does not have the patience for the increased administrative responsibilities of the CJ post that have occurred over the past generation. He’s still a professor in basic temperament.
I suspect, among the males of European descent, Judge McConnell is the most likely to get the nod.
For the sheer fun of it, Judge Alex Kozinski or Richard Posner would make Scalia seem like a dim bulb. Kozinski is perhaps the most brilliant American jurist of this generation; that does not mean I agree with his philosphy (libertarian).
It would be interesting to see Judge John Noonan on the Court, and I think he would be highly confirmable.
For non-male candidates, Judge Edith Brown Clement is a well regarded dark horse who is pretty confirmable.
In case anyone is forgetting, Bush is not running for reelection AND has not heir apparent to protect the base for. A first in a half-century. He does have an agenda that is in deep trouble in the political center; that’s where he needs to gesture, not to the base. He can pretend to be in a politically stronger position, but it would be a pretense.



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Anthony

posted July 1, 2005 at 6:38 pm


David Kubiak -
because Scalia isn’t an administrator or a consensus-builder, which is important in the Chief Justice role. As an Associate Justice, Scalia is a gem, but he’d not be nearly as good a CJ as he is an AJ. Thomas might be better as CJ, though someone from the outside would likely be better than either.



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al

posted July 1, 2005 at 7:03 pm


Btw, WRY et al.
On the hearts and minds before the law issue, what would constitute a better opportunity to have a discussion about hearts and minds, than a change in the law?
Is there any indication, that short of a change in the law, people’s hearts and minds will actually be engaged in an actual conversation about abortion. . . . ?



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Julia

posted July 2, 2005 at 12:11 am

Donald R. McClarey

posted July 2, 2005 at 5:52 am


“Is there any indication, that short of a change in the law, people’s hearts and minds will actually be engaged in an actual conversation about abortion. . . . ?”
Short term no, just as the pro-slavery forces were largely impervious to argument prior to the Civil War. More important, until the composition of the Court is changed no meaningful laws can be passed that will not be struck down by the Court.



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Jimmy Huck

posted July 2, 2005 at 8:05 am


This is really going to be a test for the GOP. In truth, Democrats don’t really matter. They have very little leeway outside of the filibuster to make a difference … and the public is weary of the filibuster fight.
Actually, I think this scenario is a lose-lose situation for the GOP. Regardless of the prospect of a Democratic filibuster, if Bush nominates a hard-core social conservative like Scalia or Thomas, the GOP loses its moderate swing voters. If Bush nominates a social moderate, the GOP loses its socially conservative base.
As a pro-life liberal, I am not all that worried about who Bush nominates. However, I am going to enjoy every minute of watching a Civil War within the GOP unfold and seeing how the the GOP will attempt to manage (and bungle, I’m sure) the fagile hold it has over the center.
This is the moment when the GOP will have to determine whether it is a party driven by the rigid and uncompromising agenda of social conservatives or of the more tolerant “big tent.”
The GOP will no longer be able to blame Democrats or to walk the line.



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Septimus

posted July 2, 2005 at 8:59 am


I’m joining this thread late, but…
Did y’all notice how Justice O’Connor stuck it to Bush?
Very subtle: she made her resignation effective when her successor is named.
How does this stick Bush?
Well, if she simply stepped down, a vacancy in many ways is an improvement: and, should Bush name someone perceived to be more conservative, the choice for opponents would be: let the “winger” go through, and the court gets “worse” (from their point of view), or, leave the seat vacant for the time being, and the court is, thereby, “worse” from their point of view. A win-win for conservatives.
Also, a vacancy would put pressure on the Senate Democrats, because a vacancy means hindering the nation’s business — so a long stall on the nomination could hurt the Democrats politically.
Lest anyone think this is too subtle, Sen. Schumer (D-NY), I think it was, zeroed in on this on NPR yesterday: “there’s no hurry.”



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Septimus

posted July 2, 2005 at 9:00 am


…excuse me, I meant to write, “when her successor is CONFIRMED…”



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John

posted July 2, 2005 at 10:08 am


Brigid and WRY: Stephen Douglas was of your mindset. Thankfully John Brown and Honest Abe were not



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Septimus

posted July 2, 2005 at 10:28 am


A couple of good things about O’Connor stepping down…
* The stakes are high in a way they wouldn’t be with Rehnquist.
The pressure on Bush to do the right thing is acute: everyone understands that Bush naming the sort of justice that prolifers expect — and which his campaign has gotten credit for promising (i.e., did Bush and his campaign actually promise the sort of justice conservative and prolife fans of Bush say he’ll pick? That’s an interesting question for another thread…) — would be a substantial change, a shift to the right; and if not, it would be a huge missed opportunity, a betrayal.
Whereas, with Rehnquist, if Bush picks someone good, it’s essentially status-quo. Hence its not so dire a battle for the Democrats; and for Bush, while he faces the same obligation to his base, would deserve less credit: its one thing to keep things as they are; it’s a higher level of accomplishment to improve them.
* It’s before the mid-term elections.
To the extent Bush’s base has any remaining political leverage on him(and it’s not much), they have it in the next election. No, we can’t really punish Bush, but we can punish the Senators up in ’06. They, in turn, can express that to the White House.
* Bush has less insulation.
If Bush had first named a replacement for Rehnquist — and let’s assume it was someone about the same — then Bush would get credit with his base, the Bush doubters (people like me) would be on the defensive, as his fans say, “see, we told you he’d do the right thing!” and then, when the NEXT seat opens (i.e., O’Connor), it would be relatively easier to go for a safer choice; especially as there is some pressure for another affirmative action choice (another woman, an Hispanic, or something new).
This way, Bush approaches the O’Connor replacement choice without the “good feelings” he’d have earned by a prior choice found favorable by his base. Hence, he has to prove himself exactly where it matters: in filling a seat of a justice that is pro-Roe.
I’m guessing Rehnquist will try to stay on as long as he can; presumably, until this vacancy is filled.
That would mean stepping down, at the earliest, in the fall; and that is favorable to pro-lifers, because it puts the whole confirmation battle over Chief Justice nearer the next election. Could be he thinks he can hold out until after the election, but would he prefer to have Bush name his successor?
Could just be he doesn’t care about any of that: he just likes his job and knows, other than unfavorable press, nobody can do anything to dislodge him.



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chris K

posted July 2, 2005 at 12:33 pm


Hopefully we will all be down on our knees pleading the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe for this opening. Remember, the controversial Bush election was decided on Dec. 12th….a sign of great hope…at least for me. But that prayer must now be followed up with more. And Fr. Pavone would like us to immediately be calling or e-mailing the White House.
No one mentioning John Roberts (too extreme – also on environmental issues??) or Ted Olson…about whom I know nothing re: his rulings. It is suggested that these two would be among jurists possible for Chief Justice rather than the opening discussed here.



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Hartmeister

posted July 2, 2005 at 5:11 pm


The nominee will be either or a combination of these Catholic, female or hispanic. It will be someone that will make Democrats unconfortable about confronting and will look bad if they choose to to confirm.
Despite this I don’t see any real urgency in the Senate to do something about this because of the conditional nature of the resignation. The great hope among Democrats is that something will happen on the pro-life ledger of the court and Bush will be forced to deal (one pro-choice, one pro-life). The longer the hold out the better it will get. However, a nomination of a surpreme court judge isn’t like an ordinary federal judge.
I wonder if Bush will wait before anouncing his choice until the judicary committee is willing to hold hearings in order to prevent Democrats from starting a anti-whomever campaign.
I wouldn’t be surprised if we get someone genuinely from left (not politically) field so that there won’t be much of a paper trail. This was the tactic with Justice Thomas and if not for the Anita Hill thing it would have been clear sailing.
Another idea might be to appoint a pro-life candiate who is old. Democrats might agree to this thinking they might have the chance to do nomination again if they get elected in 2008. With 2008 coming closer Democrats will start thinking that they might want to paint the Republicans as extreme but they don’t want to be percieved as being obstructist (let the Republicans dig themselves into a grave).
Also this might be the time for the Democrats to think about making the process for Surpreme Court Justice more formalized (i.e. less confrontational) so they can get their own nominations approved. If they don’t approve a nomination, the political situation will get even worse in Washington.
Of course the real question is either party really wanting to govern or just set itself up for the next election.



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Septimus

posted July 2, 2005 at 7:16 pm


Something occurs we may see in the next few days . . .
If Bush wants to pick Alberto Gonzales — knowing conservatives and prolifers have a problem with him — the smart thing to do would be to get conservative pundits and columnists to start writing about how misunderstood Gonzales is, that he’s actually sheep in wolf’s clothing, that he’d actually turn out to be kind of “secret weapon” because he’s actually great, but misunderstood, and so picking him would be really good news, because the liberals would think he was pro-Roe when — just entre nous — he’s a secret prolifer, etc.
It may not happen; but if you see pundits and columnists telling this story, watch out!



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Hartmeister

posted July 3, 2005 at 9:52 am


I agree with Septimus. The spin (or lack of it) will start soon. The question is which columnists should we look at to see where Rove is leaning? Which political columnist is most pro-Bush?
I went over to Townhall and I found an interesting article (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=5784&R=C60D38EB2 )which suggests that my idea of a Catholic, female or hispanic candidate might be not be right. The article suggests that Democrats have become wise to this tactic and don’t worry about the reaction that grilling such a person whose background might be in the traditional Democratic constituency might harm the Democratic party. This also bodes ill for the idea of Gonzales because his whole appeal is that he will get a lighter treatment because he is hispanic. The article suggests that unless the candidate is to the left of O’Connor he or she will get the same treatement.
Instead the article suggests Bush will pick somebody who is a good communicator and looks good on TV. Television advertising will be intense by the White House. What Bush people fear is the tactic used on the Bolton nomination, endless requests for documentation. Of course, Bolton is different because of his link to the Iraq war and part of this documentation requests is to embarass the Bush administration.
The one thing that this nomination will show is the Republican committment to a pro-life issues. This is the reason that I have voted Republican despite that on many other issues (like monopolies) I am much more in sympathy with Democrats. If Bush doesn’t nominate a potential pro-life justice, I think my flirtation with the Republicans will have ended. I haven’t decided what to do if the nomination doesn’t succeed.



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Hartmeister

posted July 3, 2005 at 10:28 am


Finally one interesting thing at Townhall.com is a link to Bill Kristol (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/758akmdq.asp ) which predicted the O’Connor resignation and predicts that Gonzales will be appointed to replace her. Gonzales will be portrayed as to the right of O’Connor Bush will promise to nominate a “true” conservative to replace Rhenquist who apparently has not resigned because he knew O’Connor was going to resign. Rhenquist will wait until O’Connor’s replacement is approved and then announce his resignation.
Bush will then nominate Gonzalez as Chief and appoint the “true” conservative to replace Rhenquists spot.
So here is my spin. The big push on Gonzales comes from Bush which bodes ill if you think of anybody else being nominated. Bush tends to stick with an idea and he loves the idea of a “Gonzales” court. Bush thinks Gonzales is pro-life but he is the only one in the White House who thinks this is true. So either Bush is an idiot or Gonzales has told him something that no one else knows. Perhaps he has told Bush of what he would do if he was on the Surpreme Court would be much different then as a Federal Court judge or AJ. In this case Gonzales maybe the true stealth candidate, a nice reversal for all those picks that Reagan and Bush, Sr. made that turned out to be the pro-choice majority at the SC.
So how can we decide if Gonzales is a “stealth” pro-lifer. I think if after the nomination of Gonzales you see some of the major pro-life organizations declare Gonzales as better than O’Connor but not the right candidate. At the same time they will argue not to spend time going against the nomination but to worry about the Rhenquist replacement. This might mean that they have inside info that Gonzales is much more pro-life than is evident from the public record but they can’t say that publically or they’ll tip their hand.



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Septimus

posted July 3, 2005 at 12:52 pm


Harmeister:
I will say this now: I predicted this before Bush was first elected. No, not Gonzales, per se; but when all my fellow right-wingers were going ga-ga over Bush, and shaking their heads at my coolness (to put it mildly), they all pointed to the Supreme Court.
And what I said then, and have said ever since, is that it is very unlikely that Bush would do what they promised (I emphasize THEY — if people do their homework, they will discover Bush NEVER promised he would only choose anti-Roe judges). I said then: not only would that mean Bush fil would be better than Bush pere; but that he would be better, even, than Reagan, who chose 3, and two were bad.
“No, no,” they responded stoutly; “Bush will pick solid judges for the Supreme Court, just you wait and see.”
Well, we’re about to see.
I’ve heard that “stealth prolifer” promise before: we heard it with O’Connor, with Kennedy, and with Souter. John Sununu, who was Bush, Sr.’s chief of staff, made “private assurances” to prolifers about Souter, who — being from the same state, and Sununu allegedly being a stout prolifer, was supposed to know the real goods.
It’s an old game: “trust me”; and “we don’t dare ‘show our hand.’” It’s a clever way to get off the hook, and to make those who demand proof the bad guys.
A discouraging sign can be found in today’s Washington Post: the article says conservatives are “nonplussed”; but does it say anyone will OPPOSE?
Well, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family spoke of opposing him, then is quoted, saying, “we are not enthused.”
Then Michael Farris says, “I don’t think many people in the socially conservative movement would openly oppose him, but the enthusiasm would be sufficiently dampened to the point that many would not participate.”
Oh, I imagine the President is weeping all the way to Europe on Air Force One to think social conservatives will sit on their hands.
This is what I feared; who will have the guts to come right out and stand against the White House on this one, if he picks the wrong one? Why shouldn’t he diss the right, when all they’re going to do is mope and “not participate”?



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Brigid

posted July 3, 2005 at 2:38 pm


Mike-
The Republicans. They really don’t want to see RvW overturned. I know, I know: the party platform sorta states something else but why do pary platforms exist? Hmmmm… elections!
Nope. No one in power really wants to see an end to RvW…



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted July 3, 2005 at 9:00 pm


Gonzalez? The author of the torture memo?



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Septimus

posted July 3, 2005 at 10:05 pm


Lynn – I don’t believe he actually was the author, but . . . yes, the Gonzales whose name has been linked with it, let’s put it that way.



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Septimus

posted July 3, 2005 at 10:08 pm


Brigid – as cynical as I am, I wouldn’t say it quite that harshly . . .
Probably most GOP-ers who claim to be prolife would probably be okay with Roe v. Wade being overturned, but they’re like so many of us about losing weight: we want it, but we won’t do very much that’s painful to get it. If we woke up one morning, and the problem was magically taken care of, we wouldn’t object. So with many — but not all — GOP “prolifers.”
I think some, indeed, would prefer Roe stay in place. No question.



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