More on Alito
The news of the day has been about the nomination of Samule A. Alito to sit as associate justice on the U. S. Supreme Court. Judge Alito is currently an appellate judge on the 3rd Circuit which is headquartered in Philadelphia ( hence my earlier comment re Spector). He is originally from New Jersey and has a distinguished record of public service to the state and the nation. his current ofice on the court is in New Jersey.A biography
on the 55 year old former U. S. atorney notes that he was confirmed to the 3rd circuit by the U.S. Senate without any opposition and was rated well qualified by the ABA (One may ask why he is qualified for the appellate court but not the Supreme Court).
Yet the Left's attack dogs have already started their assault on his character revealing their lack of credibilty and outright hostility to anything good. Sen. Leahy has remarked that there are too many Catholics on the bench. Ted (let's go swimming) Kennedy has attacked the good judge for his position on 'women's rights" and Sen. Schumer made some slanderous remarks during his visit to the capitol rotunda where the body of Rosa Parks lies in state.
What this means is that the president has scored a direct hit. The courts are suppose to interpret the law and protect the civil and foundational rights of the human person. These rights are recognized in our Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution as coming from our Creator. Yet during the last 40 years there has been a concerted effort by the Left to remove religion and morality from the public square. This country needs a court that respects the inherent right to life, liberty and property of every person as understood in our founding documents. Further we need to simplify our approach and understanding of the role and purpose of government. We have some serious problems in this nation when political speech can be regulated and punished but pornographic activities are "protected" speech. Fundamental to the problem is when government and law do not recognize the right of all innocent people to live. We must stop the killing of children and we must protect the rights of the elderly and disabled. Only then will the nation have its moral compass in order.
Hopefully the confirmation of Sam Alito will move this nation closer to a time when we are a nation of laws and the courts are not the oligarchic dictators of a nihilistic philosophy of convenience.
Alito is an excellent choice
Waking up this morning to the news, I was pleased to hear that President Bush had picked Judge Samuel Alito, from the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, to replace Justice O'Connor on the Supreme Court.
For indepth background on Alito, I refer you to www.confirmthem.org
, an excellent blog on all matters concerning the supreme court selection process.
You may even see some of my comments on there every now and them.
Judge Alito has been on the bench for 15 years and has a solid record on those matters of serious concern to anyone involved in the pro-life movement. He has impressive credentials strictly from a legal perspective, having been a law clerk and a prosecuter, having argued before the U. S. Supreme Court a dozen times, and having sat as an appellate court judge for 15 years. He was confirmed unanimously by the Senate to the circuit bench in 1990.
The President's choice may mollify Senator Arlen Spector (R-Pa) whois a pro-abortion advocate because Alito is from Philadelphia. Further Alito is very sharp and will not run into the kind of problems before the Senate Committee that many envisioned with Miers.
All in all a good day.
Please note that this does not mean that Roe will be overturned in the immediate future. There are five on the bench who have supported Roe. Unless Kennedy is persuaded to change his position, there still is need for another justice to retire and for Bush to select another strong strict constructionist.
Yet this mornday morning, it is good to see that the White House can learn from its mistakes and move forward.
Reviewing the Field
With Harriet Miers deciding for the good of the country and this administration to withdraw her nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House has another opportunity to make good on the president's promise to select for the supreme court a justice who will respect the sanctity of human life, the role of law and the proper role of the courts in government and society.
Before discussing the future, I think all of us should say a prayer for Ms. Miers and ask God to give her peace. The last few weeks were brutal and very challenging not only for her but for all who take this selection seriously. Many wished to trust the president in his selection. The problem remained however that dispute the assurances that the White House gave certain conservative leaders, many were not convinced of not only her qualifications to sit on the bench, but also her judicial philosophy and whether that translated into a person who should uphold the right of legal protection for the unborn child.
As I stated before, one moment we get a copy of a Dallas questionnaire which looked good, the next moment we hear the White House trying to play it down.
There were speeches that praised leftist social programmers. After reading one, I was not sure which way to understand the comments and began to wonder why the other side remained generally silent. It seemed so surreal. And I particularly did not like the White House response to the initial opposition by attempting to smear the opponents.
But now it is over. So Hugh Hewitt, dear friend, accept the fact that this time you were incorrect. Welcome to the school of hard knocks.
Here is the field. The president should NOT promise any woman, or minority member or NOT know what the candidates' credentials, history or background.
There are so many good candidates that can be considered. So the president should look over this group and choose one who will be qualified, who will unite the base of conservatives, and who will respect the sanctity of all innocent human life.
Luttig, Alito, Brown, Jones, Garza. All would be able to articulate a solid judicial philosophy. Williams, Batchholder, Sikes, are also excellent considerations.
So hang in there and keep praying the White House, members of Congress, and the Supreme Court.
The Miers Headache
My head aches.
The more that I read about the Harriet Miers nomination and the comments from the various factions in the debate, the more I am convinced that the White House and those who advise the president did not do their homework and are afraid of an honest debate on the role of the Supreme Court.
When I heard that Ms. Miers had signed a pro-life questionnaire in 1989, I was pleased for this seemed to underscore her pro-life sympathies. Then I began to read quotes from the White House second guessing the commentaries and explaining that this information was not that important. Even Miers herself seems to be afraid to touch upon the abortion question.
Now it is true that what one promised in 1989 may not be one's position in 2005. We have seen prominent national figures flip on the issue of abortion when they decided to run for the presidency. Everyone from Dick Gephardt to Al Gore to Dick Durbin at one time signed a pro-life statement in support of a Human Life Amendment. It seems that folks in Washington and the Beltway live in their own world.
However, for the president's men to tout Ms. Miers as pro-life and then not defend her support for an HLA as principled, suggests that they just don't get it. I know it sounds condescending but being pro-life and against abortion does not require one to have a particular judicial philosophy. One can believe in a "living constitution" or be a "strict constructionist" and still agree that there is nothing in the Constitution or in the law that allows for the killing of children, born or unborn. I am also concerned that the White House does not want to be upfront on the issue. Clinton's appointees to the high court were both open and notorious liberals in favor of Roe v. Wade. They made no apologies about it. The Republican leadership in Washington should stop hiding behind this notion that one cannot have an opinion on Roe. In my humble opinion, any judge worth his or her salt knows that Roe was and is bad law.
So back to Ms. Miers. The conversation among conservatives is all over the board.Those opposing her are very concerned about her credentials and her judicial philosophy. Those who support her challenge those who oppose her and demand that people place trust in the president. Those who support her extol her Christian credentials and her pro-life position. But that should not be the basis for supporting any candidate to the court. The candidate should be qualified to sit on the bench AND believe in the sanctity of all innocent human life, the rule of law and the interpretive role of the court.
I am very concerned that this nominee does not have the ability to articulate what is needed. I have been silent this last week watching and waiting to hear something to assure me that she understands. While she is probably a bright lawyer and an excellent political person ( witness her bar association and law office involvement), I wonder if she has what is needed. Perhaps an appointment on the federal bench would be an appropriate place for her.
I think however that she and the president should consider that this nomination is not gaining traction. Three weeks later and she is not impressing the leadership in the Senate or in the conservative movement.
As I said in the beginning, this nomination is proving to be a headache for the president, the conservatives and the country.
I think it is time for the nominee to withdraw her name from consideration.
I also think it is time for the president to nominate someone who can defend his or her philosophy intelligently, articulate the role of court in order to educate the country and stand up for the inherent right to life of all innocent human persons, born and unborn.
A Movie worth seeing
Thursday night my wife and I saw an advance screening or sneak preview of the movie, 'Dreamer,' a story about a horse and a little girl and her family. Based on or inspired by a true story, the film is a wonderful reminder of how we must reach out and take hold of our dreams. It is a story of love, of reconciliation, of second chances. Like movie 'Seabiscuit,' 'Dreamer' is a story of hope and about being true to oneself.
The relationship of the girl's father with his own dad who lives on the farm with his family runs just beneath the surface of the story of a daughter's love for her father and his dream to meet his father's expectations even as he resents his father's decisions earlier in life.
I won't spoil the ending but to say that we in the pro-life movement must look around us and use the every day events as a means of teaching others about the dignity of each person. We must not be afraid the find those items which could be used to confirm the culture of life and our own determination to understand. Further, we must not be afraid to speak the truth. Our willingness to be open to the opportunity to promote respect for life must be real and long lasting. Only then will we be able to speak to the problem and offer a solution that will protect the new member of our society.
Remember the women and children
Four days after the announcement of Harriet Miers, the storm created by the nomination rages on. While many conservatives may harbor a justified resentment to the White House approach on this nomination, the reality is that the president gets to nominate who he wants and those who elected him recognized that when they voted for him in November. From the information obtained first directly and now through the press stories, Ms. Miers represents herself as someone who once was "pro-choice" ( you all know how I disdain the term), and now is very pro-life. This is a good bit of news. Other bits of information have been previously discussed already. Here is where I am going.
At this point as the nominee, we all should allow the process to unfold. The Senate will hold hearings. Do we want the pro-abortion senators trying to get her to speak on abortion? Do we play the subtle game? Do we want a relatively unknown to have to address this issue square on? Some commentators still very upset want her to withdraw. I think this is wishful thinking. Unless there is something in her background that renders her unqualified, it is not going to happen. And perhaps this is Bush telling everyone that he will do what he thinks is right.
Maybe it boils down to this. The Democrats in the Senate suggested that they would support such a person. The president smiles because this person is pro-life (but it is not obvious or in your face), and Reid who does have some pro-life votes in his past can live with this because Ried is tired of the extreme left. Reid also hails from the west and knows how the liberal leftist democrats look down their noses at him - from Nevada. And remember Bush came to D.C. wanting to work together and he has been slimed by all the democrats including Reid.
Just maybe this is all about those kinds of politics.
As for the noise on the right, just enough so the enemy is distracted.
But my headline is this - remember the women and the children. Our goal is to end the legal killing of human beings in this country. And it will take more than just a change in the court. It will take changing the legislatures in many states, changing the hearts and minds of college students throughout the country, and waking up the medical profession who is being asked to take on the role of executioners.
So to all who have had "conniption" fits over this nominee, take that energy out to the clinics and save some lives. Use the anger and the energy for a constructive purpose. Pray twice as much that God will have mercy on all of us and especially those in positions of power. Remember that in the end God is in control. I know it does not sound very clever or high-brow....But its true.
Bill Bennett's remarks the other day about crime and abortion caused a major ruckus as the Left tried to attack Bennett for being a racist. The truth is that the target group of the abortionists in this country has always been minority women and children. The abortion rates of Blacks and Hispanics is disproportionately higher than the population because the abortion industry targets them. Funny how no one wants to talk about abortion and its effect on the black population. No one wants to discuss the almost 1,400 black babies being killed by the abortion profiteers.Life Dynamics president Mark Crutcher has developed a great - though admittedly shocking - web site pointing out the horrible things that abortion and the abortion industry has done to African Americans and other minorities.
His work has been ignored by the media which isn't interested in presenting the truth.
Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was an avowed eugenist and wanted to eliminate the poor, the unwanted, minorities, Catholics and anyone who was not "fit" in her mind. Her mottos "to create a race of thoroughbreds" and but for the pro-life movement and committed right to life advocates, she would have succeeded. However we will prevail by the grace of God and the sweat of our labors.
Remember his the next time anyone accuses you of not caring enough.
24 hours later
The continued discussion on the selection of Harriet Miers on various blogs and in the media has now moved into three strains of thought from conservatives. There is on the one hand those who are urging caution and restraint while the nation and the Senate learn about her. There is another starting to show support, especial after the president held a press conference this morning strongly defending his selection. I do not think that the White House appreciated the open and honest anger toward the president for not selecting a more obviously presentable candidate that conservatives would willingly defend.
Indeed I think that many conservatives were itching for a fight and hoping to put an end to the Democrats' arrogance by stuffing them with a Janice Rogers Brown or Michael Luttig. Then there is a third group who are just waiting for the president to stab them in the back. They are the perennial pessimists and always remind us that we got taken with O'Connor and Souter, not to mention Anthony Kennedy.
So what is the latest. Well, there is very interesting article by Thomas Lifson in The American Thinker
that raises some very cogent points in defense of Bush's decision. There is a blog called www.confirmthem.com
that contains scores of comments attacking the selection and predicting gloom and doom.
Then there is the quiet work being dome by pro-life activists throughout the country to insure that if she is placed on the bench, she will respect the sanctity of life, the rule of law and the proper role of the court. My sources (not connected with the White House) have informed me that she is pro-life. Her close friend Texas Supreme Court justice Hecht states that she is pro-life. While she was president of the ABA, she tried to remove the pro-abortion position of that lawyer's group. She also purchased an advertisement for a local Texas right to life dinner. She is a member of a conservative evangelical Christian church.
What gives me some solace is that Miers knows what the president wants in a justice on the Supreme Court. She was involved in the selection of the great appeals court judges that now sit on the bench. Unlike Souter who was an unknown to Bush 41, Miers is very much a known to Bush 43. The president knows that the selection of David Souter was the single biggest mistake made by his father.
Like Hugh Hewitt, Doug Kmiec, James Dobson
and others, I think the country we will be served by this nominee. Were I the president, I would have chosen someone else. But I am not in the oval office. There are many who are angry at the "trust me" attitude by the Bush insiders. After all it was this attitude that got us O'Connor and Souter. In truth it was the attitude that dismissed the pro life movement when we were getting our feet wet politically. We made so many petty mistakes in those early days and we are still suffering from them.
Nevertheless, when a constituency elects a representative to a legislative post or an executive to administer a governmental post, there is a trust factor involved. We trust them to make the day to day decisions that affect our lives. The beauty of our republican process is that we can still influence those decisions and petition our government to hear us. That dynamic creates checks and balances and is good for the system. We also hold the strings at the ballot box. There is one problem though when the party who holds one's allegiance begins to take it for granted. For that reason alone the pro-life movement must strive to be involved in electing pro-life candidates from both parties and influencing elections in both primaries.
Ultimately the president gets to make the nomination and the Senate gets to approve it. The upcoming hearings will be interesting. I will keep you all posted.
President Bush's selection of White House counsel Harriet Miers did nothing but throw the conservative wing of the Republican Party into a fit of confusion , consternation and caution as the pundits and the rank and file tried to understand the meaning and purpose of the president's pick.
Adding to the uneasiness were the positive comments of Senate minority leader Harry Ried and Sen. Chuck Schumer.
I was disappointed that the president did not pick a stellar candidate with a clear record of pro life pronouncements, be it from the bench or public life. I also looked forward to the president selecting someone who would be the clearest mind for the court.
I think in selecting Miers, Mr. Bush may have been saying two things and acquiescing to another. His actions speak to an unwillingness to fight this battle at this time. Once again the abortion issue is the great big white elephant in the middle of the room that no one wishes to discuss.
So far preliminary reports are favorable. I will tell you more about those calls to fellow pro-lifers in a later blog.