June 1 Cartoon
The Oklahoman has started it's war on Sotomayor today with this infantile cartoon. It is no mystery that they are doing this, as it is no mystery that they will offer totally unbalanced coverage of the coming conformation.
For fun, lets look back at their coverage of Alito last go 'round. The paper ran five staff editorials during the run up, and all the typical elements of Oklahoman editorials are there. Hypocrisy, plagiarism, little detail to truth, etc.... :
1.8.06 Asking Alito : Qualifications should be hearings’ focus
WHEN U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr. appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, it will launch perhaps the most contentious confirmation battle on Capitol Hill since Robert Bork’s in 1987.
For those who don’t remember, the Bork confirmation became a donnybrook. Nominated by President Reagan, the former solicitor general’s outspoken conservatism was savaged by liberal special interest groups, and ultimately he was rejected by the Senate.
Conservatives have since been spoiling for a high-stakes showdown over judicial philosophy, and
they may get it with Sam Alito.
Since President Bush nominated Alito to succeed retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in October, much has been made of Alito’s rulings as a federal appellate court judge and his positions as a young member of the Reagan administration.
Unlike new Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Alito has an extensive judicial paper trail from 15 years on the bench (compared with Roberts’ three). During the past two months, that record has been mined by some of the same groups that torpedoed Bork. Unlike the Roberts confirmation, opponents of judicial conservatism are planning a spirited fight against Alito.
Part of it is Alito’s length of judicial service, part of it is the politics of succeeding O’Connor. Whereas Roberts was seen as a conservative replacing another conservative (late Chief Justice William Rehnquist), Alito is seen as more conservative than O’Connor, who frequently was the high court’s swing vote in key cases. As a result, liberal groups have been saying that Alito would turn back the clock on women’s rights and civil rights. They’ve claimed he would endanger civil liberties because he has written about the need for a strong executive branch in our system of government.
Our sense is Judge Alito is a brilliant but careful jurist — in the sense he respects the Constitution’s original intent and is disinclined to turn it inside out looking for new rights. Last week he received the American Bar Association’s highest recommendation, “well-qualified,” the same as Chief Justice Roberts.
Alito has had a distinguished career and has demonstrated he would professionally interpret the law. Starting with Monday’s hearings, the Senate should examine his qualifications and judicial temperament, not positions on litmus-test issues.
That way the process, however tough, will remain fair.
1.12.06 Nothing personal : Alito displays deft touch in exchange
ASHORT exchange on the first day of questioning for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito by the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighted a key philosophical divide over the proper role of judges in America.
Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., tried Tuesday to shake the nominee from his position that judges should be neutral arbiters of the law. Kohl was present last fall during confirmation hearings for new Chief Justice John Roberts, when Roberts likened judges to baseball umpires calling balls and strikes.
Kohl suggested to Alito that judicial interpreters of the Constitution can’t always be as neutral or detached as Roberts said. He said a number of landmark decisions by the court to protect civil liberties resulted because judges would “look beyond rigid legal doctrines that prevailed at the times of those rulings.”
The senator said the cases wouldn’t have come out the way they did if judges remained neutral, and he asked Alito to agree with him that certain pivotal cases require judges who will apply a “more expansive, imaginative view of the Constitution.”
One reason we think Judge Alito will be a good Supreme Court justice is that he rejects the view judges may use their imaginations to divine one thing or another from the Constitution. That’s judicial activism, pure and simple, usually seen in judges acting as legislators at the state and federal level.
Alito politely batted away Kohl’s argument, saying judges must be wary of substituting their views and policy judgments for the Constitution’s. While judges may identify principles under the Constitution’s broader provisions, he said that’s not the same thing as judges injecting their personal opinions on the “direction in which society should be moving into the decisionmaking process.”
The task of legislating is the realm of elected representatives. Judges should stick to the job of measuring legislation against the Constitution. If confirmed, Alito would help keep the two branches of government working in their appropriate roles.
1.13.6 Unruffled : Smear efforts don’t faze Alito
SENATE Judiciary Committee Democrats may yet manage to seriously rough up U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. But if the petty, smearing stuff they tried during his confirmation hearings is the worst they can do, then Alito is well on his way to joining the high court.
Alito proved himself intellectually sharp and personally humble while sparring with some of the committee’s Democrats during questioning, which ended Thursday. The nominee, rightfully so, consistently refused to be lured into discussing his views on key issues that might come before him as a justice, such as abortion.
On Wednesday this drew Democrats’ ire — even though Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, nominated by President Clinton, set the modern standard for unresponsiveness to questions about potential cases.
So some tried sliming Alito, suggesting his nominal membership in an oddball Princeton alumni group from 20 years ago makes him a racist and a misogynist. They accused Alito of always ruling against “the little guy” as an appellate court judge, even though several cases suggest otherwise.
The grilling and smearing eventually got to the judge’s wife, Martha. At one point she left the hearing room in tears — a vivid illustration of the toll the modern, no-holds-barred confirmation process can take on nominees and their families.
Alito remained unruffled. As apparently is his nature, the bookish judge calmly disavowed association with the Princeton group and its views and said he would keep an open mind.
Although the hearings were both nasty and dull, what emerged was that Samuel Alito has the brains, legal experience and judicial temperament to be a fine Supreme Court justice. That he can weather political assaults on his character is just more evidence he’s the right man for the court.
1.14.06 Foolish risk : Alito deserves up-or-down vote
IT’S GOOD to hear California Democrat Dianne Feinstein discounting the likelihood Samuel Alito’s U.S. Supreme Court nomination will be filibustered on the Senate floor. Still, after confirmation hearings last week established Alito’s intellect, legal expertise, judicial temperament and overall suitability for the highest court in the land, some Democrats weren’t ready to give up the fight.
Over the weekend New York’s Charles Schumer still talked as if there were more to learn about someone with a 15-year record as a federal appellate judge who’d just undergone a weeklong grilling. Schumer wouldn’t rule out a filibuster to block Alito’s nomination indefinitely.
We realize Schumer and others are being pressured by liberal interest groups to fight tooth and nail to defeat Alito. But enough is enough. Judge Alito’s mainstream conservatism isn’t cause for denying him an up-or-down vote in the Senate.
Democratic moderates sense this, as does Feinstein. Although she disagrees with Alito on a number of issues, Feinstein said Sunday such disagreement isn’t a reason to keep him off the court by any means available, including a filibuster.
Filibustering Alito would go well beyond the Senate’s constitutional role of advising and consenting on judicial nominations. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was right when he said a filibuster would be an attempt to hijack the last presidential election — won by President Bush after campaign promises to nominate conservatives to the judiciary.
If they filibuster a nominee with Alito’s credentials, Senate Democrats will trigger a backlash, with Americans seeing a well-qualified candidate blocked by a partisan gimmick. They also would invite Republicans to use the same tactics with the next Supreme Court nominee by a Democratic president.
The message Sunday from Feinstein is that it would be foolish for Democrats to risk both by trying to block someone as qualified as Samuel Alito.
1.27.06 Bloc party : Alito deserves better from Democrats
THE WAY some Democrats have behaved toward U.S. Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, we suppose Alito should feel lucky his nomination probably won’t be filibustered on the Senate floor. Thank goodness for small favors!
Seriously, it’s to the Senate’s shame this well-qualified jurist and good man probably will be confirmed with not much better than a party-line vote.
There was a time when the Senate rose above a nominee’s perceived liberalism or conservatism and based its consent on his or her legal intellect, judicial temperament and general capacity to serve as a justice on the highest court in the land. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, nominated by President Clinton in 1993, won confirmation with 96 votes and no hint of a filibuster. Same thing the following year, when Clinton put forward Stephen Breyer and he was confirmed with 89 votes.
Alito’s thanks — for a distinguished career as a judge, federal prosecutor and government attorney — was a scrawny 10-8 party-line vote this week in the Judiciary Committee. Observers think he’ll be fortunate to get 60 votes from the full Senate. That’s more than enough for confirmation, but Alito deserves better.
The start of floor debate suggested party talking points and not clear, independent thinking are guiding too many senators. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said Alito “has voted to narrow (abortion rights), to restrict the rights that Americans hold dear.” Maryland Democrat Barbara Mikulski said Alito favors big business and the executive branch of government more than everyday Americans.
How unfortunate that opponents smear and distort trying to turn an honorable man into a caricature they can attack.
Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said Alito has a “respect for judicial restraint, an aversion to political agendas on the bench and a commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution.” That used to be more than enough to win broad, bipartisan support from the Senate. Sadly, no more.