Friday, January 13, 2006


ABA Took a dive on Alito, said corrupt practices were normal

"They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all." --St. Paul in his epistle on the Washingtonians Those of us outside the Beltway see political events unfold and wonder why. Samuel Alito should *not* be on the verge of being confirmed. In addition to crackpot ideas about the "unitary power" of the Executive that sound a lot like monarchism, in addition to long-ago ties to an extremist organization, the guy lied to the Senate. So... why are the Democrats rolling over and playing dead? Probably because the American Bar Association took a dive and rationalized away one of the most egregious examples of conflict of interest in modern judicial history. The simple fact is that Samuel Alito, when he was confirmed for his present position, promised the Senate that he would specifically recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard Mutual funds. He held $390,000 in their funds. And, when a case came before him, he failed to recuse. In layman's language, he lied to the Senate. In lawyer's language, he acted in a manner that created the appearance of a conflict of interest. And this wasn't the only example of this cavalier attitude. So, in reviewing him for the Supreme Court, the ABA asked about this. And here are how they report his answers: Vanguard: Judge Alito acknowledged to us that, consistent with his earlier response to the Judiciary Chairman’s letter of November 10, 2005, “Due to an oversight, it did not occur to me that Vanguard’s status in the matter might call for my recusal.” Smith Barney: He told us that once again this case had “slipped by” and it was unclear to him why the screening system had not picked it up. Midlantic (his sister was a member of the lawfirm handling the case): He told us he did not believe that the screening system is used for rehearings, although it had been used for the original hearing, and that he simply “missed it” when he let his vote be recorded on rehearing. So, he held over $390,000 with Vanguard, yet didn't realize that he had a financial interest in them? And he did this in two other identified cases, and it just "slipped by." Maybe the Senate should deny him the Justice position based on senility. Finally, well down on my list, there's this matter of his extremism and crackpottery. What did the ABA do? They provide us with anonymous statements from people who said he wasn't a nut! But since the people in charge are pretty crazy-- bankrupting the Treasury to wean us from socialistic things like the Medicare we pay taxes for, standing by as whole American cities are destroyed, and leading us into illegal wars-- there is no shortage of nuts willing to testify to one another's sanity. The ABA failed to do its duty. It took a dive. The Senate is merely following them to the floor. "They have all become worthless. No one does anything good, no one at all."
I'm still stunned at the panel of sitting judges. The amazing potential for conflicts as cases involving them are taken up by the Supreme Court for review makes you have to ask, is anything they do a conflict of interest? What about that Professor and the lawyer who went into conflicts of interest at length, demostrating that Alito was seriously in conflict and would have had to know about it. He was an active investor in Vanguard in the period both immediately before and after he improperly participated in the case.

I don't think they would care but I can tell you that my opinion of "the LAW" is much lower tonight than it was yesterday morning. They act as if THE LAW is their personal property to be done with as they chose instead of the property of we, the people, ignorant and unimportant.

And that comparison that Prof. Ronald Sullivan made between the clause dismisissing the rights of the little girl who was strip searched as opposed to the four pages that Alito wrote worrying about the indignity of the rich veterinarian's wife says everything you have to know.

As someone on another blog said, "Kiss up, kick down".
And don't get me started on the "liberal" Alito supporters, each with potential personal gain by having a friend on the Supreme Court.
I think "law" ended in American on 12/12/00, EPT. The Supreme Court told the American people that a judicial decision could be made for one man, never applicable as precedent.

But what does law mean? It means something universally so, as when we speak of the law of gravity. Gravity doesn't cease just because George Bush enters the room.

Once law is deprived of its universality, it becomes a system of rules. Government of the powerless by the powerful for whatever purpose they choose.
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