Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito,
Confirmation Hearings and Judicial Activism.
Sort of funny how while I’m have a debate with some people on line about Judicial Activism during the Confirmation Hearings for Judge Alito… and the man’s name never up in many of these debates, just as the Confirmation Hearings were more about Partisan Politics and less about whether the man is qualified or not.
What exactly is “Judicial Activism?” Well, from when I’m sitting it’s when judges make law by passing rulings on one particular case, and that ruling sets a president and becomes law. Perfect example is Roe Vs. Wade… when a woman went to the supreme court and argued about how the ban on Abortion violates The Constitution, and enough judges agreed with her, filed a ruling and then the next day, Abortions were legal. (Granted, for the sake of space, that’s an over-simplified version of what happened.)
Judicial Activism is when people who can’t get enough people to vote on an issue on a ballot, so they try to convince judges to “Do The Right Thing…” Depending on the issue, that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. The Executive Branch, The Legislation, and Judicial Branch are all thime for a reason, and the Judicial Branch is supposed to only intrpret the laws, not make laws through their interpretations. Or at least I don’t think they should.
Others obviously disagree… some are the same hipocrits who are all for it when judges make law from the bench on issues that are in line with their wihes and wants, but villify Judicial Activism when it doesn’t work to their advantage. But that’s just human nature, childish as it may be… you’re happy with someone when they see things your way and like a light switch you flip to the other direction and hate them when they disagree with you. (And to often, switching back and forth happens on an issue by issue basis and too many people fail to look at a broader picture.
Another example of Judicial Activism is with the issue of Homosexual Marriage… The only way it will ever be legal in this country is if the courts mandate it, either on the federal level, or state-by-state. From my guess, what I’ve heard and read elsewhere, around 65-75% of the voting population is against Homosexual Marriage. If left to the voters, there will never be a law allowing homosexual couples to get married with out there being more changes in societies attitudes. So, activists want judges to do an end-run around the voters and create a mandate through a ruling that it’s illegal to prevent ANY monogamous couple the right to marry.
Those are two examples of “Judicial Activism” as I understand it. If I’m wrong, or have better examples, you’re more then welcome to send your thoughts along via our letters box.
“Monty Python Presents: “Sammy Alito And The Holy Grail”
So, with that said, what’s the big deal with Sammy Alito? The controversy surrounding Judge Alito has little to do with anything besides the fact that he’s a George “Dubya” Bush appointee. And that gets back to somewhere around less then 50% of the people in this country who believe that “Dubya” is an illegitimate president. (Sort of like how Bill Clinton got into office twice with less then 50% of the votes in two elections, thanks to Ross Perot… twice.) But I digress…
The Confirmation Hearings earlier this week and concluded yesterday aren’t really about anything more then a witch hunt, with Ted “The Gay Illiterate*” Kennedy (* A title or nick-name given to him by his brother, John.), and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Sen. Charles Schumer doing their best at trying to ad-lib their own version of “Monty Python And The Holy Grail” [Click Here to skip the Silliness...]
Ted Kennedy: Well, he turned me into a newt.
Sen. Arlen Specter: A newt?
Ted Kennedy: ...I got better.
Committee Democrats: [shouts] Burn him anyway!
Sammy Alito: I'm not a witch I'm not a witch!
Sen. Arlen Specter: But you are dressed like one.
Sammy Alito: They dressed me up like this!
Committee Democrats: We didn't! We didn't...
Sammy Alito: And this isn't my nose. It's a false one.
Sen. Arlen Specter: [lifts up his flase nose] Well?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Well, we did do the nose.
Sen. Arlen Specter: The nose?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: And the hat, but he is a witch!
Committee Democrats: Yeah Burn him burn him!
Sen. Arlen Specter: Did you dress him up like this?
Sen. Patrick Leahy : No!
Ted Kennedy, Sen. Charles Schumer: No!
Ted Kennedy: No!
Sen. Patrick Leahy: No!
Ted Kennedy, Sen. Charles Schumer: No!
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Yes!
Sen. Charles Schumer: Yes!
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Yeah a Bit
Ted Kennedy: A bit!
Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Charles Schumer: A bit!
Sen. Charles Schumer: a bit
Sen. Patrick Leahy: But he has got a wart!
Random Person in the Committee: *cough* *cough*
Sen. Arlen Specter: There are ways of telling whether he is a witch.
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Are there? Oh well, tell us.
Sen. Arlen Specter: Tell me. What do you do with witches?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Burn them.
Sen. Arlen Specter: And what do you burn, apart from witches?
Sen. Patrick Leahy:More witches.
Sen. Charles Schumer: Wood.
Sen. Arlen Specter: Good. Now, why do witches burn?
Ted Kennedy: ...because they're made of... wood?
Sen. Arlen Specter: Good. So how do you tell whethim he is made of wood?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Build a bridge out of him.
Sen. Arlen Specter: But can you not also build bridges out of stone?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Oh yeah.
Sen. Arlen Specter: Does wood sink in water?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: No, no, it floats!... It floats! Throw him into the pond!
Sen. Arlen Specter: No, no. What else floats in water?
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Bread.
Sen. Charles Schumer: Apples.
Ted Kennedy: Very small rocks.
Sen. Patrick Leahy: Cider.
Sen. Charles Schumer: Gravy.
Ted Kennedy: Cherries.
Sen. Patrick Leahy:Mud.
Sen. Charles Schumer: Churches.
Ted Kennedy: Lead! Lead!
King Arthur:A Duck.
Sen. Arlen Specter: ...Exactly. So, logically...
Sen. Patrick Leahy: If he weighed the same as a duck... he's made of wood.
Sen. Arlen Specter: And there fore...
Sen. Charles Schumer: ...A witch!
In short, it’s not if whether or not Alito is an activist judge or not, or even if he a conservative Activist Judge, it’s more about the fact that he’s an appointee of “Dubya,” pure and simple. Bloggers, radio hosts and other cyber-columnists have made this point before, this was little more then trying to use Sammy Alito and the confirmation hearings as a means to flog “Dubya” over every issue besides the War In Iraq. Every effort to trash Alito during this Confirmation Hearing was an effort to prove that “This President is out of control and so outside the main stream…” It was never about trying to see if Mr. Alito was a racist or a radical conservative, it was about using this as a stage to show that “Dubya” is a racist and a radical Conservitive to the extent that he’s trying to rig the court to perform acts of Judicial Activism for his own agenda.
Questions about Wiretaps and articles of The Patriot Act weren’t about if Alito thought Bush was asking outside of the law, it was nothing more then and effort by those democrats on the committee to remind people of what scandals have done to America's reputation,
Don’t get me wrong, when Democrats were in power, Republicans tried to do the same thing to appointees. Committee’s are supposed to ask the nominees tough questions and dig into their backgrounds, but only to the extent to see if the nominee is a crackpot or if he (or she in the case of Harriot Mayers) is up to the task.
There’s nothing I can do then what I’ve done here, write about how it’s shameful that a committee hearing was used as a political device by Democrats on the committee to try and flog someone else in a higher office then the one they had achieved. I have my doubts that this was a legitimate effort to see if Mr. Alito is qualified, which is something we won’t know for sure until after he’s sworn in and a Supreme Court Justice and rules on this first few hot button topics.
What do you think... is this a whole lot of nothing?