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October 31, 2005

Food For Thought

You know, until I actually put it this way, I didn't really comprehend how offensive the Alito nomination really is. If Alito wins confirmation, there will be more Justices from Trenton, New Jersey than there will be women on the Supreme Court.

Think about that for awhile.

October 31, 2005 | Permalink

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Interesting fact about Trenton, NJ. A few years ago, I applied for an internship at the Trenton bureau of the New York Times. I met with an editor there who clearly didn't want to hire me -- getting off on the right foot, I inadvertently showed up to my job interview the day after it was scheduled to happen -- and he asked me toward the end of our chat if I had a car or would be getting one soon. When I told him there was no chance of that happening, he solemnly informed me that Trenton was so dangerous he had misgivings about hiring someone who'd have to walk the few blocks from the train station to the Statehouse. True story.

We can conclude from this that the Trenton-bred justices are hardcore.

Posted by: Spencer | Oct 31, 2005 4:45:05 PM

Umm... Ezra, not to be all conservative or whatever, but so what? Coincidentally two justices (assuming he's confirmed) come from the same city.

There are plenty of good reasons to fight against the Alito nomination. The fact that he happens to come from the same town as Renquist is just plain stupid.

I realize you are trying to say that we should have another woman, but I'd rather Alito than Miers... just because a Bush shill would have been far worse than a qualified principled conservative that I disagree the vast majority of the time.

So that trumps something as arbitrary as sex... but then I might just think that "group representation" is sexist and racist and whatever to begin with. To say otherwise means that Condi Rice represents all blacks and women.

Posted by: Tito | Oct 31, 2005 4:49:50 PM

Or to put it even better, would Janice Brown have been a good pick, because she was black and a woman? (the first for the court)

Or should we focus on Judical Philosophy instead?

Posted by: Tito | Oct 31, 2005 4:53:30 PM

Actually, Scalia comes from Trenton. But you know what? You can rationalize it how you want. The sentiment stands on its own. We're about to have more justices from a medium sized city in New Jersey than from the entire female gender. If sex really was, as you put it, "arbitrary", the numbers would be quite a bit different.

Posted by: Ezra | Oct 31, 2005 5:03:06 PM

"Trenton Makes, the World Takes" is the slogan that was (still is?) painted on a bridge across the Delaware there. I grew up just up the road from Trenton and our take on that was "The World Refuses what Trenton Uses".

If only that applied to Scalia and this new crypto-fascist. (Scalia believes there's no right to privacy because the word "privacy" doesn't appear in the Constitution, conveniently ignoring the fact that in that era (late 18th century), "privacy" was a word much more closely tied to its etymological sibling "privy" and was not much used in polite company, let alone in a government document. Its inclusion in the Constitution would have meant that they were enshrining into our founding document the right to go take a dump. Not likely they'd have done that. There's your "originalism" for ya.)

Posted by: Soon-to-be-Canadian | Oct 31, 2005 6:28:04 PM

Actually, if he's confirmed, there will be more Italian-American men from Trenton, NJ on the Court than there are women.

Think about that.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Oct 31, 2005 6:35:11 PM

And if he's confirmed, there will be five Catholics on the SCOTUS! Way too many!

Pretty scary! Well, it is Halloween.

Boo!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Oct 31, 2005 10:09:00 PM

Well put, and thank you. I'm certainly not one to say one's race or gender dictates your politics about race and gender--dealing with conservative women who toady for scraps their masters will toss them puts lie to that--but god knows that women's privacy rights will be revoked by a court that has 8 men and 1 woman is nothing to sneeze at. It would be nigh well impossible to have a court that had 4 or 5 women justices on it that would overturn Roe and certainly not Griswold. I think that 75% of opposition to Harriet Miers was due to this fact--the wingnutteria simply cannot ever trust a woman to be hardline anti-female. (Not that I supported her nomination, of course. Grossly underqualified, etc. etc. But a man in her position wouldn't have faced that kind of opposition.)

Posted by: Amanda Marcotte | Oct 31, 2005 10:11:04 PM

He was apparently a great student at Princeton. But his senior thesis is missing: http://www.campusprogress.org/page/community/post_group/main/CLXc

I bet Rove snatched it!

Posted by: bushtree | Oct 31, 2005 10:43:26 PM

Alito is truly a Halloween pick.

"Alito's politically conservative views were not in dispute. "Of course he's against abortion," his 90-year-old mother Rose told reporters at her home in Hamilton, N.J."

Booooooo!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Oct 31, 2005 11:00:14 PM

And if he's confirmed, there will be five Catholics on the SCOTUS! Way too many!

Well, actually, yeah. It's interesting that every time the punditariat slaps down one of Bush's favorite SCOTUS picks, he chooses a conservative Catholic instead. (They wouldn't let him pick Gonzales, so he picks Roberts; they zapped the Miers nomination, so he picks Alito.) The fact that the conservative pundits tend to be disproportionately Catholic -- of the crazy, opus dei variety; see for example many of the National Review contributors -- probably has something to do with why so many of their favorite picks are Catholic.

Not that Alito's Catholicism is a mark against him, but I have to wonder whether the evangelical right (who, remember, were not opposed to Miers) might be reminded of the fact that Bush was forced to withdraw one of their own and replace her with yet another Catholic. The evangelical/Catholic alliance only goes so far, after all, and Bush seems to be the pawn of the Catholic right....

Speaking of which, nominations like this show how Bush is in hock not to the evangelicals (who liked Miers), not to Rove (who would have preferred a Hispanic, as part of his favored strategy to get the Hispanic vote), but to the conservative pundits, who wanted someone from an elite school, one of The Club, and, yes, preferably a conservative Catholic. Bush needs the approval of the pundits more than he needs anything, because they're the only ones who will keep up the pretence that he is a great or even a good man, and keep writing laudatory articles about him. He cares about the media and media attention more than any President ever; he is a pawn of the MSM -- the conservative media being just as much a part of the MSM as any other media.

Posted by: M.A. | Oct 31, 2005 11:37:34 PM

" It's interesting that every time the punditariat slaps down one of Bush's favorite SCOTUS picks, he chooses a conservative Catholic instead."

You guys uncovered the secret, conservative plan to fill the SCOTUS with pro-life Catholics. Gosh. Darn! Can't get anything past you guys.

"the evangelical right (who, remember, were not opposed to Miers) might be reminded of the fact that Bush was forced to withdraw one of their own and replace her with yet another Catholic."

You don't know what you are talking about. I guarentee every single conservative faction(including evangelicals) is way more pleased with Alito's nomination than with Miers.


Bush made a mistake. Miers was a weak candidate for the SCOTUS. The people who elected him(including evangelicals) let him know he made a mistake and it was corrected. Conservatives hold Republican leaders to their campaign promises.


What is the gay lobby going to do if the Left throws them under the bus?(Kerry, 2004) - Nothing

What are the feminists going to do if a Democrat sexually harrasses a woman or uses his position of power to abuse and take advantage of a young woman or worse? (Clinton) - Nothing

What are the unions going to do when the Democrats vote against the union interests? (NAFTA) - Nothing

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 12:25:17 AM


Bush made a mistake. Miers was a weak candidate for the SCOTUS. The people who elected him(including evangelicals) let him know he made a mistake and it was corrected.

Ah, the memory hole. Evangelicals liked the nomination, as did most of their leaders (Dobson et al). However, this will go down the memory hole as conservatives once again pretend that their pathetic Bush-worshipping hackery is principled conservatism, and that a few pundits making some noise about a minor Bush mistake (Miers) makes up for their being ridiculous suck-ups to the President on every other issue.

Yeah, yeah, I know: "You libs don't get it! That's why you lose elections! We're great, you suck! I am the Captain!" Geez, Ezra, if you're going to allow a resident troll, couldn't you have one whose posts aren't generated by Windows Automatic Talking Points Version 55.0?

Posted by: M.A. | Nov 1, 2005 1:18:56 PM

If I set my house on fire, the smoke alarm goes off and it makes a loud noise, which annoys me. I should probably remove the alarm, because why would I want to be annoyed, especially at such a stressful time.

A lack of diversity at the highest levels is not the problem itself, it's a signal of the problem. Filling it with some quotas does not make everything better, but this problem is worth paying attention to because it's telling us about how unfair society still is.

So yes, things like the fact that more Justices come from Trenton than from the fairer sex rather disturbs me. It doesn't mean "make another female justice and everythign will be better", it just means there is something really wrong with society - and maybe we should pay more attention to that.

Posted by: Tony Vila | Nov 1, 2005 1:22:06 PM

"Evangelicals liked the nomination, as did most of their leaders (Dobson et al)."

I know you guys live in a bubble, but

A) Conservatives (evangelicals included) like the Alito pick better than Miers. Why do you think conservatives(evangelicals included) are so happy now and liberals see their last bastion of power (SCOTUS) going the way of the white house and congress?

B) Saying that Dobson liked her therefore evangelicals liked her is like saying that because Bush liked her, conservatives will like her. Conservatives have power in the Republican party.

Do liberals have power in the Democratic party?

I guess not.

"Kerry's strategy, so evident in all three presidential debates, is to disown liberalism."

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 2:07:48 PM

Ahhhh, it is good to be a conservative!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 2:09:51 PM

Saying that Dobson liked her therefore evangelicals liked her is like saying that because Bush liked her, conservatives will like her. Conservatives have power in the Republican party.

Not at all. Dobson is an evangelical leader. Bush is a Republican leader, not a conservative leader, and all he gives to conservatives is empty promises and an occasional judge. You conservative suckers (a redundancy) get lots of empty talk from the Republicans. Whereas liberals, even though Democrats don't talk about being liberal, actually get what we want out of Democrats (like scuttling Bush's social security destruction). Enjoy your token white male Supreme Court nomination while our liberal/gay/anti-Christian agenda continues to win in society, suckers.

Posted by: M.A. | Nov 1, 2005 2:51:50 PM

"I am the Captain!"

Ahooooy!

You know, Captain Toke was a SCOTUS nominee who was denied because he smoked pot when he was younger. Look it up!

"Not at all. Dobson is an evangelical leader. Bush is a Republican leader, not a conservative leader,"

George Bush "I am a conservative"
10/12/2004


"while our liberal/gay/anti-Christian agenda continues to win in society, suckers."

Why did the Republicans win their third election in a row?

Moral Values!

Remember this?

"Gay-marriage bans bulldozed to victory in all 11 states that voted on the measure: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah."

Ahhhh, it is good to be a conservative!

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 3:16:56 PM

Gay marriage bans are a rear-guard action against the fact that homosexuality is much more accepted than it was even five years ago, and getting more accepted all the time. You are losing, which is why you get suckered in by hack Bush's claim to represent conservative values.

Posted by: M.A. | Nov 1, 2005 3:34:34 PM

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHhahahahahahhahahahhahahah.......phwew, oh mercy!


What color is the sky in your world M.A.?

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 3:55:26 PM

What color is the sky in your world M.A.?

So.... gay rights are not more accepted now than they used to be? Obviously they are. (Gay marriage was considered ridiculous a few years ago; now it's enough of a possibility to make reactionaries afraid of it.) Ergo, you are fighting a rear-guard action. Losers that you are.

Posted by: M.A. | Nov 1, 2005 3:58:04 PM

Democrats lose the presidency in 2000, Democrats lose the majority in the senate in 2002, Democrats lose the presidency and more seats in the senate in 2004 and you come back with:

"Losers that you are."

Oh, and don't forget this:

"Gay-marriage bans bulldozed to victory in all 11 states that voted on the measure: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah."

Again, what color is the sky in your world?

We'll talk again when you come up with an argument, not "we aren't losing as bad as we used to so that means we are winners and you are losers". That may work in the public schools, but not in real life.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 4:12:13 PM

Democrats lose the presidency in 2000, Democrats lose the majority in the senate in 2002, Democrats lose the presidency and more seats in the senate in 2004....

And yet liberals, as opposed to Democrats, keep gaining ground in the culture wars, which is why gay rights are more accepted than they used to be, and Republicans have to keep trying to throw up gay-marriage bans to try to hold back the unstoppable tide of gay acceptance.

Democrats lose, but liberals keep making America more socially liberal. Republicans win, yet conservatives lose. Because conservatives are suckers.

Posted by: M.A. | Nov 1, 2005 4:20:41 PM

"Democrats lose, but liberals keep making America more socially liberal."

Democrats lose because they are affiliated with liberals. Republicans win because they are affiliated with conservatives.

But you keep thinking America embraces the queer lifestyle, gay-marriage rejection is really acceptance, and keep thinking losses are wins. America is better for it.

Posted by: Captain Toke | Nov 1, 2005 4:28:40 PM

But you keep thinking America embraces the queer lifestyle

To an extent almost unthought of only a few years ago? Yep. Liberals are winning. Boo.

Posted by: M.A. | Nov 1, 2005 4:45:11 PM

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