Skip to comments.Did Bush promise to appoint a justice like [in the mold of] Scalia? Have we been misled?
Posted on 10/15/2005 3:15:52 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
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And that he has done. I gave him my trust on judiciary appointments when I voted for him both times. I verified that giving him that trust was the right thing to do after watching his appointment of 200 some odd judges.
The least I can do after that is respectfully listen to Harriet Miers in the hearings and then make my decision on her, not that my decision means much mind you.
He has earned that, IMHO.
Posted on October 15th, 2005 at 8:01 pm. About 'A Civil Civil War'.
13:Spending just a couple seconds googling, I at least found this quote during the Oct 3 2000 debate where Gore states that Bush told a prolife group he would appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas and Bush did not correct him or say anything in different in any response or afterword. Its something til something else is dug up, and this may be one of those statements he gave to prolife groups which transcripts are no longer available but witnesses repeated it commonly then and he or anyone else have never rebutted it knowing it to be true. Maybe well find more:
GORE: Well, Jim, the FDA took 12 years, and I do support that decision. They determined it was medically safe for the women who use that drug. This is indeed a very important issue. First of all on the issue of partial birth or so-called late-term abortion, I would sign a law banning that procedure, provided that doctors have the ability to save a womans life or to act if her health is severely at risk. Thats not the main issue. The main issue is whether or not the Roe v. Wade decision is going to be overturned. I support a womans right to choose. My opponent does not. It is important because the next president is going to appoint three and maybe even four justices of the Supreme Court. And Governor Bush has declared to the anti-choice group that he will appoint justices in the mold of Scalia and Clarence Thomas who are known for being the most vigorous opponents of a womans right to choose. Here is the difference. He trusts the government to order a woman to do what it thinks she ought to do. I trust women to make the decisions that affect their lives, their destinies and their bodies. And I think a womans right to choose ought to be protected and defended.
MODERATOR: Governor, well go to the Supreme Court question in a moment, but make sure I understand your position on RU-486. If youre elected president, you wont support legislation to overturn this?
BUSH: I dont think a president can unilaterally overturn it. The FDA has made its decision.
MODERATOR: That means you wouldnt, through appointments, to the FDA and ask them to
BUSH: I think once a decision has been made, its been made unless its proven to be unsafe to women.
GORE: Jim, the question you asked, if I heard you correctly, was would he support legislation to overturn it. And if I heard the statement day before yesterday, you said you would order he said he would order his FDA appointee to review the decision. Now that sounds to me a little bit different. I just think that we ought to support the decision.
BUSH: I said I would make sure that women would be safe who used the drug.
MODERATOR: On the Supreme Court question. Should a voter assume youre pro-life.
BUSH: I am pro-life.
MODERATOR: Should a voter assume that all judicial appointments you make to the supreme court or any other court, federal court, will also be pro-life?
BUSH: The voters should assume I have no litmus test on that issue or any other issue. Voters will know Ill put competent judges on the bench. People who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not use the bench for writing social policy. That is going to be a big difference between my opponent and me. I believe that the judges ought not to take the place of the legislative branch of government. That theyre appointed for life and that they ought to look at the Constitution as sacred. They shouldnt misuse their bench. I dont believe in liberal activist judges. I believe in strict constructionists.
Outstanding point, Congressman Billybob. Thank you.
We still do not know about Roberts. In the final analysis, we took him on faith. So did President Bush, and all the conservative glitterati. Now many of those same glitterati have turned into a howling mob, willing to throw everything away if they can just destroy Harriet Miers.
The mob does not know either Roberts or Miers. But President Bush knows Harriet Miers. Either President Bush is worthy of trust, or he is not. I choose to trust the President.
I trust President Bush to appoint the most conservative person he can get confirmed.
Good point, Jim.
Posted on October 15th, 2005 at 8:23 pm. About 'A Civil Civil War'.
And then (arguably going to the right of Anthony (sic) Scalia who thinks the term is too strict) the famous interaction in 2004 which Professor Bainbridge provides good analysis of at http://www.professorbainbridge.com/2005/10/hewitt_and_mirg.html
GOV BUSH: The most primary issuethe most primary issue is will they strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States?
MR. RUSSERT: Will your judges and judge appointments to the Supreme Court be similar to Scalia in their temperament and judicial outlook?
GOV. BUSH: Well, I dont think youre going to find many people to be actually similar to him. Hes an unusual man. Hes an intellect. The reason I like him so much is I got to know him here in Austin when he came down. Hes witty, hes interesting, hes firm. Theres a lot of reasons why I like Judge Scalia. And I like a lot of the other judges as well. I mean, its kind of a harsh question to ask because it now pits mesome of whom are friends of mine. I mean, itsand so, in all due respect, Judge Thomas.
Bush nor any of his cabinet ever disavowed this
Jess, I don't believe that's your take at all. If it actually was, then you'd be advocating U.S. citizens refrain from any comment whatsoever, unless they were running for office. With that attitude you wouldn't even approve of participating on a forum like this.
With that attitude when a Bill Clinton came along you'd remain silent unless you decided to run for office against him. No, I don't think that's your take at all.
I doubt you approve of Bush's elevated spending outside the War on Terrorism. You may not agree with open borders. Do you plan on remaining silent on those issues as well as the Supreme Court nominee?
"I think CONSERVATIVES better quit bickering and do as has been done for years, be sure to vote in primaries. Very few do."
That's the best advice. The nature of a party is shaped through those sets of elections, and with concerted effort, directed one way or another. Somehow, conservatives managed to get Goldwater on the ticket in '64, against the wishes of the party establishment. It *can* be done.
What I find puzzling, however, was that I thought primaries tended to lean conservative, in Republican races. That's one of the reasons why McCain lost for the '00 nomination. The only thing I can think of as to why there's so many lousy GOP reps in D.C. is because of incumbancy. Party members tend to be loyal enough to keep the same congressmen, senators, and so on, on the ticket once they're already there. That's why Arlen Specter got through in the '04 primaries - conservatives knew better, but thought he'd at least be there for them on some of the votes in the Senate. It would have been better to boot him out before the November election last year, and gone with Toomey instead.
"Did Bush mislead us? My take: Bush is trying to appoint such a justice; however, the present political situation precludes him from nominating an known conservative. The Senate has rejected many if not most of Bush's appellate court nominees and would subject his Supreme Court nominees to special ideological certainty to prevent a judge who might agree with Scalia or Thomas from reaching the bench."
I'm not sure about the first assertation. Republicans never had 60 conservative senators and got Justices Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist through. And wasn't Suter supposedly anti-abortion at the time of his hearings, too?
Getting a non-activist Justice through *is* possible. Not likey on the first number of attempts. But eventually, and with enough political capital spent, the base can be satisfied.
As Bush's record has shown, he is incapable of such a confrontation. He could do it, though, if he really wanted too, IMO.
I would trust him more if he hadn't betrayed my trust in other areas. I do not love saying that, but that fits the facts. You know the list.
"He didn't. You are wrong."
If not, he sure as hell got a lot of unearned votes from conservatives across the country.
"He promised justices in the mold of Scalia and Thomas when he promised strict constructionists"
If he promised strict constructionists, how does he know that Miers is one too? She's never been a judge. No record to measure up against.
Roberts had a relevant paper trail. He was not "taken on faith."
"How about this: He's known her personally and worked with her for years? That would be first-hand experience."
A strict constructionist is a type of judge. If she's never been a judge, how does he know what type she will be? There is no way for him to know.
I agree with you Frank. And "I know her heart" just doesn't cut it for me.
I know of no list where Bush has made a campaign promise and then broken it.
Amen! Even FR's own poll on the subject showed that a large majority either want to wait for the hearings or support Ms. Miers outright.
President Bush deserves his fair share of blame for that, but I do think the fiercest condemnations have been directed at petty party functionaries and flacks like Scott McClellan, Ed Gillespie, Mark Mehlman, and the ever-contemptible, NE Rockefeller dimwit-who should never have been appointed WH Chief of Staff-Andy Card.
I'll give Rove the benefit of the doubt-until it's proven that he did support the Miers pick-but don't expect me to refrain from excoriating toadying crap-weasels like Card and Gillespie.
There's more, but I'll leave it with that one.
If seriously you think that, then you aren't being honest with yourself. The venom heaped on Harriet Miers and President Bush on these threads has been extreme and sickening. You've been one of the most active participants in piling it on.
It is one thing to be opposed to her nomination. That's fair and it's everyone's right as Americans. It is quite another thing to trash a woman who appears to have led an exemplary life up one side and down the other, over and over and over again in a reactionary frenzy.
But we were talking campaign promises. Bush ran on reforming campaign finance though without infringing the individual right to speech.
When you say you are betrayed you have to offer evidence of that betrayal. Specific promises made that weren't kept. You can't do it because Bush fulfilled almost every single promise, from Tax Cuts to No Child Left Behind and loading the federal courts with conservatives, 200 plus at this counting.
I knew going in what I was voting for. I'm always surprised that others didn't.
Is that you, Eric Foner?
And he signed into law a bill that infringed upon the free speech rights of Americans.
How does that not constitute a betrayal, pray tell?
It was a telling moment whtn Bush publically defended his pro-affirmative action, pro-illegal, La Raza member crony back when Gonzales was floated as a SCOTUS pick - stammering some banality about getting mad when people pick on his friend.
They just haven't had to prove it.
Perhaps it's just a misreading on my part, but that seems like a reference to liberal members of the Court.
In general, I tend to agree.
Conservatives put their faith in President Bush-and he led them on-but the President never reneged on any specific, explicit campaign promise to appoint jurists who would emulate justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
George W. Bush
Supreme Court + Constitution
No litmus test except interpretation of the Constitution. (Oct 2004)
Prefers strict constructionists, like overturning Dred Scott. (Oct 2004)
No litmus test; just strict constructionist interpretation. (Oct 2000)
No tax money for abortion, but no Pro-Life Amendment either. (Sep 2000)
Supreme Court is wrong: leave abortion to the states. (Jun 2000)
No pro-life pledge; VP & judges will simply be qualified. (Jan 2000)
Would support - but not pursue - a pro-life Amendment. (Jun 1999)
Still not what you're looking for, but I thought we could see how far back the claim goes.
Men make mistakes. I think Bush will see that as his biggest mistake. But betrayal on a campign promise? I don't think so. An affront to the constitution? Definitely.
Bush signed that garbage in 2002. Did you vote for him in 2004? I did because although I was even more exercised over that than you are over Harriet Miers, he overwhelmingly delivered everything he promised to within his power and because he has been excellent vis a vis hunting and killing jihadists.
So, if you voted for Bush in 2000 and then again in 2004, either you could not have been betrayed or betrayal doesn't mean much to you.
Reneged? Hardly. His 200 plus appointments to the trial courts and appellate courts have been almost uniformly excellent and consistent withg his promise to appoint judges who would not legislate from the bench.
The sound principle of judicial review has turned into an intolerable presumption of judicial supremacy. A Republican Congress, working with a Republican president, will restore the separation of powers and reestablish a government of law. There are different ways to achieve that goal - setting terms for federal judges, for example, or using Article III of the Constitution to limit their appellate jurisdiction - but the most important factor is the appointing power of the presidency. We applaud Governor Bushs pledge to name only judges who have demonstrated that they share his conservative beliefs and respect the Constitution.
I'm just collecting sources. I know this is still not what you're looking for. BTW, it was posted on the PBS site on July 31, 2000.
Though, the platform committees don't necessarily represent the candidates themselves.
Phyllis Schlafly was a member of that one-if I recall correctly-and I'm almost certain that she's considered persona non grata by the current Bush administration.
I know it sucks to be wrong, but why don't you just admit that you were? This is ridiculous.
From a debate with Kerry in 2004
GIBSON: Mr. President, the next question is for you, and it comes from Jonathan Michaelson, over here.
MICHAELSON: Mr. President, if there were a vacancy in the Supreme Court and you had the opportunity to fill that position today, who would you choose and why?
BUSH: I'm not telling.
I really don't have -- haven't picked anybody yet. Plus, I want them all voting for me.
I would pick somebody who would not allow their personal opinion to get in the way of the law. I would pick somebody who would strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States.
Let me give you a couple of examples, I guess, of the kind of person I wouldn't pick.
I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words "under God" in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process as opposed to a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
Another example would be the Dred Scott case, which is where judges, years ago, said that the Constitution allowed slavery because of personal property rights.
That's a personal opinion. That's not what the Constitution says. The Constitution of the United States says we're all -- you know, it doesn't say that. It doesn't speak to the equality of America.
And so, I would pick people that would be strict constructionists. We've got plenty of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Legislators make law; judges interpret the Constitution.
And I suspect one of us will have a pick at the end of next year -- the next four years. And that's the kind of judge I'm going to put on there. No litmus test except for how they interpret the Constitution.
GIBSON: Senator Kerry, a minute and a half.
KERRY: Thank you, Charlie.
A few years ago when he came to office, the president said -- these are his words -- "What we need are some good conservative judges on the courts."
And he said also that his two favorite justices are Justice Scalia and Justice Thomas.
So you get a pretty good sense of where he's heading if he were to appoint somebody.
Now, here's what I believe. I don't believe we need a good conservative judge, and I don't believe we need a good liberal judge. I don't believe we need a good judge of that kind of definition on either side.
I subscribe to the Justice Potter Stewart standard. He was a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. And he said the mark of a good judge, good justice, is that when you're reading their decision, their opinion, you can't tell if it's written by a man or woman, a liberal or a conservative, a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian. You just know you're reading a good judicial decision.
What I want to find, if I am privileged to have the opportunity to do it -- and the Supreme Court of the United States is at stake in this race, ladies and gentlemen.
The future of things that matter to you -- in terms of civil rights, what kind of Justice Department you'll have, whether we'll enforce the law. Will we have equal opportunity? Will women's rights be protected? Will we have equal pay for women, which is going backwards? Will a woman's right to choose be protected?
These are constitutional rights, and I want to make sure we have judges who interpret the Constitution of the United States according to the law.
So Bush did not make the "in the mold of Scalia or Thomas" statement, at least not in this debate. The implication is there, however, and allowed to stand.
Arguing against Miers detractors on this basis strikes me as Clintonian and weak.
My problem with the Miers nomination is not that she is not a Scalia or Thomas clone. She could be. I don't know. And it is the not knowing that is the point.
Choosing a stealth candidate has an air of cowardice to it.
I'm not calling for her nomination to be withdrawn. I would like to see her performance during the confirmation hearings. However, my vote for Bush in 2004 was cast primarily based on the fact that he would appoint a strict constructionalist, not a pig-in-the-poke to avoid a fight.
"Trust Me" is sounding a lot like "Read My Lips."
Dated March 26, 2001.
Are you having difficulty comprehending my point? Let me make it a little more simple for you.
The President nominates candidates. The senate either votes up or down on the candidate based on hearings. Your ability to choose nominees ends once you vote for President.
Your incessant whining and shrieking about Miers plays right into the democrats hands. You're carrying water for Clinton, Kennedy, Schumer, Pelosi...ect... The standard the republicans set prior to this massive hissy fit was: Let the Senate vote on the nominee and don't hold up nominees based on political ideology. Now the hypocrites have played right into the dems hands by demanding that political ideology is the ONLY factor that matters in rejecting a nominee. Congratulations to ya. Your griping is worth more to the dems than a fat contribution from your checking account.
What a cop out. That's leftist thinking.
You heard exactly what YOU wanted to hear, not what was actually said.
I guess that depends on what the meaning of "is" is.
Leftist thinking indeed.
To be fair, some court observers and Bush watchers say that although the Bush judges are pro-business and pro-defendant, they are far more "moderate" than their more conservative predecessors. "His judges tend to be moderate-conservative judges," says Anthony Champagne, a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. "Bush has quite an impressive record when it comes to Texas. His appointees have been a moderating force on the Texas Supreme Court. They are pro-defense, but not extremely so. They tend to often be well regarded by people on both sides." Even Court Watch reported that "a contingent of four justices initially appointed by Gov. George W. Bush appear to be intent on eliminating the excesses of the GOP old guard elected between 1988 and 1994." Still, Texas conservatives understood that Bush's judges would follow the lead of those parked further to the right. During Abbott's 1998 election run, he raised money from business and defense interests under the "reform" banner. One of his fundraising letters reads: "His election to a full six-year term is critical to continue the reform movement that has done so much to return balance, fairness, and impartiality to the Supreme Court."
Well Jess, let me make it real simple for you.
I have first ammendment rights and I'm going to express them. Since you like to offer up solutions to others, I'll just suggest that if you can't handle it, move to a nation where people do not have a right to express themselves.
The President nominates candidates and I as a citizen am going to make it known what I think of them.
Inceassant whining and shrieking? You are one dilusional soul. Since Miers nomination I have made around five comments on this forum with regard to her. In them I have stated that I think Bush could have and should have done better. That must be pretty drastic language by your standards. LOL Incessant whining and shrieking? If nothing else Jess, you're good for a laugh.
I have stated that the left is trying to attain what they couldn't at the polls, by judicial fiat. I have stated that I want to make sure that our last line of defense against this, the Supreme Court, has rock solid conservative judges to prevent it. If you truly do think that's carrying water for Clinton, Kennedy, Schumer and Pelosi my hats off to you. That is perhaps the most obsurd comment I've heard in months.
Well 'incessant whining and shrieking' mustn't have been good enough for you. Now you're off on a hissy fit of your own. In fact that last post was a doozie of a hissy fit.
Let's see, we have a woman who may or may not be a rock solid well grounded constructionist, and you'd like to give the democrats and a few Republicans the chance to install her. Frankly, I don't want to.
A hipocrite would by a person what had voiced the disire to have a good conservative judge installed into the Supreme Court, and then supported just anyone the President lofted without any objection whatsoever, no matter what. Sorry, I just don't fit the bill. I can think of someone who does.
You just go right ahead supporting a women that very well might be another Souter, and I'll be content to voice objection. There are pleanty of good people out there with a record. My gosh, you mean we could have had one of them? The horrors...
My objection to a possible Souter trumps your support of such a person. Tough luck.
It's not absurd at all. You're doing exactly what conservatives have accused the left of doing. Objecting to a qualified candidate purely on ideological grounds. You can't have it both ways.
Had Bush nominated Alan Dershowitz, would Republicans have no business objecting to the nomination on ideological grounds?
Is there any Bush nominee you wouldn't support?
I predict Bush will publicly confirm that he never said "I will nominate a candidate in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas."
I believe Bush actually said "I will nominate a candidate in the mold of Sidney Appelbaum or Walter Finkelstein."