1/11/2006

The 'Most Prolific Dissenter'

Apparently we are mouth-breathing lunatics.
We can all spare the half assed analysis on the hearings and leave it to Armando (Kos), Slate, etc. But I have to ask: how many times did Schumer say stare decisis ???

Alito made me yawn but Schumer got me bothered. (no more 'are you crazy' mail, please)
Interesting, this parallel universe of 'activist judges'. It seems that this is an ambiguous derogatory term for any judge that applies the body of law in ways that do not fit the agenda of the person on the opposite side. Schiavo? Nothing personal. Ten Commandments? Fine line. Protected right to free speech? Not so much so.
If an activist judge is defined as: "A judge who allows his personal views to overcome a commitment to faithfully following the law; following the law as it is, not as you would like it to be, good or bad..." Then what can we conclude about the judges that see fit to disregard the First Amendment on matters of Church and State, that rule in favor of theocracy? Apparently they feel that the 'law as it is written' is a matter of subjective convenience. A conservative judge views the law as outdated or historically misinterpreted or better yet- not a SUPER PRECEDENT. ( a giant ball of gaseous precedent, tired of being a white dwarf precedent, struggling for its Chandrasekhar limit)
It comes as small comfort then to know that Alito decided to study constitutional law because he was distressed over the liberal activism practiced under Chief Justice Warren.
And apparently many think Schumer's protests lack a proper earnesty.
Via national Review's Corner "Democrats have to vote against him because their donors, constituent organizations, and mouth-breathing lunatics who populate leftie websites demand it."

12 comments:

Eli Blake said...

The best way to answer any 'strict constructionist' who argues that if a right (i.e. privacy) isn't spelled out in the Constitution, it's not a right.

IX amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Funny, but you don't suppose that the Founding Fathers (who included the ninth amendment in the Bill of Rights) were smart enough to foresee that perhaps one day there would be someone who would argue something like 'strict Constitutional Constructionism,' do you, and felt that they might need to insert an amendment specifically to guard against it?

Remember that when some conservative starts arguing with you about how we have to respect the language of the Constitution, the best way to answer is with, yes, the Constitution.

Lizzy said...

Hi Lily,

Check this out!

lily said...

Great comments, as usual, Eli!
Would love to hear your thoughts on today- I'm wading through the transcript as I was not able to watch it most of the day but again caught Schumer. I think he overplayed his hand a bit and Specter called him on it in the briefing after..
Also of note in this whole scenario is the idea of the verdict 'tally' which I was thrilled to see mentioned (unfortunately by the opposition)

Lew Scannon said...

Of course the Democrats are going to vote against him! Every once in a while they have to act like an opposition party, otherwise, people might catch on to them.....

lily said...

Lizzy: So I went to the link, looked around, but had to go somewhere pretty quickly. I went back to check out her links, and that is how I linked myself. Now I understand why you posted it!

Lew: Catch on to them? You mean they are not the party of, uh, kitties?

Rex Kramer, Danger Seeker said...

When I was a younger and single danger seeker, I'd often employ "stare decisis" as my pick-up line at Amy Grant concerts. Got the Young Republican chicks hot every time.

Gothamimage said...

Lily, if you want to know what the conservatives really think, you'll have to read what Bush and Kristol just discussed at out blog.

Neil Shakespeare said...

I demand it! I demand it!!

lily said...

I read that a few days ago, didnt I? Check your comments.

lily said...

Eli- I also responded to this on your post from the other day, it relates to your comments here as well.
Re: the view on rights as protected/not protected. I think that an inherent difficulty comes in the fact that they (those you term strict constructionists) see this distinction between 'settled law' (upheld so many times, or rendered as super-precedent) and 'fluid' unsettled law. Settled laws, in their minds, are laws that require no further debate, essentially laid to rest, where the 'right' (so to speak) is apparent, universal, and obvious. And exceptions cannot be easily applied. The "exception' component forms the crux of the assertion of fluidity on Roe when in fact the nature of rights are their universal applicability.
Therefore Alito knew he could not respond to Schumer by stating that in fact incest was an exception. Despite his party-pandering on fluidity, he has in his own words stated a fixed view of the right of the 'unborn child' which makes his position so problematic. One is stated as a right, fixed, 'settled' while the other is considered 'unsettled law' by the right wing.
On matters like Roe, they take the position that this is not settled law but rather fluid,dynamic law subject to revisiting because it's clarity regarding rights is not 'specific'. (despite the section you've cited) They seem to view things they disagree with as being less 'settled' than other questions- the political nature of the interpretation.
(which yes I DO think the 'founding fathers' could foresee. Just as they could foresee the limits on participatory democracy in cases where an uninformed populace might seek a heavy-handed power wielding executive branch.)
For those of us on the left though, we view Church/State matters as 'settled law' and yet they contradict themselves in their zeal to muddy the lines. And yet Roe does not 'spell out' reproductive liberty- fodder for their agenda. That is one of many indicators that Alito and his ilk have no intention of taking an objective view on settled law, but rather will revisit that which they deem to be politically compelling and the courts will become increasingly subservient to the right wing.
We know this, but if nothing else, Alito's explanations show the American people the path of constitutional irrelevance.

Frederick said...

Alito who?

tp said...

alito bit o' mambo number five...

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