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July 01, 2005

Supreme Court Chances

So here's a question: can we actually block anyone that Bush wants? The last heroic victory was the rejection of Robert Bork, and that was pulled off by a 55-45 Democratic majority. I guess we can filibuster, at least assuming the nuclear option can be blocked, but what, realistically speaking, is the plan here? Make a judgment call, shut down the Senate over Luttig, and hope we win the aftermath? With party loyalty as strong as it is in this era -- even Janice Rogers Brown got confirmed, contrary to Graham's predictions that she wouldn't -- do Democrats have any possible chance of winning this without a filibuster?

July 1, 2005 in The Supreme Court | Permalink

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Comments

No chance for blocking even the worse possible candidates (Gonzales, or Ted Olson).

The best the Dems can do is to conduct a spirited information campaign. We should fight a bad candidate, but any Bush choice is unlikely to be centrist like O'Conner. Only if the nominee is as bad as Janice Rodgers Brown should the Dems conduct a filibuster, since we will be labelled as obstructionists by the media - with a unified GOP attack and distortion machine behind them.

This does not mean rolling over for Bush, or voting for a bad nominee. United Dem party opposition is even more important if you are going to lose since making the electoral choices for the future depends on CHOICE - we must be an alternative.

Many soft Dems will vote with Bush once they know the Dems can't prevail. That is one of the principal reasons the party is weak.

We can't win this one, only make the 06 and 08 electoral choices clearer. For that to work, we must be principled, united, and speak clearly to the people. That would be remembered in our favor, later.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jul 1, 2005 1:49:42 PM

This is armadgeddon, the end of the line for liberalism, as a potent political and social movement. Bush will get a radically conservative SCOTUS, atop a Federalist Society approved judiciary, and a generation will pass away before any liberal position in law is honored again.

We have an attorney general, who thinks that no treaty that the U.S. has signed, no law passed by Congress, can bar the President from imprisoning and torturing anyone. Is there any law, any liberal principle or program, which can withstand an assault by jurists, with such "principles"? Environmental law, labor law, civil rights laws, equal protection, and (oh yeah) Roe v Wade, are history, all fated for evisceration.

The fascist state will have its capstone.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder | Jul 1, 2005 1:50:42 PM

This is armadgeddon, the end of the line for liberalism, as a potent political and social movement.

That's right, because when the court moved to the left it killed conservatism. That put the nail in that sucker's coffin right there. Give me a fucking break.

Posted by: Iron Lungfish | Jul 1, 2005 1:57:21 PM

"do Democrats have any possible chance of winning this without a filibuster?"

No.

Posted by: Balta | Jul 1, 2005 2:03:35 PM

------"This is armadgeddon, the end of the line for liberalism, as a potent political and social movement."

This is what the right has been saying since the left lost the majority in the senate. The left can not get very many liberal politiciacians elected, especially in the south. Referendums go conservative most of the time. The only way for the left to advance their agenda is by activist judges thru the courts. Gay marriage, affirmative action, partial birth abortion, parental notification, and so on will not be supported by the majority of the public or the majority of the legistators.

Now we get to see what qualifies as an 'extreme circumstances' or whatever those Democratic senators called the situation in which they would filibuster.

'I wish I had another set of hands so I could give those titties four thumbs down'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 1, 2005 2:23:43 PM

I understand why liberals would want judges sympathetic toward their point of view, but other than that, why SHOULD you win this one? Republicans control the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. For whatever reason, the voters have chosen them.

Posted by: Dave Justus | Jul 1, 2005 2:25:50 PM

I am fairly pessimistic about this too, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind;
a) The prez is not very popular these days.
b) The Republican congress is not very popular either.
We should do our best to support the nomination of a real moderate candidate, no matter what our chances. The wingnut branch will of course oppose this person and set out a smear campaign, and Bushco will of course insist on a wingnut pick that could not be called "moderate" by any stretch of the imagination. If we back a reasonable candidate while this unpopular administration ramrods a wingnut through the hoops, we can make this a central theme in the next election.

Posted by: sprocket | Jul 1, 2005 2:30:38 PM

Would the media pay any attention at all if the democrats in the Senate started "proposing" judges, pointing out how bright and distinguished and un-overturned they are? Sort of try to point out what a "good" judge is... as political cover for rejecting a bat-poop-crazy nominee.

Posted by: TJ | Jul 1, 2005 2:36:18 PM

My opinion on the whole judicial thing is here:

Why are Democrats losing the spin war on judges?

". . .in the judicial fights the Republicans have a media-ready story of victimization by mean-spirited partisan Democrats: poor Priscilla Owens, strong professional woman; poor Janice Brown, sharecropper's daughter; poor Miguel Estrada, strong Hispanic man; poor William Pryor, Catholic martyr. And the Republican story is that they're fighting hard on behalf of these oppressed victims of Democratic persecution.

What is the Democrats' story? Who are the victims of Republican judicial extremism, and on whose behalf are the Democrats fighting? The Democrats have not clearly defined who the victims are of Republican actions. They have not clearly defined who is getting hurt because Priscilla Owens is getting that seat on the appeals court.

We oppose these judges because we think they'll make bad rulings. And because of those bad rulings, people will get hurt. To be perfectly blunt about it, because of those bad judicial rulings, people may even die.

Only when Democrats can persuasively answer the question "Who are the victims of Priscilla Owens' bad judicial rulings?", can they begin to fight the nomination of her, and other potential judges like her, with any conviction. And only then can they hope to have a chance of prevailing in the judicial spin wars.

I haven't been following the judicial fight very closely, but I also think the Democrats need to be willing to ask lots and lots of hypothetical questions on how these judges would rule under various legal scenarios. Asking hypotheticals may be breaking some kind of precedent, but IMO, it's a precedent that needs to broken. . ."

Posted by: roublen vesseau | Jul 1, 2005 2:39:04 PM

I'm with DJ on this one: just because we can filibuster, it would be nothing less than a temper tantrum (that may be ultimately self-destructive) unless it is truly a bizarre choice or there's sufficient GOP cover (McCain, Hagel).

Besides, we wouldn't want the GOP to filibuster when we win back the WH just because they disagree with a Sup. Ct. nominee.

Vote no, take our lumps and then gear up to win in 06' and beyond. Besides, if it is a radical choice, the media highlights what it means.


Posted by: Chris Rasmussen | Jul 1, 2005 3:16:57 PM

roublen, as far as I know, all the judges you listed have gotten the highest rating possible from the ABA.

------"We oppose these judges because we think they'll make bad rulings. And because of those bad rulings, people will get hurt."

Name the rulings and the people that got hurt. Or is this more of the 'Nazis, Soviet gulags and Pol Pot' rhetoric. You know, accusations with nothing to back it up.

------"What is the Democrats' story? Who are the victims of Republican judicial extremism,"

Examples?


'the stickiest of the icky'

Posted by: Captain Toke | Jul 1, 2005 3:35:26 PM

Nope. Using the filibuster is the only chance.

Posted by: Scott Lemieux | Jul 1, 2005 3:38:09 PM

Only when Democrats can persuasively answer the question "Who are the victims of Priscilla Owens' bad judicial rulings?", can they begin to fight the nomination of her, and other potential judges like her, with any conviction. And only then can they hope to have a chance of prevailing in the judicial spin wars.

I would agree with you. However, it isn't clear that consequences trump ideology on the far right.

Posted by: TJ | Jul 1, 2005 4:21:17 PM

"The fascist state will have its capstone."

Actually Bruce, the recent ruling by the liberals on the Supreme Court on land use in New Jersey is about as fascist as you can get(fascism as defined by the corporate sector being a hierachal wing of the government). The result of that ruling is that local governments can seize private property and sell it to other private entities if they feel the new owners will generate more tax revenue. This in the land of liberty? 82% of the people in the US who knew about this ruling last week opposed it. I see at least three articles on the Supreme Court on this website yet no outrage over this ruling, which leads me to believe the Democrats are more interested in politics and winning elections than helping to fix the country.

Posted by: Steve Mudge | Jul 1, 2005 4:35:29 PM

I see at least three articles on the Supreme Court on this website yet no outrage over this ruling, which leads me to believe the Democrats are more interested in politics and winning elections than helping to fix the country.

Well, DUH

The strategy for the Republicans should be to nominate one of the judges just confirmed such as Owen or Brown. How in the world could the Senate Democrats fail to confirm what they already confirmed the first time? They would look like total idiots.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 1, 2005 5:38:18 PM

I see at least three articles on the Supreme Court on this website yet no outrage over this ruling, which leads me to believe...

It was discussed here on the 23rd. Check the archives.

Posted by: sprocket | Jul 1, 2005 5:48:27 PM

Dems should filibuster the first nominee out of the gate, no matter who he/she is. (Especially since he/she is certain to be a knuckle-dragger.)

The idea that successfully filibustering a Bush nominee will hurt the Dems is, frankly, retarded. Victory beget victory, and we can win this one, if we just hang together instead of separately.

Posted by: Thad | Jul 2, 2005 4:33:18 AM

Thanks sprocket--I missed that one. I take back my outrage!

Posted by: Steve Mudge | Jul 2, 2005 11:36:14 AM

Actually, if you think the future is yours (i.e. Democrat in the White house, control of the Senate) pushing the republicans to use the nuclear option might not be a bad thing. No matter what Washington is going to be bitterly divided for a long time and being able to push a nominee through with less than 60 votes might be good thing. "They chose to change the rules now they have to live with it"

Posted by: DonRobbie | Jul 2, 2005 7:50:07 PM

I understand why liberals would want judges sympathetic toward their point of view, but other than that, why SHOULD you win this one? Republicans control the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. For whatever reason, the voters have chosen them.

I think you are missing the point, Dave. Love of democracy requires that those involved care about what the people want. It would appear that is clearly not an issue for the Democrats.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 2, 2005 9:48:49 PM

The Democrats would be wise to try and outfox the Republicans by adopting a Federalist approach at least with regards to the most controversial social issues: abortion, gay marriage, gun control, etc. Pray Roe gets overturned and fight it out in the States. Many would keep it legal with minimal restrictions where most liberals live, some would restrict it but not ban it, and only a very few would ban it outright (maybe Utah and couple of Southern states). Marshal the troops and duke it out at the ballot box in those States. This would deprive Republicans of many "wedge issues" on the national level and leave we the voters to decide which side has the better defense and economic policy without such distractions.

Posted by: John | Jul 3, 2005 6:18:56 PM

Robert Zimmerman, someday you'll have sex with somebody and then you'll be nicer, and probably a lot smarter too, since you won't be so obsessed with being such a know it all.

Well, you're probably a mega dork.

Posted by: Foaming At The Mouth | Jul 3, 2005 9:59:56 PM

"Foaming at the mouth"

Your handle is appropriate.

Posted by: Robert Zimmerman | Jul 4, 2005 8:52:27 AM

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Posted by: peter.w | Sep 17, 2007 3:36:19 AM

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