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Dubya Closes a Door? What Harriet Miers may mean for constitutional law.
National Review ^ | 10/17/5 | Dennis Coyle

Posted on 10/17/2005 9:37:09 AM PDT by Crackingham

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1 posted on 10/17/2005 9:37:17 AM PDT by Crackingham
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To: Crackingham
I'm going to use a lot of hyperbole as I steer the ship of my thoughts toward the moorings of legal matters that are best considered while listening to In-A-Gadda-Davida and chomping on small crackers.

[/overwrought writing style]

2 posted on 10/17/2005 9:41:38 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Crackingham

Nice summation.


3 posted on 10/17/2005 9:42:11 AM PDT by JohnnyZ ("I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country" -- Mitt Romney)
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To: Crackingham
Given Reid's sophisticated evaluations of judicial and presidential competence, what more recommendation could one need?

Ihave said from the beginning that this is enough for me to oppose this nomination.

4 posted on 10/17/2005 9:43:47 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I'm going to use a lot of hyperbole as I steer the ship of my thoughts

If you think that's bad, you should check out Miers' writing. *shudder* http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1503766/posts

5 posted on 10/17/2005 9:44:34 AM PDT by JohnnyZ ("I believe abortion should be safe and legal in this country" -- Mitt Romney)
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To: Crackingham

"the uprising seems to be gaining surprising momentum"

I'm not entirely sure. I'd like to hear the author's evidence on that (or any other freepers).


6 posted on 10/17/2005 9:46:04 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: Crackingham
This is silly. MOST Supreme Court justices never write memorable decisions, and MOST vote with a majority or minority in which ONE or TWO great legal minds direct the court. Always has been, always will be.

I've said it before: one Scalia on the Court is a dream; nine would be a nightmare.

7 posted on 10/17/2005 9:50:16 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: Crackingham
...but there is no sign that she has the intellectual depth or sophisticated understanding of the Constitution to seriously challenge the liberal legal mainstream.

What the hell does that mean? All she needs to do is get four votes to side with her and what she says will become law. She doesn't have to challenge the liberal legal mainstream, it will have to challenge her.
8 posted on 10/17/2005 9:50:20 AM PDT by BikerNYC (Modernman should not have been banned.)
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To: ConservativeDude
Your the sixth post and no one has called anyone a sexist or elitist yet. There's your evidence.
9 posted on 10/17/2005 9:52:15 AM PDT by Mulch (tm)
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To: Mulch

Heh.

Maybe the opposition is running out of names to call us.


10 posted on 10/17/2005 9:53:25 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: JohnnyZ

Yeah, consider this: the court tries to spread the task of writing opinions around. Senior-most justice on winning side assigns the task. Court will deliver written opinions in roughly 170 cases per year. So we'll get about 18 written opinions from her a year, for what, 10 years? Wonder how many of those will end up in law school texts?


11 posted on 10/17/2005 9:55:48 AM PDT by phelanw
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To: Mulch

Oh, you elitist sexist, you!


12 posted on 10/17/2005 9:59:13 AM PDT by gridlock (Mother Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she's losing.)
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To: phelanw

"Wonder how many of those will end up in law school texts?"

I'm thinking more like freshmen English composition classes, on how not to write stultifying prose that comes to no conclusion even after a thousand words.


13 posted on 10/17/2005 10:01:44 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: Blood of Tyrants

>>>I have said from the beginning that this is enough for me to oppose this nomination.<<<

Same here. I naturally oppose any issue that Reid, Kennedy, Leahy, Kerry, Biden, Durbin, Pelosi, or other left-wing wackos support. I am rarely wrong.


14 posted on 10/17/2005 10:07:54 AM PDT by PhilipFreneau ("Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." -- James 4:7)
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To: LS

I agree with you LS.

I do believe most people are concerned with Ms. Miers because she is unknown; and we are tired of people, no matter be it a SC nominee or plain vanilla politician, telling the public they are one way and turn out to be the other way. We don't want blood either in a big massive fight either. What we do want is someone who will hold to the principles of the Constitution and not vote or govern as the case may be their own personal agenda or some groups hatred for America.


15 posted on 10/17/2005 10:09:13 AM PDT by freekitty
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To: BikerNYC

This is silly. MOST Supreme Court justices never write memorable decisions, and MOST vote with a majority or minority in which ONE or TWO great legal minds direct the court. Always has been, always will be.

That's why we need a complete moron on the court, someone barely smart enough to breath but still able to sign her X on legal documents. After all, the clerks do all the work.

I've said it before: one Scalia on the Court is a dream; nine would be a nightmare, because then we'd be back to a original intrepretation of the Constitution, and who needs that?

"...but there is no sign that she has the intellectual depth or sophisticated understanding of the Constitution to seriously challenge the liberal legal mainstream."

What the hell does that mean? All she needs to do is get four votes to side with her and what she says will become law. If she writes enough birthday cards with hearts on them, that ought to be sufficient to sway those stodgy Justices to her side.

She doesn't have to challenge the liberal legal mainstream, all she has to do is be a cipher, a pimple on the butt of jurisprudence, and the left will have to challenge her. If you are a woman and a friend of GW, you don't need brains to be a Supreme Court Justice, no it's all about feeling good about someone. That's why I'm having my heart surgery done by my chiropractor, he's so much more friendly than those guys down at the hospital.


16 posted on 10/17/2005 10:10:49 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: phelanw

She won't write them, that's what interns are for.


17 posted on 10/17/2005 10:12:10 AM PDT by colorcountry (George W. Bush... Saving your ass whether you like it or not!)
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To: FastCoyote

heh.


18 posted on 10/17/2005 10:14:19 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: phelanw

Court will deliver written opinions in roughly 170 cases per year...

Not nearly that many--more like less than half of 170 according to the following:

Link

The number of slip opinions published each Term has varied over the years from as few as 75 to as many as 150.

The number of cases handled by the Court -- with full opinions -- has been reduced substantially in recent decades, from some 140-150 to 70-90.

Source

80 opinions this past term.

'04 Slip Opinions

19 posted on 10/17/2005 10:25:05 AM PDT by elli1
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To: FastCoyote
Who cares if the decisions are memorable? They don't have to be. It doesn't matter how they are written. People don't go on the Supreme Court to write brilliantly worded decisions, they go on it to assert power. A decision can be one page long and the effect would be the same. "You win and you lose. Why? Because we say so."

Lawyers and judges have their own little way of talking and they expect everyone else to talk like them and to bow down to the idea that their way is the only way to talk and write about the law. They're full of crap. It is a way to create a technocracy and to convince people that the only ones who are qualified to read and decipher the Constitution are lawyers and judges.

Well, the Constitution is not some freakin' quantum physics textbook. Anyone who can read and anyone with a modicum of reading comprehension skills can figure out what it means and, more importantly, has the right to figure out what it means.
20 posted on 10/17/2005 10:28:38 AM PDT by BikerNYC (Modernman should not have been banned.)
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To: elli1

You're right. It will deliver summary judgement in about 120 cases, written opinions in about 80-90.


21 posted on 10/17/2005 10:28:48 AM PDT by phelanw
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To: FastCoyote
Exactly. Roe was an incoherent, results-oriented statement of "constitutional law." The Miers opinion overturning it might as well be equally incoherent and results-oriented: something like "Roe v. Wade is hereby disapproved as wrongly decided. There are other better ways to define one's own concept of the meaning of life besides obtaining an abortion, which we need not go into here."

Way to re-establish the integrity and legitimacy of constitutional law.

22 posted on 10/17/2005 10:36:27 AM PDT by Map Kernow ("I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing" ---Thomas Jefferson)
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To: FastCoyote
Exactly right. She doesn't have to challenge the libs. She only has to vote the right way, and leave the great decisions to Scalia and Thomas and Roberts.

Sorry, but nine eggheads, even conservative eggheads, is a disaster waiting to happen. You need people with pragmatic, everyday outlooks to know how laws affect real people. As Bill Buckley often said, "I'd trust myself to the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard," and in this case I'd trust the decisions of nine average Americans just as soon as a bunch of "brilliant" legal scholars---of any stripe.

23 posted on 10/17/2005 10:57:13 AM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: LS

She doesn't have to challenge the libs. She only has to vote the right way, and and you certainly don't need brains for that. In fact, brains are just a hindrance to good jurisprudence. Leave the great decisions to Scalia and Thomas and Roberts, then just use Miers as a convenient sock puppet to rubber stamp the ideas of men with brains. I don't know why people think a woman on the Supreme Court should have brains anyway, how much brain work does it take to make coffee or write a cute birthday card?

Sorry, but nine eggheads, even conservative eggheads, is a disaster waiting to happen. Especially ones who believed in strict constructionism, cause there's no knowing where a strict reading of the Constitution will lead you. Could be anywhere, conservative penumbras anyone?

You need people with pragmatic, everyday outlooks to know how laws affect real people. Like, how a parking ticket gets written or how many spotted owls does it take to make a pie. As Bill Buckley often said, "I'd trust myself to the first 100 names in the Boston phone book than the faculty of Harvard,". That's why we need to go the opposite way and find someone of low IQ, lower than mine even.

I'd trust the decisions of nine average Americans just as soon as a bunch of "brilliant" legal scholars---of any stripe. Sort of the way 12 jurors awarded $250 million in the Vioxx case, putting an entire industry in chaos. Now there's jurisprudence for ya, straight from the common man.


24 posted on 10/17/2005 11:12:28 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: LS

I keep wondering how many justices the next president will appoint and what the results will be.


25 posted on 10/17/2005 11:17:34 AM PDT by B4Ranch (In 3 to 5 seconds check- employees immigration status - http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/SAVE.htm)
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To: FastCoyote
If you are a woman and a friend of GW, you don't need brains to be a Supreme Court Justice, no it's all about feeling good about someone.

And your post isn't all about feelings? You've been told for the last few years that only X, Y and Z will be suitable candidates so you've gone into brain lock at the thought of anyone other than X, Y and Z being nominated.

26 posted on 10/17/2005 11:23:50 AM PDT by jess35
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To: LS

I think you may have missed Fast Coyote's point.


27 posted on 10/17/2005 11:31:10 AM PDT by brivette
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To: jess35

"And your post isn't all about feelings? "

Posts on this thread by me have been satirical. In general, my posts are not about feelings but about contract law - adherence to the Constitutional contract without which there is chaos. Pretty unemotional stuff.


28 posted on 10/17/2005 11:38:15 AM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: Crackingham
Wonder if she is a nominee that was meant to slide by Dems and RINOs?
29 posted on 10/17/2005 11:43:27 AM PDT by Colonial Warrior ("I've entered the snapdragon part of my ....Part of me has snapped...the rest is draggin'.")
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To: BikerNYC
What the hell does that mean? All she needs to do is get four votes to side with her and what she says will become law. She doesn't have to challenge the liberal legal mainstream, it will have to challenge her.

Here is the problem with that idea. It's not just the votes that matter - it's the reasoning in the decisions. There are hundreds of district and appellate courts across this country with conservative justices who look for guidance from the Supreme Court on how to best articulate their position so that it stands in the face of numerous appeals on each fine point of the law.

In fact, while many decisions of the Supreme Court may not be memorable, lines and footnotes from those decisions most certainly are. In order to defend what's left of constitutional law, we need to have a justice who understands how to represent the conservative position in the face of years of jurisprudence that goes "the other way." Might Miers be able to do it? Perhaps. But why not go with someone who has already proven themselves?
30 posted on 10/17/2005 11:44:24 AM PDT by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: phelanw

"Wonder how many of those will end up in law school texts?"

The one that overturn Roe V Wade will.


31 posted on 10/17/2005 11:47:07 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Liberal Talking Point - Bush = Hitler ... Republican Talking Point - Let the Liberals Talk)
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To: July 4th

"But why not go with someone who has already proven themselves?"

Because 41 people, not qualified to catch dogs will not let this person sit on the bench. How is that for a reason?



32 posted on 10/17/2005 11:49:09 AM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Liberal Talking Point - Bush = Hitler ... Republican Talking Point - Let the Liberals Talk)
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To: Crackingham
.

"The Miers nomination may prove to be a wake-up call so energizing the Republican base that they rise in revolt, scuttling the nomination and demanding that Bush fulfill his promise to name a Scalia or a Thomas. That seemed unlikely at first, but the uprising seems to be gaining surprising momentum."
--->

I beg to differ with the author. Even the poll taken of FR conservatives puts the lie to that:

Do you approve of Harriet Miers for Supreme Court?

Yes
34.5%

No
30.3%

Need more info
29.8%

I'm voting Hillary!
3.4%

Pass
2.0%

[ Details · Polls ]

33 posted on 10/17/2005 12:08:12 PM PDT by AFPhys ((.Praying for President Bush, our troops, their families, and all my American neighbors..))
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To: Blood of Tyrants

You have a short memory. Reid also sung praises for Roberts but he voted against him. I think Reid was caught with his pants down on this nomination. I don't think Reid ever thought Bush would take him up on his initial idea of nominating Miers. Bush sure fooled him.


34 posted on 10/17/2005 12:12:03 PM PDT by conservative blonde (Conservative Blonde)
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To: Crackingham

NR and NRO have lost any credibility on this issue.


35 posted on 10/17/2005 12:16:42 PM PDT by KMAJ2 (Freedom not defended is freedom relinquished, liberty not fought for is liberty lost.)
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To: AFPhys

The FR poll ought to be reset. A lot of people who clicked "need more info" probably would vote yes or no now.


36 posted on 10/17/2005 12:23:06 PM PDT by Graymatter
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To: Crackingham

When only 12% of Conservatives support your position NRO, it is NOT the WH who is "losing ground". But cling to this nonsense. It has been a real eye opener to find out who are the pretend Conservatives in the movement who merely hitched their wagon to our start so they could ride along. Glad to find out that since Buckley retired, NRO has been over run by self important Dinosaur Media style gate keepers who's egos are completely out of touch with their relevance to the Conservative movement. Been fun the last 10 days watching NRO move over to join Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan in the whiny, self-important, perpetually angry, and completely irrelevant, caucus of the Conservative Movement.


37 posted on 10/17/2005 12:44:09 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (I'll try to be NICER, if you will try to be SMARTER!.......Water Buckets UP!)
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To: FastCoyote

Utterly silly. But I re-state my position: I'd trust nine average Americans than nine legal whizzes any day, Vioxx be damned. I've served on juries, and can tell you that there's some pretty solid thinking that goes on there without a single law book. Funny thing, most of our Founders didn't have legal training---and certainly not of they type expected today. And gee, they only managed to write the Constitution. Yeah, we need some real eggheads up there. You've convinced me.


38 posted on 10/17/2005 12:54:18 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: Crackingham
sophisticated understanding of the Constitution

Huh? IMHO, what we need is less parsing of the constitution and a more literal approach. You know, it says this, so, duh, that must be what it means.

I don't know about Miers, but lawyers have made the constitution out to be a lot more complicated than it is. We need to get down to basics.

If the Constitution does not specifically give a power to the feds, then it belongs to the states. How freakin complicated is that concept???

39 posted on 10/17/2005 12:55:11 PM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s......you weren't really there.)
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To: brivette

I got his point perfectly. He thinks we need the smartest tool in the box---no, nine of them. I don't. One or two intellectuals anywhere are useful, but nine can't hammer a nail together. I think this Court, for years, has been "over-lawyered" and had too many eggheads who can't read the Constitution. It ain't that tough.


40 posted on 10/17/2005 12:56:23 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: BikerNYC

"Who cares if the decisions are memorable? They don't have to be. It doesn't matter how they are written. People don't go on the Supreme Court to write brilliantly worded decisions, they go on it to assert power. A decision can be one page long and the effect would be the same. "You win and you lose. Why? Because we say so."

Thanks for the short/clear dose of reality versus the endless pompous hyperbole from the elites of the beltway.


41 posted on 10/17/2005 12:59:41 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Jamie Gorelick is responsible for more dead Americans(9-11) than those killed in Iraq.)
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To: KMAJ2
Agreed. And Miers is building sympathy from the grassroots because it appears that the intellectual conservative elites don't like her---for whatever reason. It reminds me of a number of people here on FR during the Clinton years who weren't happy to have Clinton/Gore defeated at the ballot-box: they wanted America to admit "we were wrong." For these same people, it's not enough to get the votes that advance your agenda---they want to rub peoples'noses in it and say, "SEE, we've got the votes, nyahh, nyahhh."

I've always been the quiet kind of "advance-the-agenda" guy, and leave the bluster to the Carville types.

42 posted on 10/17/2005 1:00:01 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: KMAJ2
Agreed. And Miers is building sympathy from the grassroots because it appears that the intellectual conservative elites don't like her---for whatever reason. It reminds me of a number of people here on FR during the Clinton years who weren't happy to have Clinton/Gore defeated at the ballot-box: they wanted America to admit "we were wrong." For these same people, it's not enough to get the votes that advance your agenda---they want to rub peoples'noses in it and say, "SEE, we've got the votes, nyahh, nyahhh."

I've always been the quiet kind of "advance-the-agenda" guy, and leave the bluster to the Carville-Coulter types.

43 posted on 10/17/2005 1:00:19 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: LS

" Funny thing, most of our Founders didn't have legal training---and certainly not of they type expected today. And gee, they only managed to write the Constitution. Yeah, we need some real eggheads up there. You've convinced me."

Oh yeah, Harriet Miers is the caliber of Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Hamilton, et. al. They'd laugh their asses off if they read Harriet's few ramblings. I'd be happy with a Thomas Sowell, or Victor Davis Hanson, or others out of the usual mold.

But please, don't insult us by claiming dumb is genius, and genius is dumb. Harriet Miers is a pedestrian choice, a disappointment. Like pinch hitting the bat boy for Barry Bonds. And please, I would no more trust 9 random citizens with my life than I'd play Russian Roulette with three in the chambers.

GW is a liberal on most issues that matter. And you want us to trust him with Miers?

Just keep repeating to yourself, dumb is smart, dumb is smart, and maybe even you will really believe that.


44 posted on 10/17/2005 1:10:11 PM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: FastCoyote

Interesting you chose the steroid-laden Bonds as an example, but I repeat: I'm more comfortable with a couple of average people on the Court. Yes, AVERAGE, in all levels.


45 posted on 10/17/2005 3:00:59 PM PDT by LS (CNN is the Amtrak of news)
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To: MNJohnnie
Amen, Brother.

What happened to the National Review of Toledano, Brudnoy, Kilpatrick, Rusher, O'Sullivan, and Taki Theodoropulous.

Speaking of William F. Rusher, didn't he come out in support of Miers?
46 posted on 10/17/2005 4:56:38 PM PDT by Oklahoma
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To: ConservativeDude
I'm not entirely sure. I'd like to hear the author's evidence on that (or any other freepers).

He has no evidence for any of the assertions in his article.

47 posted on 10/17/2005 6:33:53 PM PDT by alnick
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To: phelanw
Some justices have relied almost entirely on their clerks to write opinions especially as they grew older.
48 posted on 10/17/2005 8:50:11 PM PDT by ncountylee (Dead terrorists smell like victory)
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To: LS

"Interesting you chose the steroid-laden Bonds "

Deceitful little innuendo there. Typical act of someone who wallows in mediocrity.


49 posted on 10/17/2005 9:41:00 PM PDT by FastCoyote
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To: Crackingham
the Republican base . . . demanding that Bush fulfill his promise to name a Scalia or a Thomas.

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.

(LAUGHTER)

I really don't have -- haven't picked anybody yet. Plus, I want them all voting for me.

http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2004c.html

50 posted on 10/17/2005 10:16:16 PM PDT by Kryptonite (McCain, Graham, Warner, Snowe, Collins, DeWine, Chafee - put them in your sights)
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