July 20, 2005

Roberts

Excellent, excellent pick. More soon.

Update: The day job consumes all...no blog for you! Back later, probably next week. Apologies.

Posted by Gregory at July 20, 2005 02:03 AM | TrackBack (2)
Comments

Excellent, if you want a partisan hack who thinks its okay to spit on women seeking birth control counselling...

Excellent, if you want a partisan hack who was involved in the Florida 2000 elections debacle.

Excellent, if you want a partisan hack that is so unethical he worked for uber-hack Ken Starr

Excellent, if you want a someone who hates veterans so much he thinks they don't have any rights.

Excellent, if you think that handcuffing a twelve year old girl for eathing french fries in the "wrong" place is proper police procedure.

Excellent, if you think that being married to a radical right wing anti-choice activist isn't going to influence how you vote on questions of settled law.

Excellent, if you want a partisan hack who had contributed tens upon tens of thousands of dollars to right-wing political candidates and causes (according to the right-wing "Joe Wilson" standard, this fact alone should disqualify him.)

The fact that someone is smart does not mean they aren't partisan hacks with no respect for settled law, and no concern for Constitutional rights.

Of course, you'll never need an abortion, Greg. And if someone you love does need one, you can afford to send them to Canada so that they can get one safely and legally. You've got enough money that you don't have to worry about the impact of another right wing political hack on the Supreme Court means.

You expressed concern about the US use of torture --- do you really think that this Roberts guy would do anything but heartily endorse Gonzales' theory that if the President wants someone tortured, he has every right in the world to authorize that torture as Commander in Chief?

Look at Roberts record, then tell me that you are confident that Roberts would not find some sort of legal excuse to make it possible for the United States Government to torture and abuse people it considers "enemies" without providing them any legal means for innocents to avoid that torture.

Because if you aren't absolutely confident that this guy won't acquiesce (if not endorse) torture, all of your hand-wringing about torture is meaningless.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 20, 2005 12:02 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Lukasiak's endorsement looks good.

President Kerry should not have nominated Roberts.

Posted by: TedM at July 20, 2005 01:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

As George Pickett discovered 142 summers ago, charging directly at the enemy is not always a wise tactic.

It will be interesting to see how this confirmation develops. Liberal interest groups will find it difficult not to try and make a case like that posted upthread; they haven't been raising money for years off pitches involving the Supreme Court not to fight anyone Bush names for the Court. But they'll find it tremendously difficult to maintain party unity, which would be important not only in the Senate but also to avoid this issue becoming a subject of recrimination and rancor between the Democratic left and the rest of the party.

A Supreme Court vacancy right before the 2008 election make prompt a different calculation, but at this point in time Bush is in a very strong position. He has a Senate GOP majority and over three years left in his term, so basically he wins on something like this unless he beats himself by choosing someone with an obvious black mark on his or her record. Those Democrats who do not feel bound to do and say what their party's organized constituencies order them to -- and there are a few of them in the Senate -- understand this. They remember that a Democratic President was in a similar position in 1993, and got two liberal Court nominees confirmed without undue controversy. They will figure they should fight the battles they can win, and a few of them may even reason that adding some youth and intellectual firepower to this Court isn't a bad thing even if this nominee doesn't share all their views.

Roberts is a good choice.

Posted by: JEB at July 20, 2005 03:41 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Excellent, if you think that handcuffing a twelve year old girl for eathing french fries in the "wrong" place is proper police procedure.

No, the very first sentence of the ruling stresses that the police procedure was stupid, no one was happy with it, and that it had since been changed. However, not everything which is a bad idea is unConstitutional.

Given that home rule for DC is reality, if the heavily-Democratic District of Columbia wants to outlaw people eating food in certain places, it's hard to see how one could rule that it violates the Constitution. Indeed, the ruling was unanimous. Not every stupid policy is unConstitutional. That Justice Roberts understands that makes me more likely to support him.

And Ken Starr is hardly an "uber-hack." After all, it was Ken Starr who was trusted enough by both sides of the aisle in order to investigate Republican Senator Bob Packwood.

Posted by: John Thacker at July 20, 2005 04:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well I wasn't sure about Roberts - but if Luka hates him that much - well - I am now all for him


In other news - Red Ken has determined who is the blame for the mass murder of the citizens of the UK on 7/7....and its Israel, America and the West - in that order

"“You’ve just had 80 years of Western intervention into predominantly Arab lands because of a Western need for oil. We’ve propped up unsavory governments, we’ve overthrown ones that we didn’t consider sympathetic,” Livingstone said.

“I think the particular problem we have at the moment is that in the 1980s ... the Americans recruited and trained Osama bin Laden, taught him how to kill, to make bombs, and set him off to kill the Russians to drive them out of Afghanistan.

“They didn’t give any thought to the fact that once he’d done that, he might turn on his creators,” he told BBC radio. "

I mean really - did anyone familiar with this guy really take his post 7/7 comments seriously

This is what he WANTED to say on July 8th

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at July 20, 2005 04:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

No, the very first sentence of the ruling stresses that the police procedure was stupid, no one was happy with it, and that it had since been changed. However, not everything which is a bad idea is unConstitutional.

Roberts endorsed the constitutionality of arresting a 12 year old girl, putting her in handcuff, transporting her to the police station, and holding her for three hours, while an adult would merely be given a ticket.

His reasoning was that Washington DC had a compelling interest in ensuring that this 12 year old girl's parents were aware that she had eaten a French fry on a subway platform, and thus the difference in treatment of an adult and a 12 year old girl was not a violation of the equal protection clause.

There may well be times when there is a compelling state interest in giving a ticket to an adult, but handcuffing and detaining a child is justified, when the same offense is committed (Like, if a twelve year old is driving a car, and doesn't signal before turning....) But eating a French fry on a subway platform is not one of those reasons. And any judge who doesn't recognise that simple fact should not be on the US Supreme Court.


Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 20, 2005 07:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well I wasn't sure about Roberts - but if Luka hates him that much - well - I am now all for him

then you better reconsider, because I don't hate him "that much".

I was objecting to the fact that Greg calls this guy an "excellent" choice, and there are lots and lots of reasons to find him far from "excellent."

From a purely "political" standpoint, because the GOP is actively engaged in promoting this guy as an "excellent" choice, the Democrats need to respond to his nomination by raising serious questions about his suitability. Those questions can and should be answered during the hearings process --- but its makes no sense to not point out that this guy shows all the signs of being no more than a highly intelligent political/corporate hack, and let him prove that he isn't.

There is no reason for the Democrats to give this guy a pass at this point unless he passed the "consultation precedent test" --- i.e. is this someone that the Senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended to Bush as someone that would be an acceptable nominee? If it turns out that Roberts was on Pat Leahy's "short list", then the Dems should just roll over.

Otherwise, they need to leave their options open at this point, and to do so they need to establish a foundation now for objecting to Roberts once all the facts are known.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 20, 2005 08:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

This is somewhat off topic, but I gotta know:

Why do democrats NEED to establish a foundation for their opposition BEFORE all the facts are known?

Wouldn't it be wiser to do it the other way around?

Posted by: byrd at July 20, 2005 08:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink


Lieberman said there will be no filibuster... Last night and today mark the first time liberals (many of them) have come face-to-face with the fact George W. Bush won the last election. I expect Mr. Justice Roberts to be confirmed by a vote of about 75-25, after as much stalling as does not get counterproductive.

Posted by: exguru at July 20, 2005 08:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

p.lukasiak –

You’re not responding to the substance of John Thacker’s remarks. In fact, you go on to give an example of where the state could reasonably treat a 12 year-old girl in that manner. As the court found, and as your example shows, that act was not unconstitutional.

The court (in a 3-0 opinion, IIRC) disagreed with the policy, but not the right of DC to implement that policy.

It’s not the job of the courts to stop Senators from saying something stupid and unhelpful, but to rule whether that speech is protected from censorship. Likewise, it’s not the job of the courts to prohibit lawmakers from implementing poor policies, but to rule whether those policies (good or bad) violate the Constitution.

If we let the Supreme Court decide good vs. bad, rather than legal vs. illegal we’ll not only overburden and over-empower these nine individuals, but we’ll fail in our duty as citizens to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.

It is exactly these people who understand the role of the courts who should serve on them.

Posted by: kevin at July 20, 2005 10:00 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka, you are wrong. The child in Hedgepeth raised two arguments, neither of which required the defendants to show that they had a compelling interest in arresting this unfortunate girl.

Plaintiff's first argument is that the DC law/policy violated her equal protection rights b/c it required juveniles to be arrested for eating french frys, while only sanctioning adults who violated this law with a citation. The plaintiff argued that such disparate treatment failed to meet heightened scrutiny. Judge Roberts rejected this argument because such laws only have to survive the low threshold of a rational basis test. He explained that age is not a suspect classification--and it is well settled that laws which treat people different on the basis of age do not trigger any heightened review. Accordingly, the defendants merely needed to show that "any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification." Such tests are notoriously easy to meet. Hence, unless I missed something, Roberts DID NOT endorse the view that DC had to have a compelling interest in treating children differently than adults.

Second, plaintiff argues that her fourth amendment rights were violated. This argument was rejected because it was undisputed that the child had violated the statute and therefore the police had probable cause to arrest her. According to the Supreme Court "if an officer has probable cause to believe that an individual has committed even a very minor criminal offense in his presence, he may, without violating the Fourth Amendment, arrest the offender." Game, set, match. There was NOTHING Roberts could do to get around this.

Posted by: jk at July 20, 2005 10:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Judge Roberts rejected this argument because such laws only have to survive the low threshold of a rational basis test.

in other words, Judge Roberts thought there was a rational basis for giving an adult a ticket for eating a french fry on a subway platform, but arresting, handcuffing, and sending to jail for three hours a 12 year old girl for eating a french fry on the same subway platform.

Sorry, but "compelling interest" or "rational basis", its still pretty damned obvious that this is ridiculous. And its even more ridiculous when you consider the nature of that "rational basis" (that the state wanted to insure that the parents of the 12 year old girl KNEW she had eaten a French fry on a subway platform.)

Seriously, do you really think it was the intent of the DC City Council when they passed the law in question that 12 years old girls be arrested, handcuffed, and held by the police for three hours for eating a French Fry on the subway platform?

Do you really think that DC City Council wanted this girl treated this way for eating a French fry on a subway platform because she might give a false name if issued a citation, and therefore her parents would not find out about her heinous conduct?

Maybe you might want a judge on the Supreme Court capable of exercising a little bit of common sense, rather than finding any excuse to extend and justify any use/abuse of police powers that can be contemplated under existing laws.


Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 20, 2005 10:24 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Byrd –

The far left has used “right-wing judges who will immediately overturn Roe v. Wade” as their best fund-raising slogan for some time. I can’t tell you how much mail I get with those words on the outside of the envelope.

First, the money was supposed to stop Republicans from being elected, but that didn’t work.

Now the money is supposed to stop judges from being confirmed.

The problem is if the money can’t do either of these things, then why would people continue to send it? These interest groups must either pronounce Roberts fit to serve or block his confirmation. Anything else is a political loss for them and will impact their ability to continue raising money and having influence. When viewed that way, it’s much easier to block Bush’s choice – good selection or not – than to invalidate their own thesis that Republicans would only nominate “extremist” judges.

Hence, for some people the facts about the candidate are subordinate to the pre-scripted talking points.

Posted by: kevin at July 20, 2005 10:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka, you are overreacting. The fundamental role of an appellate court is to determine whether the law was correctly applied by the trial court, not to apply its own feelings on the matter. The appellate court is not there to apply common sense or to reorder the rules to suit the particular situation. We are a nation of laws not people. The appellate court does not review the evidence and is bound by the factual findings of the trial court which found that the young girl had broken the law. (So long as those findings are factually supported.) It only reaches the Constitutional question when that question is framed by the facts. JK above, using the traditional analysis that has obtained for more than a century, disposes of the Constitutional claim in precisely the correct way. Once there is no Constitutional issue, the appellate court's role is to discern the intent of the legislature and ascertain whether the trial court properly applied that intent. It is most decidedly not to make an independent determination whether the legislature was wise or whether the particular law is stupid. Ad hoc decisions at the appellate level are highly destructive of the rule of law.

On the abortion issue, and I am strongly pro-choice by the way, Roberts wrote a brief on behalf of a client that had nothing whatsoever to do with that issue. He was asked by the appellate panel if his position meant that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. He said it was - again not as an expression of what Robert's opinion was, but rather as an argument on behalf of a client on a completely unrelated issue, but one where some of the underlying principles of Roe were in conflict with that client's position. As someone who appeared in court hundreds of times, I often had to make arguments that supported a client's cause but which did not reflect my own opinion on the issue. Roberts stated at his confirmation hearing for the DC Circuit that he viewed Roe v. Wade as settled law.

Where you truly cross the line is to characterize him as a political "hack." His academic and professional record puts him in the very top of the profession where he could probably have any position in any law firm or government agency that he might like. He sat in one of the most difficult appellate districts and apparently was affirmed on every decision that reached the Supreme Court. Further, he had argued before the Supreme Court more than 30 times. I doubt whether there are ten lawyers in the country would could make that claim. He would have to be awfully stupid to throw all of his accomplishments out the window by being what you call a political hack. I think such characterization sheds little light on the subject and amounts to little more than a gratuitous insult.

I have a personal note. I also clerked for Henry Friendly on the Second Circuit for the 1968-1969 term. Judge Friendly was a giant among the judiciary and would have been and should have been on the Supreme Court had Nixon not been such an anti-semite. Judge Friendly was widely considered to be conservative, but in fact, he ruled in favor of draft resisters at a time when that was difficult to do. (US v. Purvis, US v. Breen) It probably cost him a seat on the Supreme Court. What I am pointing out is that there was a strong moderate element in Judge Friendly's perspective and he was such a strong influence on the law and on his clerks, that I suspect that influence is present in Judge Roberts.

Posted by: Michael Pecherer at July 21, 2005 02:01 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

It only reaches the Constitutional question when that question is framed by the facts.

the facts are that a 12 year old girl was arrested, handcuffed, and subjected to the vagaries of the Washington DC criminal justice system for three hours --- for a "crime" for which an adult would be given a ticket. Explain the "rational basis" for this overwhelming disparity of treatment, and you confront the question of the intent of the law --- and to suggest that it was the intent of the DC City Council that 12 year old girls be subjected to this treatment in order to make sure that their parents are told about the "crime" of eating a French fry on a subway stop is rather absurd.

Roberts wrote a brief on behalf of a client that had nothing whatsoever to do with that issue.

He also helped write a brief that was directly related to the abortion issue, which stated that Rove v Wade was "wrongfully decided." And its disingenous in the extreme to suggest that a political appointee it the upper reaches of the US Solicitor's office is just "a client." This was not a case of some career lawyer being assigned a brief at random. (Not to mention the fact that his wife is an anti women-rights activist. )

Face it.... there is no way that Operation Rescue would heartily endorse this guy unless it had received assurances that he was willing to overturn Roe v. Wade. His "settled law" comments are irrelevant to what he will do as a Supreme Court justice -- as an Appellate Court Justice, he had to rely on "settled law", but on the Supreme Court, he can do whatever the hell he wants. And his record demonstrates that he doesn't give a damn about the rights of individuals---except when it comes to maximizing corporate profits for individual stockholders.

Where you truly cross the line is to characterize him as a political "hack." His academic and professional record puts him in the very top of the profession where he could probably have any position in any law firm or government agency that he might like. He sat in one of the most difficult appellate districts and apparently was affirmed on every decision that reached the Supreme Court. Further, he had argued before the Supreme Court more than 30 times. I doubt whether there are ten lawyers in the country would could make that claim. He would have to be awfully stupid to throw all of his accomplishments out the window by being what you call a political hack. I think such characterization sheds little light on the subject and amounts to little more than a gratuitous insult.

You seem to be suggesting that intelligence is somehow incompatible with being a political hack --- but amorality and intelligence are far from mutually exclusive. The number of arguments before the Supreme Court is attributed to his political appointment in the Solicitors office under Bush I. He's part of the corporate/political right wing legal establishment --- when the GOP is not in power, he goes to work in corporate law, and when the GOP returns to power, he gets political appointments where he can impose his corporate agenda on our legal system.

He was also significantly involved in the legal atrocities attendent upon the Florida 2000 elections, and participated in the outrageous persecution of Bill Clinton by uber-hack Ken Starr.

He has consistently contributed to right wing candidates and causes (in the most recent election cycle, her contributed to a raft of GOP candidates, and not a single Democrat) --- and belongs to some very right wing organizations including the deceptively named "National Legal Center for the Public Interest", which has nothing to do with Public Interest law, and exists solely to enhance the power of corporations at the expense of the rights of individuals.) His record is consistently opposed to any environmental regulation if it interferes with corporate profitsl There is nothing in his resume that suggests that his goals are anything other than money and power ---

The guy is a right-wing political/corporate hack --- and he never would have been nominated by Bush if he wasn't one. His far right wing views (including an atrocious opinion that would have forced students to choose between their attending high school graduation, or listening to the preaching/prayer of whatever religious wingnut the school board decided to impose on that ceremony) led to the Democrats twice refusing to consider him when they controlled the Senate Judiciary Committee.

And, Roberts seems to believe that the Geneva Conventions don't have anything to do with individual rights, when the whole purpose of the Conventions is to ensure that the basic human rights of individuals are not violated. He's precisely the kind of judge that would endorse torture as long as the "commander in chief" has arbitrarily decided that someone is an "illegal combatant" (except, of course, if that CiC is Bill Clinton--- then Roberts would want to see him hounded out of office for the most minor offenses.)

What I am pointing out is that there was a strong moderate element in Judge Friendly's perspective and he was such a strong influence on the law and on his clerks, that I suspect that influence is present in Judge Roberts.

and what I'm pointing out is that this is a judge whose record shows a compulsion to ignore the rights of individuals unless they have money and power. He thinks that there is a Constitutional basis for handcuffing 12 year old girls for eating a french fry. He thinks that school boards should be allowed to impose their religious beliefs on high school students --- forcing those students to choose between participating in one of the most important events of their young lives, or being subjected to whatever theocratic oddity that happens to be in vogue with the school board at the time. He rejects the notion that a treaty designed to protect the rights of individuals actually provides those individuals with any protection. He thinks that when Congress passes a law allowing Americans who were tortured by Saddam Hussein to be compensated should be ignored when the President decides to spend that money on no-bid contracts to Halliburton.

Maybe that is your idea of a "moderate", but its not mine.


Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 21, 2005 12:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Do not for a moment attempt to apply logic or reason to actions of the DC City Council. It is an absolute waste of time.


Posted by: WiseOlBird at July 21, 2005 02:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka, the task of the appellate court in this case was to determine whether DC Council had a rational basis for treating juveniles differently than adults. This means the defendants merely needed to suggest "any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification." The question therefore is whether any conceivable reason(s) exist for why the DC Council would want to arrest a juvenile for eating food, while merely giving an adult a citation. Any half-way intelligent ten year old could come up with some reasons to justify the different treatment. But that is not to say that the ten year old, you, me, or Judge Roberts would have to agree with the reasons provided. Yet such disagreements are to be hashed out by the Councilmembers, and not judges, at least not in these circumstances where age is not a suspect classification.

In other words, the focus is not on whether the DC Counsci thought that this child should be arrested for eating a french fry, but whether the DC had a rational basis for enacting a law that provided different sanctions for children than adults.

Oh, how is Roberts "anti-woman"?

Posted by: jk at July 21, 2005 03:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka, the task of the appellate court in this case was to determine whether DC Council had a rational basis for treating juveniles differently than adults. This means the defendants merely needed to suggest "any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification." The question therefore is whether any conceivable reason(s) exist for why the DC Council would want to arrest a juvenile for eating food, while merely giving an adult a citation. Any half-way intelligent ten year old could come up with some reasons to justify the different treatment. But that is not to say that the ten year old, you, me, or Judge Roberts would have to agree with the reasons provided. Yet such disagreements are to be hashed out by the Councilmembers, and not judges, at least not in these circumstances where age is not a suspect classification.

In other words, the focus is not on whether the DC Counsci thought that this child should be arrested for eating a french fry, but whether the DC had a rational basis for enacting a law that provided different sanctions for children than adults.

Oh, how is Roberts "anti-woman"?

Posted by: jk at July 21, 2005 03:17 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"There is no reason for the Democrats to give this guy a pass at this point unless he passed the "consultation precedent test" --- i.e. is this someone that the Senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended to Bush as someone that would be an acceptable nominee? If it turns out that Roberts was on Pat Leahy's "short list", then the Dems should just roll over.

Otherwise, they need to leave their options open at this point, and to do so they need to establish a foundation now for objecting to Roberts once all the facts are known."


Hilarious - as usual

So if I understand this correctly - President Clintons USSC picks were from a list provided to him by Newt Gingrich...and if the person chosen did not come from this list then it would have been prudent for the RNC to immediatly begin to cast asperions on whoever the candidate was - prior to the facts being known about the candidate

And you really wonder why the Democrats are becoming more of a laughingstock each day?

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at July 21, 2005 05:20 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

jk, he is anti-woman because he is. He is also a hack because he was appointed by Bush, who wouldn't have appointed him otherwise.

Lines of argument like these give a clue as to how the confirmation process will go. Normally a successful fight to block a prominent nominee requires a hook: John Tower's alleged drinking, Lani Guinier's paper trail. It doesn't have to be fair, but it does have to be there. Roberts doesn't seem to have a hook that can be used against him, other than that he is a conservative. Because a number of organized Democratic interests have raised money for years based on pitches involving the Supreme Court they will fight Roberts as they would anyone President Bush nominated, and because a number of Democratic Senators will always do what they are told to do by "the groups" Roberts will not get the 90+ votes for confirmation Clinton's nominees for the Court got in the '90s. Barring the emergence of a hook that means something to the activists, though, Roberts should be confirmed by a wide margin.

Posted by: JEB at July 21, 2005 05:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The question therefore is whether any conceivable reason(s) exist for why the DC Council would want to arrest a juvenile for eating food, while merely giving an adult a citation.

no, the question is not whether there was a conceivable reason for the law itself --- but whether the manner in which the law was enforced represented a violation of basic rights found in the Constitution---and whether those extreme measures were consistent with the intent of the law itself.

Clearly, they weren't, otherwise the City Council would not have changed the law. This was an egregious abuse of police powers and discretion performed under a law passed by the City Council, and Roberts decided there was nothing wrong with that abuse.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 21, 2005 09:59 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Heh, Sorry, I just think it's cute when Paul writes the word "clearly"


"Poppin' an e-Cap in P. Lukasiak
by Joe Katzman at April 24, 2005 05:38 AM

Paul Lukasiak just got himself completely IP banned from Winds as a result of his repeated failure to respect author/moderator Lewy14's explicit instructions in (appropriately for p.l.) our recent Hatewatch thread. Future comments that do manage to get through will be deleted.

Our gratitude for the exceptional contribution Paul made to President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election has its limits."

http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/006718.php

Posted by: Tommy G at July 22, 2005 02:38 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Heh, Sorry, I just think it's cute when Paul writes the word "clearly"


"Poppin' an e-Cap in P. Lukasiak
by Joe Katzman at April 24, 2005 05:38 AM

Paul Lukasiak just got himself completely IP banned from Winds as a result of his repeated failure to respect author/moderator Lewy14's explicit instructions in (appropriately for p.l.) our recent Hatewatch thread. Future comments that do manage to get through will be deleted.

Our gratitude for the exceptional contribution Paul made to President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election has its limits."

http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/006718.php

Posted by: Tommy G at July 22, 2005 02:40 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Although I often find myself in disagreement with Mr. Lukasiak, I think he is a valuable poster on this blog and I think he brings important perspectives to the table. I would be profoundly disappointed if his postings here were limited in any way.

The beauty of this site is that there are posters from many political and social perspectives. I am forced by opinions different from my own to think a great deal about what I contribute and to preview my posts several times before I fire them off.

I will always criticize personal attacks and insults regardless of what part of the spectrum they come from.

And in the end, I find the commentary here very stimulating and I have this perhaps naive belief that if we all stay at it, we will be helping the elevate the political debate generally from the rather low level from which it seems to proceed these days.

Michael

Posted by: Michael Pecherer at July 22, 2005 05:38 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

What is this, foaming at the mouth day at BD? All this repetitious shrieking on the part of a particular poster gets tiresome. If this is the type of opposition Roberts will get during the hearings then his confirmation is a sure thing.

Someone so full of hatred is doing his brain no favors. Understanding that he is representative of many of the most influential persons in the media and on university campuses can be discouraging for any thoughtful person. Nevertheless that is the challenge that intelligent persons of good will face. An establishment stocked with people whose lives revolve around ideological hatred.

Good luck with that.

Posted by: Reginald at July 22, 2005 02:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I do agree there is some ideologically-based hatred floating around out there. Pretty clearly it comes from both ends of the ideological spectrum, though depending on the issue one or the other end may express itself more loudly.

My personal view, though, is that a lot of what sounds like expressions of hatred are merely efforts to conform to convention. Especially in the blogosphere, the great majority of people saying negative things about John Roberts now had never heard of him a week ago, and draw their specific criticisms from sources they referred to only in the last couple of days. He is a Bush nominee, so he must be opposed; this would be true no matter what his record or background had been; and, most importantly, current convention dictates that opposition to his nomination will not register unless it is delivered in unambiguous and unqualified language.

It should go without saying that most vocal supporters of Roberts in the blogosphere -- though not in legal circles and in Washington, where he is well known personally -- have expressed themselves in the same way, and for the same reasons. Indeed, such skepticism as can be found among conservative commentators has mostly to do with the idea that Roberts has not aroused even more outrage among liberals, outrage from liberals being the recognized signal that an action, statement or nominee is truly conservative.

Now, I will confess that the vehement tone and virulent invective an issue like this generates may not bother me as much because I am able to ignore it most of the time. It is also true that while I understand the desire of most people to stay close to the herd and follow convention both as to what they say and how they say it, I have never seen any good reason why I should do such a thing. But in the broadest possible terms we live in a very large country with a dynamic and rapidly changing economy and culture, and in such a situation a substantial amount of alienation is almost inevitable. Alienation can express itself in a number of ways, reflexive and at times almost deranged-sounding expressions of hostility being only one of them. I can't say this is really a good thing, but most of it will pass.

Posted by: JEB at July 22, 2005 03:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Quite an interesting run for Luka -

LUKASIAK (possibly with Lechliter and Heldt's help)

USA Today's 6 doc-pdf inadvertently showed me how the forgeries/fabrications were created:

USA Today's set of the fake docs are here.
Scroll down below the picture to: "(Related items: Text of the four new memos - See the memos in PDF)" Click on PDF. There are actually 6 memos all in one pdf. (CBS received all 6, but only published 4 of them.)

Per USA Today, these 6 were PERSONALLY obtained by a USA Today reporter from Burkett who was visiting friends in Montana on the night CBS aired the "AWOL/Fortunate Son" story.

This is important because it means that set of 6 was not faxed. USA Today got copies closer to the first "draft". If you have a laptop (i.e. plasma screen), you can easily see the cut-and-paste crop markings around the text, the signatures and the various square "dots" all over the pages. Move your screen angle a little back and forth to get darker and lighter versions and you'll see it.

You can also see these same markings on a 7th document at Paul Lukasiak's glcq.com AWOL Project site: here. (First referenced here at wizbang on 9/18/04 and later.) Paul Lukasiak's site also has the mis-acronym "OETR" seven times on one page and elsewhere at glcq.com.

So, the new data from the Thornburgh Report is that Lukasiak contacted Mapes. One question is whether Lukasiak was a DNC or Kerry campaign worker or volunteer.

I see Lukasiak has been a researcher, writing pro-DNC, anti-Bush articles at least as early as 2001 regarding Florida 2000 recounts at www.failureisimpossible.com/topicindex.htm . The articles hew to the Soros line: racism claims, voting rights for felons.

I'd like to know who signs Lukasiak's paychecks.

Posted by: BR at January 11, 2005 10:07 AM


------------------------------


The way I see it, and I think I articulated this to Joe in an e-mail about a week ago, is that you can think of this blog as a restaurant. We really don't give a damn what you order or talk about over dinner, but if you start throwing things at the waiters, threatening the chef, and so on we are well within our rights to show you the door. And while I thought that Lukasiak was able to make good points on occasion, his hysterical and over-the-top reactions to anyone who dared to question him didn't exactly add to a productive conversation. This led me to the conclusion pretty early on that he was spoiling for a fight so he could demonstrate his presumed intellectual superiority to us dumb right-wingers. Well if that was indeed his goal, congradulations, he got his fight.

He lost.


Posted by: Pogue Mahone at July 22, 2005 03:47 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Pogue -- if what you say is true about markings on the "seventh document" on my site matching the six "Killian memos" posted by USA Today, you actually may have managed to prove the authenticity of the six memos. You see, I know where each and every document I have posted came from....and except for the six Killian memos, there is absolutely no question as to their authenticity. So please provide me with all the details, because if what you say about the "matching" is both true and significant, you've just cracked the case.

(aside.... I'm far less insulted by the wingnut claims that I was somehow involved in the forgery of the Killian memos, than in the suggestion that I would be capable of such an "obvious" forgery.)

(oh, and for the record --- I did not "contact" Mapes (nor does the Thornburgh report say that --- Thornburgh/Boccardi got lots of stuff wrong, but not that). Mapes contacted me after learning about my research from a third party. Do try and get your facts straight, Pogue.)


Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 22, 2005 04:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka/Paul,

I was addressing the equal protection argument. You, apparently, were disagreeing with Robert's 4th Amendment analysis. Well, here's my attempt to explain where this argument fails.

You contend that "the question is not whether there was a conceivable reason for the law itself --- but whether the manner in which the law was enforced represented a violation of basic rights found in the Constitution---and whether those extreme measures were consistent with the intent of the law itself."

The law stated that juveniles shall be arrested for eating. The child here ate. Therefore the officer was entitled to arrest her. It's that simple. The Supreme Court has recently held that it does not violate the Constitution if an officer who has probable cause arrests an individual that breaks a minor law like failure to wear a seatbelt. The Supreme Court held, "if an officer has probable cause to believe that an individual has committed even a very minor criminal offense in his presence, he may, without violating the Fourth Amendment, arrest the offender." That is exactly what happened here.

Posted by: jk at July 22, 2005 05:45 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Wow - Does everyone here see Paul screaming at Phantoms?

That wasn't Mahone's post - it was cut and paste from a discussion of months ago. But Paul's so clever and rational..except that somehow he couldn't figure that out?

Greg, this guy is seriously unhinged. "...brings important perspectives to the table"? Yeah, like over at glcq.com? Please.

Try googling "p.lukasiak" and "banned". He's nothing more than an operative and not a very good one at that.

Posted by: Tommy G at July 22, 2005 10:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Wow - Does everyone here see Paul screaming at Phantoms?

That wasn't Mahone's post - it was cut and paste from a discussion of months ago. But Paul's so clever and rational..except that somehow he couldn't figure that out?

Greg, this guy is seriously unhinged. "...brings important perspectives to the table"? Yeah, like over at glcq.com? Please.

Try googling "p.lukasiak" and "banned". He's nothing more than an operative and not a very good one at that.

Posted by: Tommy G at July 22, 2005 10:10 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Supreme Court has recently held that it does not violate the Constitution if an officer who has probable cause arrests an individual that breaks a minor law like failure to wear a seatbelt.

J/k....

the question is not whether there is a "reasonable" legal argument that supports Roberts decision. The question is whether there was a reasonable legal argument that recognized the fact that it is ridiculous to arrest, handcuff and detaining for three hours a 12 year old girl for eating a French fry.

The "seat belt" precedent you cited did not compel Roberts to use that case as precedental, because the facts in the case were significantly different. In the "seat belt" case, the decision was made by the officer to arrest the driver was discretionary, and there were extenuating rationales for that decision (not only the driver, but two children, were not wearing seat belts.) The French Fry case was different in that the although the law allowed for such treatment, it also allowed for discretion to be exercised by the police---but a policy was temporarily instituted that removed the discretion of the police --- forcing the officer to, in fact, conduct an "unreasonable seizure" of the child.

The point is that what happened was ridiculous --- and everyone (including, I hope, you) recognize that not only is it absurd on its own merits to handcuff a 12 year old for eating a french fry, the policy meant that an undercover police officer was not available to respond to real criminal behavior for hours because of this arrest. I want a judge who is going to see if there is a possible rationale in the law that prevents this kind of absurd thing from being sanctioned under the law. Roberts is obviously not that person.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 22, 2005 11:58 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

...and just like that, Paul is suddenly an advocate for a superior authority to intervene in a subordinate legal authority's jurisdiction.
Presumably the judge he wants would not be the kind of entity that would spend 10 years and 14 different unenforced "rulings", chiding the subordinate authority into compliance with this hostile, interventionist ideal of his.

"No Blood for Grease" his detractors would chant in the street. It'd be the wrong ruling, for the wrong food, at the wrong age...

Posted by: Tommy G at July 23, 2005 05:50 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka,

I hope I have made clear that I think what happened to this child is an outrage--for all of the reasons you have cited. Moreover, your last post is a good one.

I still disagree, however, b/c the wisdom of this law, at least in this context, was not under review. Nor was the discretion of the officer. The blame here lies not with Roberts, the DC Circuit, or the District Court judge, but the DC Counsel.

Given the arguments that were before the DC Circuit, I just don't think there was anything he could do, unless that is, Roberts wanted to be entirely result oriented.

As for the seatbelt case, the officer there did have discretion to arrest, and chose to. The Supremes said this was fine to do so long as he had probable cause. This case is even easier, b/c the officer here did not have discretion if he had probable cause to believe that eating violated the DC law. If so, then he had to arrest the offender. Stupid? Of course. But modifying this law is for politicians not judges.

Posted by: jk at July 23, 2005 12:50 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The blame here lies not with Roberts, the DC Circuit, or the District Court judge, but the DC Counsel.

IIRC, it was not the DC Council (or did you mean 'Counsel?') that implemented the zero tolerance policy removing police discretion --- and I would suggest that when the law against eating on subway platforms was passed, it was assumed that it would be enforced like all other laws are "enforced" (i.e. in a rational manner, where 12 year old girls are not subject to arrest by undercover police officer for eating a single French fry.)

This was a perfect example of how "the law" becomes an absurdity, as earlier precedents incrementally are applied to new cases that extend police powers, until we wind up with judges finding that somehow or other, handcuffing a 12 year old girl for eating a french fry is someone not an "unreasonable seizure" that the 4th amendment was designed to protect against.

And lets not forget that by allowing this arrest to be deemed "constitutional" and not an "unreasonable seizure", we are creating another precedent that can be applied in even more ridiculous cases.... and IMHO, that is where the real danger lies. Given the circumstances of this case, Roberts has contributed to the virtual nullification of the "unreasonable search and seizure" provisions of the 4th Amendment (at least as it concerns juveniles --- and if they can do this to children, why shouldn't adults be subjected to the same kind of treatment?)

(not to mention the whole question of the lack of "due process" prior to punishment----this was a "crime" subject only to a citation, and not a jailable offense. When the process by which a law is enforced is more "punishing" than the penalty for the crime itself, I think serious "due process" issues are raised as well. And yeah, I KNOW there are precedents for it.... :) )


Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 23, 2005 01:14 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The unreasonable search and seizure language is being distorted in the above discussion. An unreasonable search is a search of a person or premises that is not justified on Constitutional grounds. The adjective "unreasonable" modifies search. The term "seizure" refers to the seizing of evidence that is found in the course of an unreasonable search. I have never heard of "unreasonable" being considered as modifying "seizure" and I have never heard of "seizure" referring to the arrest of a person as opposed to the taking of evidence.

Further, it is normal and customary and universally accepted police practice to handcuff any person regardless of age who is arrested. That is generally thought to be for the safety of both the arresting officers and the arrestee.

The issue regarding the DC ordinance was first, was it Unconstitutional as applied and second, was it Unconstitutional as written. The merits of the sides on these issues have been debated above.

I agree with Luka that the incident was stupid and the stupidity exposed the silliness of the ordinance. However, that is a long way from Constitutional infirmity. What it really exposes is the absurdity of legislative bodies attempting to regulate what is traditionally non-criminal behavior by imposing criminal sanctions. I would point out that both the left and the right are guilty of such legislative nonsense and neither side owns the territority.

We learned in law school that bad cases make bad law. This was a bad case and that should be the end of it. To hang Roberts on an abberant french fry that ended up in the wrong gullet at the wrong time and place is reaching for straws indeed.

More importantly, ad hoc judging at the appellate level has very difficult consequences. Rose Bird, who sat on the Calif. Supreme Court until removed by the voters, was famous for deciding every case in a result oriented, ad hoc basis with no respect for precedent and no consideration of what the decision would do for future cases. (stare decisis) I was practicing during that period and following the Court decisions. She once held that the owner of a phone booth was liable to a person making a call who was injured when a car jumped the curb, went across a parking lot and hit the booth. Her reasoning: The owner of the phone booth was more likely to have insurance. That is an example of ad hoc decision making. The legislature took about 20 minutes to reverse that one.

Michael

Posted by: Michael Pecherer at July 24, 2005 02:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There is an Evan Thomas article in the new Newsweek that discusses the kind of judge that Roberts is likely to be. In an earlier quote I speculated that Roberts is likely to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Judge Henry Friendly of the Second Federal Circuit, conservative yes, but highly respectful of precedent and of the law generally. The following quote from that article seems to agree:

"It was Friendly who became the role model for Roberts. Rehnquist, while brilliant, is what the legal experts call "result oriented." In his judicial opinions, the chief justice usually gets quickly and directly to the outcome he desires—usually a conservative one. Judge Friendly, on the other hand, carefully weighed the facts and the law, gave close attention to precedent—and perhaps most important to Roberts—was intellectually honest, almost brutally so."

Luka, you have little to fear.

Michael

Posted by: Michael Pecherer at July 24, 2005 03:55 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

There is an Evan Thomas article in the new Newsweek that discusses the kind of judge that Roberts is likely to be. In an earlier quote I speculated that Roberts is likely to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Judge Henry Friendly of the Second Federal Circuit, conservative yes, but highly respectful of precedent and of the law generally. The following quote from that article seems to agree:

"It was Friendly who became the role model for Roberts. Rehnquist, while brilliant, is what the legal experts call "result oriented." In his judicial opinions, the chief justice usually gets quickly and directly to the outcome he desires—usually a conservative one. Judge Friendly, on the other hand, carefully weighed the facts and the law, gave close attention to precedent—and perhaps most important to Roberts—was intellectually honest, almost brutally so."

Luka, you have little to fear.

Michael

Posted by: Michael Pecherer at July 24, 2005 03:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Mr. Pecherer, you seem to misapprehend the situation here. It is not the plaintiff who is afraid. Rather it is the plaintiff who wants everyone else to be afraid. Be afraid because he told us to be afraid.

Mr. Pecherer's analysis is therefor wasted on someone who exists merely as a conduit for the propagation of political propaganda. The rest of us enjoyed it, however, and welcome Mr. Pecherer's contribution to the discussion.

Posted by: Reginald at July 24, 2005 05:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The real disappointment with the Roberts nomination is the fact that it is the most recent manifestation of the new agenda of "George the Nice", who has been back-peddling, soft-soaping and hanging onto mom's apron strings ever since his re-election.

Roberts is a middle-of-the-road, safe, non-controversial, user friendly nice guy and leaves the Dems with little to bitch about. Too bad!

This softening of the Washington line is a mistake - at home and most especially abroad. A failure of nerve accounts for it in my opinion, and the shock of encountering opposition in Iraq that nobody figured into the equation prior to the invasion. Add Abhu Ghraib and Gitmo exposure and it has all made for a bad case of jitters.

I much preferred George the Nasty. George who wanted to string 'em up and who said "you're either with us or agin' us". Assertive and dynamic American action in Iraq and surrounding region, bold strategies and clever alliances could have reduced all of this slow, daily attrition at the hands of criminals headed by Zawqawri to a trickle.

There is ample reason to believe that many who live under iron fisted mullahs and Ba'athist bully boys would welcome American intervention. Recently Christopher Hitchens visited Iran for a Vanity Fair article, and while in Qom visited with the grandson of the late and notorious Ayatollah Khomenei. This grandson now hopes for American intervention to help put an end to the state his grandfather founded. Similarly, many students and democratic activists in Iran see America as their greatest hope.

In my opinion, far from retreating and pussy footing around in the face of Iraqi reverses, the Americans would have been much cleverer to have opened fronts with Iran and Syria from the get go and opened the gates of hell if need be. Chaos in the interim is infinitely preferable to a phoney state of order such as we have in Iraq, in which the local authorities and allies basically preside over a theatre-of-the-diabolical that is notching up multiple killings every day. This impotency comes from second guessing and the weasel whistle blowing of fear mongers in the administration. It's a mistake - because the window of opportunity we had a year or so ago is fast closing.

If it had been a latter day Napoleon invading Iraq, rather than Dubya - he would have amazed the world with a bold military sweep that would have turned the entire region into a battle field and would have left the insurgents and their allies with no safe haven, and most certainly no countries to serve as ongoing "factories" for the production of terrorists.

The American vision was great, but the strategy and execution terribly, terribly flawed. And now we have good ole' nice guy Roberts taking the judicial stage and Dubya swapping anecdotes with mom. This isn't merely escapism, it's lunacy. This fight isn't close to being finished. It's barely started. What will it take to sting Dubya back into fighting form? Someone please tell me.

Posted by: scowler at July 24, 2005 08:52 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I'm reading some of the earlier posts and I can't believe there are people on here who think Roberts is neo-gestapo. Holy God ... the guy looks like a ten year old with stubble in pants that are a few sizes too short. His dancing blonde haired son looks scarier!

Posted by: scowler at July 24, 2005 09:35 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scowler - why do I picture you as Patton "we better stop pussyfootin around here!"

Posted by: Pogue Mahone at July 25, 2005 09:38 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Pogue I picture you as Martin MacGuinness, up in some loft with a rusty armalite and a rosary.
No wonder Patton offends you - he didn't do it the Irish way - not enough of a fly bomb 'em and run exponent.

Posted by: scowler at July 26, 2005 04:55 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

To Luka, Pogue, and others ---

There are plenty of places on the internet for idiotic partisan attempts to score points. I don't blame Greg for not posting for a week. You guys are ruining this thing.

Try changing your mindset from "argue" to "analyze" and try to go for a week without being partisan in your comments. You might learn something. And you'll stop boring the crap out of the rest of us.

Posted by: POTUS B at July 27, 2005 02:31 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Potus - I don't think the esteemed founder of The Belgravia Dispatch would be opposed to a partisan position if cogently argued. Knee jerk idealogues and propandists should be discouraged, because they are bores and one-track drones. Have a nice day y'all.

Posted by: scowler at July 27, 2005 03:09 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scowler --

GD might not object but even the well argued partisan positions are boring.. and so few are well argued. More often it just starts a vitriolic pissing match. If I wanted dumb partisan hackery, I can watch MSNBC. I come to BD in the hopes of more thoughtful discussion.

Posted by: POTUS B at July 27, 2005 06:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Let's define the meaning of the word partisan -
"devoted to or biased in support of a party, group, or cause".

Is there such a thing as completely impartial and objective analysis? I might describe with scientific objectivity the characteristics of a dozen wines I have tasted and all may be excellent, but nonetheless I will almost certainly be biased in favor of one or the other, to the exclusion of the rest. So I end up being a partisan of say Languedoc-Roussillon.

When it comes to social and political matters, it's ludicrous to suggest that anyone is remotely capable of maintaining pristine objectivity. Even those commentators who stick rigorously to facts and figures display hidden partialities. I'm reminded of a study that looked at the behaviour of people who claimed to be free of any taint of racism. Despite their idealistic determination to be remain above bigotry, their life choices reflected hidden partialities suggestive of subtle racism.

We're all partisan in one way or another. My original point is that while one may be partisan, one does not have to argue from a simplistic premise in order to support one's prejudice. I may have a highly sophisticated world view based on a complex philosophical model, and I may see social and political matters through the lense of that particular understanding, but that doesn't make my argument banal or unworthy of reception. If you argue that it does, then you probably would have no time for Nietzsche's take on political matters.

Posted by: scowler at July 28, 2005 12:02 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

who in the heck IS this luka freak?

does he/she have brain damage?

can he/she read?

is he/she totally unable to grasp the points others are making?

lord god! (sorry luka) oh hope this person is not a lawyer or else anyone must be able to make it through law school.

Posted by: chris at July 28, 2005 03:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

who in the heck IS this luka freak?

does he/she have brain damage?

can he/she read?

is he/she totally unable to grasp the points others are making?

lord god! (sorry luka) oh hope this person is not a lawyer or else anyone must be able to make it through law school.

Posted by: chris at July 28, 2005 03:24 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scowler -- You are correct about everyone having bias. My objection is to those only interested in selling the wine (because of the label), not tasting it or the alternatives. That is what is mindless and boring.

Posted by: POTUS B at July 29, 2005 03:53 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I guess you all missed the fact that Roberts supported states rights to de facto segregation?

This is who Roberts really is, folks. A very smart, very bigoted lawyer, who is capable of dressing up the most heinous acts in legally acceptable drag. It doesn't matter if its racism, abuse of police power, election theft, or torture --- Roberts has been there and provided a legal rationale to support it.

The issue isn't whether a legal rationale exists to support evil policies, the issue is whether a legal rationale exists to oppose them..... Roberts sought out the legal rationale to support racist policies, abuse of police power, election theft, and torture rather than seeking the the rationale that would reflect the true and honorable nature of the American people and the laws that have been passed on their behalf.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 29, 2005 01:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Go get ‘em Luka!

Re-segregation is only the tip of the Roberts iceberg. I also hear he likes to soddomize endangered animals and injects himself with stem cells from aborted fetuses to maintain his youthful appearance.

When will the MSM wake up and start printing the real horrors of a Roberts confirmation???

Posted by: kevin at July 29, 2005 03:57 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kevin,
He also supports strip mining in the ANWR, and experimenting with arsenic levels in the drinking water that is left in the desert for the illegal aliens.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at July 29, 2005 04:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Kev and exhel - there is medication for hysteria. Get some.

Posted by: scowler at July 29, 2005 05:06 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Roberts' pants are too short, by at least an inch. I tend to distrust people with deficits in the pant length sector.
Plus he has that awful puppy dog aura thing going on ... the you-have-to-love-me-because-I'm-so-sincere thing. I used to beat up people like Roberts in school.
Even his dancing blonde son has more gravitas!

Posted by: scowler at July 29, 2005 08:19 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scowler,
Roberts' pants aren't too short. Karl Rove was able to make him taller, because he realizes that taller people tend to get more favorable reviews. His new clothes haven't come in from the tailor yet.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at July 30, 2005 02:45 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Scowler,
Roberts' pants aren't too short. Karl Rove was able to make him taller, because he realizes that taller people tend to get more favorable reviews. His new clothes haven't come in from the tailor yet.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at July 30, 2005 02:46 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

fascinating how when you point out that Roberts wanted to find a way to maintain racial segregation the wingnuts go into panic mode, and can't address the issue...

Posted by: p.lukasiak at July 30, 2005 01:27 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka –

The point of my sarcasm is if you’re just going to repost the daily talking points from Moveon.org, NARAL and other interest groups without any substantive review or discussion of their merits, you can do us all a favor and save us having to scroll past them. They’re widely available and I’ve usually read them in the NYT before you post them here.

The reason people fail to engage you in serious debate is that you don’t seem to know or care that these positions have oftentimes been resoundingly refuted long before you state them as fact.

The “french fry case” was decided correctly, as many lawyers here have pointed out, but matters of law seem not to be your focus. The re-segregation issue is two degrees removed from the truth, as it was busing that was under discussion – not re-segregation of society – and only in the context of whether congress had the authority to deny federal courts jurisdiction on a number of issues such as busing. In fact, Roberts wrote one argument pleading his client’s case, while arguing it would be bad policy to do just that and losing the argument on Constitutional grounds as he predicted.

All of this information is widely available if you’d just take the time to use Google to find an opposing viewpoint. But based on your posts and your replies to others on this thread who seek to engage you in a reasonable back-and-forth on the issues you raise, I’ve come to the conclusion that constructive debate isn’t really what you’re after. In fact, after rereading your initial post on this thread, it should have been quite clear to me much earlier.

If you just want to post a bunch of half truths and speculations that advance your cause, why echo someone else’s daily talking points? They just make you seem a puppet of these groups, either unable to think for yourself or on the payroll. If you’re really your own man, why don’t you make up some new ones? That would be much more entertaining for the rest of us.

Posted by: kevin at July 30, 2005 08:37 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Keven,

You are absolutely correct on the busing question and in particular, that Federal subject matter jurisdiction to order busing was the issue before the Court. I say this again from some personal experience as I worked for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund while in law school devising integration plans for Houston and a number of other cities. The interesting thing is that after all the busing, the inner city schools ended up more segregated than before. In any event, for Luka to distort this into a claim that Roberts wanted to resegregate the schools is absurd. I also would add my voice to the complaint about parroting talking points from the leftwing interest groups. I hope at some point they realize that the revulsion that was felt by much of the body politic to their rantings and distortions and chicken little prognostications is what has contributed to the last two presidential election results. Ultimately, they will have to get it that Americans are fundamentally fair and upbeat and are not going to get very enthusiastic about pervasive negativism.

Michael

Posted by: Michael Pecherer at July 31, 2005 03:48 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Apologies to Kevin and Exhel - after reading the last comment posted by p. lukasiak, I can now see that all available meds for hysteria must be rushed immediately by courier to help save p from the nefarious effects of the next full moon.

Posted by: scowler at July 31, 2005 01:32 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I guess what really gets to me is the absolute lack of critical thought applied before parroting some of these lines. Don’t you think the Administration would have known if Roberts really supported segregation? Do you think Bush would knowingly nominate a segregationist to the Supreme Court in 2005? Wouldn’t the fallout to the Republican Party from such a move be so damaging that it would take several generations for them to recover? If they didn’t know beforehand and just found out about it, wouldn’t the immediate removal of support from all corners of the country – the White House, his supporters in the Senate, his fellow lawyers of all political stripes who supported him, etc. – be deafeningly loud? Wouldn’t six female Democratic Senators when asked about their support for Roberts last week been discussing segregation rather than Roe v. Wade?

Wouldn’t last week’s 24-hour news cycle and Sunday talk shows been filled with discussion of the above rather than the late-July non-news that they put out instead?

None of this is happening.

So one must assume Roberts is either a ticking time bomb for the political future of the Republican Party, or special interest groups have come up with a sliver of information, interpreted it in the most favorable light to them, reinterpreted it to make it even more favorable, and repeated it so many times it’s being touted as fact by those who don’t know any better.

A quick check of the web will generally resolve the issue pretty quickly, but common sense should preclude wasting your time investigating many of the allegations.

Posted by: kevin at August 1, 2005 12:02 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The re-segregation issue is two degrees removed from the truth, as it was busing that was under discussion – not re-segregation of society – and only in the context of whether congress had the authority to deny federal courts jurisdiction on a number of issues such as busing.

unfortunately, you haven't been keeping up with the facts. Bottom line on Roberts is that he was an ardent advocate for de facto segregation. I refer you to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/31/AR2005073100696_pf.html

Other memos by Roberts similarly argued for reining in the federal government's role in civil rights disputes. They indicate, for example, that he was at the center of articulating and defending the administration's policy that the Voting Rights Act -- a seminal law passed in 1965 and up for renewal in 1982 -- should in the future bar only voting rules that discriminate intentionally, rather than those that were shown to have a discriminatory effect.

Now, any idiot knows that proving intent is virtually impossible --- its quite easy to come up with "non-discriminatory" rationalization for actions that have a discriminatory impact. Roberts wanted to make it possible to "gerrymander" away most if not all of the impact of black voters in southern states --- and as long as there was a "non-discriminatory rationale" being advanced, blacks would be virtually neutered as a political force in the south.

Was ROberts motivated by some contempt for black people? No, I think he's a right-wing ideologue who recognized that the GOP's Southern Strategy was a potent political weapon, and that by appealling to racists through the acceptance of de facto segregation and discrimination could reap great benefits for the GOP among white Southern racists.

Any examination of Roberts record leads to a single conclusion --- there is a consistent pattern of legal "choices" that benefit the GOP politically.

And anyone who says that the "french fry" case was properly decided is a moron, unless they can explain how the US Constitution was written to allow 12 year old girls to be handcuffed and arrested and subjected to the vagaries of the Washington DC criminal justice after being observed un UNDERCOVER agents of the state eating a French Fry --- and THEN explain how it was the intent of the lawmakers of Washington DC to allow that to happen. Simple common sense tells you this is not the case, and no amount of legal bullshit changes that fact --- and it is the role of judges to PROTECT the rights of citizens against this kind of abuse of the powers of the state.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at August 1, 2005 12:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Any examination of Roberts record leads to a single conclusion --- there is a consistent pattern of legal "choices" that benefit the GOP politically.

Yes, that was his client at the time. Your reasoning would also conclude that defense attorneys believe murder should be decriminalized.

However, we also have Roberts’ notes on many of these items stating he didn’t personally support the argument or expected it wouldn’t hold up under Constitutional scrutiny, which you seem to totally disregard.

As to the “intent” versus “effect” argument, you can also show just about anything has an effect based on voting outcomes, but you cannot always prove that the legislation was the cause of the effect. Focusing on one outcome and a single change (the rules) doesn’t take into account the myriad of other factors that could cause that effect (candidates that turn off voters, weather, etc.) and concludes any change in voting patterns was caused by a change in the rules.

But as everyone can state but most people too easily misapply, correlation does not imply causation. Elections happen infrequently and the circumstances around them are never the same from one election to the next. For that reason alone, it is nearly impossible to properly evaluate all of the possible reasons for changes in voting patterns and therefore some sanity needs to be brought to the discussion of whether a given rule change is discriminatory or not.

So if after all this you think Roberts is a racist and segregationist, then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: kevin at August 1, 2005 05:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Yes, that was his client at the time.

Kevin, here is a clue for you. The Republican National Committee was NOT paying Roberts salary. The American People were... we were his clients, and we are the people he should have been serving with his legal advice, not a bunch of partisans who wanted to exploit racial bigotry for political gain...

However, we also have Roberts’ notes on many of these items stating he didn’t personally support the argument or expected it wouldn’t hold up under Constitutional scrutiny, which you seem to totally disregard.

I've yet to see the evidence that he didn't support the GOALS of the arguments --- he was advancing a legal strategy (including denying the courts the right to rule on certain issues, essentially neutering the question of "Constitutional scrutiny) that was designed specifically to maintain de facto discrimination against African Americans.

He was a gun for hire, and his bosses were happy to support racial discrimination for political gain. It is this complete amorality -- combined with an uninterrupted history of partisan politics --- that makes it impossible to conclude that he is fit to sit on the Supreme Court. Maybe you want to gamble with your rights..... maybe you are comfortable with someone who would probably approve of the Gonzales approach of virtually unlimited power--- including the right to authorize torture--- for a President acting as Commander in Chief. I don't.

And until I KNOW that someone is suited for the Supreme Court, I have to object to them....its a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land, and it should not be a position that you "gamble" on --- especially given Bush's record of appointing criminals, liars, and right wing extremists to other positions of power.

But as everyone can state but most people too easily misapply, correlation does not imply causation. Elections happen infrequently and the circumstances around them are never the same from one election to the next. For that reason alone, it is nearly impossible to properly evaluate all of the possible reasons for changes in voting patterns and therefore some sanity needs to be brought to the discussion of whether a given rule change is discriminatory or not.

the "sanity" is brought about by projecting outcomes and determining if they have a discriminatory impact. The "insanity" comes from those who suggest that its possible to deal with racial discrimination by PROVING that the discirimination was intentional, and not just some by-product. It shouldn't matter if discrimination is intentional or not ---- we already know that a lot of discrimination occurs that is not intended, but is simply a reflection of unconscious bias. What matters is whether or not people wind up being discriminated against, regardless of the "reason" for the action that was taken....

But Roberts (and you, obviously) think that de facto segregation and discrimination is perfectly acceptable --- and more importantly, that nothing should be done to prevent the further discriminatory impact of de facto discrimination.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at August 1, 2005 07:25 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Luka –

You nailed me. I AM a racist and segregationist, but I was hoping my passionate defense of Roberts on the merits would blind you to the truth.

Now that I’m laid bare, I’ll retire to other forums where you’ll also discover I’m a warmonger, anti-gay but pro-lesbian, believe in school choice but only for the “right” kind of kids, and during my spare time, passionately work for the collapse of the UN so a less benign form of world government can rise in its place.

But as your above post indicates, you probably figured that out already…

Posted by: kevin at August 2, 2005 12:52 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well, there's obviously no arguing with Paul Lukasiak, who is going to believe what he wants to believe regardless of the facts.

Such as:

1. The D.C. Circuit decision in Hedgepeth was unanimous, and was merely applying a recent precedent announced by that radical right-winger Justice Souter. All the D.C. Circuit judges agreed that it was a stupid policy, but that not all stupid policies are banned by the Constitution. (Indeed, I wonder at the sanity of those left-wingers who are effectively arguing that right-wing judges should strike down legislation based not on the Constitution but on their own ideas of what is stupid, even when it means contradicting recent Supreme Court cases.)

2. It's just silly to say that Roberts is in favor of "election theft." Believe it or not, Republicans sincerely believe that it was Gore who was trying to steal the election by demanding repeated recounts in Democratic counties run by Democratic voting boards who kept coming up with new Gore "votes" based on barely visible indentations. I understand that you obviously disagree with that, but that's what Republicans sincerely believe. Anyway, it's not as if that case is going to arise again.

3. Roberts is in favor of torture? Evidence, please.

Posted by: Niels Jackson at August 3, 2005 06:44 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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