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Court blocks Bush changes to Clean Air Act
CBS MarketWatch.com ^ | 12/24/03 | Tim Rostan

Posted on 12/24/2003 10:17:03 AM PST by SierraWasp

12:59PM Court blocks Bush changes to Clean Air Act by Tim Rostan

CHICAGO (CBS.MW) -- A federal appeals court has temporarily blocked the Bush administration's planned revisions to the Clean Air Act. Critics have argued that revisions to the legislation, which was passed in 1963 and revised several times since, would undercut air-quality protections by allowing increased pollution. The challenge to the administration's revisions was initiated by state attorneys general.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cleanairact; environment; judicialfiat; stenchfromthebench
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"The challenge to the administration's revisions was initiated by state attorneys general."

No doubt led by CA's Lockear!!! (deliberately mis-spelled!)

1 posted on 12/24/2003 10:17:04 AM PST by SierraWasp
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; farmfriend; kattracks
Here's a Christmas Present for our fearless leader!!!

Ping to the power pingers.

2 posted on 12/24/2003 10:19:09 AM PST by SierraWasp (Any elected official or citizen that supports illegal aliens is nothing but a worthless scoff-law!!!)
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To: SierraWasp
WTF?!?!

This tyrranical judiciary needs to be put down!
3 posted on 12/24/2003 10:19:11 AM PST by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
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To: SierraWasp
I'm guessing the 9th circuit... who's with me on that one?
4 posted on 12/24/2003 10:21:00 AM PST by bolobaby
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To: SierraWasp; AAABEST; Ace2U; Alamo-Girl; Alas; alfons; amom; AndreaZingg; Anonymous2; ...
Rights, farms, environment ping.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this list.
I don't get offended if you want to be removed.

5 posted on 12/24/2003 10:21:34 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: SierraWasp; All
Three-judge panel, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C.
6 posted on 12/24/2003 10:21:57 AM PST by dighton
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To: SierraWasp
More from the AP:

SF Gate        www.sfgate.com        Return to regular view

AP NewsBreak: Appeals court blocks Bush administration clean air changes
JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
©2003 Associated Press

URL: sfgate.com/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/12/24/national1317EST0580.DTL

(12-24) 10:17 PST WASHINGTON (AP) --

A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked new Bush administration changes to the Clean Air Act from going into effect the next day, in a challenge from state attorneys general and cities that argued they would harm the environment and public health.

The Environmental Protection Agency rule would have made it easier for utilities, refineries and other industrial facilities to make repairs in the name of "routine maintenance" without installing additional pollution controls.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order that blocks the rules from going into effect until the legal challenge from the states and cities is heard, a process likely to last months.

The court's decision blocks at least temporarily one of the Bush administration's major environmental decisions. The court's justices said the challengers "demonstrated the irreparable harm and likelihood of success" of their case, which are required to stop the rule from taking effect.

EPA proposed the rule in December, the then-acting administrator signed it in August and it was made final in October. It was due to have gone into effect this week.

Bringing suit were attorneys general for 12 states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin -- and legal officers for New York City, Washington, San Francisco, New Haven and a host of other cities in Connecticut.

©2003 Associated Press  

7 posted on 12/24/2003 10:22:17 AM PST by Jean S
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: JeanS; Carry_Okie; BOBTHENAILER; forester; Grampa Dave
Looks like I was wrong about CA's Lockyear!!! (this time)
9 posted on 12/24/2003 10:24:56 AM PST by SierraWasp (Any elected official or citizen that supports illegal aliens is nothing but a worthless scoff-law!!!)
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: SierraWasp

No doubt led by CA's Lockear!!! (deliberately mis-spelled!)

I doubt this from Calif and Lock-ear. This federal court is in Chicago, and I think that is a different jurisdiction from Calif.
12 posted on 12/24/2003 10:27:41 AM PST by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: bolobaby
Don't think this was the 9th. Story is out of Chicago.
13 posted on 12/24/2003 10:29:19 AM PST by Trust but Verify (Will work for W)
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To: JeanS
The court's justices said the challengers "demonstrated the irreparable harm and likelihood of success" of their case, which are required to stop the rule from taking effect.

Of course the challengers have a likelihood of success with this case. The courts are mostly full of feel-good liberal judges who bring their bias to the bench and don't mind ignoring the constitution or making new law when it suits them.

14 posted on 12/24/2003 10:29:38 AM PST by CedarDave (Insted of using the new spel checkr, I'll just tpye as usal.)
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To: SierraWasp
I see the Clintoons were busy little bees making sure their judges were set up before they left.

Will someone please take them off the stage so we can put them in jail where justice will finally be done?
15 posted on 12/24/2003 10:33:33 AM PST by freekitty
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To: JeanS
I wonder what the legal basis for this ruling is? As usual with court cases, the article does not spell it out in any detail.
16 posted on 12/24/2003 10:34:00 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: ridesthemiles
"This federal court is in Chicago"

The article says its the DC court.
17 posted on 12/24/2003 10:35:43 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Steve_Seattle
I agree. Where is the jurisdiction? Where is the administration breaking a law?
18 posted on 12/24/2003 10:35:47 AM PST by rudypoot
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To: SierraWasp
"irreparable harm"

The plaintiffs must have been lying, because it's hard to see how a policy which would reduce toxic emmissions by 70% over 15 years is doing irreparable harm.
19 posted on 12/24/2003 10:37:43 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: Steve_Seattle
A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked new Bush administration changes to the Clean Air Act from going into effect the next day, in a challenge from state attorneys general and cities that argued they would harm the environment and public health.

Are you blind? Don't you know that it is the court's Constitutional duty to continually second-guess the other two branches of government, and stop any legislation that could harm the desert pygmy rat?!

/S>

20 posted on 12/24/2003 10:38:03 AM PST by Teacher317
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To: SierraWasp
It is finally time that the Judicial branch of the U.S. Government becomes balanced with the other two branches.

There if a formal and authorized method of implementing changes withing the government. It is called a Constitutional Amendment.

The Executive branch is responsible for the enforcement of the laws. Perhaps it is time that the Executive branch begins to ignore and refuse to implement Judicial branch rulings that are not clearly enumerated in the Constitution.

Perhaps, after the land-slide Republican election results of 2004, we will finally see some changes.

21 posted on 12/24/2003 10:39:04 AM PST by Hunble
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To: RandallFlagg
Judicial tyranny is the perfect term, although I would trade tyranny for treason. I am so sick of this. It will only get worse.
22 posted on 12/24/2003 10:40:45 AM PST by rintense
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To: rudypoot
"Where is the administration breaking a law?"

I don't think the administration has been found guilty of breaking the law, but that there's possibily some provision in the Clean Air Act that says challengers to changes in the Act have recourse to the courts if they can demonstrate that those changes will undermine the effectiveness of the Act. But I'm just guessing, because the article doesn't say what the legal basis of the ruling is except in very vague terms. .
23 posted on 12/24/2003 10:44:18 AM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: bolobaby
The 9th circuit ought to be disbanded.

I am sick and tired of the left using their modern day Roland Freiseler's to enact their agenda.

24 posted on 12/24/2003 10:45:53 AM PST by KC_Conspirator (This space for rent)
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To: JeanS; snopercod
Bringing suit were attorneys general for 12 states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin -- and legal officers for New York City, Washington, San Francisco, New Haven and a host of other cities in Connecticut.

It is absolutely laughable that San Francisco would be involved since the prevailing winds there come off the Pacific Ocean. They thus do not get downwind pollution from a plant that would require new source review. Virtually all of the electrical power it uses comes from either natural gas or hydro. Neither is the Bay Area in a state of non attainment. I cannot fathom how the city could therefore demonstrate irreparable harm from the proposed change in rules.

My understanding is that areas in non-attainment would still be subject to new source review. So who gets harmed when a plant installs cleaner equipment without upgrading its emissions abatement equipment?

25 posted on 12/24/2003 10:47:34 AM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly stupid.)
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To: farmfriend
BTTT!!!!!!
26 posted on 12/24/2003 10:47:50 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: Hunble
No need for an amendment. Article III, Section 2 expressly grants to the Regress the power to regulate the behaviour of appointed U.S. judges.

The question is whether the assorted cartelista idiots currently infesting the Regress will take any action. I'm betting ''no way''.

27 posted on 12/24/2003 11:01:27 AM PST by SAJ
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To: Carry_Okie
...would undercut air-quality protections by allowing increased pollution

How does not upgrading a plant's pollution control equipment "increase" pollution? Is this the same logic whereby a 5% increase in spending becomes a "cut"?

One other thing. When courts stike down what the EPA is doing, the EPA only honors the decision in the district in which the decision was made.

28 posted on 12/24/2003 11:02:52 AM PST by snopercod (CAUTION: Do not operate heavy equipment while reading this post.)
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To: ridesthemiles
Yup! See my #9 reply, prior to you correction, which was prior to discussion of this actually be the DC district court, etc.

Merry Judicial Christmas, everybody... NOT!!!

29 posted on 12/24/2003 11:24:07 AM PST by SierraWasp (Any elected official or citizen that supports illegal aliens is nothing but a worthless scoff-law!!!)
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To: bolobaby
Agreed. The 9th Circus strikes again.
30 posted on 12/24/2003 11:24:18 AM PST by hsmomx3 (Want higher taxes? Don't move to Arizona.)
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To: Steve_Seattle
I'm still trying to figure out how the executive branch can unilaterally "change" an act of Congress in the first place.
31 posted on 12/24/2003 11:26:42 AM PST by inquest (The only problem with partisanship is that it leads to bipartisanship)
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To: JeanS
Bringing suit were attorneys general for 12 states

If I were Bush I would make sure next year's budget has plenty of huge cuts for these states. They are probably even using Federal money to sue the Feds.
32 posted on 12/24/2003 11:53:30 AM PST by microgood (They will all die......most of them.)
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To: inquest
I'm still trying to figure out how the executive branch can unilaterally "change" an act of Congress in the first place.

I would venture that it lies in the process of converting laws into rules. Congress passes a law, and the executive branch develops rules for interpreting that law. Within that framework, there is a certain degree of latitude for adjustments to policy, depending upon the opinions and biases of a given administration.

33 posted on 12/24/2003 11:53:40 AM PST by dirtboy (New Ben and Jerry's flavor - Howard Dean Swirl - no ice cream, just fruit at bottom)
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To: dirtboy
Then perhaps it was just bad reporting, but the article said he was making changes to the act itself, not just to the manner in which the act is being implemented.
34 posted on 12/24/2003 11:56:37 AM PST by inquest (The only problem with partisanship is that it leads to bipartisanship)
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To: Steve_Seattle
Ah, ok. thanks.
35 posted on 12/24/2003 11:58:43 AM PST by rudypoot
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To: inquest
From the AP article linked above:

EPA proposed the rule in December, the then-acting administrator signed it in August and it was made final in October. It was due to have gone into effect this week.

So it looks like this was done under the guise of a rule change.

36 posted on 12/24/2003 11:59:36 AM PST by dirtboy (New Ben and Jerry's flavor - Howard Dean Swirl - no ice cream, just fruit at bottom)
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To: Steve_Seattle
I wonder what the legal basis for this ruling is?

It appears that they are issuing an injuction. From the AP article:

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order that blocks the rules from going into effect until the legal challenge from the states and cities is heard, a process likely to last months.

37 posted on 12/24/2003 12:01:03 PM PST by dirtboy (New Ben and Jerry's flavor - Howard Dean Swirl - no ice cream, just fruit at bottom)
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To: dirtboy
I wonder if "injunction" is the right word. Usually an injunction is an order to refrain from doing something (such as enforcing a particular law or rule). In this case, this appears to be an order not to refrain from doing something - that is, an order against not enforcing a particular rule. I'm not sure what exactly you'd call it, but you seem to know more about how these things than I do. This is getting to be over my head.
38 posted on 12/24/2003 12:11:17 PM PST by inquest (The only problem with partisanship is that it leads to bipartisanship)
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To: Teacher317
Fortunately, they don't have any police or armies to back up their putsch.
39 posted on 12/24/2003 12:15:09 PM PST by expatpat
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To: dirtboy
So it looks like this was done under the guise of a rule change.

Most changes are, and they are happening constantly. The CAA doesn't precisely describe certain aspects so it is up to the implementing agency (the EPA in this case) to precisely describe within the intent provided by Congress.

The rules at issue here publicly revolve around the precise definition of maintenance. Could be monetary based, capacity based, etc., but it is defining what is routine maintenance.

Crossing the line that defines routine maintenance means a unit has to install control equipment. Basically, a plant would have been previously permitted to run a process (burn coal in a boiler) and emit pollution up to a point.

The plant decides to do some work on the boiler to make it more efficient. If this work goes past the definition of routine maintenance then they would have to install the controls no matter if the pollution emitted actually decreased with the maintenence. So the change could result in less pollution but the plant would still have to install additional controls to reduce emissions even more.

Basically it is a dis-incentive to make moderate changes that could have positive environmental results to avoid the possibility of having to spend more on additional controls that you aren't required to have if you keep using the same (less efficient) process.

That is balanced by the potential of some plants continuing to fix really poor (in this case high emitting) equipment just to keep it running when it probably should be scrapped for multiple reasons.

40 posted on 12/24/2003 12:17:20 PM PST by !1776!
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To: SierraWasp
More:
===
Court Blocks Changes to Clean Air Act
47 minutes ago Add White House - AP Cabinet & State to My Yahoo!

By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Wednesday blocked new Bush administration changes to the Clean Air Act from going into effect, in a challenge from state attorneys general and cities that argued they would harm the environment and public health.

The Environmental Protection Agency rule would have made it easier for utilities, refineries and other industrial facilities to make repairs in the name of routine maintenance without installing additional pollution controls.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued an order that blocks the rules from going into effect until the legal challenge from the states and cities is heard, a process likely to last months.

The court's decision stops, at least temporarily, one of the Bush administration's major environmental decisions. The court's justices said the challengers "demonstrated the irreparable harm and likelihood of success" of their case, which are required to stop the rule from taking effect.

EPA proposed the rule a year ago December, the then-acting administrator signed it in August and it was made final in October. It was due to have gone into effect this week.

Bringing suit were attorneys general for 12 states — Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin — and legal officers for New York City, Washington, San Francisco, New Haven and a host of other cities in Connecticut.

Cynthia Bergman, a spokeswoman for EPA, declined to provide any initial comment, saying the agency had not yet had a chance to review the ruling.

EPA has maintained that it does not believe the rule will result in significant changes in emissions, and that it will preserve the public health protections required under law.

Scott Segal, director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a group of power companies, called the ruling "a setback for energy efficiency and environmental protection," but expressed confidence the rule would eventually be upheld.

"The rule was based upon a substantial agency record with analysis, public hearings and thousands of rulemaking comments," he said. "We expect the rule will soon be back on course."

Environmental and health groups, including Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Lung Association, also challenged the rule in the appeals court.

They argued EPA's maintenance rule violates the Clean Air Act by letting power plants and other industries increase pollution significantly without adopting control measures, and public harm would result.

"This is a great gift to the American people and a lump of coal to the Bush administration and its polluter friends," John Walke, NRDC's clean air director. "The court agreed this rule would cause great harm to the public that could not be undone, and it's likely the rule will be struck down for running afoul of the Clean Air Act."

Tom Reilly, the Massachusetts attorney general, also spoke in terms of holiday gifts, saying the court had "forced EPA to take back its early Christmas present to the coal-fired power plants in the Midwest."

Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, called it "a major decision."

"When it comes to environmental policy, this court decision is as big a success as we've had in stopping the Bush administration from undercutting the Clean Air Act," he said.

But the judges also said they found no reason to revisit an earlier decision not to block other of the EPA's changes to the Clean Air Act that were made final in December 2002.

Those new rules had already begun to go into effect in some states earlier this year, giving coal-fired power plants and other industrial facilities more flexibility in calculating their pollution levels.

41 posted on 12/24/2003 12:20:35 PM PST by hattend (Mr Bush, the Supremes upheld CFR...what's your plan B? Too late to veto, now)
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To: farmfriend
Well...President Bush and the congress should all step down. It's obvious the courts now wield all the power of the executive and legislative branch combined.
42 posted on 12/24/2003 12:29:52 PM PST by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: hattend; Liz; BOBTHENAILER; Grampa Dave; Steven W.; dalereed; eldoradude; Dog Gone; snopercod; ...
Eliot Spitzer, New York's attorney general, called it "a major decision." "When it comes to environmental policy, this court decision is as big a success as we've had in stopping the Bush administration from undercutting the Clean Air Act," he said.

Ok!!! There's what I've been looking for from Democrat Eliot Spitzer!!!

I was suspicious as heck while watching is interview on the PBS program "NOW" with the LBJ appointee that his HUGE WITCH HUNT in the Mutual Fund Industry was politically motivated and HERE IT IS, FOLKS!!!

I was even more suspicious when he made clear in his settlement with Alliance Funds that his main objection was the amount of management FEES!!! Even more than incidents of late trading, which ARE a clear violation of regulation!!!

He's been part of the cabal to drive down market performance, right along with the George Soros rumor machine in my opinion, NOW!

Thank you hattend for your enlightening and CONFIRMING reply and posting!!!

43 posted on 12/24/2003 12:58:19 PM PST by SierraWasp (Any elected official or citizen that supports illegal aliens is nothing but a worthless scoff-law!!!)
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To: SierraWasp
If the darn courts can't figure out what Congress intended...then simply send it back to Congress......DON'T MAKE NEW LAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


44 posted on 12/24/2003 1:03:59 PM PST by The Raven
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To: SierraWasp
Merry Christmas Waspman!
45 posted on 12/24/2003 1:27:39 PM PST by snopercod (CAUTION: Do not operate heavy equipment while reading this post.)
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To: SierraWasp
So we elected the courts to be "president?" What a mess.
46 posted on 12/24/2003 1:42:21 PM PST by madison10
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To: inquest
"I'm still trying to figure out how the executive branch can unilaterally "change" an act of Congress in the first place."

I think it is because Congress passes laws which are implemented - in some cases - by agencies of the Executive Branch (the EPA in this case), and those agencies have certain discretionary powers carrying out the legislative mandate. The legislation itself doesn't always specify all the details of what is to be done, but empowers the relevant agency to formulate specific regulations to carry out the objectives of the legislation. That's how I understand it . . .
47 posted on 12/24/2003 1:44:55 PM PST by Steve_Seattle ("Above all, shake your bum at Burton.")
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To: SierraWasp
The court has NO constitutional authority to make this decision!Bush should just do it anyway and to hel* with the courts.
48 posted on 12/24/2003 1:54:39 PM PST by INSENSITIVE GUY
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To: snopercod
"Merry Christmas Waspman!"

Be of good cheer!!! Hope Santa takes decent care of you this year snopercod!

49 posted on 12/24/2003 3:51:01 PM PST by SierraWasp (Any elected official or citizen that supports illegal aliens is nothing but a worthless scoff-law!!!)
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To: SierraWasp
Whatever happened to "Stroke of the pen; law of the land"?
50 posted on 12/24/2003 4:52:05 PM PST by Flyer (Using robots to explore space is like using web cams to take a vacation)
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