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The Left Keeps Trying -- And Failing -- To Smear Brooks Smith ^ | May 16, 2002 | John Nowacki

Posted on 05/16/2002 9:30:28 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen

How many different attacks will left-wingers come up with as they try to block D. Brooks Smith's confirmation? Answer: As many as it takes, no matter how desperate they look in the process.

Brooks Smith, a federal district judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania since 1988, has been nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. He's currently the Chief Judge of his court and is a former state judge who spent years in private practice. Smith was unanimously confirmed by the Senate when he was nominated to the district court, and this time around, he's received a "well-qualified" rating from the American Bar Association. In short, he's exactly that: well-qualified.

But beyond that, he's passed all the Senate Democrats' moving goalpost tests. ABA rating, which Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy calls "the gold standard by which judicial candidates are judged?" The highest possible. Support of home state Senators? Senators Specter and Santorum want him confirmed. Consensus nominee? Well, no one really knows what that means, but eight Democrats in his state's congressional delegation want him confirmed, too. As do all ten of his colleagues on the district court, the board of the Women's Bar Association of Pennsylvania, every U.S. Attorney for his district under every President since Carter, and more than a few members of the U.S. Senate.

Nevertheless, Smith is in the Left's crosshairs, and the usual suspects have been busy doing the usual things. They've tried attack after attack, each one fizzling out before being replaced by Plan B, or C, or eventually Plan D. It's beginning to look ridiculous.

First it was Smith's judicial ethics. He briefly presided over a case involving an investment advisor who had defrauded several municipalities and school districts out of millions. It eventually became clear that the case would involve the bank Smith's wife worked for, and he removed himself from the case. Before that became apparent, he issued an order relating to the distribution of funds. Smith's critics say he acted unethically.

Nonsense. Smith recused himself on his own initiative at the first hint of a possible - not actual -- conflict. His order relating to the funds merely followed the recommendation of the SEC and the funds' trustee. So did he act quickly enough? The parties in the case seem to think so; neither they nor their attorneys nor the trustee of the funds have questioned his ethics. Was the order proper? Of course. Besides following a recommendation, it didn't shield the bank from liability at all, and it didn't benefit him or harm the victims of the fraud.

The other half of the ethics attack involved attendance at legal seminars conducted by various legal groups. But those seminars have programs that are ideologically diverse and intellectually demanding. Seminars serve to educate judges about the latest developments in the law, and judges generally agree that they're a valuable resource - judges like Smith, a Republican appointee, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Democrat appointee. And when Smith attended seminars, he followed the highest ethical standards.

After that attack fell apart, the left-wingers switched to Plan B: ethics and "invidious discrimination." The Pennsylvania chapter of the National Organization for Women claimed Judge Smith violated the Judicial Code of Conduct by having once been a member of the Spruce Creek Rod & Gun club, which limits membership to men. In its complaints, the NOW chapter mentioned the difficulties women face when excluded from clubs where business deals and contacts are made, and that Smith didn't resign when, after he became a judge, the club didn't change its policy.

Just one problem. Actually, several problems. First, Spruce Creek isn't a place where business transactions are made, either at its events or on its property. It's a serious Pennsylvania hunting and fishing club - a purely social group. And if the left-wingers at NOW had read the Code of Judicial Conduct, they'd know that such a club, with a purely social purpose, "cannot be said to practice invidious discrimination." In other words, no ethical violation. Not even close.

Second, Judge Smith did resign from the club, in 1999. He resigned after, in his words, "agitating for several years" about a change in the male membership policy. While the club had long accepted women as guests in its activities, Smith tried over the years to get them accepted as members. In fact, when he was up for his district court judgeship, Smith said he'd try to change the membership policy and would resign if he failed. That's exactly what he did - in spite of the fact that the Code of Judicial Conduct didn't require it.

What makes this attack especially ludicrous is that it says more about the far-left's obsession with social engineering than anything else. There are sporting clubs all over the country that limit membership to one sex or the other, and it's hard to believe this doesn't irritate left-wingers to no end. But the situation with Spruce Creek is actually a point in favor of Judge Smith, who went the extra mile in trying to change the policy and leaving when he found he couldn't.

With this second attack failing like the first, with fingers crossed the Left has switched to Plan C. According to Byron York at National Review, Senator Charles Schumer is grilling Smith over whether he personally believes the Supreme Court's ruling and rationale in the Griswold privacy rights case was correct. But Judge Smith has made it clear in his hearing and responses to Schumer that he would follow Supreme Court precedent, and that's really all that matters. While Schumer may want judges to bring their personal views into play as judges, their role requires them to leave that extraneous baggage outside the courthouse and be fair and impartial jurists. Schumer obviously hopes that the Democrats' ideological litmus test will be a bar to Smith's confirmation, and may insist that a judge or nominee who won't discuss his personal views doesn't belong on the federal bench. By going beyond Smith's qualifications, temperament, and commitment to following the law, Schumer shows how willing the left-wingers are to grab something -- anything -- as an excuse for voting against Smith's nomination.

After endless rooting around in his unpublished opinions, and one unsuccessful attack after another, Brooks Smith's reputation is still excellent. His qualifications are still among the best, and he still merits confirmation.

The Pickering nomination showed how far left-wingers are willing to go to defeat a Bush nominee. The Smith nomination shows just how desperate they are willing to look while trying.

John Nowacki is Director of Legal Policy at the Free Congress Foundation.
Free Congress Foundation

TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 05/16/2002 9:30:28 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
The usual suspects in their own words:

National Council of Jewish Women Urges Senator Leahy to Oppose Confirmation of Judge D. Brooks Smith

People for the American Way: Judge D. Brooks Smith, Another Divisive Bush Nominee

NOW Opposes Nomination of D. Brooks Smith to Federal Court

Earthjustice: Judging the Environment

Alliance for Justice Raises Serious Concerns about Judge D. Brooks Smith

National Employment Lawyers Association: Smith has "disturbing" record

People for the American Way is leading the charge.

2 posted on 05/16/2002 9:59:34 AM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
Thanks for the links...appreciate it. The Dems still continue on with their obstructionist ways.

Related Articles:
Pickering Battle Places Congress on Verge of 'Institutional Crisis'
Source:; Published: March 07, 2002;
Author: Jeff Johnson

Make them pay for 'Borking': David Limbaugh rebukes spineless Republicans to support Pickering
Source:; Published: March 5, 2002;
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The GOP's Post-Pickering Strategy
Source: National Review Online; Published: March 1, 2002;
Author: Byron York

Pickering Fight Shows Liberals At Their Worst
Source: Roll; Publblished: February 21, 2002;
Author: Mort Kondracke

Still Pestering Pickering
Source:; Published: February 19, 2002;
Author: John Nowacki

Dismantling Democracy through Judicial Activism
Source:; Published: February 12, 2002;
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'A Troubling Pattern': Ideology Over Truth In Judicial Confirmations
Source: Too Good Reports; Published: February 10, 2002;
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Democrats Blast Bush Judicial Nominee
Source:; Published: February 08, 2002;
Susan Jones

The Next Big Fight: The first major judicial-confirmation battle of the Bush administration.
Source: National Review: Published: Feburary 6, 2002;
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SYMPOSIUM Q: Should the Senate Take Ideology into Account in Judicial Confirmations
Source: INSIGHT magazine; Published: February 4, 2002;
Ralph G. Neas -- YES: The ideology of nominees for the federal judiciary matters more now than ever
Roger Pilon -- NO: Since judges apply law, not make it, the Senate's concern should be with judicial temperament

What is the Judiciary Committee Trying to Hide?
Source:; Published: January 29, 2002;
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Blasting Conservative Judges: Liberals Launch Their Campaign
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Matt Pyeatt

Judicial Confirmation Lies, Deception and Cover-up
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Senator Leahy Does Not Meet His Own Standards; Published: December 07, 2001
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Senator Daschle Must Remove 'Leaky Leahy' From Judiciary Committee
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A Disgraceful Blocking of Nominees
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Patrick Leahy - Words Do Kill
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Judges Delayed is Justice Denied
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Leahy And Daschle Are Coming Face To Face With Their Own Words
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3 posted on 05/16/2002 10:11:16 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Stand Watch Listen
PFAW and NOW are funded by the Bronfman family, heirs to the Seagram fortune. Aside from booze, they are into some racey magazines and films. I suspect that industry and worse is where the real opposition to Smith and other conservatives comes from.
4 posted on 05/16/2002 11:27:10 AM PDT by LarryLied
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To: LarryLied
Bingo - you may have hit the jackpot with that analysis!
5 posted on 05/16/2002 2:34:21 PM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
NOW renegade Tammy Bruce was on C-Span talking about her book The New Thought Police and mentioned Seagrams. They help fund NOW and the organization backed off criticizing something or other which had to do with sleaze because of the company. She kept saying, "Follow the money." Trouble is, it is difficult to find out who funds PFAW and the ACLU. My guess is if their books were ever opened, we would find every pornographer and drug dealer in the country are substantial contributors.
6 posted on 05/16/2002 4:16:31 PM PDT by LarryLied
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To: Stand Watch Listen
This is one of two emails I received today:

Another crucial battle in the ominous ongoing war against conservatives and Christians looms Thursday, May 23, when the Democrat-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to finally consider the nomination of Judge Brooks Smith to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. To refresh yourself with the petition, please visit:

Many fear Smith, presently the well-respected Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, will be the next bloody casualty of the committee's unholy and unjust war against President Bush's nominees. Radical Democrats have been looking for every excuse not to allow Smith's nomination to advance out of committee for traditional full Senate confirmation hearings. After members arrogantly rebuffed President Bush's plea for fair play on May 9, the Senate Judicial Committee is expected to smear and unfairly slam the door on Smith like it did on Mississippi Judge Charles Pickering, a committed Christian and conservative judge who is well respected by his colleagues and civil rights leaders.

Smith's career is so distinguished that critics also are left grasping for a straw. He has served as a judge for 17 years, including 13 at the federal District court level after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 1988. Smith is receiving overwhelming support for his nomination from his peers: The American Bar Association, called the "Gold Standard" by Democrats, has rated Judge Smith "well qualified." He is "highly recommended" by the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Somerset County Bar Association of his home state. What's more, Judge Smith enjoys broad bipartisan support from those who know him and his record: Seventeen members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation, including eight Democrats, both of Pennsylvania's Senators, former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh, Chief Judge of the Third Circuit Edward Becker and all 10 of his District Court colleagues.

Yet the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has delayed taking a vote on Smith's nomination for eight months, apparently doesn't need a good reason to continue its unholy and unjust blockade. A full year since the war against President Bush's nominees began, radical Democrats celebrated by making it increasingly clear the committee is proud to brazenly bar conservative and Christian nominees without consideration to qualifications.

A year ago Bush asked senators to rise above the "bitterness of the past" in considering his first 11 judicial nominees. Yet only three of those nominees sit on federal appeals courts. What's more, the stubborn Senate has confirmed an appallingly low 56 of 99 Bush-nominated candidates, according to recent statistics.

More pressure needs to be applied to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-VT, the committee chairman who recently admitted profiling to eliminate nominees by "their ideology." After recently trying to reason with committee members, President Bush accused them of "endangering the administration of justice in America" by balking at his judicial nominees. "Justice is at risk in America, and the Senate must act for the good of the country," the President said.

Your help is needed to combat the committee's rank hypocrisy! Please alert everyone you know that Democrats clearly want only pro-abortion, anti-religious judges in control of federal courts. God-fearing conservative Americans MUST stand up and be counted in this pivotal battle. To help, I've provided a message below for you to consider emailing to friends and family.

Rev. Louis P. Sheldon
Traditional Values Coalition Chairman

P.S. This war really is being waged to show President Bush that no new conservative or Christian justices will be allowed on the U.S. Supreme Court. This unholy and unjust blockade must be broken for our nation's sake. Won't you please take a moment to alert others to this crucial war America cannot afford to lose. Here's the link again:

7 posted on 05/22/2002 5:29:22 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Stand Watch Listen
Here is the second one with FAX FIRE information in it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *




Dear .................,

The Senate Judiciary committee is once again "sabotaging" President Bush's judicial nominees. Here is what is happening.

This Thursday, the Committee is scheduled to vote on President Bush's nominee, Judge D. Brooks Smith. The media is reporting that some on the committee may be "sabotaging the nominee."

The fact is, members of the committee have made it clear that they are out to block each and every one of President Bush's nominees that do not match their liberal views. They blocked Judge Pickering, and Judge Smith is next! This is nothing more than a partisan attack (see below for a link to a detailed report.)

..................., with this vote scheduled for this Thursday, I need your help.

* * * * * ACTION ITEM # 1 -- FAX-FIRE THE COMMITTEE We have arranged to deliver personalized faxes on your behalf to each and every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee urging them to vote in favor of Judge Smith's nomination. With your help, we can flood the committee members with a non-stop barrage of faxes. Click here to see your personalized fax:


We need thousands of friends to send faxes and sign our Shake The Nation petition to ensure that a voice for life is heard in our courts.


(AOL Users click the line below, all others use the above link: ) Click here


We are also calling on President Bush to make "recess appointments" that bypass the obstructionists on the Judiciary Committee. The President can do this during any congressional recess. Let's encourage him to use this tool. Click here to contact the President:
Click here


We must move quickly. The vote is scheduled for this Thursday.

Please send your faxes to the committee. Sign the petition. E-mail President Bush.

Thanks for your swift action!

Janet Folger
National Director

P.S. We have prepared a detailed report for you on this latest effort to "sabotage" pro-life nominees. Click here:
Click here

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(AOL Users click the line below, all others use the above link: ) Click here

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+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + >br>The CENTER FOR RECLAIMING AMERICA, established by Dr. D. James Kennedy, is an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries to inform the American public and motivate Christians to defend and implement the biblical principles on which our country was founded. The CENTER provides non-partisan, non- denominational information, training, and support to all those interested in impacting the culture and renewing the vision set forth by our Founding Fathers.


8 posted on 05/22/2002 5:40:13 PM PDT by Salvation
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