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Candidates for USSC after Miers // What was SO bad about Miers' speech
US News, Tradesports, Washington Post, ConfirmThem.com ^ | 10/29 | Compiled by Dangus

Posted on 10/29/2005 4:13:09 AM PDT by dangus

Bios of potential Supreme Court Justices, ranked by popularity on Tradesports.com:

Sam Alito, 35.6. Yale, 55.
"Appointed in 1990 by George H.W. Bush to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito has earned a reputation for intellectual rigor and polite but frequent dissent in a court that has been historically liberal. His mettle, as well as a personable demeanor and ties to former Republican administrations, has long had observers buzzing about his potential rise to the high court. "Sam Alito is in my mind the strongest candidate on the list," says Pepperdine law Prof. Douglas Kmiec. "I know them all . . . but I think Sam is a standout because he's a judge's judge."...

"... In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, Alito was the sole dissenter on the Third Circuit, which struck a Pennsylvania law that required women seeking abortions to consult their husbands. He argued that many of the potential reasons for an abortion, such as "economic constraints, future plans, or the husbands' previously expressed opposition . . . may be obviated by discussion prior to abortion." The case went on to the Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court's decision 6 to 3."
(US News & World Report)

Michael Luttig, 15.0. U Virginia, 51.
"Luttig became the nation's youngest federal appellate judge at 37 when President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Alexandria, Va., in 1991–a reflection of his rapid ascent through the legal world...

"...Luttig is regarded as a staunch federalist in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas. Luttig recently concurred with the majority opinion that struck down part of the Violence Against Women Act that would have allowed women to sue their attackers for monetary damages. Congress, Luttig said, could not authorize suits against states through its power to regulate interstate commerce. The Supreme Court later affirmed his conclusions."
(US News & World Report)

Michael McConnell, 6.1. U Chicago, 50
"Conservatives admire McConnell's views on religion and government; he's been a vigorous opponent of abortion and a staunch supporter of school vouchers. Some liberals applaud McConnell's opposition to the Clinton impeachment and the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000;...

"...McConnell graduated from Michigan State University in 1976 and attended the University of Chicago Law School. Prof. Geoffrey Stone says that even as a student, McConnell possessed an uncommonly astute legal mind. Stone was so impressed that he called Supreme Court Justice William Brennan to help secure a clerkship for McConnell. "I thought clerking for Justice Brennan might temper some of his conservative convictions," he says. "It didn't work."

McConnell served for a time as an assistant solicitor general in the Reagan Justice Department and then turned to academia for 17 years, first at the University of Chicago Law School and later at the University of Utah's law school. He is regarded as one of the country's foremost scholars on the religion clauses of the Constitution...

"...McConnell is also an outspoken opponent of abortion. In 1998, he wrote in the Wall Street Journal that "the reasoning of Roe v. Wade is an embarrassment to those who take constitutional law seriously.""
(US News and World Report)

Karen Williams, 6.0. Columbia College, U S Carolina, 54.
Strongly supported by Sen. Lindsey Graham (of the Gang of 14) and by S.C. Democrat and former Black Congressional Caucus chair Jim Clyburn, Williams was dismissed by most newspaper accounts because of her votes to overturn Miranda. William Rehnquist lashed out angrily at her for ignoring precedent, stating that the criminal defense and police cultures in America have evolved around Miranda as a standing precedent. (Roberts had explicitly cited thhat sort of dependence as a reason to defer to stare stare decisis even when he believes the initial decision to be wrong.)

Apon chatter that Ms. Williams may be nominated to the Supreme Court, all local newspapers could say about her was to talk about how she was considered "insensitive" for finding against a woman who sued because of sexual innuendo at her workplace. The woman helped produce "Cocky" outfits for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

Williams' other major case was upholding the Pledge of Allegiance in a Virginia dispute enjoined by 25 other states' attorneys general. She found that the pledge did not have a religious purpose and did not entangle the state with religion, and that the suing parent, Myers, had no basis to litigate for his children (an apparent deliberate slap at the 9th circuit, wherein the courts threw out the pledge when an atheist father sued "on behalf" of his Christian child that the pledge was a violation of his child's right not to be exposed to Christianity.) Williams found religious recognition pervaded early US history.

Concurring with Williams, other members of the majority criticized Williams for crossing the line of separation of Church and state drawn by the USSC.
(Dangus' own researh)

Edith Brown Clement, 4.3. Tulane, 57.
"She was nominated to her current seat on September 4, 2001 by President George W. Bush, was confirmed by the Senate on November 13, 2001 by a vote of 99-0, and received her commission on November 26, 2001.

"Judge Clement is a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the Federal Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the Federalist Society, the Tulane Law School's Inn of Court, and the Committee on the Administrative Office of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

"With John Roberts' promotion to Chief Justice by President Bush, the media has mentioned Clement as a possible choice to fill what would have been his spot as an Associate Justice because she is a woman. Time (magazine) however stated that Clement's current chances seem to be somewhat diminished because the Bush administration believes her to be guilty of excessive self-promotion. Eventually, George W. Bush picked White House Counsel Harriet Miers as his nominee to succeed Justice O'Connor, but with the withdrawal of Miers's nomination [1], Clement again is a potential nominee."
(Wikipedia)

Edith Hollan Jones, Cornell, U Texas, 3.5
"Edith Hollan Jones has the right resume for the Supreme Court short list. She has spent much of her life in President Bush's home state of Texas, and in two decades on the federal bench, Jones has built a staunchly conservative record. Now, though, some court watchers are wondering whether she is too far to the right to ever be confirmed...

...Jones has pleased judicial conservatives with her steadfast opposition to activist judges and her views on abortion. In a 2004 abortion case, Jones railed against the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, calling it an "exercise of raw judicial power." She said recent studies about the emotional effects women face after an abortion and evidence that babies can feel pain earlier than was once believed could lead courts to conclude that a "woman's 'choice' is far more risky and less beneficial, and the child's sentience far more advanced, than the Roe court knew.""
(US News and World Report)

Janice Rogers Brown, 3.0. 56, Cal State, UCLA, U Virginia

Janice Rogers Brown is currently an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court, where she has served since 1996. She is the first African-American woman to sit on California's highest court.

Justice Brown's highest profile decision is Hi-Voltage Wire Works Inc. v. City of San Jose, 24 Cal. 4th 537 (2000), for which she wrote the majority opinion striking down a San Jose program that offered preferential treatment to businesses owned by minorities or women.

California's Proposition 209, approved on November 5, 1996, changed everything. By an extensive examination of the ballot pamphlet materials that accompanied Prop. 209, Brown concludes that Prop. 209 was intended by the voters to make the government "fair, color-blind, race-blind, gender-blind." San Jose clearly violated this directive because the Program required special outreach to MBEs and WBEs and encouraged what amounted to discriminatory quotas and set-asides.

In American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lungren, 16 Cal.4th 307 (1997), the majority struck down on state constitutional grounds a statute requiring pregnant minors to secure parental consent or judicial authorization before obtaining an abortion. In a lengthy dissent, Brown castigates the court for acting as a super-legislature. She states early in her dissent, "The fundamental flaw running throughout [the majority's] analysis is the utter lack of deference to the ordinary constraints of judicial decisionmaking--deference to state precedent, to federal precedent, to the collective judgment of our Legislature, and, ultimately, to the people we serve." She is particularly dismayed by the court's lack of deference when, as here, the standards dictated by state, federal, and legislative precedent are clearly derived from history, context, and text. With regard to the statute itself, it is notable that Brown (1) finds the statute's age limitation not unreasonable, and (2) acknowledges a liberty interest in parents' controlling their children that is "historically more sacrosanct than a minor's right to privacy."

Brown's ... opinions seem to rebut the "not qualified" rating initially imposed upon her by the State Bar of California's Commission on Judicial Nominees. For the most part, they are well written and extensively researched. It is difficult to pin her down to any one modality of interpretation: although she seems to be extra-sympathetic to originalism, she also methodically lays out the relevant precedent and carefully distinguishes seemingly inconsistent cases on the way to her conclusions.... This careful, and at times overwhelming, attention to precedent also mitigates any assertion that she would be an activist judge. ... But although Brown seems to faithfully follow precedent, her Kasky dissent shows that she is more than happy to raise strong objections to the existing precedent if she feels that it is somehow misguided.
(Steven Wu at SCOTUS blog)


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: dangus; judicialnominees; miers; scotus; supremecourt; ussc

1 posted on 10/29/2005 4:13:11 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

As for Miers, this is her characterization of religion in politics:

"Where else do we hear a lot today about the Courts. (sic) The law and religion. (sic) A preacher in Dallas is charged by suits (sic) charging (sic) that he is rippig off the helpless and defrauding them with prayer cloths, etc. Abortion clinic protesters have become synonymous with terrorists and the courts have become the refuge for the besieged (i.e., abortion millers). The Branch Davidian compound became a sight (sic) for speculation about legal responsibilities and legal rights. The on-going debate continues surrouding the attempt to once again criminalize abortion or to once and for all (sic) guarantee the freedom of the individual woman's right to decide for herself whether she will have an abortion."

But Miers' rhetoric was infused from start to finish with liberal presumption, not just in the abortion references which caught the eye of Republican congressmen and the media. This "conservative" refers to the Republican-backed funding plan for public schools "the Robin Hood plan." And she blames judicial legislating not on judges overstepping their legitimate function, but on legislatures shirking their duty to raise taxes:

"I used to hear a lot (sic) like you do (sic) about the interference of the courts in the governance of the State (sic) or city -- mental health facilities, prison facilities, redistricting, housing, education, everything is in the courts (sic). But over the course of time, I have sensed (sic) a disturbing trend... Many of the decisions that need to be made are hard or unpopular. So (sic) its (sic) just (sic) politically advantageous not to make them...

"No-one wants to deal with the hard issue of a State (sic) income tax. Even Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock [Notice that she blames the Republican Liuetenant Governor, not the Democratic governor, Ann Richards for the state's fiscal crisis!] has backed off his support for a state income tax. We could afford such luxury [not having an income tax] during the boom years. Now we have to face the reality... the need for a statewide, equitable, efficient source of funds for public education... Inadequate educational facilities (sic? or is she really blaming the problem on facilities?) lead to the loss of people resources (sic), increase (sic) in crime and other social ills burdening society and all the other effects we can witness (sic?)"

[Yes, how do we fight crime? Raise taxes for more school facilities, of course!]

"Racial issues are prevalent in our society today and certainly the Courts (sic) continue to be looked to (sic) for solutions to injustice or perceived injustice." [Perceived injustice has to be solved by courts?]

"The justice system is under scrutiny for its very makeup because of the few minorities who serve in the judiciary. [She's blaming the few minorities that there are. Whew! I'd've thought she might blame the lack of minorities!] And (sic) if we are honest, we cannot deny that things go wrong, they cannot be explained away, and changes need to be made."

"We still have a justice system that does not provide justice for all as provided by the Pledge of Allegiance."

[Does anyone else find it truly terrifying that a Supreme Court nominee looks to the frickin' Pledge of Allegiance as the source which provides equal protection under the law???]

Sorry, but this paper written by Harriet Miers makes her look like an idiot. And not like an O'Connor liberal, but like a Betty-Friedan liberal.


2 posted on 10/29/2005 4:16:28 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus
Sam Alito, 35.6. Yale, 55.

Samuel A. Alito Jr. (born April 1, 1950) is a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. His ideological likeness to United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has earned him the nickname "Scalito."

Alito was born in Trenton, New Jersey. He graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. in 1972, and went to Yale Law School, where he earned a J.D. in 1975. From 1981 to 1985 he was Assistant to the United States Solicitor General, and was Deputy assistant to the U.S. attorney general from 1985 to 1987. After a brief stint as U.S. Attorney for the district of New Jersey, he was nominated by George H. W. Bush in 1990 to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. His chambers are in Newark, New Jersey.

3 posted on 10/29/2005 4:18:07 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (I'll try to be NICER, if you will try to be SMARTER!.......Water Buckets UP!)
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To: dangus
Not only should Miers not be on the Supreme Court, she shouldn't bein the Bush administration either.
Bush needs to fire her along with Andy Card.
4 posted on 10/29/2005 4:22:25 AM PDT by counterpunch (JRB in '05 = GOP in '06)
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To: dangus

Thanks for the bios and odds.

Janis Rogers Brown..........please God!
"Where government moves in,” Brown told the Federalist Society in 2000, "community retreats, civil society disintegrates, and our ability to control our own destiny atrophies. The result is families under siege, war in the streets, unapologetic expropriation of property; the precipitous decline of the rule of law; the rapid rise of corruption; the loss of civility; and the triumph of deceit.”
Janis Rogers Brown, SCJ California


5 posted on 10/29/2005 4:29:40 AM PDT by ConservativeGreek
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To: ConservativeGreek

You had better pick someone else. She cannot be confirmed.


6 posted on 10/29/2005 4:54:40 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek ("Over there, Over there, we will be there until it is Over there.")
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To: dangus

By the way, according to Tradesport's, the chance that one of these candidates is selected in 80%. Mahoney, Sykes, Cornyn, Garza and Owen also have odds better than 2%. All others have odds of 1.5% or less... Brown is fading; down to 2.5%.


7 posted on 10/29/2005 5:38:31 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

By the way, according to Tradesport's, the chance that one of these candidates is selected in 80%. Mahoney, Sykes, Cornyn, Garza and Owen also have odds better than 2%. All others have odds of 1.5% or less... Brown is fading; down to 2.5%.


8 posted on 10/29/2005 5:38:32 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus

the only one there that doesn't look 'great' is Karen Williams... all the rest, based on info given, look supportable.


miers' downfall should support evangelical christians in that they are not trying to set up a theocracy... even the "far right" would rather have a secular constitutionalist defending their freedoms than an unknown 'evangelical'.


9 posted on 10/29/2005 6:46:30 AM PDT by kpp_kpp
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To: dangus

I don't like Sen. Lindsey Graham and the Gang of 14, however, I like Karen Williams, she an originalist. She has four children and four grandchildren and remained very active in the Orangeburg community as a member of First Baptist Church and various civic organizations.


10 posted on 10/29/2005 6:51:53 AM PDT by FreeRep
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To: dangus

my fav of the list would have to be McConnell -- he is outspoken, firmly convicted, set in his ways, and yet (i think) has a better chance at getting through the nomination process than alito or luttig.

this line is a real winner: "I thought clerking for Justice Brennan might temper some of his conservative convictions," he says. "It didn't work."

no souter there.


11 posted on 10/29/2005 6:52:26 AM PDT by kpp_kpp
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To: dangus
I also opposed the Miers nomination, but it's over now. Let's not kick the poor woman while she's down. It's time now to focus on the next nominee.
12 posted on 10/29/2005 6:55:16 AM PDT by curiosity (Cronyism is not conservative)
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To: counterpunch
Not only should Miers not be on the Supreme Court, she shouldn't be in the Bush administration either.

I concur. It's shocking that someone so unbelievably stupid is Bush's top attorney. I will never look at this administration the same way again.

13 posted on 10/29/2005 6:56:56 AM PDT by USAConstitution
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To: dangus

McConnell didn't exactly "oppose" Bush v. Gore. He would have permitted a FAIR recount, or an attempt to do so in the limited time left, rather than stopping all recounts as 5 justices voted to do. McConnell AGREED that SCOFLA had made a terrible decision that needed reversing, though!


14 posted on 10/29/2005 7:02:36 AM PDT by pogo101
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To: USAConstitution
Yes.
Not only are her political beliefs incompatible with the conservative agenda, but she appears to be a 3rd rate lawyer who can't even answer standard Constitutional questions.

If she is the one giving the White House its legal advice, its no wonder Libby is in the trouble he's in now.
"Shocking" is the right word to describe this level of professional incompetence advising the White House.
Our country deserves better.
15 posted on 10/29/2005 7:04:44 AM PDT by counterpunch (JRB in '05 = GOP in '06)
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To: pogo101

SCOFLA -- "scoff law" -- indeed!


16 posted on 10/29/2005 7:05:53 AM PDT by counterpunch (JRB in '05 = GOP in '06)
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To: dangus
Miers looked very much like a windshield wiper. She said whatever the audience wanted to hear. No conviction if you ask me. Good she did the honorable thing.
17 posted on 10/29/2005 7:06:26 AM PDT by Tarpon
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To: pogo101

but that point alone could get him enough praise from the left to cover over some of his other views and provide a smooth confirmation.


18 posted on 10/29/2005 7:07:03 AM PDT by kpp_kpp
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To: pogo101

That's where McConnell is problematic for me. SCOFLA rejected Harris' determination. USSC sided with Harris, 9-0. SCOFLA deliebrately disregarded the USSC in a move that would've made the 10 Commandments guy from Alabama blush; it was an in-your-face act of defiance and hubris.

There may be a literalist justification for sending the case back down to SCOFLA, but two things were known by the USSC 9-0 majority (falsely reported as 5-4):

1. SCOFLA would rule in bad faith.
2. No good faith effort at a legally permissable recount could possibly be conducted in a legal timeframe (i.e., by December 14).

9 out of 9 judges concurred that SCOFLA's prescribed means of a recount was unconstitutional. 7 of the 9 USSC justics concurred that there was no way a legitimate recount could be undertaken by the State of Florida in a permissable time frame. 5 out of 9 ruled that the USSC did not have to permit the state of Florida to make an bad-faith ruling which necessarily would have to come back to the USSC to overturn. This is correct.

Judging from his Bush-v-Gore beliefs, McConnell APPEARS to subscribe to a conservative anti-activist position which, by default, means that the most actively liberal body must be permitted to make the rules: A conservative justice MUST be passive in his legitimate use of power, even while liberal judges misappropriate that power.

I must note, however, that my notions are my own opinion formed by third parties' depcition of McConnell's ruling, and may therefore be unfair to McConnell. You will note that the quote you correct is not my own statement, but my sourced reference to US News and World Report.


19 posted on 10/29/2005 7:21:12 AM PDT by dangus
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To: curiosity

Miers' writings are so permeated with liberalism, through and through, like the stench of tobacco in the clothes of a chain smoker. She was not an O'Connor type, or a Souter type, but a Betty Friedan type. It is terrifying that a "Republican" president who knew her so well could not detect her radicalism, or her contempt and disgust for conservative beliefs. Her zealous radicalism was so noxious she withdrew within hours of being exposed, since it was obvious that 30-40 Republican senators could never vote for her, so there was scarcely a window for discussion of her views. But they are relevant, in that they reveal a horrifying lack of trustworthiness of President Bush.

As I stated in a vanity, it's not Bush's honesty, or even necessarily his values which I do not trust any longer; it is his judgment. And I felt it beneficial to illustrate why.


20 posted on 10/29/2005 7:27:18 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus; pogo101

To further explain my problem with McConnell:

SCOTUS overturned SCOFLA in a 9-0 decision, stating that partial recounts were unequal protection under the law and were wholly illegitimate. SCOFLA permitted the recounts to occur, anyway. The case wet back to the Supreme Court, and was renamed Bush v Gore.

All 9 judges concurred that SCOFLA's actions were illegal, contrary to press accounts that Bush won 5-4. 7 judges concurred that the US Supreme Court had the authority to overturn SCOFLA's interpretation of the US Constitution. What 5 judges had done was to co-sign the majority opinion to pre-emptively block SCOFLA from any further mischief, by enjoining further cases, and asserting that there was no conceivable remedy to accomplish what all 9 justices had agrees was what the US Constitution was the only permissable a recount: A recount of all counties, in accordance to what the state of Florida had already set were the rules, and by December 14th, the date derived from the US Constitution for counting the electoral votes of an election held on November 7.

Two justices, Souter and Ginsburg, IIRC, wrote a dissent, arguing that SCOFLA had acted illegally, but the USSC had no authority to force its interpretation of the law on SCOFLA. They cited Yniguez v. Park, which found that the state of Arizona could throw out an initiative to make English the official language, because the Arizona Constitution also had a clause stating that Arizona must not pass laws which the US Constitution forbids Congress from passing.

Yniguez could not reasonable set precedent for Bush, however. The USSC did not truly find that Arizona could interpret federal law as defined by the Constitution within the state of Arizona, but rather could define for itself what its own constitution meant when it granted rights based on what rights were granted by the US Constitution.

How duplicitous were Ginsburg and Souter? Both had voted to uphold Roe v. Wade, which based its Supremacy over state constitutions banning abortion on the grounds that it was not permissable to have various states creating a "patchwork" of differing sets of constitutionally protected rights... which is seemingly what Yniguez did, and exactly what Gore would do.

McConnell's reasoning wouldn't interpret the law liberally or conservatively: it would allow the most liberal court to rule.


21 posted on 10/29/2005 7:59:48 AM PDT by dangus
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To: USAConstitution

I tend to agree with you.

My esteem of Bush took a big shot with this one.

I mean, what on earth was he thinking?

Bizarre, to say the least.


22 posted on 10/29/2005 8:02:08 AM PDT by Sometimes A River (No more crony picks!)
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To: kpp_kpp

What's your problem with Williams? At least we know she is to the right of Rehnquist.


23 posted on 10/29/2005 9:27:29 AM PDT by dangus
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To: kpp_kpp

What's your problem with Williams? At least we know she is to the right of Rehnquist.


24 posted on 10/29/2005 9:27:30 AM PDT by dangus
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To: dangus
As I stated in a vanity, it's not Bush's honesty, or even necessarily his values which I do not trust any longer; it is his judgment. And I felt it beneficial to illustrate why.

I agree with you 100%, but it's time to move one and focus on the next nominee. While Miers deserves bashing, it's not useful anymore.

25 posted on 10/29/2005 9:49:42 AM PDT by curiosity (Cronyism is not conservative)
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To: mariabush

You had better pick someone else

I can dream can't I?


26 posted on 10/29/2005 10:12:25 AM PDT by ConservativeGreek
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