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NYT: Senate Democrats Are Shifting Focus From Roberts to Other Seat
New York Times ^ | September 9, 2005 | DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

Posted on 09/09/2005 6:16:08 AM PDT by OESY

Senate Democrats say the death of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist has eased the pressure on them to oppose the Supreme Court nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. but has set the stage for a more contentious battle over the other vacancy on the court.

"When you are thinking about the balance of the court, you say, 'O.K., Judge Roberts is replacing Justice Rehnquist,' " said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut. " 'Consider him on his merits, but it doesn't alter the balance of the court.' "

Democratic senators and strategists say they are weighing whether to save their ammunition for the next nominee, who would succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, often the swing vote on social issues.

Liberal groups had vowed to hold accountable any senator who voted to confirm Judge Roberts if he ended up moving the court to the right on abortion rights, affirmative action or other issues, but the death of a conservative justice revives the possibility that the next nominee may preserve the current equilibrium.

Since Chief Justice Rehnquist's death, some prominent Democratic critics of Judge Roberts have acknowledged more openly that he is likely to win confirmation.

"Has anything come up before the hearings that is a showstopper for Roberts? The answer is no," said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip, who, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, voted against confirming Mr. Roberts to a federal appeals court seat two years ago.

With hearings on Judge Roberts's confirmation set to start Monday, Democratic leaders are already laying the groundwork for the next battle....

Although Mr. Reid has not taken a position on Judge Roberts, he recently made clear that he would object....

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 109th; chiefjustice; democrats; johnroberts; judicialnominees; liberals; lieberman; nomination; rehnquist; roberts; scotus; senate; supremecourt


Judge John G. Roberts Jr. leaving the funeral of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, whose position he has been nominated to fill, on Wednesday.



William H. Rehnquist served on the Supreme Court for 33 years, the last 19 as chief justice.



Act now! Special deals for Democrats!
1 posted on 09/09/2005 6:16:12 AM PDT by OESY
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To: OESY
Mr President. Hard Core Conservative nominee. They block that start moving to the right, again and again and again. Make it clear to the Dims that they WIN an election, they pick the judges, until then they can STFU!
2 posted on 09/09/2005 6:19:44 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (Professional Journalism- the Buggy Whip makers of the 21st century)
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To: OESY

"Senate Democrats Are Shifting Focus From Roberts to Other Seat"

Are they going to hold a "confirmation hearing" in a closet and interrogate an empty chair?


3 posted on 09/09/2005 6:20:56 AM PDT by frankjr
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To: MNJohnnie

Janice Rodgers Brown. She's, first and most importantly, a conservative jurist. The fact that she's a woman (a woman replacing a woman) and Black (Pres. Bush hates AA's, see in New Orleans) will make it more difficult for the Dems to trash her, although of course they will. But these two issues will be taken away from them.


4 posted on 09/09/2005 6:22:15 AM PDT by twigs
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To: twigs

Strategery again. Damn that Rove, anyway (sarc).


5 posted on 09/09/2005 6:24:34 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Troubled by NOLA looting ? You ain't seen nothing yet.)
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To: OESY
The contitution doesn't mandate a balanced court. To the victor go the spoils...
6 posted on 09/09/2005 6:29:48 AM PDT by Russ
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To: twigs

She would be my pick.


7 posted on 09/09/2005 6:30:15 AM PDT by Grand Old Partisan
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To: OESY

I wish the Republicans would realize that the Democrats are the minority for very good reasons.


8 posted on 09/09/2005 6:34:28 AM PDT by rollo tomasi (Anyone who votes for Democrats after Aug. 28, 2005 are just plain ignorant.)
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To: twigs

Yes, the Democrats will be afraid to smear Janice Rogers Brown, just like they kept as quiet as church mice during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.


9 posted on 09/09/2005 6:41:21 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

I think they would go after her with a vengence. But the president will have taken two issues away that I've heard with the Roberts' nomination: gender and race. The Dems are shameless, but I personally think that everytime they come out to do their race bait act, more people see through them. In the long run, they are hurting themselves and in the short run, I think that, barring any unforeseen difficulties, Brown could be confirmed. A win-win for the Republicans.


10 posted on 09/09/2005 6:46:06 AM PDT by twigs
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To: twigs

Theyll fillibuster her, and push back confirmation until after the next Senate of elections. And if they win the Senate back (or come close), her nomination is dead, they will vote as a block to defeat her. Thats the scenario.


11 posted on 09/09/2005 6:50:14 AM PDT by Nonstatist
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To: Nonstatist

Dwight Eisenhower recess appointed all three of his Court nominees until they were confirmed. Bush should do the same.


12 posted on 09/09/2005 7:48:26 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: OESY
"When you are thinking about the balance of the court, you say, 'O.K., Judge Roberts is replacing Justice Rehnquist,' " said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut. " 'Consider him on his merits, but it doesn't alter the balance of the court.' "

This BOGGLES MY MINE. Where does it say that the confirmation process has ANYTHING to do with who replaces who and the "balance" of the court. THIS IS ABSURD! You judge the person on their merits...ONLY.

I can't believe the media perpetuates this myth of "replacement" or "balance".

13 posted on 09/09/2005 7:52:08 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: Verginius Rufus
Yes, the Democrats will be afraid to smear Janice Rogers Brown, just like they kept as quiet as church mice during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

She'd be the PERFECT choice right now just as the Dems say Bush hates Blacks. He should nominate her today.

14 posted on 09/09/2005 7:53:33 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: 1Old Pro
"I can't believe the media perpetuates this myth of "replacement" or "balance"."

Of course you can, 1OP. That's all they have anymore, lies. They have not learned, continuing with the same playbook which has become shopworn and diminishing in effectiveness every day. Pride before and during the fall. Likewise, their shrillness is indicative of the fact they have lost their monopoly. Little do they realize in their arrogance that the more shrill they become, the less credible they are to a growing number of the body politic. Thank goodness for the New Media and think about where we would be today if we didn't have it...

15 posted on 09/09/2005 7:59:40 AM PDT by eureka! (Hey Lefties: Only 3 and 1/4 more years of W. Hehehehe....)
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To: cotton1706

There is no need for a recess appointment unless a justice dies.


16 posted on 09/09/2005 8:24:58 AM PDT by zendari
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To: zendari

The point is to get around the filibuster and keep the court functioning. Make the democrats feel the pain of preventing a vote.


17 posted on 09/09/2005 8:29:17 AM PDT by cotton1706
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To: 1Old Pro
Bush should be thinking of who will be the best person to be on the Court for the next 20 or 30 years, not how best to discomfit the 'Rats. Maybe that person is Janice Rogers Brown, maybe it's one of the others being talked about.

I just hope he has dropped the notion of picking Alberto Gonzales. When his enemies are in full attack mode, he shouldn't fail his friends. (I don't know that Gonzales would be a bad SC justice, but I don't trust him to be a good one.)

18 posted on 09/09/2005 8:53:55 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: OESY

Anything less than a known originalist nominee with a PROVEN track record to fill one of the two seats vacanted by Rehnquist is unacceptable. Roberts is a maybe and there is no guarantee he will be as conservative as Rehnquist. Anything less than a sure thing and it will almost assure another generation of judicial tyranny.


19 posted on 09/09/2005 8:58:56 AM PDT by Ol' Sparky
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To: cotton1706

And when the recess appointment expires and the Dems pick up the Presidency in 2008?

Recess appointments make little sense for the judiciary lifetime positions. That said, in this case, I would have recess appointed Robert Bork, as both payback, showing the Democrats who is boss, and correcting an injustice from the past.

The court can still function now with Oconner remaining. You get around the filibuster with nuclear option, not some halfassed defeatist recess appointment.


20 posted on 09/09/2005 9:08:48 AM PDT by zendari
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To: OESY
"When you are thinking about the balance of the court, you say, 'O.K., Judge Roberts is replacing Justice Rehnquist,' " said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut. " 'Consider him on his merits, but it doesn't alter the balance of the court.' "

All this "balance of the court" stuff is dopey. One of the benefits of being resident is that you are able to reshape the court to your liking.

21 posted on 09/09/2005 10:41:52 AM PDT by jmc813 ("Small-government conservative" is a redundancy, and "compassionate conservative" is an oxymoron.)
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To: 1Old Pro
She'd be the PERFECT choice right now just as the Dems say Bush hates Blacks. He should nominate her today.

Demonrats can lie and get away with it. They do it all the time. They will probably say: he wants more black votes in 2006, but he still hates blacks. How could they have said this in the first place? Bush was the first president to nominate a black man as Secretary of State, and now a black woman.

Anyway, Michael Luttig is obviously the best choice. He is brilliant and conservative, but he has served long enough on a lower court as to pay at least some respect to precedents.
22 posted on 09/09/2005 11:31:07 AM PDT by DoraC (To insist on strength is not war-mongering. It is peace-mongering.)
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To: twigs

Bush should put up a nominee the Democrats would be tempted to obstruct - it would rally the GOP base to turn out in the off year election. With them having more seats to defend, it would put many Dems in a sticky situation.


23 posted on 09/09/2005 1:37:05 PM PDT by Republican Wildcat
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