Monday, October 31, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

A little taste of Halloween with the Taylors (Sadly, Eldest Son came down with a 102 fever, and did not get to join in the festivities…)

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By Steven L. Taylor

USC regained the #1 slot in the BCS, as was pretty much expected. They lead Texas by 0.0038.

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By Steven L. Taylor

It might lead to greater scrutiny of one’s dubious skills at writing sex scenes.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Joe Gandelman has an Alito mega-post with news and reactions to the nomination.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Althouse notes the “Scalito” thing:

I welcome hearing something more substantial about the man than that people call him “Scalito” to signify his similarity to Scalia and because his last name is similar enough to Scalia that people just can’t hear “Alito” without wanting to say “Scalito.”

Indeed to all of that.

She also considers Alito “a Stronger Choice than John Roberts”. She does so at least partially on the predicate that he has a long record that makes him a non-mystery.

Along those lines, it occurred to me as I was driving in and listening to the coverage, that if Alito does make it through the process, that perhaps the perceived need to appoint persons with short paper trails (that started post-Bork) will go the way of the dinosaur, which is where it belongs. We should all be big enough boys and girls to handle a candidate who has a true public record. The Supreme Court should not be the domain of the stealthy. Indeed, it was the perceived need for such stealth that did, at least in part, lead to the Miers nomination. Perhaps Miers, by being the anti-Bork is so many ways, will have set in motion a correction that has been needed in the system for almost twenty years, i.e., a return to the ability of presidents to appoint candidates with lengthy and distinguished records.

Of course, if Alito goes down in flames, we will go back to looking for judicial tabula rasas, I guess.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the WaPo write-up: Bush Selects Alito for Supreme Court

Alito, appointed to the appeals court in 1990 by George H.W. Bush, has been a regular for years on the White House high court short list. He was also among those proposed by conservative intellectuals as an alternative to Harriet Miers, the White House counsel who withdrew as the nominee last week.


Alito’s resume, including a degree from the Yale Law School and service in the Reagan administration Justice Department, is very much unlike Miers’, who had no appellate experience, and very much like that of Chief Justice John Roberts.


Unlike Roberts, he has opined from the bench on both abortion rights, church-state separation and gender discrimination to the pleasure of conservatives and displeasure of liberals.

The paper rightly notes that there will be significant focus on his role in Casey. Indeed, after “Scalito” the word that we will all hear the most of over the next several weeks is “Casey”:

Rather, liberals are likely to focus on his opinions and dissents, most notably in the 1991 case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

In that case, Alito joined joined a Third Circuit panel in upholding most of a Pennsylvania law imposing numerous restrictions on women seeking abortions. The law, among other things, required physicians to advise women of the potential medical dangers of abortion and tell them of the alternatives available. It also imposed a 24 hour waiting period for abortions and barred minors from obtaining abortions without parental consent.

The panel, in that same ruling, struck down a single provision in the law requiring women to notify their husband’s before they obtained an abortion. Alito dissented from that part of the decision.

“The Pennsylvania legislature,” Alito wrote, “could have rationally believed that some married women are initially inclined to obtain an abortion without their husbands’ knowledge because of perceived problems — such as economic constrains, future plans, or the husbands’ previously expressed opposition — that may be obviated by discussion prior to abortion.”

The question becomes: what will the Gang of 14 think of this nomination? I had half-expected the President to pick someone who had been confirmed in some capacity more recently to make an “extraordinary circumstances” argument less likely.

Still, practically any nominee is going to create a fight with the Democrats. Indeed, the only element of the Miers’ nomination that was positive was that it was not, at least initially, creating such a fight.

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By Steven L. Taylor

John Hawkins of RWN did one of his polls of Right-of-Center Bloggers in regards to SCOTUS picks.

Alito was ranked 4th on the “for” list (Janice Rogers Brown was #1). Alberto Gonzales was #1 on the “against” list.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the AP: Bush to Nominate Alito to Supreme Court

President Bush, stung by the rejection of his first choice, will nominate Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, selecting a conservative federal judge to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a moderate.


Bush planned to announce the nomination at 8 a.m. EST.

So much for the notion that the floating of Alito’s name was a bait-and-switch.

And, as a side note, while O’Connor was often a swing vote, I am not sure that she is a “moderate”, per se.

So, how many times do you think we will hear “Scalito” in the next 24 hours? Does Vegas have an over/under yet?

For sure: Alitot is qualified for the position, unlike some nominees of recent vintage.

OTB has more.

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Sunday, October 30, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

I swear, homework for elementary school age children is more freakin’ work for the parents than it is for the kids.

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By Steven L. Taylor

There is much discussion in the media today about what the Bush administration needs to do now. Many are pointing to the need to engage in apology and re-organization. I believe this to be sound advice. If the administration digs in its heals and tried to stubbornly pretend as if nothing has happened with these indictments, the situation will continue to fester.

It is clear, from historical precedent, that Presidents are better off dealing with these issues head-on.

As Leon Panetta pointed out this morning on Meet the Press

MR. PANETTA: Tim, there’s a lesson that never seems to be learned in Washington and I’ve been in and out of Washington over 30 years. Any time somebody makes a mistake at that level, the best thing to do is to admit it to the American people and move on. John Kennedy probably set that standard with the Bay of Pigs, and ever since then, presidents every time they get in trouble try to bob and weave and sometimes say things that ultimately come back to haunt them. And I think that’s true–it was true for Reagan, although he eventually admitted what happened. It was true for Clinton although he eventually admitted what happened. And I think right now for Bush the fact is he has not taken responsibility for what’s happened and I think that’s one of the problems he confronts.

And, the other members of the panel made similar points:

MR. BESCHLOSS: You know, Tim, what strikes me even more powerfully from what everyone is saying is almost why presidents aren’t tempted to almost immediately say, “I’ve made a mistake and I’m going to change.” But Ken was being very modest over here in talking about Ronald Reagan, but he was one of the ones who went to the president and said, “You can’t keep on saying you did not trade arms for hostages; no one believes it.” And when he gave that speech that we saw on the screen that you put up, Tim, saying that actually he did, although in his heart he felt he did not, his poll ratings went up 9 percent. That was something that helped.


MR. JORDAN: And it’s very instructive that both presidents that did this, Reagan and Clinton, ended up as popular presidents. So the American people are understanding and will give a president the benefit of the doubt.

MR. DUBERSTEIN: Mea culpas sell with the American people. The American people…

MR. JORDAN: I agree, exactly.

MR. DUBERSTEIN: …want the presidents to say, “I’m sorry, I made a mistake.” They’re only normal, they’re real.

Duberstein, Jordan and Panetta know whereof they speak, given that they all served as White House Chiefs of Staff and Beschloss is a scholar who specializes in the presidency.

Meanwhile, Lanny Davis provides some good advice in the pages of the New York Times:

Now President Bush must do something that for him, it seems, is the most difficult task: admit a mistake. First, he must send his press secretary, Scott McClellan, into the White House press room to apologize for his misleading the American people – probably based on incomplete or inaccurate information he was given – when he denied involvement by White House officials in the disclosure that Valerie Wilson was a C.I.A. officer.

More important, President Bush should follow the ultimate rule of White House damage control: the buck stops here. He should admit that this entire mess could have been avoided had the White House, including the vice president, criticized Ambassador Joseph Wilson openly and directly, rather than whispering “on background” into the ears of certain reporters that his wife was responsible for sending him to investigate possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Niger.

And then, after reminding everyone that Mr. Libby is entitled to the presumption of innocence, Mr. Bush should focus on the people’s business and the far more serious problems facing America.

This all strikes me as sage advice. However, I have to wonder if it will, in fact, be followed.

Another example of press coverage focusing on post-indictment reactions by the Bush administration: Rove is a focus of calls for White House shakeup

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