I have been quiet about the Senate talkathon because there have been other things on my mind lately. However… MeanDean decided to reference me in his cache on the sitch, which is a sign that I should probably be itchin’for a fight. So… LIVE FROM THE PUNDIT SECTION OF JEN’S PSYCHE,HEEEEEEEEEEERE’S JEN’S TAKE!!!!!
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I think that the Republicans need to stop their whining and accept that the government is working the way it should. Our three branches of government operate on a system of checks and balances which keep one branch from having too much authority. This is why the Senate confirms nominees, the President has veto power on what is passed in the Senate, and the Supreme Court can strike down laws it finds to be unconstitutional. To answer the accusations that it’s bad politics, I’d like to remind the Republicans that they are calling the kettle black. They did this to quite a few of Clinton’s nominees. As for the ludicrous assertions that this shows the Democrats to be anti-women and anti-minority, many of the Clinton nominees shot down by the Republicans were also women and minorities.
I will also OPENLY and HONESTLY admit that I have been part of the effort to keep these people from being nominated. I have emailed/faxed my senators (who, in my not-so-humble opinion, should not be re-elected and have heaped much shame upon themselves for supporting these nominees) and the Senate judiciary committee to not confirm these nominees. Why am I so against these nominees? Well…
Miguel Estrada: His judicial integrity was compromised in my eyes by his failure to answer questions on how he views civil rights, abortion rights, and women’s rights. How can people honestly expect to get a fair trial from someone who hides the basis for their decisions??? I was really disappointed because I’d love to see more minorities on the bench.
The others are all anti-abortion and I feel that they were nominated simply for that reason. Bush has LONG been trying to overturn Roe v. Wade and he actually re-nominated some of these people when their nominations were overturned. THAT is dirty politics. It’s an attitude of “I-will-get-my-way-no-matter-what” and even Clinton didn’t resort to that.I am fine with them having their convictions — I just do not think that they can divorce their convictions from their judicial duties and that prevents the judicial ideal: “justice for all”. If anyone can show me differently with those people, go right ahead and send me your source. (Mine are TrueMajority and Million4Roe.)
Among the other reasons I don’t want these people on federal benches:
Janice Rogers Brown: She would protect racist and sexist speech in the work place under the First Amendment. Sorry… calling someone a “nigger”, “wetback”, “b*tch*”, or making racist or sexist statements is not something that should be tolerated. Sexual harassment is a reality and I’m not protecting a crime by declaring it to be free speech.
Carolyn Kuhl: She supported tax-exempt status for Bob Jones University, who should not be tax-exempt. They aren’t a non-profit organization or a ministry — they make money. I admit that I’m not an expert on tax laws for private schools, but I don’t think Bojo deserves special treatment. They don’t admit everyone who applies regardless of race, religion, gender, or orientation by choice and they can support themselves with money from like-minded people and pay taxes on said money.
Priscilla Owen: She is considered one of the most pro-business/anti-worker judges on the Texas Supreme Court. Do I really want her trying a dispute between me and my company when my company is doing me wrong? (This would be stuff like unlawful termination, denying me benefits for no legit reason, illegal practices on the part of the company that cause me to lose my pension…)
Charles Pickering: He attempted to reduce the sentence of a convicted cross burner. Do I really want a judge who is pro-racist? I think not! He is opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment, which means that I am not an equal citizen in his eyes because I’m female.
William Pryor: He is a leading figure in the “states’ rights” movement which advocates protecting states from claims of discrimination. States do not have a right to discriminate against minorities. Again, this means that “justice for all” is not going to happen.
I would also like to remind people that of the 172 nominees brought before the Senate, 168 (97.7%) of them have been confirmed. The Republicans are nitpicking over 4 people (2.3%). This doesn’t look like dirty politics to me. This looks like people voting their conscience and trying to keep the
courts free of people with extreme views. I’m not against people being anti-abortion — I just want them to enforce the laws of the land and not try to promote their agendas. Attorney General Ashcroft is very anti-abortion but he has (excluding the stupidity in Detroit in December 2001 regarding the Patriot Act) kept his promise to uphold the existing laws regardless of how he feels.
Some may say that I’m anti-Republican because I’m criticizing them. Uh yeah… I vote for both Democrats AND Republicans so that charge is baseless. Some would say that I’m criticizing this because I hate Bush. I do hate Bush but I am also perfectly willing to call a spade a spade regardless of who the guilty party is. I’m criticizing this because I think that the talkathon was dirty politics on the part of the Republicans and I think that we need to look at the reason WHY the nominees aren’t being confirmed. If Bush wants to send some nominees with normal politics, I’ll support that. I will not, however, support the court-stacking in which he is engaging. It undermines the system of checks and balances in place and makes a mockery of the government our forefathers intended us to have.