Friday, July 01, 2005

Fristian Delight: O'Connor announces retirement

As anticipated (and prayed for by the fundagelical community), Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement today. O'Connor is best known as the first female judge on the SCotUS, but was most watched as the key swing vote in many cases that were divided along partisan lines. In preparation for the need to replace justices, the Dems have asked Bush to consult with them on choices of nominees; according to House Majority Dictator Bill Frist, Bush has reached out for suggestions but he warns Democrats on any consideration of utilizing the filibuster
"Senators should treat every nominee with dignity and respect and give them the courtesy of an up-or-down vote. And that includes any potential Supreme Court nominee should there be a vacancy," Frist said.
Last April, Frist has been clear about his stance on the Democrats use of the fillibuster to delay/prevent vote on any nominee considered extreme when Republicans have the votes to confirm that nominee
Reacting to a Democratic offer in the fight over filibusters, Republican leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he isn't interested in any deal that fails to ensure that the Senate votes on confirmation for all of President Bush's judicial nominees
Over the past 10 years, as I've expressed concern at the exponentially increasing division & antagonism in this country (especially as it pertains to religion and privacy), my brother keeps reminding me how the fringe of the right-wing keeps over-reaching and is pushed back into place when the complacent finally heard the alarm. It worked in the late 70s-early 80s, but they didn't have a stacked deck back then. I do not anticipate Bush to nominate anyone remotely moderate to the Supremes and I do not anticipate too many of the Republicans in Congress will have the guts to stand up to Repubevangelical Leadership.

It's time to stop hitting the snooze button. Without a major overhaul in the mid-term elections that brings us back to some middle ground, we will be far from the United States of America I was told we were when I was growing up.

Update 16:08 - I've checked MSM, the ads are out and talking heads are on (I hate to admit it, the bit of the right-wing ad I saw was kinda funny) and almost all of it is focused on abortion (that focus is shared on both sides). As Terence points out, there's more than abortion at stake. It's a battle of comparative ideologies that gets uglier every day.

The talking heads are now saying that to calm things down a bit, Bush may nominate someone more moderate (not necessarily moderate, just more moderate than someone who is an obvious extremist) and then follow-up with an arch-conservative to replace Rehnquist to repay his debt to Falwell, Dobson, et al. Anyone who values the freedom we have been blessed with in this country (understanding that some here aribtrarily have more freedom than others, but that almost all have more freedom than many outside this country could even begin to imagine) should be praying for cooler heads to prevail. We don't need political placement/ideologues on the court, we need someone whose loyalty truly lies with the consititution and our country. I'd be willling to bet that when Independence Day was first conceived as a holiday, its meaning wasn't lost on the celebrants. Let's hope it's not lost on the warring factions within our country this holiday week-end.

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