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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, January 09, 2006

D-Day For Alito: The Left Is Up To It's Old Tricks

Samuel Alito starts on this relatively short, but seemingly long journey towards the Supreme Court today. We have made no bones about this; Alito is a solid choice, and he should make the court without a problem. What we have a problem with is the Left in the Senate. They are bound and determined to make his life hell during the hearings. They're going to ask him questions about things he really can't talk about, and I'm sure we will see some grand-standing by the likes of Kennedy, Biden, Schumer, and Feinstein. I'm positive that Specter wioll start by focusing on either abortion, or the president's powers, which seems to be an issue that the MSM was harping on yesterday, as Sabrina pointed out. Today is no different.

The New York Times
Mr. Specter, in prepared remarks to be presented Monday, said, "This hearing comes at a time of great national concern about the balance between civil rights and the president's national security authority," a reference to the domestic surveillance program. There is, he said, an apparent conflict between "the president's constitutional war powers as commander in chief to conduct electronic surveillance" and "Congressional legislation in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act."

In 1956, Sen. Specter graduated from Yale Law SChool, and judging by his statement above, he was obviously in the bottom percentile of his class. Any lawyer/ law student can tell you that no law may supersede the Constitution. If Congress passed a law tomorrow that stated they appointed people to federal offices, or they had the right to make treaties, the Supreme Court would step in, and strike the law down because those are powers granted to the president through the Constitution. Likewise, so are his war powers. FISA can't overrule the president either; if he feels that an imminent threat existed, he could launch surveillance of foreign agents in the US. Also, it's very hard to "break" FISA. For the president to have broken FISA, it must be proven that he intentionally ordered the surveillance of an American citizen without any cause.

The Washington Post
At the same time, the hearings are unlikely to provide big surprises. Judge Alito, in any formal sense, is obviously well qualified -- as the American Bar Association recently recognized. Allegations of impropriety on his part seem trivial, and the ideological questions about him are well known: Does he have too limited a view of congressional power and too robust a view of states' rights? Will he respect privacy and abortion rights? Does he consider affirmative action programs presumptively unconstitutional? How broadly does he see presidential powers, particularly in wartime? What does he think now about the "one man, one vote" principle he appeared to question in the 1980s? Has he read civil rights statutes too narrowly? And perhaps most important, what are his views concerning how readily settled precedent should be disturbed?

In Wartime, the powers of the president are virtually limitless, provided he doesn't contravene the Constitution. Anything having to do with national security falls under this auspice. That includes the surveillance of foreign agents within the United States. That means that, yes, the president can keep an eye on these people--people that are connected to our enemy--without a warrant is he chooses to. And there isn't a damn thing anyone can do about it except moan and wail about the loss of civil liberties which hasn't occurred. Civil liberties are applicable to US citizens. Someone here from Mexico, Zimbabwe, or Iran, and isn't a citizen, gets no protection from our Constitution. So, if you're Mohammed from Egypt, and we know you're working with al Qaeda, chances are, we're listening to your phone conversations, and checking your e-mail. Welcome to the 21st Century where a bunch of 7th Century nuts have decided to declare war on the West for perceived slights.

The LA Times
It is a timely issue, as President Bush insists on expanding the executive branch's power to conduct the war on terrorism. The administration has asserted the right to detain "enemy combatants" with no judicial review, for example, and to deploy, without any court warrant, wiretaps within the United States. As it has claimed these powers, the White House has also systematically sought to undermine the judicial branch's traditional role of serving as a check on the government's power to infringe on individual rights.

If the president has all the powers at his fingertips to conduct the war, then why does the Left and the Times insist he's "expanding" his power. There's no such thing. The administration has "asserted" it's right over enemy combatants? Yes, and the Supreme Court ruled in their favor. These combatants can be held, but they stated that if they were to face trial, then they must be allowed to speak with legal representatives. OK, I disagree with that, but the ruling is now precedent. The important part of that ruling is that the court agreed with the president. They are to be treated no differently than a POW, but they lack the legal classification of it because they don't fulfill the guidelines laid out in the Geneva Convention for such a designation. And, as we have gone over this numerous times, the warrantless wiretaps are well within the confines of the law; especially through court precedent recognizing this surveillance power within the executive branch.

It's 10:09 a.m. right now (AZ Time), and they have begun their opening statements. Specter's the first one up, and he's languishing over what a nominee needs to do. He's also highlighting what the committee's job is. His first "talking point" is obviously abortion, and he's touched on the 1985 memo regarding the issue. And, like the MSM, he, too, has brought up the powers of the president in regard to FISA. Specter is insinuating that because it was not specifically mandated in the AUMF, the president's powers to surveil our enemies is "at it's lowest;" in other words, he has no powers to conduct such actions despite the nation being at war.

Now, onto Leaky Leahy. Leahy wasn't happy about the withdrawal of Miers, and claiming it came from a narrow faction of the party. I didn't realize a majority was considered part of a "narrow faction." Now he's claiming that the seat he's replacing--that one held by Justice O'Connor--is a "swing" vote on Constitutional issues. This shouldn't be a "swing" vote. The justices should be interpreting the Constitution based solely on what it says, and that precedent states that it means; not on some personal ideas what a justice would think it means. Now I want to throw up as Leahy just stated that Justice O'Connor was a "model Supreme Court justice." If that's true, then that's a model that was run over by a truck; much like her judicial philosophy involving Constitutional Law. Now, he's rambling on about diverse candidates, and how he was disappointed the president didn't choose a Hispanic (read: Gonzales) or a woman (read: Miers). "Even war is not a blank check for the president," Leahy quoted O'Connor, "when it comes to the rights of the citizens." This shows where the Left on the committee is going to go with the bulk of their questions. Their tactics are as transparent as their platform--the same platform they don't want to discuss openly--is. Now, he's back onto the Miers debacle, and claims that "a narrow faction" doesn't want an independent judiciary. No, Senator, that's exactly why the majority said she wasn't qualified prior to her hearings. Americans aren't stupid, and can look at a record and make a decision--a far more informed one, in my opinion--than a group of politicos more worried about their next election than the nation as a whole.

I'd love to stick around and deal with the rest of these hearings, but work's a bit busier than normal today, so I'll withdraw from this for now, and I'll keep my ear on the TV. But it seems as though we have the direction the Left is going to focus on. Those would be abortion, but the bulk seems to be focusing on the powers of the president during wartime. Whether or not the president does have the power to conduct the surveillance that he is using to track down the enemy in this nation, and stop them. This enemy may include a US citizen, but thus far the government has assured us that these are "foreign agents" operating here. If they are foreigners in this nation, they have no rights under the Constitution. There are no civil liberties issues involved in this. And should it be determined that there are US citizens involved with our enemy, I expect the president to act accordingly; that being that a warrant is obtained prior to surveillance unless it can be proven that their immediate actions constitute an actionable threat.

Publius II


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched as much as I could stand and it wasn't very much. I believe it was leaky leahy that said Alito is bound by "law." That is blatantly false. He bound by the Constitution. Rawriter

5:04 PM  

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