Monday, May 2

RNC Hypocrites

Here are excerpts from the latest Releases from the RNC...

Hypocrite - noun, one who pretends to be what he is not or to have principles or beliefs that he does not have.

The Democrats' efforts to block President Bush's qualified judicial nominees are not only hypocritical but are examples of partisan politicking at its worst.

Republicans in the Senate are working to ensure that all of President Bush's judicial nominees receive a fair and final up-or-down vote. Despite Senate history and tradition, Democrats are aggressively trying to prevent qualified judges from receiving what's been afforded every judicial nominee for over 200 years.

During the Clinton Administration, Democrats demanded up-or-down majority votes on judicial nominations, but, now that they are in the minority, they have become the party of obstructionism and double standards.

At it's worst? During the Clinton Administration nearly 60 of his judicial nominees were blocked from having a vote on the Senate Floor. And further, from Media Matters...

Of the 10 Bush nominees filibustered by Senate Democrats, only three -- Miguel Estrada, David McKeague, and Priscilla Owen -- have received a unanimous "Well Qualified" rating from the ABA (ratings for all nominees are listed during the 108th Congress and the 109th Congress), and McKeague initially received a split rating of "Well Qualified" and "Qualified" during the 108th Congress before receiving an unanimous "Well Qualified" rating during the 109th Congress. Of the remaining seven filibustered nominees, four received a split rating of "Well Qualified" and "Qualified," and three received a split rating of "Qualified" and "Not Qualified."
Republicans have repeatedly claimed that the filibustering of judicial nominees is unprecedented, yet in 1968, Lyndon B Johnson's nomination of Judge Abe Fortas was indeed filibustered. This action was "the first filibuster in Senate history on a Supreme Court nomination," according to a "Historical Minute Essay" on the U.S. Senate website. Not surprisingly this fact is ignored as Republicans have repeated claimed that Judge Fortas "didn't have majority support", or that this filibuster doesn't matter in the current debate because he was being nominated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, rather than for an appelate position.

Yet when it comes to appellate appointments Media Matters reports:
"...cloture votes were necessary to obtain floor votes on Clinton judicial nominees Richard A. Paez and Marsha L. Berzon in 2000, as the Los Angeles Times reported on November 13, 2003. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), who is leading the Republican opposition to Democratic filibusters, voted against cloture for the Paez nomination. And in October 1994, Republicans attempted to filibuster the nomination of U.S. district judge H. Lee Sarokin to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

More from a subsequent RNC Mailing:
Leader Frist's proposal would guarantee President Bush's nominees a fair up or down vote on the Senate floor while allowing all Senators an opportunity to have their say through a guaranteed 100 hours of debate.
This is a reasonable resolution to the Democrats' unprecedented use of the filibuster against President Bush's nominees, and will ensure that the filibuster remains intact for use against legislation.
Democrats are obstructing President Bush's nominees because they know that these nominees will strictly interpret the law -- not legislate from the bench. Democrats have even gone so far as to say they will "shut down" the Senate if they do not get their way on judicial nominations.

One of President Bush's nominees, Janice Rogers Brown, grew up as the daughter of Alabama sharecroppers and became the first African American woman to serve on the California Supreme Court. In 1998, Californians reelected her with 76 percent of the vote and the majority of Senators support her nomination for a federal judgeship, but Democrats are standing in the way of her receiving an up or down vote on the Senate floor.
Despite her difficult upbringing Judge Brown..."has twice received an "Unqualified" ratingPDF file from the California judicial evaluation committee, which wrote that she was "prone to inserting conservative personal views into her appellate opinions," according to an April 26, 1996, Los Angeles Times report."

1) [H]er troubling dissents concerning discrimination, consumer rights, and other issues; 2) her disturbing disregard for precedent, especially with respect to constitutional and civil rights; 3) her ultra-conservative ideological views as reflected both in her speeches and judicial opinions; 4) her strong support for extreme "private property" rights theories, including long-discredited legal theories that threaten important governmental actions regulating corporate behavior; and 5) her troubling disagreement with constitutional protection for fundamental rights and liberties. As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has concluded [in an October 29, 2003, editorial], Brown's views are "far out of the mainstream of accepted legal principles" and she is "not qualified for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit."
Futhering the "legislating from the bench" issue, we turn to Judge Pricilla Owen (nominated by President Bush to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals).
While serving on the Texas Supreme Court, Owen dissented strongly from the court's 2000 ruling on Jane Doe 1(II), 19 S.W.3d 346, which determined that "Jane Doe" had met the legal requirements for a judicial bypass under the state's parental notification law governing abortion for minors. Owen said the court had acted "irresponsibly." Her dissent earned a harsh rebuke from fellow Republican justice Alberto Gonzales, who is now U.S. attorney general. Gonzales accused Owen essentially of rewriting the law by ignoring the language of the statute and legislative history, and wrote that adopting Owen's position on the case "would be an unconscionable act of judicial activism."
Something tells me that the RNC, and particularly Bill Frist need to go back and re-read the definiton of "Hypocrite" yet again, and look in the mirror while they do it.


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