Skip to comments.An ominous Specter: Part III (MUST Read!)
Posted on 11/11/2004 11:04:34 AM PST by vannrox
An ominous Specter: Part III
November 11, 2004
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Arlen Specter has often justified his voting for or against judicial nominees on grounds that he supports those nominees whose views are in the "mainstream," as distinguished from those whose views are "extremist."
Now that he is in line to become chairman of that committee in January, because of seniority, the meaning of these two elusive -- and elastic -- terms becomes crucial.
Senator Specter voted against the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork and for the confirmation of Judge Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court, even though their voting records on the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia were virtually identical. On a couple of decisions where they differed, Judge Scalia took a more conservative position than Judge Bork did.
Why then was Judge Bork considered to be so conservative as to be "out of the mainstream" while Judge Scalia was not? It had nothing to do with their records.
It had to do with the fact that Antonin Scalia's nomination, which preceded Bork's, created no political firestorm because Scalia was replacing another conservative Justice and so would not have changed the lineup on the Supreme Court.
Robert Bork, on the other hand, would have been replacing a more liberal Justice and therefore would have shifted the balance of power on the High Court. Liberal and left-wing organizations across the country mobilized to prevent that from happening at all costs and launched a massive smear campaign that created a new verb, "to Bork" a nominee.
Those Senators who buckled under these pressures -- including Senator Arlen Specter -- could justify voting against Judge Bork on grounds that he was an "extremist." The term is very elastic and politically convenient.
If "mainstream" becomes the litmus test for judicial nominees, then that means continuing the trends of the past half-century toward judges who take policy decisions out of the hands of the voters and their elected representatives, and impose their own notions as the law of the land.
"Mainstream" is not even a fixed position. The more judges get away with overstepping the boundaries between the courts' jurisdictions and the areas reserved by the Constitution for democratically elected officials, the further into those reserved areas judges go.
Within living memory, it would once have been considered unthinkable for a judge to order a state legislature to raise taxes to finance the judge's pet project. But that has now happened.
Issues like gay marriage or abortion may stir up controversy in the media but most of that controversy is about which policy is desirable. The more fundamental question is: Who is to decide?
Those who say that voters, not judges, should decide are not in the "mainstream." They are considered to be "extremists."
The easy way out for any President is to nominate people who can be easily confirmed by the Senate. Even conservative Republican Presidents have put liberal zealots on the Supreme Court or have nominated people who carried the "moderate" or "conservative" label, but who lacked the intellectual depth or the backbone to resist fashionable trends toward judicial activism.
To President Bush's credit, he has tried to stop the steady drift toward arbitrary judicial rule by nominating people like California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown who have a track record of opposing judicial activism.
A President who is trying to make a fundamental change in the federal judiciary and a chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who wants to continue the "mainstream" trends are in a fundamental contradiction, no matter how much each side tries to paper over the difference with nice words.
With so many federal court vacancies, and with several Supreme Court vacancies almost certain to occur during the next four years, this may be the last chance in our lifetime to reverse the trend toward government by unelected judges.
That is infinitely more important than putting Senator Arlen Specter in charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee because of his seniority.
©2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
Contact Thomas Sowell | Read Sowell's biography
Do you have reason to know what Bush wants?
Poppa Bush: "I have to hand it to David Souter. We didn't ask, and he didn't tell."
Sometimes to get answers to hard questions you have to be "rough trade" in a DC park.
Yup. That's why the battle over Arlen is winner-take-all.
Hugh Hewitt still holds to his position that Specter is there to stay, that he will chair, and that Bush will back him.
Agreed. I already voted CP in Texas this time.
Next time..I won't be the only one. The Rep party can NOT be stupid enough to continue PC RINO policies like unlimited immigration, RINOs in charge of the Senate, and being weak on pro-life. They will not survive next election if the alienate their pro-life base. even if Hitlery is the Rat nominee, the RepublicRats in the party have to be held accountable if we are to EVER stop this crap..and that means withholding your vote no matter what the consequences and they need to be made aware of that.
"I have been informed that Bush wants "
Does Gos speak to you too?
STOP SPECTER FROM BLOCKING BUSH'S JUDGES
Contact Senator Frist 202-224-3135
Contact Senator Santorum 202-224-6324
Tell them in no uncertain terms that Specter cannot be made Senate Judiciary Chairman
Do NOT take "no" for an answer!
Bush has no Mandate?
Just say "NO" To Specter's Games!
Senate Judiciary Committee GOP Members
Contact Senator Orrin Hatch 202-224-5251
Contact Senator Charles Grassley 202-224-3744
Contact Senator Jon Kyl 202-224-4521
Contact Senator Mike DeWine 202-224-2315
Contact Senator Jeff Sessions 202-224-4124
Contact Senator Lindsey Graham -202-224-5972
Contact Senator Larry Craig 202-224-2752
Contact Senator Saxby Chambliss 202-224-3521
Contact Senator John Cornyn 202-224-2934
"Mainstream" is not even a fixed position. The more judges get away with overstepping the boundaries between the courts' jurisdictions and the areas reserved by the Constitution for democratically elected officials, the further into those reserved areas judges will go"....
Chills go down my back at that.
Thomas Sowell has my sincere respect. He posesses a clear overview of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Arlen Specter's relationship to it.
IMHO Larry Craig would fight for a conservative nominee.
Specter would continue to litmus label.
Freeper alert. A broad based coalition of pro-life and pro-family organizations will have a demonstration in front of the office of Majority Leader Senator Frist on Tuesday, November 16th, at 1 p.m. to call for Senator Specter not to be elected chairperson. The location is the Dirksen Senate office building on the corner of 1st and Constitution NE.
Whilst we enjoy our families on a patriotic holiday weekend, you can count on the socialist scum working overtime in the hellish holes of Congress to resurrect Specter's chances.
But the GOP knows that its natural supporters will stand with it in 2008 against Hillary no matter what -- therefore the GOP won't be that conservative on issues.
I would not be surprised to see the GOP deliberately decide to jettison the pro-Life vote once and for all. It would be insane, but I can see the writing just starting to be scratched on the wall.
Recall that alleged Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, upon winning the primary, immediately backstabbed President Bush, who had campaigned for him instead of actual Republican Pat Toomey. Turns out Specter was just getting started.
We now see that the usually pro-Democrat Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed the sharp-horned RINO in Tuesday's general election for this reason: "Before the Post-Gazette editorial board, he promised that no extremists would be approved for the bench."
What the pro-abortion Specter and pro-abortion Post-Gazette mean by "extremist" is anyone who isn't pro-abortion or who otherwise follows the U.S. Constitution instead of making up legislation from the bench.
"Even if he votes nine out of 10 times for the administration, we trust his word that the 10 percent of difference will be a brake on the worst excesses of a second Bush term, if it comes to that," the pee-yoo P-G snarled.
And there are these facts:
Voted NO on ending special funding for minority & women-owned business. (Oct 1997)
Voted NO on banning affirmative action hiring with federal funds. (Jul 1995)
Success is near because of all the hard work we have done, but it is not yet over. The Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Times, and United Press International all covered how the offices have been flooded with calls, but we need to keep it up as the fight does not end here! Make the calls all over again on Monday.
Also note the changes to the site, all the recent press mentions will be on the Why? page, but this blog should keep you fairly up to date on the goings ons.
Mark Harris .:. 11/6/2004 Keep Up The Work
Things are going fantastic over here, as we have gotten press through the Laura Ingram Show, several state pro-life alerts, and countless conservative e-mail lists, but the fight has just begun.
The rumor on the Hill is that things are about ready to break. We just need to keep up pressure on them to make sure it happens. So keep your eyes and ears open. NotSpecter.com also has some great resources that have gone up so make sure to check it out.
Also GrassrootsPA.com has a letter written by Specter to raise money that slams the conservative wing of the party, which puts to rest any argument over how he would run the Judiciary Committee.
Lest you think this is fiction - these signs started to appear in the Philadelphia area just before the election, paid for by Arlens former campaign manager. This particular picture originially appeared in the Philly Daily News.
What you suggest may happen has already happened -- 1976, Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr., rejected prolife support. Many anti-abortion activists actually thought that GA Jimmy favored restrictions on abortion. He didn't: he misled those people.
Ann Coulter was right about that.
Bush is not the man for the job.
"That is infinitely more important than putting Senator Arlen Specter in charge of the Senate Judiciary Committee because of his seniority."
The very thought that I put in my messages to my two senators and to Frist. Unfortunately, no one in Frist's office read my letter, except to put it in a stack of other "anti-Specter" letters. All I got was a form letter. And I haven't heard a peep out of either of my senators.
Seniority and Senate tradition just must not carry the day on this matter. I can picture the Republican Senate leaders huddled together, wringing their hands, wondering how they can resolve this conundrum. Senate tradition on the one hand, principles on the other. I'm guessing tradition wins. Tradition, and fraternity, are almost always more important to Senators than principle.
Dear Senator: Thank you for serving. I am sure you have many more requests with which to deal. In summary, Bork Specter, NOW!
Please do not permit Sen. Specter to Chair the Judicial Comm. His view, the US Constitution is a living changing document, is in total conflict with our system of government. The Constitution must be strictly construed.
The basis of our laws, the Constitution, may not be changed by Judges, but by an Amendment, as stated in the Constitution. Specter's refusal to appoint BORK a Federal Judge speaks right to the point.
Thank you. I know you will do the right thing.
EMAIL ADDRESSES -
SENATE MAJORITY LEADER
FRIST, Bill - (R - TN) Class I 461 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 (202) 224-3344 Web Form:
Sen. Orrin HATCH, UT, current Committee Chair PH: 202-224-5251 FX: 202-224-6331 104 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 Web Form:
Sen. Jon Kyl, AZ PH: 202-224-4521 FX: 202-224-2207
Sen. John Cornyn, TX PH: 202-224-2934 FX: 202-228-2856
Sen. Charles Grassley, IA PH: 202-224-3744 FX: 319-363-7179
Sen. Mike DeWine, OH PH: 202-224-2315 FX: 202-224-6519
Sen. Jeff Sessions, AL PH: 202-224-4124 FX: 202-224-3149
Sen. Lindsey Graham, SC PH: 202-224-5972 FX: 202-224-3808
Sen. Larry Craig, ID PH: 202-224-2752 FX: 202-228-1067
Sen. Saxby Chambliss, GA PH: 202-224-3521 FX: 202-224-0103
The "Newbie" Senators
Well, there will be votes in January, 2005. Should you need tocontact the newly elected Senators, here is how to get ahold of them. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ADD OR CORRECT.
FL -- Mel Martinez, 305-443-3611 fax: 407-897-8595
GA -- Johnny Isakson, 202-225-4501, 404-252-5239
LA -- David Vitter, 504-833-1163; fax: 202-225-0739
NC -- Richard Burr, 336-777-1170;
OK -- Tom Coburn, 918-684-4308, 405-721-4281, 580-353-2858; fax: 918-294-8380 or 580-353-1978 * There may be a problem with some of the numbers as they are from 2 sources. Better than -0- numbers
SC -- Jim DeMint, 866-546-2004; fax: 202-226-1177
SD -- John Thune, 605-221-1010, 605-718-7000;
Or email the Pro Abortion Devil Himself:
Subject:"Payback for BORK".
Specter does not want to hear the will of the people. His mind is closed and so are his ears. Lookup your Senator at www.senate.gov. If he / she is a Republican, let them know you participated in the BUSH Revolution for Regime Change from Leftist, Democratic obstructed Congresses.
Specter does not want to hear the will of the people. His mind is closed and so are his ears.
Arlen Specter believes in his own infallibility. He is convinced that the majority want to continue the holocaust of abortion, and he will be there forever to light the fire.
Absolutely. I couldn't agree more strongly. Excellent article, as usual from Mr. Sowell!