July 28, 2007

So What's New?

Senator Chuck Schumer got quite a reaction from his announcement that he would fight any new Supreme Court nominee from George Bush. Waggling his finger into the camera, he accused Bush of duping him while somehow also accusing Bush of being a man of his word:

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush “except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.” ...

“There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked,” said Schumer, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. ...

“When a president says he wants to nominate justices in the mold of [Antonin] Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas,” Schumer said, “believe him.”

Let's break this down carefully. Schumer understood that George Bush got elected and re-elected partly on the basis of the kind of judges he would nominate for the federal bench. During both elections, Schumer acknowledges that Bush promised to nominate judges in the tradition of Scalia and Thomas. Bush appointed two justices to Supreme Court, and when they turned out to be in the tradition of Scalia and Thomas, Schumer pronounces himself "duped".

Apparently Chuck isn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree.

This isn't even a new declaration from the senior Senator from New York. He voted against both Alito and Roberts in the confirmation hearings in the Judiciary Committee, and he railed against both during the questioning. He's been talking obstruction since Bush started nominating judges to the federal bench. The only change is that the Democrats now have a thin majority in the Senate.

Elections have consequences -- in both branches. The Supreme Court (and the federal bench in general) reflects the voter choice for President, but in modern times, it's affected by the voter choice for the Senate. Gone are the days when Bush could count on clear sailing for his nominees, and he has to now work with the Democrats to get judicial nominees acceptable enough to all sides to get confirmed. That may not be how the system should work, but that's how it's going to be, and both branches will be better off by realizing it sooner than later.

In the meantime, I say give Schumer all of the airtime he wants. I can't imagine that Democrats will win many converts by declaring the kind of stupidity to which Schumer admits in this statement.


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Comments (43)

Posted by arb | July 28, 2007 7:53 AM

As Lucianne says, "Duped at election, duped on DMDs, duped into war, duped at Justice...anyone see a pattern here?"

Posted by Jeanette | July 28, 2007 7:56 AM

I have thought all along Schumer is the puppeteer and Reid is the puppet in the current leadership of the Senate.

He's a despicable partisan hack who will say and do anything for his party and to heck with the Constitution.

Posted by Neo | July 28, 2007 7:57 AM

Schumer's great example of Mobius logic during Alberto R. Gonzales testimony on Tuesday: You’re deceiving us.

Schumer manages to be deceived while acknowledging that he is being deceived.

Posted by vet66 | July 28, 2007 7:58 AM

It has been a fascinating experience listening to the lefties describe President Bush. On the one hand they euphemistically refer to him variously as the 'shrub, chimp, etc.' Then they admit that he is so incredibly devious and brilliant that he can bring down the trade center towers, steal an election that even the NYT admits he won (Florida recount) and fool the supposed infinitely brighter democrats on a routine basis.

Fascinating how they populate a dreamworld where logic and reason fear to tread.

Posted by morgan | July 28, 2007 8:15 AM

The nicest thing one could say about Schumer is that he's scum who will do anything to advance his personal agenda. The voters of New York should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted by M Smith | July 28, 2007 8:32 AM

Bush got barely elected... and somewhat questionably. His true mandate is tenuous and his views are not shared by all Americans whom he is supposed to represent. So, let's not wax too much on how we all voted for him so he gets to do what he wants.

Schumer is a windbag, for sure... and his statements are often dumb and strident. But, the core fear behind them is genuine and merits consideration by people who believe in balance.

Just my take, of course.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | July 28, 2007 8:41 AM

Schumer said: “There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked,”

I only have one thing to say about Senator Chuck Schumer, you know....the Senator who apparently is our "champion" of Justice. And that is:

"Lt. Gov. Steele was extremely disturbed to learn about the alleged criminal identity theft of his personal finance records by (a staff member of U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.,) at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee."

Posted by ScottM | July 28, 2007 8:43 AM

I hope Republicans take a lesson. It's time to stop confirming federal judges and Supreme Court Justices who we know will act in defiance of the law and the Constitution.

Posted by Keemo | July 28, 2007 8:45 AM

Look, watch, & listen to the likes of Schumer....

How are we supposed to have any trust & faith in our government with this kind of low life human wind bag as a role model?

Is it any wonder why Congress has an approval rating hovering around 16%....

Posted by Ray | July 28, 2007 8:50 AM

“There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked,” said Schumer

Schumer claims that President Bush hoodwinked the Senate into approving conservative judges because Schumer believes that Bush is a pathological liar and was really going to nominate liberal judges and merely call them conservatives.

Need proof of this? Here's the proof:
“When a president says he wants to nominate justices in the mold of [Antonin] Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas,” Schumer said, “believe him.”

Now that Schumer has finally realized that President Bush was being honest and nominated judges who are actually conservative, he cries foul.

It looks to me that Schumer hoodwinked himself due to his pathological hatred of President Bush and anything conservative.

Posted by bulbasaur | July 28, 2007 8:55 AM

I wonder if the daily conference calls between the democrat caucus and their overlords on far-left hate sites are getting more contentious due to the failure of the democrat party to accomplish anything since the election. Maybe this is a peace offering by Chuck to his voting base? One can only speculate.

Nevertheless, if the democrat party can't stand up to its own radical leftist bullies, how can we expect them to fight terrorism?

Posted by rbj | July 28, 2007 8:56 AM

M. Smith, Clinton did not receive a majority of votes in either of his elections, yet the Republicans voted to confirm his nominees despite their differences. Voting down a S.Ct. justice nominee should only be for when someone is unqualified (Harriet Meirs) or is way out there.

Posted by Captain Ed | July 28, 2007 9:01 AM


Actually, I think that a President's nominees should be presumptively confirmed except in cases of being obviously unqualified or ethically defective. "Way out there" is a political choice made by the voters when they elect the President. And while I think Miers was a poor choice, if she had not been withdrawn, I think the Senate should have confirmed her.

I'll say the same thing if Hillary gets elected, too.

Posted by Ray | July 28, 2007 9:03 AM


If the Democrats in Congress believe that any judge is acting in defiance of the law or the Constitution as you assert, they are free to instigate impeachment proceedings against said judge.

Posted by dcam | July 28, 2007 9:24 AM

Poor New York has to suffer two fools - so much for the so called business capital of the world.

Posted by ScottM | July 28, 2007 9:35 AM

Ray, why would Democrats do that? That's how they want judges to act, so long as their lawless behavior leads to liberal policy results.

When I said "Republicans should take a lesson," I meant that they should do what Schumer is doing, and refuse to vote to confirm President Hillary's judges. Schumer's right: It's time for the presumption of confirmation to end. Senators (at least Republican senators) should vote to confirm judges only if they are convinced that they will obey the law. That seems to me the absolute minimum that should be expected of our judges.

It is shameful, for example, that Ruth Bader Ginsburg got 96 votes in favor of her confirmation when everyone knew that she would abuse her position to write her own policy preferences into law in defiance of all the norms of a free, self-governing society.

And everyone knows that any judge Hillary nominates will do the same thing.

Posted by Steve Downs | July 28, 2007 9:55 AM

Now that this "brain surgeon" has, in essence, stated publicly that he has a litmus test for a candidate's ideology (and quite a biased one at that), I guess he will need to recuse himself from any discussion on any candidate nominated to serve the judiciary. God forbid that I were ever nominated (as a non-lawyer, the chances would be slim to none, and slim's out of town), but there's a bunch of these clowns that I would have to request recusal for prior to giving any testimony: Kennedy-killer, Spectre-Scottish law hack, Leahy-careless with classified information, Schumer-too stupid to even be a U.S. Senator. I might not get the position, but the show would be entertaining. We could actually get an audience on C-SPAN for a couple of hours.

Posted by NCC | July 28, 2007 10:22 AM

No one disdains Senator Schumer more than I do. He is ruthless and mean. But he is not stupid. To the contrary, no Senator in history has ever frustrated a President's judicial nominations as Schumer has frustrated those of Bush.

Schumer is basically an evil genius.

To be sure, some of this has to do with the laxness of the Bush Administration, and the laxness or duplicity (depending on whom your are talking about) of GOP Senators. (Including professors who used to be Senators, like Mike DeWine!) But Schumer conceived of an obstruction plan, sold it to the Democratic caucus, and made it work. He has not blocked a Supreme Court nomination yet, but he has frustrated a record number of appellate nominees.

One good question: will the GOP have the vision and balls to block the nominees any Democrat elected to the White House in 2008? I doubt it.

Posted by Lightwave | July 28, 2007 10:25 AM

Schumer's argument comes down to one thing:

"Bush outsmarted us because we weren't paying attention or doing our jobs, and now we're angry."

Here's a hint, Chuck. Admitting you're a small minded incompetent is not a good way to get re-elected.

I take that back...it's a great way to get the GOP re-elected. On second thought, keep whining about how that mean old President lulled you into a sense of indifference about a Supreme Court nominee or two. That'll make people want to vote for your party!

Posted by viking01 | July 28, 2007 10:37 AM

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's poor health must have the Clinton Koolaid drinkers rattled.

One solution:

Nominate a clearly qualified candidate similar to CJ John Roberts (perhaps a minority) for a Supreme court spot.

When Chucky Schumer attempts to block the nomination on purely political grounds then have it addressed vigorously as an EEOC matter with grounds of denial of opportunity for something other than qualifications. Defendant: Chuck Schumer.

Posted by Pho | July 28, 2007 11:01 AM

Soooo... just making sure I understand this.

Because of the effect Bush's new appointments are having on the Supreme Court, Chuck is rethinking his actions in their confirmation process. Because he feels like someone fooled him (that stupid, simple minded, evil genius who seems to fool Senators on a regular basis!!!!!) into... wait that's right he's voting against them anyway.

Wait wait... ok...

So because of all that he's NOW wanting to pull out all the stops and fight against every such nomination between here and the end of Bush's term. They'll look deep into their record to find things to object to. I would imagine they might declare them racist or some other dastardly thing to turn the public against it. Hey, lets also declare them unfit, for reading the Constitution as it's written. I got an idea! If they won't answer a question about a case they're expecting to have to rule on later... lets charge them with misleading senators! Maybe they'll fillibuser every vote, so that the nominated folks can't even come up for a vote!! That's an idea!!


Haven't they done that on every nomination so far? So what exactly has changed? That they have now enough numbers to make all their old plans work better?

New boss... same as the old boss...

Posted by Gary Gross | July 28, 2007 11:09 AM

We shouldn't be surprised that Little Chuckie Schumer declared war on Bush's judicial nominees. He's been advocating that forever.

The thing that's most important to keep in mind is the role jurists can potentially play in national security. I don't think it's wise to underestimate that in light of Anna Diggs-Taylor's ruling in ACLU v. NSA.

Posted by unclesmrgol | July 28, 2007 11:12 AM

Don't think this thought originated with Schumer -- he's just parroting Sen. Specter's lines.

Personally, I think the new Court is pretty good in comparison to the old one -- at least I can now relate the majority decision (even if I disagree) to material in our own Constitution, rather than something from the European Union.

Posted by M Smith | July 28, 2007 11:29 AM

RBJ... that is disingenous... Perot was a far more serious 3rd party candidate than Nader... Clinton won by far greater margins in the popular vote than GWB. But, the bottom line is that this country has been divided pretty evenly for over two decades.

Bush: 51%
Kerry: 48%
Nader: 1%

Bush: 48%
Gore: 48%
Other (Nader, Buchanan, Browne, etc.).: 4%

Clinton: 49%
Dole: 41%
Perot: 8%

Clinton: 43%
Bush Sr.: 37%
Perot: 19%

The point is this... the way it's supposed to work is that, once elected, the POTUS serves all Americans, not just the ones who elected him. To claim a mandate from a VERY slim electoral victory and to load the courts with highly Conservative judges is to ignore that half the people in this country don't agree with those views.

If Schumer had a brain, he would have stated a desire to see more balance in future nominees to SCOTUS in order to have a court that represents ALL Americans. Since Schumer is an idiot, he said what he said... but the underlying situation he is warning against is actually of real concern to many who don't agree with the Conservative viewpoint... they're Americans, too.

It's really easy to play rah-rah among friends and call people idiots or "Far-Lefties" or "Wackos" (or "Repugs" or "Wingnuts" on the other blogs) or whatever... but it really doesn't advance political discourse... it debases it.

Most who voted Democratic in the last election are not far-left in their thinking, many who voted Republican are not far right, either. We need to seek balance in our politics that more accurately reflects real, mainstream American values: Rule of Law, Individual Freedom, Free and Fair Markets, Human Rights, etc. Neither party is doing a good job of finding the right balance in my view. They're both so busy trying to pander, obfuscate and repay favors that they are failing us. It's disgusting.

In case you're wondering, I've voted Republican and I've voted Democrat... so, I actually listen to both sides before choosing the lesser of the two evils.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | July 28, 2007 12:13 PM

M. Smith,

With regard to balance, it's a moving target. Additionally, any population represents a wide spectrum of views... on everything. The politics are dirty and partisan due to the passions and beliefs, generally, of all voters. I'll not vouch so much for the representatives we elect because their motives can be driven by political careerism and expediency, that extra layer that can mask pure conscience.

My concern is not that we have left or right leaning so much as it is the evolution of the court that law is so widely (mis)interpreted. How can the Constitution be so variously parsed? Was it the wisdom of our forefathers that permitted such latitude for the people to adjust law to their times? Have we as a nation allowed the abuse of that latitude such that politics has poisoned even that branch? I fear it has. I'm concerned that the Judicial is just as partisan as any other political entity and its membership is nothing more than a reflection of personal bias as opposed to the principled application of legal foundations as deigned by the Founders.

We'll always have poles in politics. The Judicial was supposed to be the slow moving check to such politicization. Is it still? And is it really a moderating branch? Considering our political makeup approximates a 50-50 split between Left and Right, much of the country will be displeased no matter which interpretation "wins."

I'm far Right constructionist, so I have my own bias just like everyone; however, I'll accept a liberal interpretation if it conforms to what has been written, much less so with what has been interpreted. That's where politics inevitably creates the conflict inherent in the system. So what exactly determines Left, Right, or Other in these circumstances? My only and surely questionable perception is that contemporary politics dictates the leaning of the court both in its own corridors and out on the streets. I'm not sure if the Judicial was really designed to do that or not. Whatever the case, it's just as messy as any other institution created by man.

Posted by Ray | July 28, 2007 12:34 PM


I misunderstood your post, sorry.

Personally, I don't think judges should have any political litmus test and should be selected according to their experience and expertize.

There shouldn't be a tit-for-tat mentality by the members of Congress where nominees are rejected simply because the opposition party rejected a candidate in the past. This just makes the process itself suspect and holds it hostage to the political whims of the party in control.

I know this has been done in the past, and is apparently continuing today, but this process has not lead to the appointment of judges that issues the kinds of rulings that historians will list as major achievements in American legal history.

Posted by Ray | July 28, 2007 12:49 PM

"But, the bottom line is that this country has been divided pretty evenly for over two decades.

I agree with this 100% and it goes back even farther than that.

I did some research a few years ago about this very subject and found, somewhat to my amazement, that the the political balance of the all presidents voted into office since 1900 has been remarkably even, with only a slight majority going to the Republicans. I don't have the figures available any more, but I believe it was 51% Republican to 49% Democrat. I contribute that 2% difference to the fact that the current president is a Republican.

Posted by newton | July 28, 2007 12:55 PM

Poor New York has to suffer two fools - so much for the so called business capital of the world.
Posted by: dcam at July 28, 2007 9:24 AM

Ever wonder why most business expansion is happening in the South and Southwest? To escape megalomaniacs like Schumer and Clinton, for one.

Who became NBA champion last June? You got it: the San Antonio Spurs. Not the NY Knicks.

Add your own examples, guys.

Posted by unclesmrgol | July 28, 2007 1:26 PM

Precedents fall for many reasons. The main reason is a change to the Constitution. I submit that the Dredd Scott decision can not be used as precedent for that reason, although it stands as a major decision by the Supreme Court with regard to the legality of involuntary servitude.

Yet another reason is differences in the interpretation of the Constitution (AKA "change in doctrine"). When the majority decision in Plessy v. Ferguson was nullified by that in Brown v. Board of Education, there had been no changes in the Constitution to mandate such a change in the Court's view of the effects of separate accomodation on minority Citizens. Stare decisis, should have prevailed; it did not. It should be noted that the two Courts differed in their interpretation of the 14th Amendment; the earlier court viewed the province of the Amendment to extend only to the federal government, while the later court viewed it as extending to all governmental bodies. (Of course, the later decision was a prime example of Strict Interpretation, in which the meaning of the law is determined in accordance with that of its framers [in the case of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Radical Republicans]).

Indeed, Roe v. Wade (the "super-duper precedent" per Arlen Specter) is ripe for reinterpretation, given the advances in science (changes in fact) which have occurred since it was decided.

My point: the Court interprets law though the Constition as a lens, regardless of public opinion or even necessarily the opinions of the Courts which preceded it. Roberts quite forcefully put this position on the table when questioned by Specter during his confirmation hearing when he stated both that current public opinion (rule of the mob) should not drive decisions rendered by the court, and when he politely put forth that reliance of the Court on international law (or the "international opinion" as positied by Justice Kennedy) was incorrect.

And, finally, if stare decisis must be considered by the Supreme Court, shouldn't it also be considered by Congress in the fashioning of laws and by the President in their implementation. After all, if "it's always been done this way" is good enough for the Court, why not for the other two branches of government as well?

Which of us would prefer that the precedent associated with Plessy v. Ferguson were still in place? After all, it was and is accepted private practice by the majority of the People, thus meeting the important social reliance rule of the earlier Court w/r/t stare decisis, right?

Posted by ScottM | July 28, 2007 1:41 PM

M Smith, the Courts are not supposed to "represent all Americans." You simply do not understand the function of the judiciary. In that regard, you're certainly in the majority of Americans, which is why our judicial system (and everything it touches) is so screwed up.

Ray, this has nothing to do with a "political litmus test."

I don't care if a judicial nominee is hard-left, hard-right, or somewhere in between, as long as he understands the proper function of the courts and will obey the law. I wish I could believe that there are leftist lawyers and judges who still believe in the law, and if there are still a few around, I wish I could believe that Hillary would nominate them.

Unfortunately, practical experience has shown that Democrats are actively opposed to judges who confine themselves to the exercise of their proper powers under the law. That being the case, the burden should be on any Democratic judicial nominee to show that he does not share the Democrats' views of a judge's proper role.

I find it interesting and disturbing that people on both sides now hold simple fealty to the law to be a "political litmus test." To me, as I said, it seems the lowest possible standard to which we can reasonably hold a judge.

Posted by M Smith | July 28, 2007 1:59 PM

Well said, anonymousdrivel.

I guess that, in a perfect world, Solomonic wisdom would prevail when difficult decisions have to be made... unfortunately we leave the decision making in this country to paid-for politicians who only pander to us as they work for their financial masters.

The SCOTUS is supposed to be above that and needs to be balanced to ensure that it protects all the people from having any side subvert the Constitution. It should neither be Liberal or Conservative... it should make us all angry at times and happy at times. It's there to make the really tough decisions that affect ALL Americans.

Samuel Alito gained confirmation by a 58-42 margin, with only four Democrats voting to affirm. He replaced O'Connor, who was the pivot point between the Conservative and Liberal block on the court. (She was often the one who swung things one way or the other). Judging by the latest batch of rulings, Alito's effect has been profound... they even overturned a significant portion of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act in order to allow corporations to fix consumer prices in many circumstances. This issue was lost among the school segregation ruling and a few others, but it really illuminates the pro-corporate/anti-citizen bent of the so-called conservatives... I say "so-called" because a true Conservative would never agree to give corporations more rights than individuals. There is a word for a government set up to benefit corporations, but it is highly inflammatory so I won't use it.

Posted by Carol Herman | July 28, 2007 2:06 PM

I'll tell ya what; Schumer is staking out a position. But he won't be able to hold it. And, given that Stevens i 87; and Ruth Bader Ginsberg is not in the best of health. (Plus, last term SHE FELL ASLEEP while everybody watched if this meant she'd slide out of her chair, as well.)

Doesn't matter.

Either Bush gets to nominate another justice. Or, he doesn't.

IF Schumer is saying that he's gonna fight every one of Bush's nominees, it shreds Arlen Spector's reputation. Doesn't even leave him with a fig leaf. And, the guy does have a devastating cancer diagnosis.

Anyway, the senators can anticpate what they like. Both the Roberts and Alito nominations were brilliant. (The Miers one was not. BUT it consumed time. And, made Roberts and Alito's nominations EASIER.)

If I had to guess what sorts of cards Bush plays? He's either gonna pick someone from his list, like a Hispanic, or a Japanese FELLA. And, not so quickly, Brown.) He'll see what flies. And, where there are senators who will work with him. And, others who won't.

But the interesting thing Schumer adds is that it's going to be MORE uncomfortable for "fellow-riders" to climb on board the Bonkey's train.

Just as it was bad for McCain to push himself into passing what is now DEAD, Immigration Bill.

Politicians are like prostitutes. And, they usually know how to work the crowds kissing babies and giving out "promises." While they collect cash.

And, it's possible that Bush's numbers are not only going UP, while the polling data for the Bonkeys is going down; it's possible that Mitch McConnell wants to keep his majority seat; so he'll behave. And, he won't run against the Presidency. His ass is on a slippery slope just the same. Heck, even Trent Lott will show you some "leg" in this game.

All we need to know is that Bush is not a "last minute" man. He's investigated the positions, ahead, he wants to take. And, he's quite capable of dealing more blows to congress than you think.

Schumer? He just stated his position. EARLY. Why? Could it be he sees the tsunami? They do more internal polling than you can believe.

And, more than just "popularity" is hanging out there, now.

Plus, The New Republic didn't add a single thing to the arsenal of those who keep plucking into their bags looking for Vietnam.

We're not in Vietnam!

Posted by M Smith | July 28, 2007 2:14 PM


Thanks for the correction... I reworded my statements in the post above.

As for this statement you made:
[QUOTE]Unfortunately, practical experience has shown that Democrats are actively opposed to judges who confine themselves to the exercise of their proper powers under the law. That being the case, the burden should be on any Democratic judicial nominee to show that he does not share the Democrats' views of a judge's proper role.[/QUOTE]

Couldn't it be flipped thusly:

Unfortunately, practical experience has shown that Republicans are actively opposed to judges who confine themselves to the exercise of their [BOLD]proper[/BOLD] powers under the law. That being the case, the burden should be on any Republican judicial nominee to show that he does not share the Republicans' views of a judge's proper role.

It all hinges on who determines what is the "proper" power under the law, doesn't it? You can't completely separate a man or woman's politics from their outlook on the kinds of issues brought before the court. That's why you need a balance of perspectives that is representative of the nation as a whole.

I don't think having an all-liberal SCOTUS would be a good thing, either... far from it.

Posted by unclesmrgol | July 28, 2007 2:30 PM

M. Smith,

We had one once -- a totally liberal court. And even then it was not liberal enough for FDR.

By the way, do you know that there's a religious exemption for Social Security? Calls the whole rest of that system, which has been ruled Constitutional by SCOTUS, into question, but there it is -- a blatant disregard for the First Amendment.

Oh, to be Amish...

Posted by ScottM | July 28, 2007 2:30 PM

"Couldn't it be flipped thusly:"

It could, but it would be false.

From another post:

"[The SCOTUS is] there to make the really tough decisions that affect ALL Americans."

That is precisely not why the Supreme Court--or any other court--exists.

Your inability to comprehend the proper limits of the judicial power is presumably related to your inability to comprehend the judicial function.

Posted by Ray | July 28, 2007 2:30 PM

"Politicians are like prostitutes. And, they usually know how to work the crowds kissing babies and giving out "promises." While they collect cash.

LOL While I generally agree with that, I usually think of politicians more as carnival barkers:
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside! Come inside!

Or, if you consider the background of one of the candidates who recently ran for Governor in state of California:
Next upon the bill in our House of Vaudeville
We've a stripper in a till
What a thrill! What a thrill!

Posted by M Smith | July 28, 2007 5:22 PM

In an earlier post, I stated:
"[The SCOTUS is] there to make the really tough decisions that affect ALL Americans."

ScottM said:
"That is precisely not why the Supreme Court--or any other court--exists. Your inability to comprehend the proper limits of the judicial power is presumably related to your inability to comprehend the judicial function."

I guess I need you to educate me.

As I understand it, the purpose of the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution and to act as the highest appellate court in the land. But they don't just sit around and debate the Constitution all day in an academic setting. They decide on individual cases which form precedent that affects the application of the law for all Americans. The fact that they pass every decision through a Constitutional lens does not change the above.

But, maybe I'm wrong. I'm listening.

Posted by ScottM | July 28, 2007 6:04 PM

M Smith:

Permit me to quote you again: "[The SCOTUS is] there to make the really tough decisions that affect ALL Americans."

No, that's why Congress is there, and to a lesser extent, the President and his subordinate officers. Making the kind of decisions you're talking about is called governing, not judging.

The courts are there to adjudicate disputes and administer justice in cases at law and in equity.

Posted by Keemo | July 28, 2007 6:04 PM

More Schumer:

This is astounding that an elected member of Congress could say this,

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush “except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”

In other words, the Constitution doesn’t apply to Republican Presidents. So Senator Schumer, this reversal of “presumption” would apply to a Democratic President with a Republican Congress, right? (polipundit)

Absolutely freakin disgusting...

And the likes of Liberal Douglas show up here and spout off about how Bush is ruining this fine Democracy we have here in America... Joker, the whole lot of them...

Posted by Carol Herman | July 28, 2007 8:50 PM

Okay. From the looks of things, Schumer has advertised the Bonkey playbook. And, he also needs GOP Kiesters in the mix. While Mitch McConnell ran into a wall on Immigration Bill.

Immigration Bill is now dead. So there's a chance that getting Americans upset is not the best way for the elites in congress to exercise their fat stomachs, and power.

Ahead? Bush can make recess appointments next month. And, up ahead? He can also use his veto pen.

It's not as if people don't know that Ruth Bader Ginsberg was diagnosed with colon cancer, I think, a few summers, ago. And, just last year, lookig frail, she fell asleep during Orals.

We also know that Renqhist held on, refusing to retire; which forced Sandra Day O'Connor to retire, instead.

And, yes. We all know about Harriet Miers. But once she withdrew, Bush ran into two successful appointments; Alito and Roberts. And, Schumer did not vote for either one. Only 4 democraps backed these votes.

And, then came November 2006. The "wake up call" to the GOP that the Bonkeys are nuts. They don't have a "solid majority." And, they're in the process of dumping on Americans. Which could cost them votes.

If we didn't have the Internet, I'd be worried.

I'm also pretty sure that Bush plays ONLY AFTER GREAT AMOUNTS OF TIME ARE SPENT "planning."

I know it doesn't seem that way.

But then I assume most of the things we learn from the press are just illusions.

We're midway through the summer, and so far I don't see the elites in the MSM, or the dogs in congress, coming any closer to success.

And, if McCain can tank, which you see with your own eyes; why not assume the Bonkeys aren't gonna be heading to their own victory parties any time soon?

Bush is both stubborn, and patient. What's changed?

Posted by M Smith | July 29, 2007 7:31 AM

ScottM... thanks for the response.

I think I see what you're saying, but I don't think it is much of a stretch that many big decisions are made in the Supreme Court and not in the legislature. When the SCOTUS rules on a case, it establishes the interpretation of the US Constitution as it applies to a particular area or it rules on a particular issue.

For example, Gore v. Bush in 2000... their decision stopped the recount in Florida and made Bush president. Being that subsequent non-official recounts showed that Gore might have, in fact, had more votes in Florida... I think it would be fair to say that the court made a decision that affected all of us in preventing the official recount from continuing. Many of us feel that this was a partisan decision that robbed us of a fair election and I'm pretty sure that, had the decision gone the other way, the other side would feel wronged, too.

Or Roe v. Wade... where they applied the Constitution's Privacy Rights vis-a-vis Due Process to the issue of abortion. But that's not where that decision ended... they also went on to establish standards for the "viability" of a fetus and exceptions for the health of the mother. These decisions did not just affect the plaintiff... they established law for the entire country.

So, how can you really deny that the SCOTUS does not make decisions that affect all Americans?

It's kind of like saying the President does not have the power to declare war, which is technically true... but not in practice.

Posted by ScottM | July 29, 2007 12:28 PM

I don't think it is much of a stretch that many big decisions are made in the Supreme Court and not in the legislature.

The Supreme Court and other courts have indeed vastly overstepped the proper bounds of their authority and usurped powers to which they are not entitled under the law. The remedy for that is not "balance," but the return of those powers to those to whom they properly belong.

Posted by M Smith | July 29, 2007 6:18 PM

ScottM... so your argument that I know not how our Judicial branch operates is based on strict Constitutional theory, not on actual practice... I was referring to actual practice, you see.

As for your comments about the judicary overstepping its bounds, the same could be said of the Executive Branch, too. President Bush's extensive use of signing statements would be an example... or his staff's refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas. He has taken the notions of Executive Privilege and Executive Primacy to new levels.

I do agree that powers need to remain separate and that each branch needs to be accountable to the people and to the Constitution.