Ed Team

Ann is Pissed. It's a Good Thing.

Filed By Ed Team | July 21, 2005 5:45 AM | comments

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OK, Roberts isn't going to wear a rainbow collar on his robe, but what conceivable Bush nominee would? Laurence Tribe was not on the short list. The only thing we know for sure from the kind of ideologically-charged SCOTUS nominee confirmation battles of the past 25 years is that it's impossible to predict the actual behavior of a nominee once he/she is on the Court.

Who predicted Souter would be left of center? O'Connor was thought to be ultra-right before she established her center-right bona fides and an independent streak. Who knew Kennedy would be a gay rights hero? Stevens was appointed by Gerald Ford, who, as a Congressman, lead the unsuccessful fight to impeach Justice William Brennan (appointed by Republican Dwight Eisenhower) for his perceived extreme liberalism.

W didn't nominate an idealogue who is certain to do the bidding of the Christianists, and we should be cheered by those who are griping:

Fred Barnes is chagrined: "Social conservatives were hoping for more. No doubt they'll line up in support of Roberts when Democrats like Schumer and groups such as People for the American Way begin to attack him. But they dream of the day when there are five votes on the court to reverse the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Now there are only three. Is Roberts likely to join a anti-Roe bloc on the court? Probably not."

Ann Coulter is furious (surprise!):

"Conservatism is sweeping the nation, we have a fully functioning alternative media, we're ticked off and ready to avenge Robert Bork ... and Bush nominates a Rorschach blot. ...He has given us a Supreme Court nomination that will placate no liberals and should please no conservatives."

A lot of money and hot air will be expended on both sides, resulting in a galvanized social right, who will be forced to champion a nominee about whom they are otherwise lukewarm. Roberts will be confirmed, becoming a hero of the hard right just as did Thomas, who has never forgotten who came to his defense.

Frankly, the left should ask some tough questions at the hearings, but otherwise back off and wait until Thomas is nominated for Chief Justice before they shoot their wad.


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AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 7/21/2005 01:44:54 PM

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AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 7/21/2005 02:07:13 PM

Right, and queers cost the Dems the 2004 presidential election and we'd have all the rights we could ever want if we just paid closer attention to our manners and not been so in-your-face queer about it all.Fred Barnes has a history of being so predictably wrong that the only place he could earn a living is inside the Beltway. Coulter's "protest" (did you catch her comeuppance at Raw Story?) is so 'Hilary being angry then forgiving at just the right moment' that Coulter's story might as well have been filed with "Stand By Your Man" playing in the background. They're both hacks whose job it is to carry water -- and the water this time is labeled "Make Sure Roberts Stays a Stealth Candidate At Any Cost -- Even If Your Protest Is So Transparent It Might As Well Be Glass and Everybody With Half a Brain Is Laughing At You About It Behind Your Back".They're the diversions. Don't be fooled by them. Look at the real thing instead.The serious anti-choice and anti-gay organizers have clammed up. They're not complaining precisely because they know Roberts is going to take care of business for them. After all, an actual Roe case isn't going to show up on the docket right away -- just cases that will chip and chip and chip away at Roe until, when the Roe case does come, it will be little more than a formal burial for the long-dead corpse -- and Roberts will have sided with his buddies Scalia and Thomas at every amputation along the way.In the meantime, Justice John G. "Borky Boy" Roberts, Jr. will also have joined with his Federalist Society SCOTUS brethren to put their 'strict construction until the constitution asks us to do what we don't like, then judicial activism's fine with us' legal philosphy into full practice, unhindered by the pesky Mrs. Justice O'C's insistance on the actual rule of law.I don't know what history book you're reading from but I was deeply involved at the time of Justice O'Connor's nomination and confirmation and I know for a fact that most of us, myself included, were not worried that she'd be ultra-right. For instance, the National Organization for Women, hardly alone in the ranks of the "usual suspects", was on record supporting her confirmation bid. Her record was steady as a rock. We knew she wasn't going to be putting the law into fast forward but we also knew she wasn't going to send us back to the Stone Age, either.It's true that some previously conservative judges are freed by their lifetime appointments to the Supremes, coupled with the wisdom that comes to some in old age, to make rulings that unpleasantly surprise those who appointed them with burning hopes that their nominees'd prove their ideological fealty. Souter was a "second serve" appointee -- usually a softer try -- so he hardly counts as a screw-up. But, yes, you're right that there've been others.I take serious issue, however, with the notion that we made Thomas evil -- that we pushed him more to the right than he would've been. That's just silly. Thomas was a known quantity who has ruled just as predicted by his past behavior, the same as Roberts will do if he is put on the bench. He'll do it because he's doing what he strongly believes in -- not because of a fair but hard fight put up by all us bad little girls and boys who care about the constitution enough not to want to see those like them who have no respect for the vibrancy the founders intended for it to have put in a position to stomp it to death with jackbooted ferocity (or even by the sensible wingtips that have replaced a -- very reluctantly union member's -- steelworker's safety boots.)The Federalist Society is a dangerous cabal able to increasingly operate a shadow government in plain sight because the American people are too ignorant and too lazy to stop it. Roberts is every bit one of them -- just a Borkish nut in a prettier shell. They are the enemy of social progress and, as our rights are on its cutting edge, we'd better be damned sure of who's holding the knife and not leave it to an outside chance that Roberts is some secret moderate (or even traditional conservative) who's out to fool all the people he's so far revered. It's not going to matter that the hand holding the knife is affable and that it won't seem to be as jagged and painful as it pushes through the ribs as when Scalia does the deed -- we'll collectively bleed to death just the same.That's because this is the swing vote, meaning that it, not the Rehnquist replacement either to the court itself or the head honcho job on it, is the one that counts. Mr. Jefferson didn't advise "eternal vigilence" with bad advice like yours in mind. When it comes down to it, politics is nothing more than a combination of money and hot air (applied to collective sense that's good usually only if properly informed) -- but it's all we've got and, if we don't use every bit of it to stop this nomination, y'all might as well start learning the words to "Oh, Canada!" and "God Save the Queen" with me because, bad as it is now, this country will rapidly become not only unfit to live in but will stay that way for far longer than even the youngest of you have left on this earth in this lifetime.-- Marla


AUTHOR: Tracy Elliott

DATE: 7/21/2005 02:37:50 PM

Marla, How you've acquired such precise knowledge of the past, present, and even the future, so vastly superior to rest of us "silly", "ignorant", and "lazy" slugs, is remarkable. To resist is futile.


AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 7/21/2005 03:14:40 PM

I've acquired knowledge of the past by studying it and living through it and the present by refusing to be blind to what is plain to see. The future I'll concede is speculative but, in this case, the stakes are high enough and the past history points enough of a way that it's worth at least giving it the old college try.I don't hide my contempt for the average American's willful ignorance on matters such as these. A slim majority, after all, voted for Shrub the second time and that's proof enough of the worthiness of it. Beyond that, you have only to flip on Jay Leno and watch his person-on-the-street quizzes or read a newspaper article on the state of students' basic knowledge for added confirmation.As for silly, I called one of your ideas that. If you somehow decided to apply it to your whole self, you did that on your own with no help from me and I won't even begin to speculate why.


AUTHOR: Jason Humphrey

DATE: 7/21/2005 04:54:41 PM

How is it that one distinguishes a "furious" Ann Coulter from her normal self?


AUTHOR: Marla R. Stevens

DATE: 7/21/2005 05:42:19 PM

The point is that Rove is a brilliant tactician and, if I were him with this nominee to protect, I'd be throwing out diversions, too. I even expect to see lame protests from the real anti-choice and anti-gay leaders by way of shoring up the illusion that this nominee is not the Bork-wolf in Nixon-esque cloth coat he truly is.Echoing the post-nomination statement of the head of the National Right to Life Committee, your post bought right into the primary diversionary tactic of pre-labeling the substantial substantive objections that will be raised as but a hue and cry in the modern sense of that term as opposed to its original meaning.Another part of the diversion is to persuade those who should be vehemently opposing Roberts that this is not 'the big one' when it most certainly is. You bought into that one, too.Don't take my sound reasoning or even that of the authors of countless stories in the mainstream press labeling this "the swing vote", "the crux of the court", and the like, typical of which is this from the Washington Post: "It will not take long to determine if John Roberts will shift the Supreme Court to the right. Abortion, gay rights and assisted suicide are among the first issues the court will consider in the fall."Roberts was chosen by President Bush to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a swing voter who angered conservatives by supporting abortion rights and affirmative action in college admissions."She also joined the court's liberal wing in cases involving gay rights and religion."Making it clear that the swing vote will be turned to a far-right bloc was SUNY-Albany president and historian Kermit Hall: "He solidifies the right spectrum of this court," Hall said.Too left for your tastes? Try instead one of the voices of the most extreme antigay and antichoice voices on the Internet, Carter Clewes of LaptopAmerica, who shows this the true intent of the choice of this nominee in this missal to his faithful:With "...a man like John Roberts to help turn the tide and cast the deciding vote...now, at last, we can begin to reverse this terrible and terrifying nightmare." -- A "nightmare" that includes "Cit[ing] foreign laws and European legal precedent to affirm the 'rights of homosexual adults to engage in intimate, consensual conduct' – regardless of how the American people vote!", aka the Lawrence sodomy decision.Clewes goes on to say, "I know you may be concerned, as I was, about Judge Roberts' reference to Roe v. Wade being 'settled law.' And, of course, the far left will cynically use it to sew [sic] dissension in our ranks. Unfortunately, in a strictly legal sense, many consider that it currently is what they call 'settled law.' "Just as were the Dred Scott decision legalizing slavery and Plessy v. Ferguson legalizing segregation. But, both were over-turned – just as Roe v. Wade will be with the help of the same John Roberts who argued for the first Bush administration: 'Roe was wrongly decided and should be overruled.'" You also seem to be buying into another part of the diversion that seeks to confuse the public by emphasizing that the man's persona -- nice, upstanding family man with a strong talent for the law -- is all they need look at -- that they ought to ignore all his troubling legal philosophy much like the Wizard of Oz wanted Dorothy and crew to ignore "that man behind the curtain."And, worse, you attempted to drag our people down with you by trying to scare them with your nonsensical claim that it was activism that made Justice Thomas a rabid Federalist Society philosophy adherent when he had been one long before his contentious confirmation hearings -- something I know from personal connections as he hails from my mother's Liberty County Riceboro/Dorchester home and his was a youth and subsequent career well-followed in our neck of the woods.But don't take my word for it when it comes to Roberts. Let's try the other side's:"Everything I know about him would say he would fit that profile of Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas," said Jan LaRue, counsel to the Concerned Women for America"He's going to be a fabulous justice," said Todd F. Gaziano, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation.A friend of his, St. Thomas law school prof. Patrick Schiltz was quoted saying, "We won't wake up tomorrow and see whole lines of Supreme Court precedent uprooted." As you can tell from my previous prediction on how he'll handle reproductive choice cases, I don't necessarily disagree. No, I think it will be a slow, painful death -- but a death nonetheless.Ron Fournier, writing for AP, put it this way:"Conservative leaders who helped elect Bush made it clear this was payback time: They wanted a nominee with a long and clear record of social conservatism who could tip the court to the right on abortion, gay rights, prayer in schools and other hot-button issues."They got what they wanted ..."'It's a home run," said Wendy Long, a lawyer representing the conservative Judicial Confirmation Network. 'The president promised somebody who would strictly apply the Constitution, and that's what we got in Judge Roberts.'"In summary, if you don't like being treated as part of the problem, stop acting like one.