Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Does it make me a political junkie if I brought a radio in to work to listen to the confirmation hearings of Alito? What if I was in the car listening to the hearings and I sensed that one of the questioners was going to get to the heart of one of Alito's lies and I chuckled evilly and yelled "Do IT!" Um yeah.

ooh ... he's a slippery one. I hope one of the senators on the committee pins him down on some of his answers. We've talked about privacy,abortion, FISA, and spying on the Quakers.

OOOOH you were a jerk. Sir, that's not really our process. Our process is that I take your preliminary information, forward it on to a sales rep and then that rep will give you a call back. "Now listen, I am the customer and I can take my business somewhere else, what I want is the name and number of a sales rep that can help me." Well sir, if I don't take your basic information and forward it on to our rep first, he's not going to know how to address your needs fully. "What I want is the name and number" Ok, that name is going to be suzie doozie and that number is 555-555-5555. "This Suzie, she's an employee of your parent company which I have confused with your company?" No sir, she's actually not an employee with our parent or this company, I made her name and number up just now. Just to annoy you, as you have annoyed me.

Oh man, Senator Kennedy is kicking ass on the strip search of a 10 year old girl. He also kicked ass on the Vanguard thing.

I'm on break, so here's the round up.

Specter (R-Pa):
Asks about privacy, abortion, Miranda - Alito evades all the of the questions. Discussion of stare decisis and super precedence. Alito comments that he does not like to categorize precedence, ie. super precedence, super duper precedence. All laugh.

Bashes Alito on his decision to uphold a police search of a 10-year old and her mother during the execution of a warrant that did not allow for the search of those persons found on the property that the warrant included. The strip search of a 10 year old girl. Also hits on the Concerned Alumni of Princeton issue. Seems very annoyed and unhappy with Alito's answers to this one.

Hatch (R-Ut):
Praises Alito ... talks about his service in the ROTC...blah blah..kisses ass.

Kennedy (D-Ma):
Hits hard on Alito's promise to recuse himself from any case involving Vanguard and then failing to recuse himself in a case involving Vanguard until someone else raised the issue. Kennedy asks the clerk to count the number of times the name Vanguard appears in the brief. Alito says he doesn't really need the clerk to count - he knows the name appears. So, basically, his promise slipped his mind. Kennedy kicks some more ass - hitting on the strip search thing again. Torture and presidential signing statements. Doing a good job of saying that legislature makes the laws and the president signs them. The president does not get to make statements saying that he is going to ignore those laws and certainly that his signing statements do not have any legal weight. Gets into the doctrine of "unitary executive." What is this doctrine and what does Alito think? The theory says that all power of the executive is vested in the president by the constitution. What does it mean? That the exec can decide to not follow laws passed by the legislature because it would interfere with the President's authority as Commander in Chief. What does Alito think? That's just dandy. He says the theory of the unitary executive is "the gospel." Great.

Grassley (R-Ia):
With regard to Vanguard issue, in defense of Alito - senators don't keep every promise to their constituents...Yes, sir, but senators can be booted out of office if their constituents get fed up with the lying SOBs, a supreme court justice has the appointment for life and his integrity should be beyond reproach.

ok, I have no idea who's talking now, so if I forget someone, I'm sorry.

Biden (D-De):
Hits hard on Alito's rulings in discrimination cases. How in one case, he was the odd man out of 11. Enters into the record the reports that Alito rules against the individual most of the time and for the government most of the time. Never questioned executive power...etc.

Kyl (R-Az):
Kisses Alito's ass for awhile.

Mercifully, lunch break for the senators - be back 1:15 CST

What a difference 2 days makes. On sunday it was sunny and around 65 degrees, today it's cold and rainy. Miserable, the day matched my mood yesterday. But I feel pretty good today - got a decent night of sleep. And the fight for the SCOTUS is on!

The only bad part of my day, is that caller 3 has once again failed to go to lunch when she should, meaning that I should be taking lunch right around 1:30 again. Grr.

Counterpunch.org pegs Iraqi war casualties at near 180,000 with a possibility that it is actually near 500,000 - contrary to government figures of about 30,000. War will cost near $2 trillion.

Kohl (D-Wi)
Bashed him over seeing Bork as a good nominee. Bashed him for his 1985 disagreements with the Warren court (Miranda, one person-one vote, etc). Asked if he thought the USSC was correct in taking Bush v Gore. Alito evades and says he hasn't given it enough thought. Yeah right, the man who wants to sit on SCOTUS hasn't given thought to one of the biggest decisions they've ever made? Right.

DeWine (R-Oh)
Blah blah blah ... your record is being distorted ...blah blah blah

Feinstein (D-Ca)
Scores big on trying to nail alito down on what it would take to overturn stare decisis, alito is very wishy-washy and Feinstein bitch slaps him a couple of times for being evasive. I missed their chat on abortion and electronic surveillance

Sessions (R-Al)
"I can't remember a nominee being this forthcoming" - is this guy living in a different world? Alito is being ridiculously evasive and inconsistent. Repeats the your record is being distorted theme. boo hoo blah blah - I'm waiting for Feingold... now Sessions is making the case that there can be both conservative and liberal judicial activism - which is true - where is he going with this...oh ok, there has been a pervasive liberal judicial activism contrary to the american public -- right tell me again why Roe should be overturned when 60% of Americans agree that it should not - tell me more about the conservative activism you seek in Roe. Ooh, now they're bashing the opinions of foreign courts...Now Sessions is referring to woman as FE-males ...

I've just been informed that the temps will not have to be present at the meeting tomorrow because they are going to be talking about things like where the company is headed and higher level things that "you don't need to worry about" that is not a good sign. On the other hand, she praised me for the work on the workbook that I turned in last week - especially on how fast I got it done. I'm taking a page from Katie, and keeping a log of all the good things I'm doing for this company- I may have to play hardball later.

Sorry, I've got nothing on other news today - the hearings are keeping me hopping and it's really hard to browse other things while you're listening intently to political/legal discourse. We'll resume regular coverage when either a) the hearings are over b) I get tired of hearing the senators talk. Fortunately, they are limited to 30 minutes each round.

Feingold (D-Wi)
Feingold hammered Alito hard on executive power. He asked directly if the president could violate the law. Alito said that the President had to comply with "statutes consistent with the Constitution of the United States." This has been his mantra all day and it sounds well and good, but with the argument being made that the Congress cannot make laws that constrain the executive power, alito could say in good conscience that the president would have to comply with "statutes consistent with the Constitution of the United States," - so if Congress makes laws constraining the exec power, those would not be consistent with the constitution, which in line with the theory of the unitary executive invests the president with lots and lots of authority. Anyway, so I missed how they got into this but all of a sudden Feingold is grilling him on the practice debate sessions that alito would have gone through..."who was at these sessions" "did the offer you advice, suggestions, comments?"evade evade evade - no one told me what to say. "what were the comments about?" style and formatting of the answers - um right judge. After that little exchange, Feingold took him to task over the Vanguard issue. He admonished the naysaying senators, pointing out that Vanguard IS an important ethical issue to discuss. He queried, why not put Vanguard on your list of parties to automatically recuse yourself from? Why not keep your promise to this committee?

Graham (R-Nc)
"And I hope you'll understand if any us come before a court and we can't remember Abramoff, you will tend to believe us."

I was amused with Senator Graham, even if he is a Republican. However, he did harp on how Alito was being very forthcoming again. Really? I don't think so. Asks if 9/11 was an act of war or a crime? Alito evades the question - says he's reluctant to get into it. Graham repeats that even during times of war, especially during times of war the Constitution survives. He asks Alito about the Geneva Convention, alito's wishy washy, he's not so familiar with it. Really! not familiar with the Geneva Convention- they didn't prep you on this? gets alito on torture, asks if it is consistent with the Constitution, alito affirms that it is. (the questions are fast and furious now) asks if alito considers himself to be a strict constuctionalist. alito wishy washy. graham defines a strict constructionalist as someone that doesn't make things up - alito agrees that that describes his judicial philosophy. Graham concludes that Congress with collaboration with the President is when the country is strongest. It is very dangerous to over interpret War Resolutions.

Schumer (D-Ny)
Badgers Alito big time on abortion. Uses the mother-in-law analogy, which i thought was very good:

"But I do have to tell you, Judge, you're refusal I find troubling. And it's sort as if I asked a friend of mine 20 years ago -- a friend of mine 20 years ago said to me, he said, you know, I really can't stand my mother-in-law. And a few weeks ago I saw him and I said, "Do you still hate your mother-in-law?"

He said, 'Well, I'm now married to her daughter for 21 years, not one year.'

I said, 'No, no, no. Do you still hate your mother-in-law?'

And he said, 'I can't really comment.'

What do you think I'd think?

ALITO: Senator, I think...

SCHUMER: Let me just move on.

You have a very nice mother-in-law. I see her right here. And she seems like a very nice person."


Compares Alito to Bork again. Lists cases where Alito ignored stare decisis, even though he says that stare decisis is fundamental to legal reasoning. Schumer concludes that given all this "You would vote to over rule Roe v Wade."

Corryn (R-Tx)
Keeps comparing Alito to O'Connor, but really, even if their opinions match up 10% of the time, if they don't match up the other 90% of the time - you can't really say that they are that similar. so stop making that absurd comparison? yes yes, senator, he did not urge the outright reversal of Roe, but he did advocate for the slow dismantling, and isn't the end result pretty much they same? and maybe the trimester approach isn't valid anymore, but a woman's right to choose is, and if new guidelines need to be established, so be it. but, a woman must have dominion over her own body- always and without question. oh god he sounds like bush. he just referred to the wire tapping scandal as an early warning system. oddly he refers to al-queda and the taliban as the "supposed perpetrators" of 9/11. Oh, and he managed to refer to Alito by his derogatory nickname, Scalito. hahaha

Specter concludes today with a little speech about how it's important for the US public to see Congress doing its job because "the media is filled with criticism about the Congress." Um, yeah, I wonder why? cough cough abramoff cough cough

Tomorrow, we'll start with the rest of the 18 members: Durbin (D-Il), Brownback (R-Ks), and Coburn (R-Ok). Coburn made the comment in opening statements about how we protect sodomites and prostitutes but not the unborn. You can see that video at Crooks and Liars.


Blogger Eric said...

Such great coverage by Jen! Did you catch Jon Stewart tonight? He edited together the Alito hearings and a scene from Godfather II, it was brilliant. Catch it online if you missed it!!

8:29 PM  
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9:01 PM  

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