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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Let's try this again: Bush nominates Samuel Alito
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bash91
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#1 Posted on 31.10.05 1012.48
Reposted on: 31.10.12 1014.51
It looks like it's going to be Samuel Alito (cnn.com) as the next member of the Supreme Court. A much better pick and one who will cause a massive fight in the Senate but who will get confirmed. Look for tons of stuff on his abortion dissents to be the main focus of discussion.

Tim
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spf
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#2 Posted on 31.10.05 1018.05
Reposted on: 31.10.12 1024.11
Well, hopefully this strict constructionist will get the federal government out of such state's matters as drug laws and physician-assisted suicide. Or am I being optimistic in hoping that limited readings of the Constitution don't end where neo-conservative ideology doesn't want to go?

(edited by spf on 31.10.05 1018)
messenoir
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#3 Posted on 31.10.05 1047.40
Reposted on: 31.10.12 1048.05
Here seems a good time to use one of the best lines in America (The Book) about constructionist judges:

"A strict constructionist interprets the Constitution according to the language and original intent of the text at the time of its writing, in much the same way as a fundamentalist views the Bible. Fortunately, they have been endowed by God with the super-human gift of being able to read the minds of people who died 200 years ago. Naturally they use this power only for good."

(edited by messenoir on 31.10.05 1048)
BigSteve
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#4 Posted on 31.10.05 1100.59
Reposted on: 31.10.12 1101.56
    Originally posted by spf
    Well, hopefully this strict constructionist will get the federal government out of such state's matters as drug laws and physician-assisted suicide. Or am I being optimistic in hoping that limited readings of the Constitution don't end where neo-conservative ideology doesn't want to go?

    (edited by spf on 31.10.05 1018)


If you're interested in keeping the feds out of state drug laws, I'd hope you would support the President's nomination. After all, in last year's medical marijuana case, among the six judges that voted to give the feds the power to control a state's drug laws were the five most liberal judges on the Court. Meanwhile, three of the four most conservative justices (as well as two of the three actual conservative justices) voted on the side of state's rights. So yeah, Scalia voted wrong in that case, but even if he votes with the conservative bloc, the liberal side still gets to trample on state's rights.

    Originally posted by messenoir
    Here seems a good time to use one of the best lines in America (The Book) about constructionist judges:

    "A strict constructionist interprets the Constitution according to the language and original intent of the text at the time of its writing, in much the same way as a fundamentalist views the Bible. Fortunately, they have been endowed by God with the super-human gift of being able to read the minds of people who died 200 years ago. Naturally they use this power only for good."


Because it's not like there is anything outside the text of the Constitution that would help determine the founders' intent.

Is the alternative of a nine person super-legislature that acts on its own policy preferences really a better idea? And would it still be a better idea if there were five justices like Scalia and Thomas rather than just two?
AWArulz
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#5 Posted on 31.10.05 1123.43
Reposted on: 31.10.12 1123.45
    Originally posted by spf
    Well, hopefully this strict constructionist will get the federal government out of such state's matters as drug laws and physician-assisted suicide. Or am I being optimistic in hoping that limited readings of the Constitution don't end where neo-conservative ideology doesn't want to go?



I would mostly be in favor of that myself - the one place where some of that federal law comes into play is cross-state line commerce. So if the several states want to adopt PAS or legal drugs, we have to be careful that the cross of states lines is well-defined. That comes into play on abortion and gay marriage as well. For example, I have no problem with, say, Vermont, legalizing marriages between people of the same gender, as long as, say, Ohio, is not required to accept said marriage legally (for federal and state benefits and taxes and the rest.
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#6 Posted on 31.10.05 1357.31
Reposted on: 31.10.12 1357.41
    Originally posted by AWArulz
      Originally posted by spf
      Well, hopefully this strict constructionist will get the federal government out of such state's matters as drug laws and physician-assisted suicide. Or am I being optimistic in hoping that limited readings of the Constitution don't end where neo-conservative ideology doesn't want to go?



    I would mostly be in favor of that myself - the one place where some of that federal law comes into play is cross-state line commerce. So if the several states want to adopt PAS or legal drugs, we have to be careful that the cross of states lines is well-defined. That comes into play on abortion and gay marriage as well. For example, I have no problem with, say, Vermont, legalizing marriages between people of the same gender, as long as, say, Ohio, is not required to accept said marriage legally (for federal and state benefits and taxes and the rest.



Man, I would love to be able to jump a hundred years in the future and witness the economic fallout from something like that. Put the ball back into the States' hands, and limit the Federal government from bailing them out. Who sinks? Who swims? Will an exodus of young gay professionals hurt the midwest? Will California reach record unemployment levels by legalizing marijuana? It's s social scientist's dream.
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#7 Posted on 1.11.05 0049.59
Reposted on: 1.11.12 0050.06
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    For example, I have no problem with, say, Vermont, legalizing marriages between people of the same gender, as long as, say, Ohio, is not required to accept said marriage legally (for federal and state benefits and taxes and the rest.


Okayyyyyyyyyy...so what's to stop Ohio from saying "well, since we don't have to recognize same-sex marriages from Vermont, we also don't want to recognize traditional marriages from Vermont. That way, couples have to get married here if they want to be legally married here."
AWArulz
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#8 Posted on 1.11.05 0532.25
Reposted on: 1.11.12 0532.53
    Originally posted by Crimedog
      Originally posted by AWArulz
      For example, I have no problem with, say, Vermont, legalizing marriages between people of the same gender, as long as, say, Ohio, is not required to accept said marriage legally (for federal and state benefits and taxes and the rest.


    Okayyyyyyyyyy...so what's to stop Ohio from saying "well, since we don't have to recognize same-sex marriages from Vermont, we also don't want to recognize traditional marriages from Vermont. That way, couples have to get married here if they want to be legally married here."


IF you believe in State's rights, then that is their right. That is why the federal government is involved (currently) in marriage issues - especially non-traditional marriage issues like gay marriage. There are several states who recognize common-law marriage today - a couple lives together for a defined period and as far as the state is concerned, they are married. But if they moved to another state, they would not be. Unless there is some federal legislation (or ruling) regarding this type of marriage and others (like gay marriage), then the states have the right to refuse to grant in-state marriage benefits to said marriages.

I think that's the way to go. Obviously, all states would accept and interchange traditional intergender marriages - they do now. And some states would accept, say, gay marriges - and some would not. And like Jag said, the social experiment would be on. Perhaps, say, Indiana would not recognize gay marriage so the majority of our gay residents might move out of state to gain benefits, Would that, in this social experiment be a positive or a negative for the several states.

Yeah - I'd like to see the end of that too.
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#9 Posted on 1.11.05 0724.23
Reposted on: 1.11.12 0727.06
While I agree in principal with state's rights, with the mobility and interconnectedness of our society today, I wonder if in areas like marriage it is practical. It is important, IMO, for the society to survive that we hold certain standards across political boundaries. I would liken it to AWA's statement re interstate commerce. The nation has an interest.

As far as Alito goes, even with my political leanings, he seems qualified and unless something really wierd comes up, deserves confirmation. The reality is that we can overturn Roe v. Wade tomorrow and not much will change. And if he strongly adheres to true conservative values, not those of the neocons, he will be fine.
messenoir
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#10 Posted on 1.11.05 0931.28
Reposted on: 1.11.12 0933.13
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    Because it's not like there is anything outside the text of the Constitution that would help determine the founders' intent.


Much like the Bible, there are many different writings stating many different ideas with many different people claiming the founding fathers meant many different things.

Strict constructionism implies that just you have the magical knowledge of the exact truth put down by our Founding Fathers 200 years ago, when not one person alive today has the exact truth. Look at the arguments over the Second Amendment and whether a comma or lack of one means gun rights for all or only for militias, or whether the right to bear arms should only be some arms or all arms. The Founding Fathers wrote conflicting pieces about gun rights, and if you can truly claim you knew what they thought, you are lying or delusional.

    Originally posted by BigSteve
    Is the alternative of a nine person super-legislature that acts on its own policy preferences really a better idea? And would it still be a better idea if there were five justices like Scalia and Thomas rather than just two?


How about justices who look at the Constitution as a good framework, a good beginning, but realize the Founding Fathers couldn't foresee every eventuality (like homosexual marriage), couldn't impart their exact beliefs down in writing so every person would understand what they meant, and maybe, just maybe judges will have to make rulings based on new ideas or based on very vague Founding Father writings that really don't tell us today how we should act.

Homosexuality, education, are nationwide issues that need national attention. A gay boy shouldn't be punished because he grew up in Texas and is considered a criminal and a deviant rather then California where he is simply considered human. Because that boy, when told his entire life he is less of a person, is going to most likely have severe emotional issues to deal with, and that is unfair to inflict on a person simply for being born in the wrong state.

A girl shouldn't be punished for growing up in Arkansas where they have decided education isn't a priority so she has to attend mediocre schools. Studies consistently shows that as women are better educated, levels of rape, stds and pregnancy go down. It is unfair to this girl to deny her the education on sexual issues she needs because she was born in the wrong state. This not only centers around financial issues, but certain states deciding that sexuality related teachings should not go on in their schools.

State rights as the be all end all of our country and strict constructionism simply do not address many of the pressing issues our COUNTRY is facing. The Constitution, a wonderful framework, simply does address many of the pressing issues our country is facing, because many of these issues were not faced by the Founding Fathers, and it is ridiculous to say they would have wanted us to act one way or another when we have no idea of what they actually would have wanted.

So, to answer your question, I want a Supreme Court of people who can actually think for themselves, who are imaginative and don't only rely on a document that at times has nothing to say about today's issues.

spf
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#11 Posted on 1.11.05 1046.20
Reposted on: 1.11.12 1055.57
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    As far as Alito goes, even with my political leanings, he seems qualified and unless something really wierd comes up, deserves confirmation. The reality is that we can overturn Roe v. Wade tomorrow and not much will change. And if he strongly adheres to true conservative values, not those of the neocons, he will be fine.

Here is where I have to disagree with you. A great deal will change. I guarantee you that within 1 year of the overturning of Roe v. Wade that 25% of American women will be no longer allowed to exercise reproductive choice. And moreso, with GOP majorities and control of the court, I would be stunned if there is no law passed to make it illegal to get an abortion in a state in which you are not a resident. I can think of 15 states right of the top of my head where the legislatures will be passing abortion bans at the speed of light.

Personally...I'm not frightened as it won't effect my life in any direct manner. As a political person, I think it could be the best thing possible for the Democrats if the GOP is able to turn abortion into even more of a holy crusade for the party, as it will inevitably IMO lead to them overplaying their hand nationally and making it into an issue that is impossible to ignore. Right now you can still vote for the GOP on the grounds that "well, I agree with their fiscal/defense policies, so I don't mind the abortion thing since 'nothing will really change' no matter what." Once things do change, the issue will explode. And since most opinion polls show 60% or so of the country are against complete bans on abortion, this cannot help them.

(edited by spf on 3.11.05 0933)
vsp
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#12 Posted on 1.11.05 1108.08
Reposted on: 1.11.12 1108.22
    Originally posted by spf
    Personally...I don't much care. As a political person, I think it could be the best thing possible for the Democrats if the GOP is able to turn abortion into even more of a holy crusade for the party, as it will inevitably IMO lead to them overplaying their hand nationally and making it into an issue that is impossible to ignore.


While there's some truth to that, its repercussions in the short _and_ long term may be overly painful, and we may never get back to the level of reproductive freedom (abortion being legal nationwide) that we currently have.

Once you have such a right, you do not give it away lightly. If Roe and Casey fall and states start banning all abortions, there will be a lot of outrage, but it's not as if the Supremes will look at the outrage and say "Oops, okay, a majority hates what we did, so we're putting Roe back" when the next relevant case arrives. It could take years to make even incremental gains in that direction, and in the meantime, women in the theoretical 15 states from your example are SOL. I don't trust America's voters to be sufficiently motivated _even by that_ to reach a full-on "throw the moralizing bums out" fervor.

CRZ
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#13 Posted on 1.11.05 1114.25
Reposted on: 1.11.12 1117.29
    Originally posted by spf
    I guarantee you that within 1 year of the overturning of Roe v. Wade
So that's a done deal, then? Thanks for letting me know!
spf
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#14 Posted on 1.11.05 1128.27
Reposted on: 1.11.12 1128.38
    Originally posted by CRZ
      Originally posted by spf
      I guarantee you that within 1 year of the overturning of Roe v. Wade
    So that's a done deal, then? Thanks for letting me know!

Didn't you know that my day job is being the heir to Nostradamus? I still fight the urge to post in quatrains.

That said...if guarantee seems like too harsh a word, let's just say I'll be very pleasantly surprised. Considering how many states have basically already tried it only to be turned back in the courts, it seems hard to believe that they wouldn't go back to the well if/when the courts no longer present an obstacle.
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#15 Posted on 1.11.05 1232.15
Reposted on: 1.11.12 1233.21
    Originally posted by spf
      Originally posted by CRZ
        Originally posted by spf
        I guarantee you that within 1 year of the overturning of Roe v. Wade
      So that's a done deal, then? Thanks for letting me know!

    Didn't you know that my day job is being the heir to Nostradamus? I still fight the urge to post in quatrains.

    That said...if guarantee seems like too harsh a word, let's just say I'll be very pleasantly surprised. Considering how many states have basically already tried it only to be turned back in the courts, it seems hard to believe that they wouldn't go back to the well if/when the courts no longer present an obstacle.


Spf, while I do share some of your concern, it just isn't that simple. Overturning Roe wont make abortions go away. There will be a huge fight almost everywhere to block such laws. Plus the neocons overestimate their support on the issue. Most find abortion abhorent but when pushed, also don't want to see it outlawed.

I am old enough (49) to remember pre Roe days. There were many abortions performed and paid for by insurance, they just didn't call it that.

Finally, the only way for us to figure out where the country actually stands politically and morally is to be faced with these dilemas, no matter how painful.

If what you fear comes to pass, the ones to suffer most will be the poor as is always the case.
BigSteve
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#16 Posted on 1.11.05 1738.34
Reposted on: 1.11.12 1741.50
    Originally posted by spf
    I can think of 15 states right of the top of my head where the legislatures will be passing abortion bans at the speed of light.

    Personally...I don't much care. As a political person, I think it could be the best thing possible for the Democrats if the GOP is able to turn abortion into even more of a holy crusade for the party, as it will inevitably IMO lead to them overplaying their hand nationally and making it into an issue that is impossible to ignore. Right now you can still vote for the GOP on the grounds that "well, I agree with their fiscal/defense policies, so I don't mind the abortion thing since 'nothing will really change' no matter what." Once things do change, the issue will explode. And since most opinion polls show 60% or so of the country are against complete bans on abortion, this cannot help them.


I disagree with the extent that overturning Roe will hurt the GOP and help Dems. Unless something screwy and unlikely were to happen, all overturning Roe would do is send the issue back to the states. Now some states in the south and midwest (almost certainly less than 15, IMO) would ban abortion almost totally. Most all of them would probably still have health, rape, incest exceptions. On the other hand, some states, northeastern states and California among others, would have few if any restrictions on abortion. And then a wide swath, probably the majority of states, would enact sensible regulations (PBA bans, parental notification, possibly a limited post-viability ban) that are supported by a wide majority of Americans (if polls are to be believed).

If that were to happen we'd have a democratically enacted solution, that satisfies the vast majority of American citizens. There's always the chance that one side would overreach, but I just don't see that happening.

    Originally posted by Messenoir
    How about justices who look at the Constitution as a good framework, a good beginning, but realize the Founding Fathers couldn't foresee every eventuality (like homosexual marriage), couldn't impart their exact beliefs down in writing so every person would understand what they meant, and maybe, just maybe judges will have to make rulings based on new ideas or based on very vague Founding Father writings that really don't tell us today how we should act....

    So, to answer your question, I want a Supreme Court of people who can actually think for themselves, who are imaginative and don't only rely on a document that at times has nothing to say about today's issues.



But the Constitution isn't just a "good framework." In determining the constitutionality of a law, it's the only thing that matters. New ideas and people who can think for themselves are great to have in government. Unfortunately, these new ideas need to come from the legislature. There's simply nothing that gives judges the power to enact "new ideas" especially when those "new ideas" tend to lead to any number of preposterous results. Even worse, Justices have almost unfettered power in some regards becuase the public really has no recourse.

As for the hypotheticals you provided, there is a remedy to those things. If those laws don't reflect the values of Texas (for instance), Texans have the options to kick their lawmakers out of office. If the Texas laws don't reflect the values of America, there is the option to change the Constition formally. If that's too hard, it might be time to reconsider whether or not those values actually do reflect America.

    Originally posted by vsp
    I don't trust America's voters to be sufficiently motivated _even by that_ to reach a full-on "throw the moralizing bums out" fervor.


Then that should tell you something - America doesn't like what you're selling. Maybe they think the whole "don't legislate morality" thing is a bunch of bunk (and hypocritical at that). Democracy is great like that.





(edited by BigSteve on 1.11.05 1840)
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#17 Posted on 1.11.05 2230.33
Reposted on: 1.11.12 2230.46
    Originally posted by BigSteve
      Originally posted by vsp
      I don't trust America's voters to be sufficiently motivated _even by that_ to reach a full-on "throw the moralizing bums out" fervor.


    Then that should tell you something - America doesn't like what you're selling. Maybe they think the whole "don't legislate morality" thing is a bunch of bunk (and hypocritical at that). Democracy is great like that.


Or maybe it's a case of a vocal minority dominating the polls. Notice how a lot of neocon wet dream policies (SS reform, etc.) went over like an Einsteinium balloon with the public. The American populace, in general, acts slowly. The whole reverence for democracy hinges on people being motivated enough to act, and that's just not happening. A very active minority is accounting for a disproportionate percentage of the polls/votes.
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#18 Posted on 2.11.05 0632.07
Reposted on: 2.11.12 0633.31
    Originally posted by drjayphd
      Originally posted by BigSteve
        Originally posted by vsp
        I don't trust America's voters to be sufficiently motivated _even by that_ to reach a full-on "throw the moralizing bums out" fervor.


      Then that should tell you something - America doesn't like what you're selling. Maybe they think the whole "don't legislate morality" thing is a bunch of bunk (and hypocritical at that). Democracy is great like that.


    Or maybe it's a case of a vocal minority dominating the polls. Notice how a lot of neocon wet dream policies (SS reform, etc.) went over like an Einsteinium balloon with the public. The American populace, in general, acts slowly. The whole reverence for democracy hinges on people being motivated enough to act, and that's just not happening. A very active minority is accounting for a disproportionate percentage of the polls/votes.


Agreed. For some reason, our nation only seems to deal with issues when they reach crisis proportions. Ultimately, we seem to make the right choices but only when forced.

The necons have made the same mistake that Clinton did when he thought the nation mandated his administration to address health care. Inertia is a wonderful thing.
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#19 Posted on 2.11.05 1614.56
Reposted on: 2.11.12 1616.05
    Originally posted by BigSteve
    I disagree with the extent that overturning Roe will hurt the GOP and help Dems. Unless something screwy and unlikely were to happen, all overturning Roe would do is send the issue back to the states. Now some states in the south and midwest (almost certainly less than 15, IMO) would ban abortion almost totally. Most all of them would probably still have health, rape, incest exceptions. On the other hand, some states, northeastern states and California among others, would have few if any restrictions on abortion. And then a wide swath, probably the majority of states, would enact sensible regulations (PBA bans, parental notification, possibly a limited post-viability ban) that are supported by a wide majority of Americans (if polls are to be believed).

    If that were to happen we'd have a democratically enacted solution, that satisfies the vast majority of American citizens. There's always the chance that one side would overreach, but I just don't see that happening

A couple of thoughts on this:

If I were a betting man, I would say I would bet on the following states off the top of my head as being better than 50/50 to pass such a law: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Idaho, North Dakota, Indiana, Kentucky, Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma.

As for overreaching, my thought is that once given the opportunity, I cannot imagine any state GOP not ramping up for, to quote Saddam, the Mother of All Battles. Outside of a couple of very liberal states, there is generally enough of a pocket of GOP strength in any state and enough social conservative energy to make the issue the forefront of state GOP's throughout the country. And I think that could backfire on them, if it allows them to become the single-issue party of just abortion. And I think should it be there in 2008, there will be temptation to do just that instead of talking about Iraq or the Katrina response or anything of that ilk.

All that said, I am genuinely curious to see what would actually happen. I just hope that if people really are honest about wanting it to be the will of the people that we will see this question dealt with more through the referendum process than through state legislatures. Let's see what people really want, and are really willing to go to the polls for.

(edited by spf on 2.11.05 1628)
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#20 Posted on 2.11.05 1958.36
Reposted on: 2.11.12 1959.01
Re: Democracy - since the advent of websites, message boards and especially blogs, I think it's obvious that the foresight of a Representative Democracy has paid off in spades

As far as Alito. Ballbuster of a pick. The worse case scenario is some kind of stupid filibuster, which looks long shot at best, at the moment.

Paper trails are showing that Alito was a "free thinking leftist gay lover" and had some paranoid views on privacy...

from 1971! Click Here (boston.com)

Alito:

We are convinced that in recent years government has often used improper means to gather information about individuals who posed no threat either to their government or to their fellow citizens."

At the end Alito wrote: ''The erosion of privacy, unlike war, economic bad times, or domestic unrest, does not jump to the citizen's attention . . . But by the time privacy is seriously compromised, it is too late to clamor for reform."


The logical line of defense is "Not liberal at 20, you have no heart. Still Liberal at 40 - you have no brain". Or something similar. But, expecting that from a party that can't even remember Reagan's 11th Commandment... that's how it is sometimes


If the Right turns on this guy, they'll need to find some day jobs next year

FLEA
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