Monday, October 31, 2005

After a gut-wrenching detour through the land of cronyism, another excellent judicial pick for President Bush

I would like to congratulate President Bush on his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., currently of the Court of Appeals for the 3rd Judicial Circuit. Judge Alito is an eminently qualified judge who has a long history of interpreting the Constitution as written, not as some may wich that it be written. President Bush promised to nominate a judges who strictly interpret the Constitution, and that is exactly what Judge Alito has done for the past 15 years on the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and will certainly do for many years in the U.S. Supreme Court.

I would hope that Democrat Senators will treat Judge Alito with the respect that is owed both to him and to the office to which he has been nominated. If Senators do not believe that Judge Alito should be confirmed, then let them vote against his confirmation, but any attempt to prevent a majority of Senators from getting the opportunity to vote for Judge Alito's confirmation will be met by fierce resistance not only from Republican Senators who must protect the institution of the Senate, but from the American people.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Way Out of the Harriet Miers Mess

President Bush made a monumental mistake when he nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court. Miss Miers is an intelligent woman and a top-notch attorney, and she would be extremely well qualified for a position as a District Court judge and well qualified for a Circuit Court judgeship, but she lacks the relevant experience necessary to serve in the highest court in the land. While not having previously served as a judge should not disqualify a Supreme Court nominee, potential Supreme Court justices should at least have pertinent experience and exposure to constitutional issues such as they would gain had the previously served as an Attorney General or Assistant Attorney General (whether state or federal), U.S. Solicitor General or Assistant Solicitor General, head of an Executive Branch office dealing with civil rights or other constitutional issues, or member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Miss Miers just does not meet the high standard expected of Supreme Court justices. Moreover, what little we know about Miss Miers's views on constitutional issues does not make her seem to be the type of strict constructionist that President Bush promised in both his 2000 and 2004 campaigns to nominate.

While President Bush cannot undo the damage caused by his nomination of Miss Miers to the Supreme Court, that does not mean that there is not a graceful way out in which personal damage is minimized for all parties. I believe that the entire fiasco may be brought to an end if Miss Miers issues the following statement, with President Bush and Circuit Judge Janice Rogers Brown at her side:

"Upon prayerful consideration, I now believe that my level of experience on constitutional issues may not be adequate for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, and I have thus requested President Bush to withdraw my nomination to the Supreme Court. President Bush has responded that he believed that I would bring a fresh perspective to the federal judiciary, and agreed to remove my nomination to the Supreme Court on one condition: That I would accept nomination to fill a vacancy in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and to consider a possible Supreme Court nomination after I have gained experience on the judge's side of the bench. After further thoughts and prayers, I have agreed to President Bush's request."

President Bush could then reiterate what Miss Miers said, and introduce Judge Brown, who is indubitably qualified and a proven judicial conservative (as proven by her lengthy service in the Supreme Court of California), as his nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

GOP Senators would accept Miss Miers as a nominee to the D.C. Circuit, and would of course accept Judge Brown's nomination to the Supreme Court---given that Judge Brown is a black woman, her nomination would be well received by those who have called for more minorities in the Supreme Court and for a woman to replace Justice O'Connor. Democrat Senators, on the other hand, would probably put up little opposition to Miss Miers's nomination to the Circuit Court, concentrating on the Supreme Court nomination. I think that Democrat Senators would be be disarmed in their fight against Judge Brown because (i) Judge Brown has had plenty of judicial experience, so she will appear to be an anti-Miers, and (ii) they confirmed her to the D.C. Circuit just a few months ago as part of the Gang of 14's deal, and if her nomination wasn't an "extreme circumstance" then, it shouldn't be now.

The one problem with this face-saving move would be that Democrats could argue that Miss Miers's decision to accept nomination to the D.C. Circuit but not to the Supreme Court proves that the standards for the Supreme Court are much higher than for the D.C. Circuit, and that Judge Brown meets the lower standard but not the higher. However, such a position would be illogical, since Miss Miers would have been referring to a difference in the *experience* requirement, and the adequacy of Judge Brown's experience is incontrovertible. And how could a judge be "too conservative" for the Supreme Court if she isn't "too conservative" for the D.C. Circuit?

While I am by no means optimistic that any of the above will occur, I certainly hope that Miss Miers is replaced with a qualified nominee of unquestionable judicial conservatism. The fate of our constitutional liberties may be in play.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

An Open Letter to the NRSC Regarding its Opposition to Stephen Laffey's Senate Candidacy

Ladies and Gentlemen:

When the NRSC openly opposed conservative Republican Pat Toomey in the 2004 Pennsylvania Senate primary, I vowed not to contribute to the NRSC ever again. However, upon receipt of a plea from NRSC Chairman Elizabeth Dole, I decided to give the NRSC another chance. And how were I and other conservatives repaid for our loyalty and faith? By being betrayed once again.

The NRSC is now running ads against Mayor Stephen Laffey, the moderate-to-conservative Republican who is running for the Senate in Rhode Island. It seems to me that the NRSC decided to attack Laffey because he had the audacity to run in a Republican primary against ultraliberal "Republican in Name Only" Lincoln Chafee, whose only redeeming quality is that he counts as a Republican for purposes of who is the Majority Leader but who has routinely promised to switch to the Democrats in case the GOP is ever down to 50 or 51 Senators. A traitor such as Senator Chafee should be expelled from our party (which would result in a net gain of 2 real Republicans on each Senate committee and sub-committee on which he sits), not subsidized in a primary race against a real Republican.

Is the NRSC so intolerant of non-liberals that it will resort to sullying the reputation of a Senate candidate in Stephen Laffey whose record and positions are no more conservative than those of Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri? The only question remaining is whether this decision was made by the NRSC as an institution or only by its Chairman, Senator Elizabeth Dole. It is hard to envision Senator Norm Coleman ever acting in such a repugnant way, and I'm sure that several Republican Senators are kicking themselves for having selected Dole over Coleman as NRSC Chairman.

Republican primary voters, not the party bosses, should decide who will be the Republican Senate nominee in Rhode Island. The despicable actions by the NRSC to attack Mayor Laffey and do Lincoln Chafee's dirty work should cease immediately, or my money and support will go elsewhere---Mayor Laffey's campaign is now first on my list. And while I'm just one guy with not much money to give, there are millions of conservatives like me around the nation who are fed up with our money being used to attack conservative candidates.

I would recommend that you rectify the situation by ceasing the attack ads against Stephen Laffey immediately and by staying neutral in the remainder of the primary campaign. And, in the future, the NRSC should refrain from picking sides in Republican primaries so as to avoid hurting the party and its members. While it will take a long time for me to forgive the NRSC, you can avoid driving away additional conservatives if you act more responsibly in the future.

Very truly yours,

A Disgusted NRSC Contributing Member