Supreme Court Open Thread

Bumped--Start researching Roberts, who at first glance I find tottaly unacceptable. Do it now--Chris

Update:Don't miss the Supreme Court Action thread

The announcement will come tonight. Why? Bob Franken explained why on CNN today:

Speaking of the Karl Rove matter of course, that is news that is considered at the moment, so yesterday. We've moved on. That is pathetically cliquish. Distraction-gate: Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.

"It helps take Rove off the front pages for a week," one Republican strategist said.

The timing of the choice is clearly to distract the easily distracted media from Rove, and undoubtedly it will work. While the Rove meter was still strong yesterday, now all of the stories about Rove are actually about the Supreme Court:

Saturday, 7/9: 49
Sunday, 7/10: 77
Monday, 7/11: 639
Tuesday, 7/12: 1,150
Wednesday, 7/13: 1,200
Thursday, 7/14: 1,230
Friday, 7/15:799
Saturday, 7/16: 303
Sunday, 7/17: 845
Monday, 7/18: 1,140
Tuesday, July 19: 836, but without the word "Clement," it is only 392.

So, in the face of a story where they were clearly getting killed, with no new wars left to declare, the Bush administration has decided to name the nominee early.

This does not necessarily hurt us. First, we can push the distraction meme. Second, a quicker nominee almost certainly means they did less background work, which will give us a chance to bring the noise on opposition research against Clement (or whoever it might be). Third, there is a very likely possibility that Clement's nomination will still be up in the air entering August recess, and when it comes to a judicial nominee a protracted battle will favor the opposition. Right now, no one knows who Clement is, but a longer battle means we can play a bigger role in helping define her.

Tags: Open Threads (all tags)

Comments

18 Comments

Rove Crisis should continue - Don't forget Bolton
You can start chalking up some successes for the Dems recently. If the reports are correct, Joy Clement is not as Right-Wing as others, but still not a Moderate.

More news has to break on the Rove case, especially considering that this involves a leak of a CIA agent during a time of war.

Finally, please don't forget that Bolton was beaten back and there was no Bush Interim appointment over the July 4th holiday.

by neolib 2005-07-19 12:53PM | 0 recs
Yes...
Kinda amazing to see the cable news shows just shift gears instantly... all the while acknowledging that they are doing exactly as Bush hopes.

Truly mindblowing.

3 have 3 high-profile things going on RIGHT NOW... its a good time to be a political junkie, even if the M$M have 100% ADD.

by teknofyl 2005-07-19 01:28PM | 0 recs
Found a speech if the nominee is Clement
Some of what she said (got this off line from conservative blogs so not sure for accuracy):

1. Her confirmation battle: Clement doesn't provide much ammunition for opposition groups, but perhaps not much for conservatives to get excited about either. She hasn't written anything notable off the bench (or at least nothing that's come to light yet), and most of her judicial decisions have been in relatively routine and uncontroversial cases.

Civil Rights and Liberties
For a unanimous panel, allowed a plaintiff who sued the police for violating his right to due process to proceed with his claim that the officers who arrested him used excessive force when they allegedly injured him by slamming the door of their car against his head. Reversed the district court's finding that the plaintiff could also sue for unlawful arrest and excessive force involving the use of handcuffs. (Tarver v. City of Edna, 2005)

Environmental Protection and Property Rights
Voted for the 5th Circuit to rehear a decision blocking developers from building on a site where six endangered bug species lived in a cluster of limestone caves. Clement joined a dissent that argued that the decision's rationale for protecting the bugs--to preserve the interdependent web of species--bore no relationship to Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. (GDF Realty Investments v. Norton, 2004)

Criminal Law
For a unanimous panel, rejected the claim of a man flying to Nigeria that his luggage was unlawfully searched at the border. Clement ruled broadly that customs inspectors need not have probable cause to search the bags of people who are leaving the country. (U.S. v. Odutayo, 2005)
Agreed with a unanimous panel that an asylum applicant who was 20 minutes late to a hearing because he'd taken the wrong highway exit should not have been ordered deported in absentia and was entitled to a new hearing. (Alarcon-Chavez v. Gonzales, 2005)

Habeas Corpus
Over a dissent, ruled that a death-row inmate who claimed to be mentally retarded was entitled to a lawyer to develop that claim in a habeas petition. Clement's ruling followed the Supreme Court's 2002 decision barring the execution of the mentally retarded. She followed up with a second opinion that limited the significance of her ruling by stating "this is a fact-bound case." (Hearn v. Dretke, 2004)

For a unanimous panel, reversed a decision of the district court finding that a police officer convicted of civil rights violation, for hitting a drunk suspect in the head with his baton, was entitled to a new trial because his lawyer was ineffective. The officer argued that his lawyer erred by failing to call character witnesses to rebut testimony that he'd complained about the need to control Mexicans in the United States. Clement said the rebuttal evidence would have been irrelevant because the officer was not charged with a hate crime. (U.S. v. Harris, 2005)

Damage Awards
Over a partial dissent, in reviewing a jury verdict in favor of a man whose wife and 3-year-old daughter were killed in a car crash, affirmed damage awards of $1.9 million for the man's loss of his wife and $1.5 million for the loss of his daughter. Reduced from $200,000 to $30,000 an award to the wife's estate for her pain and mental anguish before her death and eliminated a $200,000 award to the daughter's estate for her pain and mental anguish. (Vogler v. Blackmore, 2003)

I am continuing my research- starting to try to find speeches by her w/ the Federalist Society.

by bruh21 2005-07-19 01:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Found a speech if the nominee is Clement
PS There is a speech she gave in 2000 called the Whiter Shade of Pale that I could also place here if you want it- or I can try to find a link. Over at Free Republican - they have been talking about her since Jul 4th saying she is true blue because of the speech.
by bruh21 2005-07-19 01:17PM | 0 recs
Aw, crap
Now the word on the street is that it's not Clement, with no accompanying word on who it really is. (Clement also just took a gigantic hit on Tradesports... now the Bad Edith (Jones) is in the lead.) I'd say we're well advised not to waste any more energy on oppo research until later this evening.
by Crazy Vaclav 2005-07-19 01:23PM | 0 recs
Since Bush will pick the worst possible choice
I guess we're looking forward to Associate Justice Ann Coulter...
by clawed 2005-07-19 01:45PM | 0 recs
Noooo...
Daily Show called it...

Justice Karl Rove

by teknofyl 2005-07-19 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Since Bush will pick the worst possible choice
If Bush does choose Coulter, I am confident Barbara Boxer will oppose her, and Ted Kennedy will probably vote against her, too. Will holding her confirmation vote down to 98-2 constitute a moral victory?
by georgewturd 2005-07-19 03:52PM | 0 recs
It's Roberts,
 a truly ultra-conservative prick...should've known the shrub would go to the far right for his selection.
by buckfush 2005-07-19 03:55PM | 0 recs
So says the AP
as reported by MSNBC. The Conservative Voice says:

"Advocacy groups on the right say that Roberts, a 50-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., who attended Harvard Law School, is a bright judge with strong conservative credentials he burnished in the administrations of former Presidents Bush and Reagan. While he has been a federal judge for just a little more than two years, legal experts say that whatever experience he lacks on the bench is offset by his many years arguing cases before the Supreme Court."

"Liberal groups, however, say Roberts has taken positions in cases involving free speech and religious liberty that endanger those rights. Abortion rights groups allege that Roberts is hostile to women's reproductive freedom and cite a brief he co-wrote in 1990 that suggested the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion."

by catastrophile 2005-07-19 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Roberts,
That Jackass.  Although it is one of the most brilliant Wag the Dog moves I have ever seen.  Methinks Rove is all over this one.  

I bet he was seriously thinking of going with Clement or someone less conservative until the Rove thing really hit the fan over the last week.  So instead of nominating someone who can get through confirmation easily, he nominates someone guarenteed to start a nasty fight.  This nasty fight consumes the media and divides the public, letting Rove slip from the headlines.  In a few weeks we will see the investigation close with no casualties.

So what do we do?  A bitter fight may cost us a lot of support for 2006 (or it may solidify our support) and the use of the nuclear option, given that McCain has said he will support most SCOTUS nominee (in an effort to appease the conservatives in the GOP) the gang of 14 may be broken up.  

Give credit to Rove... He not only distracted us for the week, he took over headlines for the next few months.

I am starting to really Dislike O'Connor even though rationally this is not her fault.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-07-19 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Roberts,
Wag the Dog is nothing new. Clinton did it, Reagan did it, and if I go farther back, most Presidents have probably done it.

Bush could have done better than Roberts, but he could have done worse too. He is to the right of O'Connor, but to the left of Robert Bork (who isn't?). He appears to be similar to Rehnquist, who is arguably the court's most conservative member.

I doubt the Democrats will put up much of a fight, if for no other reason than that I have a hard time seeing this making the "Gang of Fourteen's" extraordinary circumstances. That being said, Bush will try to make a controversy where there really isn't one by dragging his feet and expecting the Senate to give him a rubber stamp, not a confirmation.

by wayward 2005-07-19 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: It's Roberts,
Scalia is hands down the most conservative member of the court.  Rhenquist is up there... I put him on the same track with Thomas.  

I never said Wag the Dog is new... I was pointing out this is one of the better ones I have seen.  

by yitbos96bb 2005-07-20 06:05AM | 0 recs
Just one word
There's just one word that's going to define this nomination fight: abortion.

It's gonna split things up pretty interestingly, with the Republicans losing perhaps four or five senators who are strongly pro-choice, unless party discipline is well-enforced. A couple strongly pro-life Democrats, like Ben Nelson of Nebraska, might vote for Roberts' confirmation.

The preliminary assessment? The President has nominated a very divisive nominee. We can win this thing.

by Tim Saler 2005-07-19 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Just one word
The Senate is an odd thing because it is done by state, not by population. This gives Republicans a clear advantage. It doesn't matter how many votes Barbara Boxer or Barack Obama gets as long as Republicans win the big, empty states.

Attitudes on abortion vary from state to state. As a general rule, rural states oppose it, urban states are more tolerant of it.

Republicans will maintain party discipline, with the possible exception of Chafee. Ben Nelson will probably vote to confirm, as will a few other Democrats.

There will not be enough votes to filibuster, and this nomination should not face too much opposition.

by wayward 2005-07-19 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Just one word
I've heard some say already that this nomination would not constitute the extraordinary circumstances situation that would break up the "Gang of 14," so in that case Roberts will probably be confirmed.

But, if they do decide the circumstances are in fact extraordinary, and we get some votes like Snowe and Collins, we could win.

by Tim Saler 2005-07-19 06:13PM | 0 recs
Question to tie Bush, Rove and Roberts
To the Nominee:

What limits, if any, do you see to Executive Privilege?

Please suggest follow-ups.

by Mudshark 2005-07-19 06:00PM | 0 recs
Rove things is what it is
Dems need to face up to it: either Fitzgerald has this thing shut tight, or he doesn't.

The die is cast.

by jcjcjc 2005-07-19 07:23PM | 0 recs

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