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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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"A Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy"

I'm sorry. You think that's over the top. Well, in my opinion, so were the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. And I'm about to use their words against them. (Best rope to hang someone with is the one they hand you.)

I have said that the president did not help his cause by withdrawing his earlier nomination of Harriet Miers in the face of criticism from the narrow faction of his own party who were concerned about how she might vote.

Supreme Court nominations should not be conducted through a series of winks and nods designed to reassure a small faction of our population, while leaving the American people in the dark.

I think we'd all agree, no president should be allowed to pack the courts, especially the Supreme Court, with nominees selected to enshrine presidential claims of government power.

I applaud Sen. Leahy for his feeble attempts at defending Harriet Miers, and I'm sure his base is happy to learn that he thinks of them as a "narrow faction of his own party." The people who stood against Harriet Miers looked at the woman's record and determined three simple things. One, she's a good friend of the president. Second, she's a good lawyer, and loyal member of the administration. Third, she has the resume of a politician, not of a judicial nominee. The president didn't make the choice of Judge Alito based on "winks and nods." He made that decision based on advisors pointing to what the ABA has deemed a "well-qualified" candidate.

The Supreme Court belongs to all Americans, not just to the person occupying the White House and not just to a narrow faction of either political party.

The pot and the kettle for Sen. Leahy it is then. For far too long, the Left has utilized the Supreme Court as some sort of super legislature decreeing law from up on high, with no real check or balance involved up to Congress' direct challenge of Kelo in their attempts to protect the property rights of the citizens; a right that was enumerated and more than inherent, but the Supreme Court grossly misinterpreted.

In a time when this administration seems intent on accumulating unchecked power, Judge Alito's views on executive power are especially important. It's important to know whether he would serve with judicial independence or as a surrogate for the president nominating him.

"Judicial independance" sounds like code words for "activism." If Judge Alito rules that the president has the power that so many legal scholars have stated he has--in terms of his wartime powers--then he is abiding by the Constitution; those scholars interpretation is correct, and is well within the confines of the president's realm of power. To make the supposition otherwise is a misinterpretation of the founding document. And Sen. Leahy is quite wrong. It isn't unchecked power. To cease the war, Congress only need refuse the appropriations of money. No money? No war.

Now, as the Senate begins its consideration of President Bush's nominee, his third to this seat, to Justice O'Connor's seat, we do so mindful of her critical role on the Supreme Court. Her legacy is one of fairness. And when I decide how to vote it's because I want to see that legacy preserved.

Justice O'Connor has been a guardian of the protections the Constitution provides the American people. She's come to provide balance and a check on government intrusion into our personal privacy and freedoms.

This last statement that I'll highlight is a farce. I don't consider Harriet Miers any true nominee; she didn't make it to committee. She withdrew her nomination in the face of the anger from the GOP base, and those who couldn't buy her as a nominee. It's a technicality, and one in which I'm wrong--I'm sure that I am--but that's my view on it. Secondly, I don't see Justice O'Connor in the same light as he does. She's hardly a guardian of any major part of the Constitution. Her decision in Bollinger was terrible. The decision in Hamdi, which the senator highlighted, was quite wrong-headed. And her decisions in the recent abortion cases have farsical, at best.

In an era where the White House is abusing power, is excusing and authorizing torture and is spying on American citizens, I find Judge Alito's support for an all-powerful executive branch to be genuinely troubling.

Under the president's spying program, there are no checks and balances. There is no outside review of the legality of this brazen infringement on the civil rights and liberties of the American people. Undeterred by the public outcry, the president vows to continue spying on American citizens.

Sen. Kennedy likes to open with the whoppers, doesn't he? What power has the White house abused. They're not excusing or authorizing any torture; a FACT that has been proven time and again since the abuse at Abu Ghraib. And as to the spying on American citizens, since when is a foreign agent of another country a US citizen? There are checks and balances, as I highlighted above, in that if Congress cuts the funds, the war ends. That power of the president comes to an end. The review is conducted in house, and is comprised of not only the administration, but the NSA, the FBI, and a review of the FISA warrants. If there is a problem (which there has been a couple) the program is shut down, tweaked, and restarted. All the necessary checks to preserve our civil liberties are being dealt with. And I'd love to know what "public outcry" is he referring to? The last major poll conducted showed that more than 60% of people understood the program, and encourgaed the president to continue it.

It proclaims his legal opinion that the Constitution does not protect the right of women to make their own reproductive decisions.

It expresses outright hostility to the basic principle of one person, one vote, affirmed by the Supreme Court as essential to ensuring that all Americans have a voice in their government.

But, as a judge, he participated in a Vanguard case anyway and has offered many conflicting reasons to explain why he broke his word. We need to get to the bottom of this matter to assure ourselves that what Judge Alito says in these hearings will not be just words, but pledges that guide him in the future if he is confirmed.

I only have one thing to say to these blatant charges, and I'll use Sen. Kennedy's own words against him, again: "Week, after week, after week we were told lie, after lie, after lie." 'Nuff said.

And that moment is right now. And lest we think -- it's kind of like we all go through this process, and I liked the phrase "minuet," that the chairman used -- we all act like there is not an elephant in the room.

Is this the plagerist trying to sound sophisticated or intelligent? Lest? I use the word on occasion. Marcie uses it more; usually when we're speaking to one another, or in a rythm doing a blog, but did Sen. Biden really have to use it? How pathetic.

But in your job application you talked about being proud, as you should be, to be proud of your subscription to and adhering to notions put forward in the National Review; that you're a proud member of the Federalist Society; the National Conservative Political Action Committee; the American spectator is something you look to, et cetera.

These are really very bright folks. They all have a very decided opinion on the issues of the day; very decided.

And those very organizations I've named think, for example, we misread the Fifth Amendment and have been misreading it for the past three decades. Those same groups argue that we have, in fact -- there is no right of privacy in the Constitution, et cetera.

First, and I'm sorry for being picky, but how many times can one person use "et cetera" in a sentance before it becomes forced and montonous? Second, yes their decisions are well decided, and well reasoned; both within the framework of the Constitution. Unlike Sen. Pla,er...Biden, these people--like Scalia, like Thomas, like Roberts, and like Rehnquist before them--believed that the Constitution was "dead;" not a "living, breathing" document to be toyed with on a whim. The Fifth Amendment in certain cases has been misinterpreted. And no, despite the best mental gymnastics one can muster, there is no all-encompassing right to privacy in the Fourth Amendment, either.

And for 70 years there's been a consensus among scholars and the American people on a reading to the Constitution that protects the right of privacy, the autonomy of individuals, while at the same time empowering the federal government to protect the less powerful.

Again, Sen. Biden misses the point. Griswold was a blatant misinterpretation of the Fourth Amendment, and worse the court stepped in and trumped a state law; the law passed under the State's rights enumerated within the Tenth Amendment.

That's the crux of the debate we're having now: whether it is an adaptable Constitution.

A lot of my friends make very powerful and convincing arguments, and they may be right that, "No, no, no, no, it is not adaptable. It is not adaptable."

Biden must have friends smarter than himself. They're right. The Constitution is not adaptable, but it is amendable. Amending it is a process that doesn't involve the courts at all. It involves Congress, and it involves the people; the courts should have zero say within the process unless it is an amendment that contravenes an established one, and that one isn't the one being amended.

And it's also important to note that you're slated to replace the first woman ever nominated to the Supreme Court. We can pretend that's not the fact but it is. And through no fault of your own, we're cutting the number of women in half on the court.

And now, as I said, that's not your fault, but I think it means that have to take -- at least speaking for myself -- a closer look at your stands on issues that are important to women.

And moreover, Justice O'Connor brought critical qualities to the high court that not everybody thinks are qualities -- I happen to think they are -- her pragmatism and her state craft. Not that I've always agreed with what she said -- far from it -- but Justice O'Connor has been properly lauded, in my view, as a judge who approached her duties with open-mindedness and with a sensitivity that affects her decisions would have on everyday, ordinary people.

Who's the one accused of being "sexist" here? Isn't it Judge Alito? Why does Biden even bring up the fact that, yes, we're going from two female jurists to one? Regardless of the sex, a jurist should rule based on what the laws states, not on the sex involved. This isn't a PC contest here about who can feel whom's pain the most. This is the Supreme Court, which decides law, not who the biggest winner should be based on sex. And I personally think that Justice O'Connor's sensitivity was her drawback to being a jurist; all too often concerned about how people would feel about her "swing" vote. Again, personal feelings aside--which is what the committee has been emphasizing--a jurist is to rule on the law.

For example, in your now-famous 1985 job application, you express pride in some of the work you did in the Solicitor General's Office. You choose to single out the assistance that you provided in crafting Supreme Court briefs urging that, quote, "the Constitution does not protect the right to an abortion."

While these statements came in the context of your work on behalf of the Reagan administration, they were, nevertheless, your self- proclaimed personal views.

Last time I checked, Sen. Kohl, a partisan bias in the solicitor general's office wasn't "forbidden" as it is on the bench. Especially when it's also the bias of the administration you work for. On the bench--and in the papers--he will rule as he has stated: "Roe is settled law." Further, that brief is correct. Abortion isn't protected under the Constitution. A review of Roe will prove that. The Amendments cited give no support to abortion; the jurisprudence interpreted is incorrect.

And recently there have been several actions taken by the administration that highlight why the constitutional checks and balances between the branches of government are so essential. These include the use of torture, whether an expansive reading of law or disregarding Geneva Conventions, including the Convention on Torture; whether the president is bound by ratified treaties or not; allowing the detention of American citizens without providing due process -- of course, Sandra Day O'Connor was dispositive in the Hamdi case -- whether the president can conduct electronic surveillance on Americans without a warrant, despite legislation that establishes a court process for all intelligence for all electronic surveillance.

I'm also concerned with the impact you could have on women's rights, and specifically a woman's right to choose. In the 33 years since Roe was decided, there have been 38 occasions on which Roe has been taken up by the court.

The court has not only declined to overrule Roe, but it has also explicitly reaffirmed its central holding.

In our private meeting, when we spoke about Roe and precedent, you stated that you could not think of a case that's been reviewed or challenged more than Roe. You also stated that you believe that the Constitution does provide a right of privacy and that you have a deep respect for precedent.

However, in 1985, you clearly stated that you believed Roe should be overturned and that the Constitution does not protect a woman's right to choose.

So despite voting to sustain Roe on the Third Circuit, your opinions also raise questions about how you might rule if not bound by precedent. And of course, obviously, I'd like to find that out.

I'm going to take Sen. Feinstein down in one, fell swoop. First off, there is no torture being carried out. None. None that has been confirmed whatsoever. Second, we are abiding by the Geneva Convention's provision regarding prisoners, which is further extended to their own Torture Convention. These are illegal combatants. They're entitled to no protections under the Geneva Convention; this is a fact established by the Supreme Court--they are illegal combatants. They are being treated as POWs, but don't have that classification.

Third, he has said he believes abortion to be a settled issue. Despite the 38 appeals to the Supreme Court (reason enough for Judge Alito to answer as little as possible about it; it is still legally relevant, and chances are he will see a future appeal about this) it hasn't been overturned, yet. In 1985 he did write that abortion had no Constitutional merit, and wasn't protected. He's right. Practically every scholar--liberal and conservative--out there has stated that Roe was decided wrongly. And finally, if he voted to maintain Roe, why even bother bringing it up, unless you're trying to score political points?

And I'll be stopping there. The transcripts can be found at the link below, and you can go peruse them yourselves. They are interesting, and as you can see, there's a common theme building amongst the Democrats.

They're going to drill him on abortion, and the powers of the president. Big surprise, huh? I'm glad that I'll be catching this tomorrow. It's going to be fun to watch Judge Alito slap the Democrats around tomorrow.


Publius II


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