Robert Bork

The Progressive War on Federalism

by Bill O'Connell on December 6, 2010

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I still find myself in awe of our Founding Fathers who created our form of government.  The competing ideas that they sifted through to come up with our Constitution and the safeguards in it is wondrous.  The designs upon it by the progressives is by equal measure disturbing.


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Who Is Elena Kagan?

by Bill O'Connell on July 29, 2010

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We have come to expect a fight whenever a seat opens up on the Supreme Court as there are distinct battle lines between conservatives who believe the Constitution should be interpreted how it was written and liberal/progressives view it in light of what they feel it should be today.  In other words, conservatives approach the Constitution with a magnifying glass while liberal/progressives approach it with an eraser and pencil.

I happen to believe that elections have consequences and that for the most part the president should be allowed to nominate who he chooses to fill a Supreme Court vacancy and have them approved.  However, as Democrats like to point out when a Republican sits in the White House, the Senate has a Constitutional role to give advice and consent on such nominees, not just rubber stamp them, which is true enough.  Unfortunately, today the advice and consent process is almost a sham, because the nominees have learned how to keep their mouths shut and defer from answering all but the blandest questions under the cover that it may come up before them in a case on the court.  We can thank Ted Kennedy for this as he turned the advice and consent role into an opportunity to smear a nominee, Judge Robert Bork, in the most vile and mendacious way to pander to the base of the Democratic Party.  Since then, it’s been lights out on any serious probing of the thought process of nominees to our highest court.

But what about Elena Kagan?  After the Senate Judiciary panel approved her nomination along nearly party lines (Lindsey Graham – R voted in favor) most Americans (87%) believe she will be confirmed, according to Rasmussen.  However, in the same poll Americans oppose her nomination 42% to 36%.  Is she qualified to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court?

One of the arguments against her is that she has never been a judge before.  That is true, but it is also true for about one-third of past Supreme Court justices.  However, among those past Supreme Court justices who were not judges, they had on average 20 years experience in the private practice of law.  Ms. Kagan has two years experience in private practice, two years.  The rest of her experience in academia or government service. 

Before her current position of Solicitor General, she had never argued a case at a trial.  She has no judicial experience, next to no private practice experience, and thanks to Ted Kennedy, she revealed as little as possible about her judicial philosophy to get confirmed.  Her key strength, according to Barack Obama, is her ability to build consensus.  I’ll give you a translation of what that really means.  Her job will be to vote with the liberal bloc of the Supreme Court and use her persuasive powers on Anthony Kennedy to peel him off and generate as many 5-4 wins as possible.  President Obama does little without a purpose and his purpose is to pull the Supreme Court in the same direction as the laws he has jammed through against the will of the American people.

Despite the approval of the Judiciary committee, an effort must be mounted to reject or filibuster her approval.  How can we accept someone with so little in the way of qualifications to a lifetime appointment?  We know next to nothing about her judicial philosophy.  There are no cases on which she has written opinions that can be examined.  With regard to what she has written in the government service she simply says I was acting as an advocate for my client, and those are not necessarily my views.  Who could argue with that?  So what are her views?  We don’t know and like Nancy Pelosi claimed with the health care monstrosity, “we’ll just have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”  With a lifetime appointment, you can’t take it back later if you disagree with her eventual positions.  The track record of the “Trust me” presidency is downright frightening.

With all due respect to Elena Kagan, I don’t see how we can idly sit by and silently accept another Obama abomination of ramming through his agenda without regard for the people who elected him.  He is essentially asking us to grant a lifetime appointment that could profoundly affect our liberties, to someone who is a blank slate that we know little about. He should withdraw the nominee and submit another candidate.

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