Thursday, December 23, 2004

Lets Get Ready to Rumbllllllle!

Bush sure must like those mandates. They have left him feeling emboldened. Or is it when he feels emasculated and impotent in one area (the Iraq debacle) he exercises power where he encounters little resistance.

So now he is going to renominate 20 judges previously rejected by the Senate, or more accurately, by Democrats in the Senate.
President Bush plans to renominate 20 candidates for federal judgeships who have been unable to win confirmation in the Senate, the White House said today, in a signal that the president is ready for a showdown early next year.

Among the judges Bush plans to renominate are William Pryor, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rodgers Brown. Now we'll hear the typical flowery BS about all of them from their home state Senators but make no mistake, they are all hostile to the notion of individual rights, civil rights, and privacy.

Regarding Owen, during the confirmation process the first time around, Democratic Senators expressed dismay at two things in particular, one being Owen's favoring, contrary to a majority of the Texas Supreme Court, that a minor seeking an abortion should show that she had considered, among other issues, the religious significance of the decision. The other issue was a concern that she often dissented from majority opinions that favored individuals and consumers; her dissents being uniformly in support of corporate and business interests.
Janice Rogers Brown is, if anything, even more extreme in her views than Owen.
Specifically, the October 22 hearing reinforced serious concerns about Brown in five areas: 1) her troubling dissents concerning discrimination, consumer rights, and other issues; 2) her disturbing disregard for precedent, especially with respect to constitutional and civil rights; 3) her ultra-conservative ideological views as reflected both in her speeches and judicial opinions; 4) her strong support for extreme “private property” rights theories, including long-discredited legal theories that threaten important governmental actions regulating corporate behavior; and 5) her troubling disagreement with constitutional protection for fundamental rights and liberties. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has concluded, Brown’s views are “far out of the mainstream of accepted legal principles” and she is “not qualified for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.”3

Of these three, Pryor may be the worst.
Pryor is one of the architects of this movement and has been a leading activist in these damaging efforts. He personally has been involved in key Supreme Court cases that, by narrow 5-4 majorities, have hobbled Congress’ ability to protect Americans’ rights against discrimination and injury based on disability, race, and age. Worse, he has urged the Court to go even further than it has in the direction of restricting congressional authority.

Moreover, Pryor has advocated the view that the Constitution should not apply to some of the most critical issues pertaining to individual rights and freedoms — including reproductive choice, gay rights, and school prayer — and that these matters should be decided by the states, based on majority vote, regardless of whether constitutional rights are violated. Pryor’s ideology would effectively create a balkanized America in which individual citizens may have fewer constitutional rights depending on where they live.

To be sure all of these nominees have been caught in the politics of the process but they have been caught for a reason. Bush has nominated and had confirmed the vast majority, around 90%, of all the names he has sent to the Senate. The Democrats must fight some of the appointments on idealogical grounds, not just nominees to the Supreme Court, but also to the circuit courts, and even occasionally those nominees to the district (trial) bench. Most people don't understand the imortance of these nomineess becasue most are lucky enough to not have to need court intervention directly in their lives. Jeebus help them if they ever get the crap beat out of them by a cop, are charged with a crime and are dealing with an over-zealous prosecutor, or fired from a job because they are a person of color.

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