Posts filed under Judiciary

Political Poaching

Filed in PoliticsTags: Judiciary, Republicans

RINOs are about to become an endangered species. They are now in season. Seven spineless betraying numbnuts have just sabotaged the clear majority that America sent to the US Senate, and the electorate will not forget. Seven RINOs have just expended the last of their political capital, and we will make them pay.

More later...

Relax, The Adults Are In Charge

Filed in PoliticsTags: Judiciary

Read the text of the speech given today by Senator John Kyl (R-AZ), as posted at ConfirmThem.com:

The reality is that the Senate is now engaged in an historic effort to protect constitutional prerogatives and the proper checks and balances between the branches of government. Republicans seek to right a wrong that has undermined 214 years of tradition – wise, carefully thought-out tradition. The fact that the Senate rules theoretically allowed the filibuster of judicial nominations but were never used to that end is an important indicator of what is right, and why the precedent of allowing up-or-down votes is so well established. It is that precedent that has been attacked and which we seek to restore.

Read the whole thing; it's worth it. Then compare his words with the illogical rantings of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Just thank God that the adults are in charge...

Name That Speaker

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Judiciary

Senator John Cornryn (R-TX) exposes the blatant hypocrisy of Null Party Senators by using their own words against them, in his Name That Speaker web site. I was going to dig for some of these quotes, but he's already done it.

Bring on the Filibuster! The Null Party is about to go down in flames.

(Hat Tip: ConfirmThem)

Official: Senate Democrats Obstructionist Crybabies

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Judiciary

In a statement released today, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott took the Minority Democrat Party to task for shutting down the Senate in an action tantamount to a bratty kid taking his ball - or, more accurately stealing the ball from its owner - and going home in order to prevent the completion of the game he has clearly lost:

“What a difference a day makes. Less than 24 hours after he complained the Senate is ignoring issues important to Americans, Democrat Leader Harry Reid today threatened progress on an energy bill, a jobs bill, disaster relief, and a closed intelligence meeting.

“To close down the committees over the judges issue is not only counterproductive, it could hurt Americans looking for work or suffering at the gas pumps.

“Despite any differences over the judges, the American people want their government to continue working on issues important to them. They want the Senate to do its job.

“Despite his suggestions to the contrary, Senator Reid’s actions speak volumes. It would appear the Democrats’ threat to shut down the Senate has already begun.”

This action isn't even the nascent MSM/Democrat-darling filibuster; what the Democrats are doing is a complete obstruction of the Constitutionally mandated role of the Senate, and abdication of thier responsibilities as Senators. Apparently, these Senators from the Null Party™ didn't learn the Lesson of Daschle. They will. They are now officially the Deadbeat Party, and they will pay the price for their insolence at the polls.

(Hat Tip: ConfirmThem)

Breaking: SCOTUS Upholds Constitution

Filed in PoliticsTags: Food/Wine, Judiciary

Supports Legitimate Constitutional Function of Federal Government; Prohibits Discriminatory Bans on Inter-State Wine Sales

GOPBloggers.com reports on the decision yesterday by the Supreme Court of the United States, striking down laws forbidding direct shipments of wine from out-of-state.

In a long overdue ruling that split Justices Antonin Scalia (who sided with Breyer, Ginsburg and Stevens) and Clarence Thomas, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down state laws forbidding direct shipments of wine from out-of-state. While proponents of such laws used the prevention of underage drinking as their pretext, the Court saw through this facade and acknowledged that the true purpose was simply to protect both in-state wine producers and wine distributors' profits.

Great news for my parents, who live in the People's Republic of Maryland, which, not surprisingly, has some of the most restrictive laws on out-of-state wine shipments. I, on the other hand, live in Missouri, which is already a reciprocity state.

The post also points out how the CNN report misses the crux of the ruling, referencing the 21st Amendment, rather than Commerce Clause:

As usual, the MSM gets it wrong. The AP article states that the case centered on the 21st Amendment. While it was relevant, the opinion focused on the fact that the 21st Amendment did not give States the power to discriminate in interstate commernce, so the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) ruled the day. In this case, laws were ruled unconstitutional because they actually contravened actual constitutional provisions that actually exist. That's what distinguishes it from run-of-the-mill liberal judicial activism.

To refresh your memory, the Commerce Clause is as follows:

The Congress shall have Power...To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

A further reading of the rest of the U.S. Constitution with respect to limitations on the rights of the States clearly indicates a prejudice against discriminatory anti-competition practices between states.

The dissenting opinions centered on two arguments: the right of the States to regulate liquor sales, and the impact striking down inter-state wine shipments would have on sales of liquor to minors. However, as the majority pointed out, addressing the first issue:

The details and mechanics of the two regulatory schemes differ, but the object and effect of the laws are the same: to allow in-state wineries to sell wine directly to consumers in that State but to prohibit out-of-state wineries from doing so, or, at the least, to make direct sales impractical from an economic standpoint. It is evident that the object and design of the Michigan and New York statutes is to grant in-state wineries a competitive advantage over wineries located beyond the States' borders.

We hold that the laws in both States discriminate against interstate commerce in violation of the Commerce Clause... and that the discrimination is neither authorized nor permitted by the Twenty-first Amendment.

And in response to the latter:

The States provide little evidence that the purchase of wine over the Internet by minors is a problem. Indeed, there is some evidence to the contrary. A recent study by the staff of the FTC found that the 26 States currently allowing direct shipments report no problems with minors' increased access to wine... Without concrete evidence that direct shipping of wine is likely to increase alcohol consumption by minors, we are left with the States' unsupported assertions. Under our precedents, which require the "clearest showing" to justify discriminatory state reulation... this is not enough.

Read the opinion for yourself; the majority completely discredit these claims.

For those of you soon to be freed from discriminatory out-of-state wine shipment laws, refer back to my post on Missouri Wineries and sample what the country's first officially designated wine district has to offer.

Extended coverage:
Fermentations, Again, and ,Again
Professor Bainbridge

It’s About Time

Filed in PoliticsTags: Democrats, Judiciary, Republicans

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist issued a statement Friday indicating that he will move the Senate into a debate on up-or-down votes for Judicial nominees:

May 13th, 2005 - Upon completion of action on the pending highway bill, the Senate will begin debate on fair up or down votes on judicial nominations. As is the regular order, the Leader will move to act on judge nominations sent to the full Senate by the Judiciary Committee in the past several weeks. Priscilla Owen, to serve as a judge for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and Janice Rogers Brown, to serve as a judge for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, will be the nominees of focus.

It's about time. This usurpation of power and abdication of responsibility - not to mention, abject hypocrisy - by Senate Democrats must come to an end.

The Democrats are playing a very dangerous game. Aside from setting aside 214 years of Senate tradition, abdicating the responsibility inherent in the advise-and-consent clause, and trying to force an unconstitutional 60-vote majority on Presidential judicial nominees, the Democrats are risking two critical outcomes: 1) they are forcing the Republicans' hand on the issue, providing them the means and motive, for the first time since they reclaimed Majority status 10 years ago, to act as the Majority party, and 2) the relegation of the Democrat party reputation to that of obstruction, irrelevance, hypocrisy, classlessness, and irrelevance.

More later...

(Hat Tip: Blogs 4 Bush)

Columnists Gone Wild

Filed in PoliticsTags: Judiciary, Media Bias, Missouri

Several St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnists downed a full dose of Liberal Kool-Aid today...

First is Jo Mannies' giddy commentary on several examples of apparent conservative dissention:

"We're frustrated that we have to fight this issue with Republicans in charge," said Messer, who's also a lobbyist for the Missouri Baptist Convention. "We hadn't expected it."

That seems to be a frequent complaint among conservative activists as they head into the session's final week. Social conservatives eager to take on abortion, gambling and stem cell research are shocked at seeing their dreams stymied by those they'd helped elect last fall to control the state House, the state Senate and the Governor's Mansion.

The new Republicans in charge have chosen to focus primarily on economic and education issues, while also opposing some of the social conservatives' initiatives.

Ironic, isn't it, that the party constantly maligned for consisting of rank-and-file marching lock-step in tune to the "party line" - not to mention, for being under the control of "right-wing" special interest groups - elicits such elation from a liberal columnist for the implied detriment of doing just the opposite?

Next up is Robert Joiner, who is beside himself in reaction to President Bush nominating Catherine Hanaway as the US Attorney for Eastern Missouri:

Hanaway's nomination, in contrast, seems to belie her party's platitudes about merit and qualifications. If she were African-American and Democrat, I suspect you would hear hard-line conservatives mouthing the usual cliches about affirmative action run amok. There has been no such whispering from the right about Hanaway, once known as much for her vindictiveness in Jefferson City as for her trademark cigars.

No, what I expect to hear from hard-line conservatives this time is . . . silence, as they figure out how to rationalize this embarrassing contradiction between what they preach and what they practice.

Such vitriol from the Party of Tolerance. And what, pray tell, are your views on the US Senate Democrats' obstruction of Justice Priscilla Owen; or more telling: Janice Rogers Brown, who happens to be not only black, but also eminently qualified to fill the position to which she has been nominated? Which party is it, again, that consistently plays the Race Card?

Finally - and still on the subject of judicial activism - we have a Post-Dispatch editorial that still can't understand how judicial activism undermines the role of the judiciary in the check-and-balance system:

Under the proposal, known as House Joint Resolution 23, impeachment trials would be conducted by the state Senate instead of by leading judges. Let us count the ways this is a bad idea: One, it ignores the lessons of Missouri history. Two, it would subject judges to political pressures in violation of the concept of separation of powers. Three, it stems from a profound ignorance of the role of the judiciary in a democratic society.

The only "profound ignorance of the role of the judiciary" apparent here is that of the Post-Dispatch editorial board. A fundamental premise of the check-and-balance system is that powers are separated between the three branches, and that the three branches cannot act independently of each other. How can the judicial branch be truly "checked" if it polices itself - as is the case with the judiciary carrying out impeachment proceedings on judges? Apparently, most of the rest of the United States agrees:

He says he simply wants Missouri to follow the same procedure for impeachment that is followed in 48 other states and the federal government, with the Senate holding trials. That also was the Missouri procedure before the 1945 state constitution was enacted.

And what was it that happened prior to 1945, that was so egregious that the rules were changed? Somebody almost was convicted by a partisan state senate in an impeachment trial:

In 1931, Democratic state Treasurer Larry Brunk was acquitted by the state Senate of converting state money to his own use, thus frustrating the House member who managed the effort to remove Mr. Brunk... Mr. Brunk got off because he was a former state senator himself. Mr. Limbaugh said that only the partisan politics of the Senate trial saved Mr. Brunk.

So... what? By most counts, the impeachment of Andrew Johnson happened for purely partisan reasons, and to this day, democrats whine that President Clinton's impeachment for obstruction of justice and perjury before a federal grand jury was a similar ploy of partisan politics. Would supposedly impartial judges provide any better balance than a bicameral legislature buffered by a two-party system? As if we need any more evidence of the editorial board's bias, they state it here, explicitly:

The group says that judges should be impeached if a decision is "clearly in opposition to the plain meaning of the constitution," even if a judge "simply misunderstands" the law.

The proposed amendment might be dismissed as the rantings of fringe groups and legislators...

Holding judges accountable to uphold the law, as written by the legislature and enacted by the executive, against bench-legislation and incompetence, embodies rantings of fringe elements? And the Post-Dispatch editorial board deigns to presume whom does and does not understand the role of the judiciary in a democratic society...

(Hat Tip: JohnCombest.com)

The So-Called “Nuclear Option”

Filed in PoliticsTags: Judiciary

The Democrats, once again, are on the wrong side of a Civil Rights debate - and they are using the same old obstructionist tactic in the Senate. ProverbsDaily quotes [LA Times Editorial Page Editor Andres Martinez]* from an LA Times editorial on the history of the filibuster:

A "cornerstone of American democracy" is exactly what Democrats would have you believe the filibuster is. Fortunately for Times readers, Martinez reminds us of the not so bright history of the filibuster.

The Senate filibuster dates back to the early 19th century, but the obstructionist tactic will always be associated with the efforts of the Senate's Southern Dixiecrats to block civil rights legislation in the 20th century....The filibuster kept the federal government from combating racial lynchings, the poll tax and plenty of other outrages

And this time the Democrat-defended injustice is infanticide. The reason for the liberals' unprecedented animosity toward President Bush's judicial nominations is the same reason for conservatives' passionate support. And the fate of abortion hangs in the balance.

Why does this mostly Christian topic blog care so much about the filibuster? It's simple. Some of the reasons for filibustering judges is their pro-life position or their tendancy to base their morality on their religious traditions. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a director for the ACLU. A candidate with a similar conservative anti-abortion title would never get through a filibuster. As long as the filibuster is around, strong pro-life federal judges will not be.

However, I don't completely agree with ProverbsDaily. While abortion is certainly the hot topic, the underlying issue is the role of the judiciary. President Bush has nominated primarily those who are strict constructionists: subordinate law is interpreted against superceding law. In the Federal judiciary, law is interpreted against the US Constitution.

In the arena of ideas, liberalism has lost miserably. Liberalism is proving to be such an abject failure that those who espouse it no longer even claim the once-proud label (opting currently for the euphemism "Progressive"). Debate no longer exists; liberals now resort to physical attacks against conservative pundits. Having lost their stranglehold on the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal government, liberals have turned to their last recourse - an activist judiciary - to enact an agenda that America has resoundingly rejected, again and again.

I don't want a Federal judge making a ruling based on my theology any more than I want a Federal judge making a ruling based on liberalism; I want Federal judges who make rulings based on the US Constitution - the way our Founding Fathers intended the Judicial branch to participate in the check-and-balance system. I don't want Federal judges to rule abortion "unconstitutional" because the Bible says it is wrong; I want Federal judges to rule abortion unconstitutional because this country was founded on the principle that all men are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and because laws exist in the country prohibiting murder.

I must hand it to the long-term strategists in the liberal camp; they have carried out a successful, subversive takeover of two key American institutions over the course of the past 40 years: the educational system and the judiciary. Conservatives were entirely too slow and/or oblivious to recognize the threat and counter it. But now, Conservatives are making headway in both arenas, and liberalism is starting to act like the cornered beast that it has become.

Let the hysteria begin.

* (Ed: correction: quote originally mis-credited to US Senator Mel Martinez. Correct attribution of quote per original source.)

(Temporary: original Haloscan Comments - Comments)

Conservatism, Rule of Law, and Life

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Judiciary, Sanctity of Life

Instapundit argues the point that Conservatism holds the process and rule of law above all else:

But I do think that process, and the Constitution, matter. Trampling the Constitution in an earnest desire to do good in high-profile cases has been a hallmark of a certain sort of liberalism, and it's the sort of thing that I thought conservatives eschewed. If I were in charge of making the decision, I might well put the tube back and turn Terri Schiavo over to her family. But I'm not, and the Florida courts are, and they seem to have done a conscientious job. Maybe they came to the right decision, and maybe they didn't. But respecting their role in the system, and not rushing to overturn all the rules because we don't like the outcome, seems to me to be part of being a member of civilized society rather than a mob. As I say, I thought conservatives knew this.

But I respectfully disagree. Equally important to Conservatism - especially the Christian Conservatism I espouse - is the sanctity of life. The Right To Life is among the God-endowed rights given to all men, and was considered so important by our Founding Fathers as to be enumerated in the Declaration of Independence (which was, coincidentally, a formal declaration to overthrow the rule of law that had become tyrranical and one that denied those certain, inalienable rights). Even murderers convicted and sentenced to die get decades of appeals before their death is carried out. Terry Schiavo - an innocent woman guilty only of lacking the ability to speak for and defend herself - gets only as long as it takes her to starve (a cruel and unusual punishment by any standards) before her de facto death sentence is carried out.

When the legal process returns such a blatantly incorrect result - especially in matters of life and death - it is fully consistent with Conservatism to work to overturn that result.

Starved For Justice

Filed in Politics, Science, Social IssuesTags: Judiciary, Sanctity of Life

Oh, how I love Ann Coulter:

Just once, we need an elected official to stand up to a clearly incorrect ruling by a court. Any incorrect ruling will do, but my vote is for a state court that has ordered a disabled woman to be starved to death at the request of her adulterous husband.

Our Federal Judiciary has become the Fiat Judiciary.
Can someone - anyone - explain to me why federal judges get lifetime appointments? Can someone explain why We The People get to vote our confidence in judges at the state level, but not at the federal level (except, perhaps, the appellate courts, if I remember correctly)? I think I'm going to look into that question, and pose it to Senator Talent.
If Terry Schiavo is allowed to die, her husband should be charged with murder, and Judge Greer should be impeached for incompetence, arrogance, and sticking the middle finger at the US Congress by ignoring a Congressional subpoena.
How the party that rejoices at sucking a living, breathing, unborn child from a womb with a vacuum, and allowing a living, breathing, handicapped woman to die of starvation and dehydration can claim to be the party of compassion and humanity, I will never understand.