The partisan takeover of the judicial bench; Virginia Gov election

1990 Roberts: "We continue to believe that Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled."

2003 Roberts: "Roe vs. Wade is the settled law of the land."

Well, at least he's on record as being a flip-flopper. He'll say whatever he needs to be nominated. The Republicans will say that he was representing a client in the first instance, and who knows, being a political operative, Roberts might just calculate that having Roe vs Wade around to hoodwink anti-abortionists into voting Republican is better than overturning the right to abortion and seeing the theocons win, and the Republicans then lose their power.

Roberts is a DC partisan political insider hack operative Republican. He's basically a politician that, because he lives in DC, cannot run for office anywhere, so he's become a political Judge instead, fighting to institutionalize the Republican Party within the Federal branch of the government. There's no doubt about it; but that also makes him likely to be confirmed. DC is a Republican entity.

In Virginia, the question of whether the state should criminalize abortions becomes even more legitimate. Still, the last thing that Kilgores wants to do is exchange running on a  "culture of life" to a stance on making abortions illegal, so he's ducking the question. Roberts multiple stances on abortion, and the likelyhood that the debate over Roberts' confirmation is all about abortion, means that ducking his stance over whether he'd sign a bill making abortion illegal is not a viable option for Kilgore. Overturning a woman's legal right to abortion, and thus the body of a women coming under control of the government, is likely be one of the first things on the Virginia's Republican state legislative agenda in 2006 with Kilgore as Governor.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)



It's not a flip flop
Listen, lawyers over the course of their lifetime play different roles. In the two quotes you chose above--his roles were different. In one he was arguing before the Supreme Court and his case and job were to argue against Roe. As a jude he said he would uphold the decided law of the land. It is not a fli flop and it is not inconsistant. I don't know this guy from Adam. What I do know is that Roe is bad law. You don't need to be a leagal scholar to see that. We can not be the party that opposes every judge that is anti-Roe. Abortion can not be the defining issue of our party. We need to move beyond this. Besides, this man will be confirmed. Advice and consent doesn't mean you get to stop a nominee just because he doesn't fit your argenda. We will lose this one if we fight it. Better to not fight it and focus on other things.
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 01:39AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
What I do know is that Roe is bad law. You don't need to be a leagal scholar to see that. We can not be the party that opposes every judge that is anti-Roe. Abortion can not be the defining issue of our party.
What do you mean by saying that women should have their bodies outside of governmental rule is "bad law"?  You are right, abortion should not be the defining issue of our party. But outlawing abortion is the defining issue of a majority of those in the Republican party. You can't stick your head in the sand and ignore this. Are you implying that Democrats should just suck it up, let them outlaw abortions without standing up for a womens right to make this choice free of governmental regulation?

And, whatever about the legal quibble, that gets lost in the black and white of the quotes. It reads flip-flop, so that's what it is in this world.

by Jerome Armstrong 2005-07-20 01:48AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
I think Chris is correct that he's a partisan hack and you're right to attack him on his inconsistencies, but I have serious doubts that he can be defeated.
by Kevin Hayden 2005-07-20 03:14AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Overturning Roe does not mean outlawing abortion. It means you and I decide by the people we elect to state government. It is the same way now except we decide by the people we elect to federal government and those who appoint and approve Supreme Court Justices. Roe is bad law--red any four decisions before Roe--you will see how the Court operated and what decisions were based on--They decided what outcome they wanted in Roe and then squished and played with the law to get there. I am pro-choice. I think that abortion should be legal. Also, I think abortion is bad. I don't think it is a form of birthcontrol. I think Roe is bad law we are not going to win this. Fight the abortion debate on the local level. Let this fight go...

I am not a Democrat defined by this issue and I resent when my party allows themselves to be distracted from other things with this.

by Chris1458 2005-07-20 03:57AM | 0 recs
Just so you know...
... I have yet to come across these mythical fuck-me dolls who adamantly refuse to use any form of birth control, but get hundreds of abortions.

No one thinks of abortion as birth control.

by teknofyl 2005-07-20 04:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Just so you know...
Visit the Daily Kos on a day when the open thread is about abortion--oh yes they do believe it is birth control and yes they are PRO-abortion--and that really isn't the point. We as a party get painted into a corner defending every bad choice of every wacky person out there because we always want to argue about the principle at stake--it is crazy. We have been painted as the party of baby killers and the party of people who think it is normal to have a husband and a live in lesbian lover and the party of people who think it is ok to have 6 kids by 6 different men and then have tax money pay for their up keep from birth until they die in prison--this is crazy! My Democratic Party is about equal rights for all special rights for none. It is about personal responsibility. It is about a level playing field and people who work hard to make something of themselves. It is about community and personal responsibility. Have you noticed we don't say anything is wrong anymore? We have become the party of self-esteem and we award stickers and prizes for just showing up. We need to stop,  not only are we losing elections we are fucking up the world. Some things are hard. They require work. Choices are just that choices and you are responsibile for the consequences of those choices. We have lost sight of what we are supposed to be about. I don't want to be the party of babykillers anymore and so I don't care about this. I want to be the party of the better ideas and that can only happen if we start focusing on other stuff--


by Chris1458 2005-07-20 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Just so you know...
Deflect the "painting" of which you speak instead of hating the consequences of your principles.

You believe strongly in personal responsibility, but those hypothetical 6 kids did not choose their stupid mother.  Should they suffer for the sins of another?

And we do say many things are wrong.  Some because they violate the rights of others: corporate malfeasance, corporate welfare, environmental disrespect, abuse of power, invasion of privacy, exploitation of workers, hunger, poverty, racial disparities.  Some for cultural or societal reasons: teenage pregnancy, flag burning, high divorce rates, alcoholism, ...

The problem so many stupid voters and FOX News watchers have is that there is a HUGE difference between something being WRONG and something being ILLEGAL.  We draw the line at violating the rights of others.  Republicans seem to draw the line based on the Christian bible which says nothing about rights, only about responsibilities, therefore immediately violating the rights of non-Christians.

by AntiCliche 2005-07-20 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Just so you know...
I don't hate the consequences of my principles. The hypothetical 6 kids already suffer due to their stupid mother--the programs we put in place to "help" those children didn't help them and the groovy touchy feely mindset we promoted in public schools not only didn't help them it hurt them.

I understand the difference between Wrong and Illegal, but the arguments the people who supposedly speak for this party make in support of certain laws and policies skip over the wrong part.

I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that calling voters and Fox viewers stupid didn't do so much for us last think it is going to work better now? Say what you want about FOX but they are part of a brilliant political spin machine and when you yell degrading remarks at them they eat you up. The Democratic party used to know how to play politics. They used to know how to wage the kind of war being waged on us and it has been their arrogance that has kept them from doing this in recent history. If we can't get our acts together and we continue to think that ignoring things like FOX is actually a method of running campaigns we will continue to lose.

I'm not gonna get into a Christian thing with you. It doesn't matter what their motivation is--politically speaking--motives don't matter. How we present ourselves and counter these attacks matters and screaming Christian and stupid at them will find us with another Republican in the White House.

by Chris1458 2005-07-20 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
this "overturning roe leaves abortion to the states" line is just not true.  congress will have the power to restrict abortion, and there is no doubt in my mind they will use it.
by snaktime 2005-07-20 06:26AM | 0 recs
That's a good point...
And we'll see where that goes.  There are some tough Democrats in the Senate especially.

I don't doubt that the GOP would try this while they hold all the cards.

Nevertheless, I still think that we have to eventually win this thing in the political arena.  Otherwise this will be the mother of all wedge issues forever.

I'm so tired of fighting about abortion.  RvW keeps the argument going on and on.

Personally I think that nothing would help the pro-choice argument as much as little taste of anti-choice policies.

The anti-choice agenda is vulgar and distasteful when applied to individuals.  After several years of horrendous experiences, the country will realize what's going on.

We've had a taste of America w/ RvW and I know that America w/o all those rights will be repugnant to most voters.

If abortion were OUTLAWED OUTRIGHT for 5 years (an extreme case... shiver)... then it would become obvious that that choice makes families less stable, makes the economic situation less satble, and puts more strain on the educational system and health care system.  After 20 years, you would see crime rates rise again, and the adverse effects on our society would be undeniable.

Not that I wants that, but I'm just saying... thesoutlawing abortion is social suicide for America.  Right now R's get to act like it's the magic bullet for all of society's ills... if voters really want to let that stupid shit happen... well when you tell a kid the stove is hot, he doesn't belive you; after he touches it... he knows for sure.

by teknofyl 2005-07-20 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: That's a good point...
Republicans are scared shitless that Roe will be overturned.


If Roe is overturned, "business" Republicans will be under pressure to deliver to the Religious Right on promises they never had any intention of keeping.  

If you haven't read "What's the Matter with Kansas?", you should. Then you would understand the REAL Republican agenda on abortion. Real Republicans don't care about the issue, but they use it to win votes in conservative, rural states. Roe v. Wade fits into the "backlash narrative" perfectly because it came from the court, not a legislature. They forget that the trend was toward legalization, and that several states, including NY, had already taken that step.

Had Roe gone the other way, I seriously doubt abortion would still be illegal. I also seriously doubt we would even be having this debate.

by wayward 2005-07-21 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Even if you believe abortion is murder, murder is a state law.
by wayward 2005-07-21 02:53AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
I agree with this.

With the Supreme Court keeping anyone from doing anything about abortion, the debate occurs at the federal level and is almost always about the morality of abortion vs. the virtues of choice. This situation plays to the most absolutist versions of each position, and in many areas it plays to our disadvantage.

If Roe were overturned, it would go back to the states. This would obviously change the debate on abortion. It would be more difficult for politicians to be able to take ideological stances, because they would have to make real policy that affected real people, as opposed to passing useless political bills that are designed to make your opponents look like baby killers.

Sending it back to the states would force the states to solve the problem. Sure, a few states would ban it, but how hard do you want to fight to keep Mississippi's one abortion clinic open? Most states, especially the blue states would keep it legal. There is no such thing as abortion rights in much of Europe, but it remains legal out of practical reasons. However, there is a clear bias against the procedure. I believe there is considerable more sanity over there all around, and you would see the same over here.

Interestingly enough, many abortion opponents have no idea how they would enforce a law against abortion. They seem to be more interested in making sure that the law reflects their moral belief that abortion is wrong, than in stopping abortion.

by wayward 2005-07-21 03:06AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Harry Reid is pro life. Should we smear him? No, because taken as whole person he is a good statesman.

I'm not afraid of Roe v. Wade bieng overturned becuase as soon as people start seeing all the unwanted kids being born and the backalley abortions, it will be legal again. The people will clamor for it, and that is the dirty little secret the Republicans know.

by Christopher Hitchens 2005-07-20 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Harry Reid is a red herring. He maybe pro life, but he votes pro choice. It's the deeds that counts.
by bruh21 2005-07-20 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Are you an attorney? People often say Roe is bad law, but it often  sounds like they are repeating a talking point. Based on what? Roe is bad law, in the way that Brown is bad law- they both are a change in precedent. Other than the change in precendent, why is Roe bad law? Back that up.
by bruh21 2005-07-20 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Nope, not an attorney but studied some law and while I would have to go back and re-read it to point out specifically where I feel the opinion takes a wild leap of faith I believe it to be bad law. Brown overturned a decision but did so based on Connstitutional principles. It did so ruling that separate but equal was inherently unequal. That laws and previous rulings were in error. It also pointed to the fact that all citizens were protected by the 14th amendment.

If you don't want to go with Roe being bad law the go with this: Roe makes a determination about when the state has a compelling interest in a fetus based on the best scientific data at the time. That data has changed. This is not the end of the world. And arguing that the economic costs to society will be bad makes it seem like an advocation of abortion as birthcontrol.

And making abortion illegal doesn't kill women--women chosing to allow someone who isn't a doctor to stick a coat hangar inside them is what kills them. Bad judgement is the culprit in that situation.

Abortion is bad. We should try to discourage it. We should educate how to prevent the need for an abortion in a reasonable way including but not limited to abstinence since it is the only way you 100% don't get pregnant.

They are not going to re-hear Roe. They can't do that. They will hear individual cases based on the laws on the books now. This is not a defininf issue for me and I wish it weren't the only thing we as a party seem to focus on.

by Chris1458 2005-07-20 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
You really shouldn't say Roe is bad law  unless you have the legal background to make that decision. I am not saying that to be condescending. I am saying it to make a point about this assumption amongst idealogues of both the left and right to assume that their opinion trumps fact. For the record, whether Roe is good or bad law based on prior precedent is subject to debate. There were privacy rulings prior to Roe. As I remember those cases included such issues a marriage (ie, between the races) and contraceptives. The concept of privacy is definitely not alien to the Constitution. That's a modern conservative construct that it is not. Sort of like how conservatives claimed a few months ago that the fillabuster has never been used against judicial nominees. If you contort history, to ignore a lot of stuff, then yes, they were right. But without the disingenousness- their arguement fell flat. The same is true here of this issue. The best argument that you can actually make about Roe is not whether or not it is bad law. But, whether it was a remedy that was necessary at the time or would this have been solved through state consideration. The answer is  I don't know.

You want to know the truth? I don't care about this issue. I think this is a game of hide the ball regarding a lot of really bad policy making that the Republicans make. I do care on the level of it being something for which I show solidarity w/ fellow progressives. The if you got my back, then I got yours approach. Much like conservatives do on their issues. I do find it instructive however that you felt the need to switch your argument when I caught youto provide me another distraction much like the Republicans do. Your theories, and that's what they are, of why people have abortions for example, are just that- your theories. I don't speculate, and I don't really care except to see if you are really a progressive, which I sense you are not.

by bruh21 2005-07-20 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
I am a Democrat plain and simple. I think that progressive is the PR word we chose to replacve liberal when we couldn't get rid of the tax and spend image. You be progressive. I'll be a Democrat. At least I will know what I stand for and believe in.
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
fine, liberal, whatever, I don't care what you call it so long as the meaning is clear. God, I have no idea how I ended up with this idealogy since I share so little in common with most of you. That you would actually post to complain about me using progressive over liberal it so out of whack to the real shit that's going down around us, I simply can't understand it. We agree that the REpublicans got to go right? Then let's focus on that rather than on what we call ourselves.
by bruh21 2005-07-20 02:06PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
that's part of the problem--we need to know what we call ourselves we need to know what we stand for and we need to be able to boil that down and tell other people--progressives liberals democrats--hey guess what? Half the people here aren't sure if those three things are one solidified group--the rest of the world just doesn't care because it takes too long to explain and by the time you have they are more confused then when they started and then they stop listening to your ideas. Anyone get that we are not winning elections? This is part of the reason...
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
You have got to be shitting me? Tell me you are shitting me.You think our messaging problems are related to this? Please tell me you are shitting me?
by bruh21 2005-07-20 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
i think it is one part of our message problem--we can't even agree with each other--we can't agree on what to call ourselves--we aren't reaching people. You think our message problems are a result of ...?
by Chris1458 2005-07-21 03:39AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
We have part of the party distancing itself from the DNC Chairman--you think we look like we have a clue? Plus we have a chairman who opens his mouth and alienates
by Chris1458 2005-07-21 03:40AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
If you think these are the biggest problems facing us as a nation, and the Democrats specifically, then there is something seriously wrong with you. But, don't feel bad because I think there's something seriously wrong with most of the citizens of the later days of the Roman empire too. I know its a cliche, but that's what America reminds me of. There is this excellent book- I forget it's exact title about how empires and societies fall. First is the belief that just because something has existed, that it will always exist. This is not true. Society do die. Even democracies die. Like all empires, Rome didn't die because of foreign invaders. It died from the center. Most societies die from the inside out. From citizens more obsessed with dog and pony shows than they were in solving real problems. I think if you believe these things that you are citing are the biggest issues that face us then you are pretty much a Roman citizen waiting for the next spectacle. And, finally, I think you need to evaluate your priorities. I don't expect you to do so.
by bruh21 2005-07-21 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
I didn't mean that it is the biggest problem but it is one of the biggest problems we have communicating our message and since for the first time in a long while registered republicans out number registered dems we are going to have to pull support from somewhere so i suggest we at least act like we have a message and a cohesive base.
by Chris1458 2005-07-21 05:03PM | 0 recs
Re: It's not a flip flop
Interestingly, Justice Byron White voted for Griswold, but against Roe.

IIRC, he believed in the right to privacy, but believed it was superceded by state interest in Roe.

by wayward 2005-07-21 03:08AM | 0 recs
And making abortion illegal doesn't kill women--women chosing to allow someone who isn't a doctor to stick a coat hangar inside them is what kills them. Bad judgement is the culprit in that situation.

When the law renders the safe option a crime, it is the fault of the law if the people choose the dangerous option.  So yes, asshole, criminal abortion does kill women.

Honestly, if the law forbade the use of crosswalks, wouldn't it be the fault if pedestrians were killed when they crossed the street elsewhere?

Jesus, what a sick, stupid, punitive, vicious worldview.

by Drew 2005-07-20 01:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit
Ah now the name calling begins. It is not true that making abortion illegal kills women. THis is the problem with the party as a whole. You always have choices. You are responsible for your choices. Choosing to violate the law and do stupid things will not only get you arrested, in this example it can get you dead. It is neither sick nor stupid nor punitive nor vicious to make you own up to your own actions nor is it any of those things to insist that we bear the responsibility for the choices we make. It is common sense. It is smart. It is the way we used to be as a party before we all started making excuses for bad behavior and saying how relevant feelings were. How do you feel about the tee-shirts planned parenthood had made and sold that said I had an abortion. Their goal was to do away with the stigma of that is sick. Somethings deserve to have a stigma.
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit
but wasn't that your intent- to be called a name? I mean seriously you arguing shit out of the 60s. 70 percent of the population agrees with Roe. Let it go and move on.
by bruh21 2005-07-20 02:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit
no it wasn't my intent to get you to call me a name...i'm guessing I could have gotten you to do that in a lot shorter of a time frame...your numbers say 70 percent agree with Roe that's fine. I agree with the principle--but I also think parental consent laws are a good idea--if the school nurse can't give my kid an aspirin then someone shouldn't be able to perform surgery on her--I also think it's not a bad idea to have  24 hour waiting period--we argue that if you have to have a gun right now maybe you need to think about the why--same thing applies to abortion--I am not arguing stuff out of the sixties--I am arguing common sense needs to prevail on this issue. I am telling you that it is our willingness to defend abortion in the most hideous of cases that got us here to where Roe is in danger.
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit
Yeah, okay whatever. When did a diary about Roberts becaome a diary about your pet issues?
by bruh21 2005-07-20 07:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Bullshit
Was it the parental consent or the waiting period that put me in the Pat Robertson category...just curious...
by Chris1458 2005-07-21 02:38AM | 0 recs
Yes, some views do deserve a stigma.
Unfortunately, your hatred of women remains far too acceptable.

Tell me, Chris.  If the state defines homosexual sex as a crime, are those who engage in it "stupid," and is the punishment - both the potential criminal punishment, and the use of the fact it is criminal to deprive gays of equal rights - "neither sick nor stupid nor punitive nor vicious?"

by Drew 2005-07-20 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, some views do deserve a stigma.
I am a woman and I'm not into self loathing. No, those who engage in homosexual sex are not stupid but it the law prohibits it it is a violation of the law. That makes no judgement on the law, but the way.

Listen, you are arguing the wrong things. Women who choose to have illegal abortions performed by people not qualified to perform the procedure are making bad choices. Would you let someone who wasn't a surgeon opperate on you?

I get that life is hard, doesn't change who is responsible for the choices we make.

by Chris1458 2005-07-21 02:37AM | 0 recs
Not into self-loathing
But other-loathing?  Very much so.

No, those who engage in homosexual sex are not stupid

Really.  Why not?  By your logic, those who "choose" to violate the law deserve what they get, don't they?  Those who "choose" to have homosexual sex could have "chosen" to have heterosexual sex, right?  Just as women who "choose" to have an illegal abortion could have "chosen" to be pregnant, right?

So what if the "choice" is meaningless, right?

I get that life is hard, doesn't change who is responsible for the choices we make.

Bullshit.  If you deprive a person of a safe choice, you are responsible for the deaths that occur as a result of the absence of a safe choice.

Be honest, Chris.  This has nothing to do with "responsibility" or "choice."  You hate women who have abortions.  You want them to die.  Why not admit it?

Really, if the law criminalized childbirth, you'd never argue that women who "chose" to give birth under circumstances that were unsafe deserved to die.  You'd condemn the government for having created those circumstances.

Too bad you can't do the same here.

by Drew 2005-07-21 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Not into self-loathing
Wow! I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that you need to adjust your medication. Are you serious? You can't argue a position without turning into a liberal version of Ann Coulter? Wow!

I do not hate women who have abortions. I don't hate anyone actually, but you are rapidly becoming the first thank you very much. I think choosing to allow someone to perform surgery on you who is not qualified to do so is a choice and I think it is a stupid choice. The abortions you are talking about here are optional. They are not medically necessary. Not once has anyone raised the issue of abortion performed illegally to save the mothers life.

I don't think anyone deserves to die. How you arrived at that simply defys logic. I said people are responsible for the choices they make. By the way, you might choose to not be such an asshole.

by Chris1458 2005-07-21 05:01PM | 0 recs
Chris, if a criminal told you that they'd either shoot you or shoot your child, who would you hold responsible for the murder?  Yourself, or the criminal?

From what you've said here, you'd hold yourself responsible.  Which is fucking warped, but not unexpected.

When the government deprives a person of a choice - in this case, the choice of a safe abortion - they're responsible if a person is hurt because of the absence of that choice.

Oh, and if you plan to respond with the canned lines you've used thus far, save us both the time and don't.

by Drew 2005-07-21 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Idiot.
the government denys us of all kinds of choices--they are called laws--you are nasty and mean and can't argue a position to save your life. You are what is wrong with the Democratic Party and politics as a whole. You are so mired in your opinion--the one you feel--not the one you can back up with logical sane thought that you have no credibility when you speak--so do the party a favor and stop speaking. You will drive people away rather than bring them to us.

And if we are going to play the insult game--i think you are a pretty good excuse to allow abortion after birth--you asshole

by Chris1458 2005-07-22 04:47AM | 0 recs
I know logic, Chris, and yours isn't.

No shit, the government restricts choice.  Usually, it restricts unsafe choices.  Here, it restricts a safe choice, leaving only unsafe choices.  Given that, of course it is responsible for the deaths that follow.  It's fundamentally irrational to claim that one should be wholly "responsible" for one's "choices" when those "choices" have been limited by others; those others bear responsibility as well.

Otherwise, what's wrong with the Democratic Party are Democrats who repeat Republican cliches, Chris.  You might want to work on that.

by Drew 2005-07-22 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Logic
You are so blind. When we lose the next election, stand up and take a bow--cuz you will be part of the reason why.
by Chris1458 2005-07-22 10:50AM | 0 recs
Back at yah.
by Drew 2005-07-23 06:36PM | 0 recs
Dems would be remiss not to filibuster
Legal analysts on PBS last night were unanimously in agreement that Roberts is clearly more conservative than O'Connor.

Roberts is at least as conservative as Rehnquist, and (without a paper trail) could very easily be a Thomas or Scalia. Roberts may very well be a stealth ideologue.

Dems fought for the filibuster for a reason -- for the very situation the Senate is now in with Roberts. Democratic Senators would abdicate progressive principles for a generation if they do not use the filibuster now in a circumstance when Bush is CLEARLY trying to move the court as far to the right as the Senate will let him. Now is the time to test the Gang of 14 agreement.

by JT 2005-07-20 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The partisan takeover of the judicial bench...
It is my honest opinion that I feel we cannot win this one.  If we try and filibuster him, we will lose because of the nuclear option.  I would like to see us ask him the tough questions and then allow a vote and vote against him.  Let's not allow this to be on the front pages for too long distracting the public from the real problem we all should be focusing on.

Let Bush win this one.  In reality, Roe is not the law precedent that is in question, it is Casey so we have some wiggle room to begin with.

We need issues to run on in 2006 and we will lose if it is about us holding up a Supreme Court nominee.  We will win if it is about cover ups, leaking a CIA operative, and using government to influence people illegally.  Our mantra should be does Tom Delay, Tom Tancredo and Karl Rove represent you?  That is what we should focus on.

by smm401 2005-07-20 04:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The partisan takeover of the judicial bench...
Great reply.

Democrats should not filibuster, but they should do their job as the opposition party.  Plus, they have to show that Bush is the divider in this country, not the uniter.  Democrats should put out the message, "Bush chose someone that would overturn a popular law, but since Republicans are in control of all branches of government, there was only so much we could do."  It's a very fine line to toe, but the Democrats have to appear strong and make Bush look like a jerk without getting too embroiled in it.

You're absolutely right.  There are much better issues to run on.  But there has to be a way to frame this major decision so it fits in with the conventional wisdom of everything else about the Republican party that is becoming more and more unappealing to the vast mainstream.

by exLogCabin 2005-07-20 05:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The partisan takeover of the judicial bench...
interesting handle
by bruh21 2005-07-20 06:49AM | 0 recs
Make it the first battle for 2006

We have to reframe the argument and show a set of values as well as a reflection of poll numbers. Correctly done, this could help us define both the  abuses of  the Adninbstration and its allies and the Democrats vision for the future for 2006. This is the most practical goal in this fight, becuase this nominee will have to face questions but will be very difficult to block; he is certainly no worth losing the filibuster over.


Don't fight about the "Presidents Nominee", fight about "America's Highest Court".

As long as the frame emphasizes the "President's Nominee" and his or her "right to an up-or-down vote", Bush has implied ownership of the issue and the opposition is at a disadvantage.  However, a frame that emphasizes America's Highest Court puts ownership where it belongs: the American people.
If we are talking about America's highest court, it flows logically that a member of that court should be acceptable to at least 60% of the American people, and at least 60 of their 100 Senators.

Don't fight about abortion, fight about the Abuse of Executive Power.

While poll numbers show that Bush's stance on abortion is unpopular, we will never win this on an issue that raises such passions among the conservative base and makes most of our own base justifiably uncomfortable.  Many of those against making abortion illegal are also for decreasing the numbers of abortions performed, particularly through improved education and economic conditions for women.

We should argue that a America's Highest Court should not act to reinforce the secret, unaccountable government of Bush and his Congressional allies by pressing the nominee on the current abuse of executive power.

The nominee should be questioned on whether the court should continue to allow the Administration the secrecy that put electoral strategy over national security, gave us energy policy written by oil companies, health care policy written by the pharmaceutical industry, and foreign policy lies that have resulted in an unending, incompetently planned war against the wrong enemy.

In contrast we should stress, both in this fight and in 2006, that an effective government is conducted in the open to give voters control over their own lives and hold leaders accountable. It gives us energy policy that benefits the customers, health care that benefits the patients and foreign policy that protects us from real threats and seeks victories over real enemies.

by Mudshark 2005-07-20 06:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The partisan takeover of the judicial bench
It was a clever choice by the Bush Crime Family. I thought they would select Brown, but in choosing Roberts the Bush Crime Family again demonstrates their preference to reward the interests of the corporate elite over the interests of their socially conservative base, and to divide the Dems over Roe in the process.

Lacking a public history of activism (perhaps by design) from which to interpret his social conservative leanings, Roberts' decision to argue in a brief before the Supreme Court that "Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled..." is troubling. TalkLeft thinks the following point made by the ACLU warrants consideration:  "As a senior Justice Department official, Roberts was in a position to help shape the government's legal positions as well as represent them. At a minimum, the Senate should determine the extent to which the positions taken in these briefs also reflect Roberts's personal views."

While I don't think this battle should be the main course, progressives cannot betray their values to protect women's lives for political expediency. We must make room on our plate to fight this nomination. It is, after all, a lifetime appointment that will affect the lives of every American for many years to come.

by fafnir 2005-07-20 05:03AM | 0 recs
I know I'll probably be *hated* for this...
... but I'm not sure about taking this one to the mat, either.

Except for one thing... I think that if the R's use the nuclear option, it will be bad news for them.

My gut tells me that abortion should be a state-level decsision, but living in OK also shoves down my throat that if that happens, there will be large swathes of coat-hanger country... this notion makes me sick.

On the flip side... depecnding on how long it takes Bush's mini-me to overturn RvW, I think that abortion right would eventually turn out to be something that could actually get enacted in each and every state, but it would take a bit.

Lately I've kinda slid around on what I think of the whole RvW thing, and right now I'm thinking that this is probably a battle that should happen at the state level.  RvW allows the GOP to use this wedge issue indefinately and also allows R voters to be comfortable in their opinions w/o having to worry about them actually being enacted.

It'll be ugly, but I think its coming no matter what.  So we'd better get ready... RvW is GOING to be overturn, and we had better start preparing to conving 50 state legislatures, governors, and poulations that abortion rights are necessary.

But having abortion rights in such an unstable poition is unsettling.

by teknofyl 2005-07-20 05:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I know I'll probably be *hated* for this...
I think you are right.
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: I know I'll probably be *hated* for this...
I think you are right too.  Even though it has only been 12 hours or so since he was nominated, I don't see a whole lot we can fight on this guy, Roberts.  

The poll numbers on choice are overwhelmingly for a woman's right to choose.  The R's may very well hang themselves on this issue in an effort (possibly successful) to overturn Roe.  

I feel their will be some severe backlash to the right for several years.  

by artvandelay 2005-07-20 05:20AM | 0 recs
It's like martial arts
when they push you pull.  when they strike HERE you must be THERE.

R's may have never hear of 'be careful what you wish for'

I say... put up a good fight, and let them take their ball and go home.

Of course, I still believe that the Constitution DOES guarantee a woman the right to choose.  It's just obvious that the general population takes that right for granted.  If it is infringed upon, I think the backlash will be deafening.

by teknofyl 2005-07-20 06:55AM | 0 recs
As an attorney
I'm very uncomfortable with criticizing a guy as a "flip-flopper" for statements he made as a lawyer advocate for a client.  Lawyers are expected to advocate their clients' positions to the best of their ability, even if they do not personally agree with the position.  I think taking those two statements to call Roberts a "flip-flopper" is completely off-base and unfair.

I'm not saying we shouldn't go after Roberts aggressively, but the "flip-flopping" argument based on those two statements is intellectually dishonest.

by alhill 2005-07-20 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: As an attorney
You're just sore over Kerry's flip-flopper smearing.  It's the same thing, and Armstrong knows it.  Armstrong... you're procastinating on your book.  Get to work.
by NCDem 2005-07-20 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: As an attorney
Your conclusion depends on an assumption. You assume that an attorney doesn't care who his client is in terms of issues. Generally, you are right. The industry doesn't much care about the political aspects unless it hurts or helps the bottom line. But, we have to ask the question: Does Roberts statement reflect the approach of an attorney or someone acting as a partisan hack? There is evidence that you are right- that he will represent like most attorneys any position for which he is hired, however, there is also very strong evidence that these are the positions for which he agrees, similar to a Ken Star or David Bois.  Would you argue that either of these men are not partisans for the Republican and Democratic party. One can come to both your interpretation, and that of the diarist.
by bruh21 2005-07-20 07:01AM | 0 recs
stop quoting a brief
and attributing it to roberts personally.  it's just assinine.  especially when he was a mid-level attorney and not even the lead on the case.
by snaktime 2005-07-20 06:21AM | 0 recs
overturning roe doesn't leave abortion to states
one other misconception that i'm tired of hearing is that if roe is overturned, abortion laws will be state-by-state.  that may be the case, but the federal government will absolutely have the power to ban abortion or pass any other kind of abortion law.  the commerce clause power to do this is, in my opinion, unarguable, and didn't congress pass a "partial birth" abortion ban just a couple years ago?  does anyone doubt that the second roe were overturned, congress would start proposing abortion restrictions and not give a rats ass that say, california, wouldn't want them?
by snaktime 2005-07-20 06:23AM | 0 recs
Kaine's Position
On the matter of abortion, the position of Jerry Kilgore's Democratic opponent, Lt. Governor Tim Kaine, has been made very clear.  Just yesterday, the Kaine campaign put up a podcast about Tim Kaine's position on abortion, lest there be any question about the specifics of his pro-choice position.
by Waldo Jaquith 2005-07-20 06:30AM | 0 recs
This isn't about abortion alone
Do many of you know where Roberts stand on the other issues? Where does he stand on EPA regulation? What about the Commerce Clause? How does he feel about tax policy? What about the First Amendment? How does he feel about military tribunals? How does he feel about death penalty? What does he believe about copyright law? What about the Kelo decision? What about affirmative action? What about limitations on the right of punitive damages under state law? How does he feel about the ability of citizens to sue the state? What about the ability of citizens to sue corporations?

There is a very long list of questions that should be on everyone's mind. But, it is lost in everyone's obsession with abortion. If you want to know one of the reasons why we have a hard time dealing w/ the Republicans. It's because we have the losers mentality. I am right now changing up jobs, to work in a new industry that is much more entrepreneurial. Most people in this business have what I call the loser mentality because they don't approach situations with the view toward accepting that there will be risks, and planning accordingly. Instead, they try  to play it safe, or worse, ignore the risks by not even asking the questions.

My chief concern here is the assumptions being made with not very little support behind it. Let me give you some basic stats that I got from CNN last night (yes I decided to go outside of the bubble).

I may have this slightly off w/ the numbers, but I am generally in the ball park.

Since people are discussion abortion- do you know the number of people supporting Roe v. Wade? 68. Number of people not supporting Roe? 29.  To all those people above talking about their is no need for Roe- you are talking out of your ass  at least according to what the American mainstream wants.

Do you know how many people want the court to be conservative? 45 percent. Do you know how many want it to be liberal? 30 percent. Do you know how many want it to be the same as it is now 25 percent. Do you know what this means? That there is no consensus on what people think the court should be. That they are at best following their idealogical pull.

Let's go to attacking the nominee? Again, one of the boogiemen being put out both here and the full court press else where is that attacking the nominee is outside of the mainstream. Do you know what most Americans believe? 55 percent of Americans believe that we should fillabuster (that's right fillabuster) a nominee if we don't agree with the choice.

THere is also a sizeable majority that wants a moderate court, if the question is asked that way rather than left-right.

By the way, I don't have the numbers, but I have actually seen all of these numbers higher than this. I haven't seen them much lower.

I don't know who all these people claiming that this fight isn't working are coming from. Frankly, I don't care. I find their arguments in the face of  actual data specious. People such as the person last night claiming to be from VA were using terms such as the mainstream. Guess, what, the mainstream disagrees with you- including the anti abortion people along this thread. More importantly, the bulk of the American people would definitely disagree with the conservative positions that I have mentioned above, including regulation of the environment and drugs. That's true in just about every state, even conservative ones.

So, my point is continue to pointificate, and waste time being afraid of your own shadow. Don't take any risk. But, at least be honest- this isn't about the American mainstream. It certainly as hell isn't about what the American people think.

by bruh21 2005-07-20 07:20AM | 0 recs
1990 he's acting as AG

2003 he's a judge.

Proves nothing.

Roe isn't going to be overruled.  It's too good an issue for the right and overruling it will only shift momentum to the left.

The REAL danger is that Roberts is the ONE VOTE NEEDED to approve Chimpy's detentions without due process, even of American citizens; PLUS the military tribunals, which invests 100% authority in the EXECUTIVE branch to jail, try AND CONVICT anyone in this country of ANYTHING.

The FBI has assigned the task of spying on PROTESTORS to the COUNTERTERRORISM unit.

Roberts was on the appellate panel that approved the military tribunals.  That effectively CUTS the judiciary OUT of any role when it comes to determining YOUR FREEDOM.

With a SCOTUS like that, you will continue to retain what shreds of liberty remain in the wake of the Patriot Act and all its abuses, solely at the whim of der Shrubenfueher.


We are all in very deep shit.

Scared Citizen of New Weimar

by Marblex 2005-07-20 09:03AM | 0 recs
Don't lie...
Everyone here knos you can't do math
by teknofyl 2005-07-20 10:26AM | 0 recs
And the Flieschie Goes To...
Don Diego de la Verga for most outstanding repetition of GOP Talking Points!!

Stand up and take a bow... yes... your recitation was flawless, and your swallow included hook, line, sinker... and rod!!! AMAZING.

Look... bottom line... the administration OUTED a CIA agent to smear a critic.  Treason, pure and simple.  If a Clinton aide had done that, he'd be in prison now.

And I'm not talking about allowing 'allowing law enforcement the same tools for fighting terrorism as is used against organized crime'... I'm talking about the Bush tendency to use the War on Terror to silence critics.  Oh... and using the FBI to keep tabs on protesters... because God knows that protesters are the real threat to this country... well that and 3rd world regimes with no physcal capability to strike the US.

And of COURSE Roberts should be the next justice.  I'm sure he's perfectly fine... I mean, Bush would NEVER consider appointing some random dick just to get the spotlight off Rove.  He has WAY too much intergity for that...

But... let's hear the next round of talking points.  Or just save us some time... just link to the RNC website.  It's faster, and that way you don;t have to copy and paste.

Oh... and just kidding about the math.  Obviously you love of parrotting Mehlman has nothing to do with your math abilities.

by teknofyl 2005-07-20 02:47PM | 0 recs
It is most depressing
that on a liberal site so many contributors do not believe being a right wing nut should automatically disqualify a Supreme Court nominee. Roberts opposes the Violence Against Women Act. Taken by itself that position verifies he is an extremist ideologue who is unqualified to interpret the Constitution coherently. In fairness, Roberts is eminently qualified to participate in other activities, such as receiving electro-shock therapy.
by georgewturd 2005-07-20 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: It is most depressing
I'm a woman and the Violence Against Women act has some consequences intended or unintended that I don't care for--also they rightwing nutjobs won the election which means they are entitled to appoint their guy and barring some serious fuckupedness on the part of the nominee he gets confirmed. They can confirm him without us..what do you hope to gain by fighting this guy?
by Chris1458 2005-07-20 02:22PM | 0 recs
Roberts satisfies the 3 Republican interests
First he satisfies the pro-busineess corporate wing, also the anti-abortion wing, and finally the Bush, Cheney, Rove, Gonzalez facist wing.
by Painter2004 2005-07-20 12:58PM | 0 recs
Roberts lives in Maryland
FYI, Roberts lives in Bethesda, Maryland, so the comment on not being able to run for political office because he lives in DC is not correct.
by blackdog 2005-07-21 08:26AM | 0 recs


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