Short Bus Preznit's Short List for SCOTUS
With his ratings and perceived efficacy finally where they belong, patching up the rift with the red-headed stepchild faction of the GOP is pretty much his only shot at redemption. (rimshot) He almost has no choice but to nominate a bona-fide Wingnut™ to replace the often moderate Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court; irrelevant men do desperate things.
Not that his possible nominations hold any real surprises; most of them are re-runs from the first round. You know - the ones to whom shrubya was less beholden. But I think it's more accurate to say that where Roberts was a Trojan-horse entity, the current short list contenders wear their Wingnut™ hearts on their sleeves. Take, for example, J. Michael Luttig:
Somethin' just ain't right about that boy. His picture sends my creepometer spinning and reading about his judicial bent doesn't help his case any:
Luttig, 51, a graduate of Washington and Lee and the University of Virginia, has been since 1991 a conservative mainstay of the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond. Like Alito, he is known for his sharp intellect and occasional skirmishes with fellow conservatives over principle. He wrote a ruling striking down part of the Violence Against Women Act that allowed women to sue attackers, sided with the government in terrorist-detention cases and initially upheld a Virginia law restricting what opponents call "partial-birth" abortions before later striking it down, citing Supreme Court precedent.
He does refer to Casey v. Planned Parenthood as "a decision of super-stare decisis with respect to a woman's fundamental right to choose," but his record indicates a tendency to dance around and undermine abortion rights circuitously.
In addition to Luttig, we have Judge Alito to consider:
At least he just looks like a used car salesman, but he appears to be to the right of Luttig:
Judge Samuel Alito dissented from the lower-court decision—affirmed by the Supreme Court in Casey—that struck down a Pennsylvania law that would have required women to inform their husbands before getting abortions. Alito read the Supreme Court's earlier decisions as holding that an abortion regulation did not pose an undue burden unless it banned abortion, gave another person a veto over a woman's choice, or had the "practical effect of imposing severe limitations." A law that had a "heavy impact on a few women" should be upheld, Alito said.
What the hell kind of legal standard is that?! Who defines "heavy;" who counts how many women? I think I can see why he's a darling of the "confirm them" set; they call him "Scalito," you know. Another observer characterized him as "an activist conservatist judge" and "very prosecutorial from the bench," i.e., he is tough on crime and narrowly construes prisoners' and criminals' rights. Unlike Perkie's nomination, the senate Dems have come out swinging on the next candidate.
Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said yesterday that he has already warned the White House that nominating Alito -- who is often compared to Justice Antonin Scalia -- would "create a lot of problems."
..."If he wants to divert attention from all of his many problems, he can send us somebody that is going to create a lot of problems," Reid said of Bush on CNN. "I think this time he would be ill-advised to do that. But the right wing, the radical right wing, is pushing a lot of his buttons, and he may just go along with them."
And, damn it all, Harry's right:
Bush spent the weekend at Camp David huddled with Miers, who remains his White House counsel and is therefore in charge of the judicial selection process, along with Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr., who originally advocated Miers as the choice to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. As the three talked, White House officials contacted prominent conservatives to test the reaction to various candidates.
One group consulted was the Concerned Women for America, whose decision to oppose Miers last Wednesday became one of the final blows to help kill the nomination. Janet M. LaRue, the group's chief counsel, said it received a call from the White House on Saturday and liked what it heard.
"Alito and Luttig have always been at the top of our list," she said in an interview. "We think either of them would be a supreme pick. There isn't a thing stealthy about them. They've got a long, proven record of constitutional conservatism."
And that, my friends, is all I need to know; if the biddies at CWA think these guys are "supreme picks," I'm concerned. And you should be, too; they are, after all, "the nation's largest public policy women's organization with a rich 25-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy."
Separation of church and state means nothing to these people. Needless to say, their issues and goals read like your average fundagelical laundry list: gays, sex is bad, those heathen sissies at the UN, up with creationism, etc. Oh, and the evils of Harry Potter, naturally.
That should be enough to make anyone question their judgement; they take Harry Potter seriously. Unfortunately and inexplicably, they appear to be granted at least some measure of regard by the Senate; the group's founder, Beverly LaHaye, testified in support of the Scalia, Bork and Thomas nominations. Not only do they appear to be out of tune with this century; these women don't even look like they are native to this planet. Mrs. La Haye:
And CWA's legal counsel, Mrs. LaRue:
I'm sorry, but anybody who appears to follow Tammy Faye's beauty advice does not need to be steering the selection of a Supreme Court justice. Buckle yer seat belts, kids; this could be a wacky ride.