Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Why the Democrats Must Filibuster Alito
Radio host Ed Schultz was going on today about how the Democrats can't filibuster Alito because the Democrats have to campaign on "cleaning up the culture of corruption. He told one of his callers, in so many words, that Alito and the Republican scandals are separate issues.
There are times when I agree with Ed Schultz. This is definitely not one of them.
Alito is a prime example of the Republican culture of corruption. He didn't see a problem with presiding over a case involving a company in which he had a large sum of money invested. By asserting that we shouldn't pay any attention to what he said when applying for a job with the Reagan Administration, he's admitted he has no principles. His "explanation" of his membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton is blatantly dishonest. His judicial rulings show a callous disregard for everybody except the wealthy elite.
Not only can the Democrats filibuster Alito without undermining their anti-corruption message, they must filibuster him to reinforce that message.
- Anyone who has supported the "unitary executive", which puts one man and his agents above the law and which is a 100%, iron clad, guarantee of at least some degree of fascism, is unfit to hold any public office in a democracy. That a judge should hold such an outrageous viewpoint is a scandal and a symptom of the decay of our political and legal culture.
I would also say that any judge or lawyer who supports a judge who holds such views qualifies themselves as an idiot whose viewpoint should be discounted in direct measure.
I ask people to focus on one simple issue, the Vanguard case. Read the ABA description of how they investigated and evaluated it. What you come down to is that the ABA accepted Samuel Alito's explanation that he failed to recuse himself in a case involving Vanguard because:
1. He said it was an innocent error.
2. He recused himself in other cases involving Vanguard.
3. He recused himself in many other cases.
4. He said that he didn't stand to personally profit from the case.
5. When this came out, he took steps that his ruling be vacated.
I don't pretend to know whether the plaintiff or Vanguard was right in this case. What I do know is that plaintiff was a widow who lost her home because Vanguard seized the funds.
I further know that Samuel Alito held at least $390,000 in funds with Vanguard and that he had promised the Senate in writing that he would recuse himself from ruling in such cases. I know that Vanguard was prominently captioned as a party to the case.
I know that he asked that his decision be vacated only after he was caught in this conflict of interest. I know that even after he had been caught, he continued to maintain that he was eligible to rule on that case.
If it weren't for the latter, it might be written off to a gross error. But refusing to admit error is a classic example of pathological narcissism, of sociopathy.
None of this would matter if he were being considered for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. But as EPT so rightly points out, Samuel Alito will be ruling on issues of basic liberty.
More blogs about politics.