Alito's News Cycle

Jesse Cornett

That’s it Blue Oregonians, we lost. That’s right, I’ll not so boldly predict that Samuel Alito will indeed be confirmed to the Supreme Court. He’s no moderate; in fact I think he’s our worst nightmare. He’s a conservative ideologue. His politics, much like Ralph Nader’s politics on the left, do not represent the beliefs of a majority of Americans. In fact, far from a majority.

Alito upheld a law that required a woman notify her husband before having an abortion, later overturned by the US Supreme Court.

This year the Supreme Court threw out death penalty case Alito had upheld, on a deciding vote by the Justice he will soon replace.

His mom says proudly of Alito “of course he’s against abortion.”

The list goes on and on. This guy’s bad. During the 2000 campaign, NARAL tried to spin off of the effective 1992 message that helped elect an obscure southern governor over a sitting President, by saying “it’s the Supreme Court, stupid.” It seemed goofy to me at the time but five years later to the week, their worst-case scenario has finally begun to play out.

As soon as White House Counsel Harriet Miers backed out, Alito’s name was at the top of the list to replace current Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner. His name has been floated as a possibility from her first announcing her planned resignation. We have had the needed days required to plan how we would cream this guy, and the President for nominating him. Hell, we’ve had weeks and months. His nomination came this morning, and what was our response?

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid pondered whether Alito was "too radical for the American people."

Harry Reid squandered an incredible opportunity. You see, I think that he made the best political move of any Democratic Leader in a long time: I think he suckered Bush into nominating Miers. He played nice with now Chief Justice John Roberts’ nomination – hard not too. He then gave a quiet thumbs up to Miers, and I think he knew the conservatives would eat her alive. What he did was show America that the Democrats are reasonable on judges so that when he raised the red flag on the conservative nightmare that could certainly come forth, he’d have credibility.

What at the usual suspects saying? Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer are fighting back but America stopped listening to them long ago. They don’t have Reid’s cache on this appointment. Not even in their home states.

What did Oregon’s own Senator Wyden say? “It appears to indicate a step to the right.” Granted he’s not on the Judiciary Committee so has little say at this point, but as an Oregonian, I would have appreciated a stronger response.

The timing of this nomination is supposed to help get the news of Scooter Libby’s indictment, stop the Harriet Miers chatter and brush over the 2000 deaths in Iraq. If he can do that for just one day, the news about those subjects will never get the full coverage they so richly deserve. The story the average American will read tomorrow will read something like this:


An extremely experienced conservative justice was nominated. Liberal Democrats whined while others remained silent. His confirmation is expected later this year.

In a few days when we get around to either doing our homework or talking about it and want to talk about how bad he is and why we might filibuster (and how is it that the age old filibuster got reframed as the “nuclear option” last year, making it somehow seem so extreme, though it’s been around as long as we’ve had a Senate), America won’t understand, because Alito will already seem okay in their eyes.

We had one day and now it's over.

Comments

  • theanalyst (unverified)
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    Jesse writes: "He’s no moderate; in fact I think he’s our worst nightmare."

    "Everything which I said could not happen will happen now." -- Ovid

  • Sid (unverified)
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    But couldn't this nomination be considered an opportunity for Dems to open up the debate about where this country is going. It seems to me the right wing has been hiding behind smoke and mirrors knowing that if a majority of Americans really knew what the their agenda was, Americans would freak out.

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    Jesse,

    You're getting me down. Bush just had a really lousy week and your the one who is depressed.

    Look, we knew the night that Kerry lost that this was in the cards. We will probably lose this fight since we would have to win over too many Republicans to defeat him, but our goal should be to make sure that the American people understand what Bush and his party have done so that we can win next year. We should be fighting for the next election, not this nomination. The question is how do we connect with the majority of Americans to show that he is indeed someone who will do damage to their lives. This can't be just about Roe, it must be broader.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    It can be about family values, as in the Family Medical Leave Act that Alito opposes.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    The Nuclear Option is the destruction of the right to filibuster. The Nuclear Option is extremist, not the filibuster. If Dems can't get that straight in the public's heads, we are doomed, doomed, I tell you!

  • (Show?)

    Jesse, this one ain't over by a long shot. Two things would bother me if I were GWB. First, Chittister. It is a case that may likely demonstrate Alito's radicalism and his "judicial activism." I suspect there are others, but not only is this case damning, but the Dems are leading with it. (The abortion cases are key, but Dems have learned their lesson; make the nomination about broad issues and use abortion as a subplot, not vice versa.)

    Second: moderate Republican senators from blue states. The polling is clear: Americans don't want a radical justice and they don't want to lose abortion. Republicans with interest in being re-elected in blue states know they have 1, 3, or 5 years for rulings by this justice to come bite them in the ass, and some will be secretly sifting through his record to see what kind of radicalism there appears to be.

    Dems knew they were going to get weak hole cards, but they aren't as weak as they could be, and the GOP can't be sure they're not working on an inside straight. A long way to go.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    It seems that G. W. Bush in his rush to change the news from Scooter's indictment to a Supreme court nominee forgot a constitutionaly required step: Advice

    Thanks to Senator Salazar of Colorado for pointing out that Georgie did not confer with any senator on the new nomination. Whoops!!!

  • (Show?)

    We should be fighting for the next election, not this nomination.

    There's a reason multiple SC appointments is called a "legacy." It's a way for a President to affect constitutional law for decades - generations - to come. Why do you think FDR tried to increase the Court from 9 justices to 12? We absolutely should be focussing on this nomination. We can and have and will recover from a Republican Congress or White House (yes, I'm aware of the 2000+ troops who will not recover). But a conservative Court? Not so easy to recover from. This is it... this is what we've been bracing ourselves for for five years. Limber up your hands, people, we have a lot of dialing to do and a lot of letters to write - and a hell of a lot of blogging to do - if we're going to stop this appointment. After we stop it, then we can look ahead to 2006. First things first.

    P.S. Who the hell can oppose the FMLA?? OH, I mean, besides Reagan, G.H.W. Bush.... something so fundamental that took so long to be written into law. Republican priorities are so out of whack. Well, not all Republicans, I guess... after all, Packwood was a co-sponsor of the bill. lol. Hey, no one is wrong all the time.

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    Good points CC. Not to mention that if Dems don't fight this nomination, progressives would rightly wonder why they should be fighting for Dems next time around.

    But to Jesse's "we've lost" hypothesis - ABSOLUTELY NOT. Supreme Court nominations are more like ballot measures than candidate races, and as most Oregonians know, a typical ballot measure starts reasonably strong support and goes down from there. The more we learn about unintended consequences, hidden agendas, goes-too-far-type arguments, the more reasonable doubt is raised in people's minds. Same with nominations. Some measures never fall below 50% and pass. But all that has happened so far is that we have - barely - been introduced to the nominee.

    There is ZERO strategic advantage in holding back with this ill-considered, dangerous nomination.

  • Karl (unverified)
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    We had one day, and now we have another. Tomorrow will be another day. We need to convince our democratic leaders that they need to pick up their rhetoric and go to battle or they won't be our leaders anymore. And they need to keep hammering on all fronts at once. They should be exposing the snakes that Cheney replaced Libby with right now. Since Alito has a record, they need to be trumpeting that record loud and clear.

    Dems should have no fear of the filibuster. If the republicans pull the "nuclear option" I don't think the press is going to protect them anymore. There has been a shift in the wind.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Alito will most likely be confirmed. It will be difficult to successfully demonize Alito, as was first attempted with the Roberts nomination. The key for Democrats will be to handle this in a positive manner.

    Sen. Kennedy had nothing but total praise for him in his last confirmation. "He was praised by Sen. Ted Kennedy, who commended him for his "distinguished record," predicted he would have a "successful" career as a judge, and noted, "We will look forward to supporting you and voting for you."

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    Bring back Harriet! At least her Mommy stayed out of the story, unlike this nobody's old lady.

  • Becky (unverified)
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    I don't think Roe v. Wade is really at risk. If it's gone, how will the right wing raise money? Abortion is their best cause for continual fundraising and voter turnout. I think you're more likely to see Oregon's death with dignity law and medical marijuana laws be overturned. Personally, I think Harriet was never intended to be the nominee, but that she was a space filler until the indictments came out in Traitorgate. That way, the REAL nominee - Alito - could be announced just in time to deflect attention from the horror of the reality that we have traitors in the White House. Frankly, I'm more concerned about the fact that the Supreme Court will have 5 Catholics, 2 Jews, and 2 Protestants than anything else. I have nothing against Catholics, but this seems rather odd and maybe even not coincidental, particularly as it doesn't come anywhere close to reflecting the religious makeup of this country as a whole. What gives here? Another question, why is it that Alito's nomination occurred in the Cross Halls - the same unusual announcement site at which Bush announced Roberts' nomination and where he issued his ultimatum to Saddam Hussein two days before we attacked Iraq?

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    The key for Democrats will be to handle this in a positive manner.

    Why? What is the benefit of playing nice? What do we have to lose? Nothing. The D's can and should go down with a fight against this radical extremist. Of course the R's and punditz will frame it as "partisan whining" --so what else is new?--but we just have to keep fighting the noise machine.

    The D's must stand up for mainstream American values: the right to privacy and keeping government out of our personal lives. Strip searches of 10 year olds is not America.

    Grow a spine Wyden!

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    John: Sorry to get you down but I am just the messenger. We could have anticipated this starting in 2000, which is why some of us continued to work so hard in 2004 and others joined the fight. I must strongly disagree that we should work toward the next election instead of this nominee. We should have came out swinging yesterday, and we should continue to fight until the moment he is sworn it. It ties into the next election. We can show America that you get ScAlito's (which is what the righties are proudly calling him) with a republican president and congress. Unfortunately, I think we've limited our ability to fight by our early silence.

    Charlie: Nice to have you commenting on the site -- I think I have heard more from you since you went back east, as seems to be my m.o. I hope that I am wrong; I don't think that I am.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Ruth, You say, "The D's must stand up for mainstream American values.

    Wasn't that what the 2004 election was all about? It certainly wasn't about George Bush being a great President. I believe the vote was a vote on which party had the best idea of what "mainstream American values" represent. The result was the largest one party victory in the last 60 years (President, Senate, House, majority of state legislatures and Governors). The result was a significant increase over the 2000 election.

    That is why I mentioned that I thought the objection of Alito should be done in a positive way. The approach by Democrats over the last 5 years does not seem to be resonating well in "mainstream America". Samuel Alito is just not the "radical extremist" you suggest, any more than Ruth Bader Ginsburg (a former director for the ACLU) was/is, who was voted in something like 96-3.

  • Alvord (unverified)
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    Message to Senator Gordon Smith: Bush tossed you overboard to appease the radical right.

  • Ruth Adkins (unverified)
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    Bailie, the Republicans succeeded in fooling people into thinking that the 2004 election was about "values." The D's got outmaneuvered and with the notable exception of Howard Dean, did not stand up strong but simply let themselves get steam rollered.

    [Speaking of Dean, read his excellent statement from yes, yesterday's news cycle here.]

    My point is, for the D's to play nice and be wimpy out of fear of being labeled "obstructionist" or "partisan" is the absolutely wrong response. As Dean always says, if we continue to try to appease our opponents and be Republican Lite, we will continue to lose. We have got to stand up and fight for our values and make the case that yes, these ARE mainstream American values.

    Alito is an extremist, since (as appears to be the case) he is the radical right wing's top pick due to his likelihood to strike down legalized abortion. Again, a strong, consistent majority of Americans for years has remained in favor of reproductive rights/legalized abortion.

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    Perhaps the proper approach is for Dem senators to not ask a single question of the nominee regarding the right to privacy and simply make this argument...

    ...its clear from the nominees writings that he will likely vote to oveturn Roe v. Wade. Since Roe is such an important and case and effects so many people, and has been the law of the land for 30 years any changes to that basic law would be traumatic to the country and must be made through constitutional amendment, not by judicial fiat. We're past the point of discussing whether it was good law or not. We're now to the point where it is the law, it is longstanding precedent, and a single appointment to the USSC shouldn't alter that law.

    Therefore, unless I hear anything to the contrary from the nomimee, I, like most of the rest of the country, assume this nonimee will overturn Roe, and perhaps Griswald and other earlier precedents regarding the right to privacy. Based on that alone, I don't think my constituents would want this nomination to be confirmed, so I'm voting no. Which may be unfortunate because this nominee otherwise seems qualified. But this is where Dems and Rep's differ on Americans basic rights. Dems beleive in the constitutional right to privacy, a womens right to chose and will protect it....

    What can the Repub's say?? That Alito won't vote to overturn Roe? That its unfair to vote no because of one single case (What if the nominee thought Brown v Board of Ed was incorrectly decided, can you still argue that nominee is "otherwise qualified") That the right to privacy shouldn't be a litmus test? That a judicial nominee can't speculate on how they'll vote on a case that may come before the body (Dem's respond, he doesn't have to we all know how he'll vote on Roe and so does the right wing who were elated at this nomination)

    Put the turd in the Rep's pocket. Assume Roe will be overturned by this nominee and let Rep's explain that to the country while Dems vote no.

  • Robert Harris (unverified)
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    Perhaps the proper approach is for Dem senators to not ask a single question of the nominee regarding the right to privacy and simply make this argument...

    ...its clear from the nominees writings that he will likely vote to oveturn Roe v. Wade. Since Roe is such an important and case and effects so many people, and has been the law of the land for 30 years any changes to that basic law would be traumatic to the country and must be made through constitutional amendment, not by judicial fiat. We're past the point of discussing whether it was good law or not. We're now to the point where it is the law, it is longstanding precedent, and a single appointment to the USSC shouldn't alter that law.

    Therefore, unless I hear anything to the contrary from the nomimee, I, like most of the rest of the country, assume this nonimee will overturn Roe, and perhaps Griswald and other earlier precedents regarding the right to privacy. Based on that alone, I don't think my constituents would want this nomination to be confirmed, so I'm voting no. Which may be unfortunate because this nominee otherwise seems qualified. But this is where Dems and Rep's differ on Americans basic rights. Dems beleive in the constitutional right to privacy, a womens right to chose and will protect it....

    What can the Repub's say?? That Alito won't vote to overturn Roe? That its unfair to vote no because of one single case (What if the nominee thought Brown v Board of Ed was incorrectly decided, can you still argue that nominee is "otherwise qualified") That the right to privacy shouldn't be a litmus test? That a judicial nominee can't speculate on how they'll vote on a case that may come before the body (Dem's respond, he doesn't have to we all know how he'll vote on Roe and so does the right wing who were elated at this nomination)

    Put the turd in the Rep's pocket. Assume Roe will be overturned by this nominee and let Rep's explain that to the country while Dems vote no.

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    Becky sez:

    I don't think Roe v. Wade is really at risk. If it's gone, how will the right wing raise money? Abortion is their best cause for continual fundraising and voter turnout.

    I agree completely that this has been true for the past 25 years. Reagan, Bush I, and This One, have all had the tool to use to rally their base.

    I think that this time they painted themselves into a corner. I don't think for a minute that any justice will continue to uphold Roe, just to keep the fundraiser letters going out. Roberts is the only one of these so-called conservatives that might swing. I doubt Alito will. Like the scorpion in the old fable, they will overturn becuase it's their nature and when they do, the nearly 70% of the nation that favors some sort of abortion rights will be up for grabs.

    When abortion is outlawed in Idaho, Georgia, Mississippi etcetera, and women are forced to travel hundreds of miles into neighboring states, there will be a sea change in the electorate.

    <hr/>

    Ruth,

    I agree that we've gotta fight, but that's a done deal on this one. I've been as frustrated as you've been at the lack of spine on the elected Left, but we still need to play smart. You say:

    Strip searches of 10 year olds is not America.

    Actually, it IS America, subject to the proper execution of a search warrant. Here's an excerpt that I pulled from the Right wing Powerline Blog.

    The officers decided to search Jane and Mary Doe for contraband, and sent for the meter patrol officer. When she arrived, the female officer removed both Jane and Mary Doe to an upstairs bathroom. They were instructed to empty their pockets and lift their shirts. The female officer patted their pockets. She then told Jane and Mary Doe to drop their pants and turn around. No contraband was found. With the search completed, both Jane and Mary Doe were returned to the ground floor to await the end of the search.

    Judge Alito made it clear that he was not pleased by the fact that searches of this nature may be necessary. But, as in so many other instances, the problem doesn't arise from gratuitous malice on the part of police officers, it arises from the tactics of drug dealers:

    I share the majority’s visceral dislike of the intrusive search of John Doe’s young daughter, but it is a sad fact that drug dealers sometimes use children to carry out their business and to avoid prosecution. I know of no legal principle that bars an officer from searching a child (in a proper manner) if a warrant has been issued and the warrant is not illegal on its face. Because the warrant in this case authorized the searches that are challenged – and because a reasonable officer, in any event, certainly could have thought that the warrant conferred such authority – I would reverse.

    Alito has provided us with a target-rich environment. I suggest using one of the more outrageous examples. This one's too easy to spin as a partisan attack.

  • Sid (unverified)
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    Bailie-

    In 2004 Democrats gained seats in state legislatures and actually hold a two seat majority nationally in state legislatures. They gained seats in some of the reddest of states like Montana and Colorado. So you might want to check your numbers.

    At the national level Republicans won because they campaigned on fear, and Democrats were to fearful to challenge them especially since the corporate media is embedded with the Republican party (see Judy Miller.) The GOP did not in 2004 run on the issue of privatizing Social Security or of gutting valuable government agencies like FEMA. Had they done so, they would have lost.

    At their conventions they have to hide behind moderates like McCain, Ahnold and GOP moderates from the state of New York.

    It's all smoke and mirrors, Bailie. Nice try though to come on here to try to convince progressives not to fight. You must think we're stupid.

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    Jesse: The distance plus the monotony of hours of GOTV calls (which Im doing now) have been the decisive combo. Plus the provocative posts of course. But on Alito- Im hoping you've got this wrong too. He may eventurally be confirmed - but it's way to early to tell which way it's going to go. Plus, I deeply believe this is a fight worth having. The one way, however, we know Alito would be confirmed if progressives threw up their hands b/c it looked difficult.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)
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    Sorry folks, but we are just beginning to reap what we sowed.

    Any legitimate argument we ever had about Democrats representing mainstream opinion died on the evening of November 9, 2004, when we couldn't even deliver a victory over an unpopular sitting President with over 90% of our Democratic base turning out.

    We still haven't fired the bastards responsible for that fiasco.

    We're not going to win the White House, congress or even the state legislature until we get off of the stupid "I hate the Republican" train and start running candidates that not only our Democratic base can believe in, but ones that the non-partisan and former Democrats who voted for Bush and the Republicans can also believe in.

    Until then, election after election and appointment after appointment we'll continue to get what we paid for.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Sid, This is the reference I used: "According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, neither party can claim a wide margin of control of the country's statehouses. Republicans hold a 21-19 lead over the Democrats."

    If this is incorrect, could you show me the link to the correct data?

    I did not suggest, "progressives not to fight". I don't care.

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    Stan, you wrote: "We still haven't fired the bastards responsible for that fiasco."

    Um, actually, I believe we did.

  • Stan Pdgorny (unverified)
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    Kari,

    Actually, no. Dean lost against John Yawn Kerry, remember? In the worst way possible (It was his to lose and, well, he did).

    You confuse a simple change in tactics as a sweeping reform of our strategy. It is not. Over 90% of our Democratic base turned out in 2004, and still we lost. Turning out 91% or 92% in 2008 won't make the results any different for Democrats.

    The party and it's message is in need of a major enema to remove the craaaa...er, I mean blockage. Democrats in Montana, Colorado and Nevada (all red states) figured that one out.

    I'll probably get fried by the desciples for speaking blasphemy about the Prophet Dean, but all we did was replace one archetect of a failed strategy with another. It is unfortunate that it will take another defeat at the polls to realize that, if we ever do. Like the song says, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

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    Democrats in Montana, Colorado and Nevada (all red states) figured that one out.

    Sounds familiar.

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    Thanks, Charlie. Stan, I'm with ya - that's why I'm the guy behind that link Charlie gave ya.

    I'll just disagree with ya on whether Dean is the right guy to make it happen. I think he is.

    But, this post is about Judge Alito - so let's get back to that.

  • Blue (unverified)
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    The party and it's message is in need of a major enema to remove the craaaa...er, I mean blockage. Democrats in Montana, Colorado and Nevada (all red states) figured that one out.

    I'll probably get fried by the desciples for speaking blasphemy about the Prophet Dean, but all we did was replace one archetect of a failed strategy with another.

    If you deserve to get fried for anything it's for not recognizing that Howard Dean is one of the few Democrats, either nationally, or even in Oregon, who took the lessons learned from Colorado and Montana to heart.

    Unfortunately, Dean is a lonely voice within the party when it comes to exposing the "Culture of Corruption" in DC, and articulating the need for strong campaign finance laws -- which is a page right out of the Colorado/Montana playbooks where campaign finance reform passed overwhelmingly and was among the main issues that Democrats campaigned on in both states.

    It's an issue that could work for Democrats in Oregon as well, given the behavior of Karen Minnis and Wayne Scott.

    Unfortunately, based on what I saw in Medford a few months ago, and again at the Clackamas Central Committee, DPO apparatchiks like Jim Edmundson and Neel Pender are among the biggest obstacles to political reforms, including campaign finance reform, that will strengthen the grassroots and weaken corporate control over the Democratic Party and politics generally, Oregon.

    Fortunately, our central committee listened to the grassroots rather than the paid staffers like Neel, and voted overwhelmingly to support the campaign finance initiatives in Oregon -- petitions 8 and 37.

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    Jesse,

    You mistake my message. It is not that we roll over and vote Scalito in. It is that we fight smart and with our eye, not just on this nomination, but how the public will remember it in 12 months. If we just sound like whinners and with a total focus on abortion, we will lose.

    If we can put together a solid case that brings in a broad cross section of America we will win regardless of the out come of the nomination. If we can get enough Republican votes to force Cheney to the Senate we win. We need to make the case that Bush and the Republicans are controlled by people far outside the mainstream who could care less about the welfare of the average non-wealthy American, who want to take America back before the 20th century. The decision was not against a woman's right to an abortion, it was a decision that she remains the property of a husband, regardless of the state of the marriage. She has no identity of her own. Congress can't control the sales of machine guns if it wants? What else is buried in his decisions that just down't make sense to the public.

  • Richard Bolcavitch (unverified)
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    <h2>What 'we' are up against.</h2>

    NOVEMBER 1, 2005

    NEWS ANALYSIS By Lorraine Woellert

    Why Big Business Likes Alito

    The President's new Supreme Court nominee has been a staunch proponent of limits on legal liability, employee rights, and federal regulation It took mere minutes for a partisan divide to open over Samuel Alito. Even as President George W. Bush was introducing the Third Circuit Appeals Court judge as his pick to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, political activists on the Right and Left were girding for battle over Alito's positions on civil rights, affirmative action, and abortion.

    But one group is breathing a big sigh of relief: Corporate America. Of the dozen or so names on Bush's rumored short list of high court candidates, Alito ranked near the top for the boardroom set.

    continued . . .

  • Sid (unverified)
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    Bailie-

    Here's the link on the numbers. Scroll down and you'll find the info on state legislatures, but here's a tidbit from the article:

    In the races for control of state legislatures, the Democrats made strong gains. Of the 7,382 state legislature seats in the nation, nearly 80 percent were up for grabs. Prior to the election, Republicans held 64 more state seats nationwide than the Democrats; now the Democrats lead by 12. Democrats won the Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Washington senates and the Vermont and North Carolina houses.

  • David English (unverified)
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    I agree with those who say we must fight this nominee. If anyone thinks for a moment that this isn't a prelude to overturning Roe v. Wade then it's time to wake up. We are in some serious trouble and it's time to fight back.

  • Tom Civiletti (unverified)
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    AS important as Roe vs. Wade is, Shrub's appointments, Roberts, Miers, and Alito have been all about expanding the power of the mega-corps. I think Republican insiders realize that overturning Roe would help Democrats immensely. So, Shrub must promise the religious right what he dare not deliver.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Sid, Thank you. I knew the count was close and probably statically not relevant. Both of our statements were true I guess.

  • pam (unverified)
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    All those opposed to the Alito nomination need to be very vocal and take a stand--including all Pro-Choice senators and all those of us in a blue state with a R senator. Democrats have wimped out enough and let this administration seriously damage this country. It is more than time to stand for something. Be firmly progressive and aggressive and -- stop the defeatism.

    I think Gordon Smith needs to hear loud and clear, and repeatedly, that he represents OREGONIANS not RIGHT WING REPUBLICANS. The pressure should be unrelenting on him over this. Oregon clearly is Pro choice but I am not sure what the numbers are, or when the last polling on that issue was done. Does anyone have recent polling data on that??

    I, for one, am forming an Eastern Oregon Bi-partisan committee focused on Gordon Smith on this issue.

  • Erik Sørensen (unverified)
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    I can't say much for the folks throwing in the towel on the Alito nomination already, but I can say that I along with others, are going to stay in this fight until it is over.

    Look, replacing a mainstream conservative like Justice O'Connor with a far-right activist like Samuel Alito is dangerous to the rights and legal protections for all Oregonians. That is why PFAW-Oregon and a host of other Oregon organizations and individuals are going to stand firm in our demands that Senator Smith and Senator Wyden act not as a rubber stamp for President Bush’s nominee, but that they examine all the evidence about Judge Alito's record and make an independent judgment. I am confident, as others are, that a careful examination of Samuel Alito's record and judicial philosophy will ultimately lead to his rejection by the Senate.

    I did want to throw this out there for those that don't know already. The Oregon Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, a partnership of individuals and organizations, has been working over the past six months to encourage the nomination of moderate federal and Supreme Court justices who will uphold basic rights and freedoms for all individuals. As it goes with any campaign, we need your help to urge Senator Smith and Senator Wyden to do the job Oregonians elected them to do. There is too much at stake and they need to hear from all of us, if we have any chance to prevail.

    Please take the time to visit our website (www.oregonjudicialcoalition.org) to see what we have been doing. And, if you are interested, join our activist list and help participate in protecting our Courts from the clutches of the far-right. The more people we get speaking in a unified voice, the better chance we have to win this thing.

    And remember, throwing in the towel before a fight even starts never won anyone any battles.

    ~Erik

    Erik Sørensen, Oregon Coordinator People for the American Way/PFAW Foundation www.pfaw.org

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    Keep up the good work Erik!

    The initial data are in on "Alito's news cycle" from Gallup and it paints a much different picture than this post:

    Americans greet the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito "with about the same degree of enthusiasm they had for Harriet Miers, but less than they had for John Roberts," a new Gallup Poll shows.

    Three very important findings: If it becomes clear Alito would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade, Americans would not want the Senate to confirm him, by 53% to 37%.

    If most Senate Democrats oppose the nomination and decide to filibuster against Alito, 50% of Americans believe they would be justified, while 40% say they would not.

    If the Republicans pursue the "nuclear option" and eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominations, Americans would be evenly divided as to whether that tactic was justified -- 45% say it would be, 47% say it would not.

    This is not good news for the Bush administration and reflects the president's current political weakness and unpopularity.

    Here's the full report.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    Erik, Is your group, The Oregon Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary, fighting to get more Republicans on the Oregon Supreme Court, also?

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    Ballie, your problem isn't with Erik, it's with Oregon voters, who've rejected putting Republican ideologues (like Hunnicut and Byrne) on our state's highest court. Even though by rejecting Byrne, Bill Sizemore's personal lawyer, they did pass up an opportunity to get a jurist with a wealth of criminal law experience.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Bailie, Retiring Chief Justice Wallace Carson was my state senator before he was a justice--a Republican.

    When Republicans of his quality run, I will vote for them. But I didn't vote for Sizemore's lawyer and I wouldn't vote for anyone of Byrne's persuasion.

    Or were you suggesting a quota ? I thought Republicans opposed quotas.

  • Bailie (unverified)
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    LT, I wasn't suggesting anything really. It just seemed form the title of the organization, "The Oregon Coalition for a Fair and Independent Judiciary", that they would be fighting for a more balanced Oregon Supreme Court. Nothing more.

  • LT (unverified)
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    "that they would be fighting for a more balanced Oregon Supreme Court."

    I guess that depends on the definition of balance.

    I see a number of serious, qualified Justices on the Supreme Court. I only hope we have someone replace Carson who is equally intelligent, soft spoken, mainstream.

    I have no interest in "balance" if that means there needs to be a wingnut on the court (which Hunnicut or Byrne would have been).

    And don't make this partisan. Back years ago, Fadeley vs Cook was really not much of a choice--Jelderks should have been in that contest instead.

  • Tenskwatawa (unverified)
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    Jesse, I think you need a break, spend a week doing farm chores (at a Bed & Burden ?), talk with a hundred strangers. A prescription to treat defeatism.

    Bailie, surely "don't care" don't mind "not suggesting anything" anywhere else.

    Gordon Smith, I say simply you are not welcome to walk on this land of my state. Please, traitor Smith, you have no home, you have no right. Live your shame away.

    Alito is perverted to a neurotic disability. He is injudicious and unqualified to judge America.

    What I see happening is hardly about what being a Democrat means or what being a Republican means. Simply, people feel the current leaders are degenerates, indecent and unacceptable. No moral person is going to work for their dishonor; those who are associated in the Republican treason are feeling increasing social stigma, such as nazis in defeat felt from civil Germans. The imperative to purge Bush preoccupies everything, and it is welling so fast it crests even before Alito matters, or can get hearing, and never does.

    At Al Franken's booktalk Sunday, the stranger beside me insisted himself to confess, was deeply troubled and wanted a clean breast of it, that he was "a 70-year-old lifelong Republican -- a McCall Republican -- but this bunch now is wrong." "War criminals," I said. "That's right," he chipped, "they should face the law and be put in prison. It's unAmerican." He said over and over that he wasn't one of them, that his life had been different from now during all the years he had thought of himself as, labelled himself, a Republican.

    Saying he "listens to Al Franken a lot," he was out of his home at the rainy night meeting "to join the people."

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