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The Three



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We can all continue to dissect who won and who lost in the McCain Mutiny, but the recent confirmations of Bill Pryor, Priscilla Owen and Janice Brown are a testament to the President’s determination to see his appointments through and to the intestinal fortitude of these three fine judges for surviving the slings and arrows of a very drawn out confirmation process. Congratulations to them all.

Explaining Anti-Pryor Votes



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A Washington, D.C. lawyer e-mails:

Collins and Snowe both voted against Pryor, didn’t they? Abortion explains those votes. Pryor is on record calling Roe the greatest abomination in the history of constitutional law, and both Maine Senators are committed to preserving Roe. The reason they could support Owen, but not Pryor, is because the Owen nomination involved an issue at the margins of the abortion debate — parental notification. (I’m not sure, but Collins and Snowe may well support parental-involvement laws themselves.) Pryor’s nomination presented, full-frontal, the core issue of whether abortion should be permitted.
I agree with that. I would also say that it shows that these Senators do not understand the distinction between a nominee’s personal views and their legal views. Judge Pryor knows full well that Roe (or, rather, that hybrid-child of Justices O’Connor, Souter, and Kennedy, Casey) is the law of the land, and he will follow it so long as it is so. That’s part of a judge’s job, and there was no evidence that Pryor would do otherwise.

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Judiciary Cmte Update



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Just in: “Boyle and all noms on the committee agenda today, held over until next week.”


NARAL Congratulates Bill Pryor & President Bush



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Well, ok, maybe not quite:

Washington, DC – NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of William Pryor to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals:

“With the confirmation of William Pryor to a lifetime seat on the federal bench, the far right wing of the Senate is now three for three, demonstrating its willingness to rubberstamp President Bush’s most divisive and controversial nominees. The confirmations of Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and now William Pryor send a clear message that the concerns of mainstream Americans are not shared by the radical right leaders who run the Senate.

“William Pryor is a long-time outspoken anti-choice activist, so far to the right that he even opposes legal abortion for survivors of rape or incest. He has supported unconstitutional bills when they have agreed with his personal opinions on a woman’s right to choose. Pryor’s extreme views on a number of important issues, in addition to reproductive rights, do not reflect the values of a majority of Americans.”

Carl Levin



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is complaining about a hold-up on a sixth-circuit judge nominee, Helene White. As is his form, he didn’t mention she’s a relative of his, making her worth fighting for.

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Meanwhile, Elsewhere in the Senate



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A Senate source reports that the Judiciary committee is continuing a meeting from this morning in the president’s room, off the Senate floor. They’re talking about nominations….

Revisionist History



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Senator Debbie Stabenow is now speaking in support of confirmation of the two Michigan nominees, and claimed that she and Senator Carl Levin have both wanted to move forward with these nominees for some time. Yet both would have been confirmed long ago had the Michigan Senators not stood in their way.

RE: Pryor Wins



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Now the Senate is moving on to consideration of David McKeague and Richard Griffin, both nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Collins



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What on earth could be Collins’s rationale for voting for Owen and Brown but not Pryor? I wasn’t aware there was much difference among their originalist approaches.

53-45



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Pryor confirmed! Miracles happen even in the Senate.

More Pryor Votes



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Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska just voted for Pryor.

Pryor votes



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Senator Specter voted for Pryor, despite their profound disagreement on Roe, but Senators Collins and Chafee both voted no.

TNR on Raich



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The folks at TNR find the dissenting opinions in Raich quite troubling, and use them to warn about the alleged “constitution in exile” movement.

The fact that O’Connor, Rehnquist, and Thomas remain committed to aggressive judicial oversight of Congress’s power to regulate the economy suggests that conservative judicial activism is not defeated; it still has powerful allies. Which is why the views of Supreme Court nominees about the Constitution in Exile should be a central question in the confirmation battles to come.

In Touch with My Sensitive Feminine Side



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Aren’t Senator Durbin’s pieties, er, crashing into each other just a bit here? According to my history book, the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified in 1870. The Nineteenth took another half century. That is, to borrow the senators lingo, “person[s] of color” who were men actually had a 50-year head start on more than half of “white Americans.”

I guess the message here is that white men suck, and that’s why we need Section 5. According to Senator Durbin, a white man.

Will there ever be a time when this kind of idiocy is no longer part of our politics?

White Americans Don’t Get It



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From a rush transcript of Durbin:

IT IS THEIR BELIEF, MANY OF THEM, THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD RULE ON THESE DECISIONS.n EN OR ITS ISSUE OF VOTING RIGHTS, MR. PRYOR HAS URGED CONGRESS TO TO TAKE STEP IT’S SO UNDERMINE THE RIGHTS OF AFRICAN-AMERICANS TO VOTE. HE URGED CONGRESS TO CONSIDER SERIOUSLY THE REPEAL OF THE AMENDMENT OF SECTION 5 OF THE VOTING RIGHTS ACTS. THIS IS A KEY PROVISION ENCOURAGING EQUAL OPPORTUNITY IN VOTING. IT REQUIRES CERTAIN STATES TO ACHIEVE PREAPPROVAL FOR CHANGING — CHANGING VOTING RIGHT STANDARDS. IT IS CLEARLY A S. RES. TAJ OF AN AMERICAN IN TRANSITION FROM RACIAL DIVISION OF STKHREUPL NATION TO A MORE OPEN EQUAL POLICY. MR. PRYOR RAISE QUESTIONS AS TO WHETHER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD CONTINUE TO TRY TO MEET THAT STANDARD. I DISAGREEMENT WITH THIS SENTIMENT. HE CALLED SECTION 5 — QUOTE — “AN AFFRONT TO FEDERALISM AND AN EXPENSIVE BURDEN THAT FAR OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS.” I MIGHT SAY TO MR. PRYOR AND TO OTHERS WHO ARE WHITE AMERICANS THAT WE CANNOT POSSIBLY UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH THIS MEANS, WHAT IT MEANS TO AN INDIVIDUAL TO HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE, PARTICULARLY A PERSON OF COLOR, A MINORITY IN AMERICA. AND SECTION 5 IS THERE TO GUARANTEE IT. AS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF ALABAMA, MR. PRYOR TESTIFIED THAT IT HAD OUTLIVED ITS USEFULNESS. I DISAGREE WITH HIS SENTIMENT. THANKFULLY, SO DID THE SUPREME COURT AND MOST MEMBERS OF CONGRESS.

Parsing Ginsburg’s Words



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Did Ginsburg propose to abolish Mother’s Day? Or did she merely propose that abolition of Mother’s Day be considered?

Again, here is exactly what Ginsburg proposed–in a section titled “Recommendations”:

Replacing “Mother’s Day” and “Father’s Day” with a “Parents’ Day” should be considered, as an observance more consistent with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles.
A couple readers have written to suggest that a careful parsing of her language supports only the latter proposition. I won’t dispute that the language may permit this slightly narrower reading, but, for the following reasons, I don’t think that’s the most natural or sensible reading:

1. Ginsburg’s language is included under a heading titled “Recommendations.” I don’t think that she is calling for legislation to require people to consider abolishing Mother’s Day.

2. In context, it is clear that Ginsburg regards Mother’s Day as inconsistent “with a policy of minimizing traditional sex-based differences in parental roles.” The very point of her report was to recommend legislative changes to effect this policy.

3. If someone were to write, say, that “Killing Frenchmen should be considered,” I don’t think that the most natural reading of that proposition is that the writer is neutral on it.

That said, those who want to argue that Ginsburg merely proposed considering the abolition of Mother’s Day (as if that’s a much more modest proposal) are welcome to do so–so long, of course, as they strive to maintain the same unnatural standard of punctiliousness in summarizing the views of those with whom they disagree.

The larger point remains unaffected: By any measure, Ginsburg, at the time of her nomination, had expressed extremist views that placed her at the leftist fringe of American society and, as a justice, has continued that course. Yet notwithstanding views that were far more out of the “mainstream” than even the grossest caricatures of the most vilified of President Bush’s nominees, Ginsburg was confirmed to the Supreme Court, by a 96-3 vote, a mere six weeks after her nomination. And the Left still pretends that she is in the mainstream.

Irony Alert



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Beldarblog makes a good point about Durbin’s argument that Pryor does not respect judicial precedent.

Pryor and the Hitching Post Case



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Senator Schumer also misrepresented Bill Pryor’s record on the Hitching Post Case. Mobile Register editorialist Quin Hillyer explained on NRO two years ago.

Pryor favors wife beating?



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I heard that bit, too, K-Lo. Schumer said Pryor is “opposed to protecting women from being beaten by their husbands” because he views part of the Violence Against Women Act as beyond Congress’s legitimate power. Here’s some of what CFJ put out on Pryor and VAWA:

Even in light of his enviable record on women’s issues, General Pryor’s shrill detractors have nonetheless distorted the position he took in an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of United States v. Morrison, where the Court held that the Violence Against Women Act’s (“VAWA”) civil remedy was beyond Congress’s Commerce Clause powers. General Pryor did not argue that the whole Act was unconstitutional, as some special interest groups have claimed. Rather, the central point of Alabama’s argument was that prohibiting violence against women was absolutely necessary – but that doing so historically has fallen within the domain of state and local governments. Alabama simply argued that state and local officials are better equipped than the federal government to solve the civil justice aspects of the problem of violence against women.

The very day the Morrison decision was handed down, General Pryor reiterated Alabama’s commitment to eradicating gender-motivated violence. He noted, “States have led the way in battling domestic abuse and rape. The safety of women – and men – is best protected by encouraging and strengthening state efforts, not by allowing the states to pass the buck to federal bureaucrats and judges.” Indeed, when VAWA initially was proposed, a number of federal judges and their representative organizations opposed the law for the same reason: its tendency to displace traditional state adjudications. In 1991, the United States Judicial Conference objected to VAWA because it feared the legislation would “flood the federal courts with cases better handled in state courts.” The Judicial Conference is headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and includes the Chief Judges of thirteen federal appeals courts and a district judge from each of the nation’s twelve geographical federal circuits. Kathryn Coumanis, the Executive Director of Penelope House, knows the truth about General’s Pryor’s record on women’s issues. She had the following to say about him: “The entire Board of Directors of Penelope House Family Violence Center here in Mobile, AL, unanimously asked that I include them in support of this nomination. Attorney General Bill Pryor has been a long time supporter and advocate of Penelope House, and has worked tirelessly to protect women and children from the dangers of domestic violence. . . . When Bill Pryor raises his voice in support of our mission, it enables us to reach every member of our community. . . . Bill Pryor will bring to the Federal Bench the qualities that all Americans cherish. He is loyal to his State and his Country, is a man of princip[le] and integrity, is highly intelligent, and most of all is a man who has immense compassion and respect for his fellow human beings.”

Would It Be Wrong to Point Out



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That many of us say “Please, God, no more Souter” type prayers?

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