Monday, January 30, 2006

Kerry's Folly And Kennedy's Apoplexy

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, fresh from schussing the Swiss Alps (and not falling, no doubt), writes an impassioned but futile plea for resistance against Sam Alito's confirmation as an Associate Justice of SCOTUS. One of Kerry's big problems here - and there are many - is that he shows in this editorial just how badly he misunderstands the conservative viewpoint of the role of the judiciary. He clearly sees the role of the judiciary in terms of righting what liberals see as wrongs, as opposed to interpreting law and precedent as regards the facts of the case. Let's take an example from his piece.

Kerry writes:

Will it matter if we speak up after the Supreme Court has granted the executive the right to use torture, or to eavesdrop without warrants? Will it matter if we speak up only after a woman's right to privacy has been taken away? Will history record what we say after the courthouse door is slammed in the faces of women, minorities, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor? No.

All well and good, perhaps, as excessive rhetoric. But there is no hint here of the particulars of the laws, precedents, and facts involved. For instance, I'm not a lawyer, but one who is cites chapter and verse on the NSA warrantless surveillance. That Sen. Kerry agrees with the NY Times is not surprising. That he gives no consideration to the case law that support the opposing viewpoint is embarrassing. And nobody is slamming courthouse doors in anyone's face. Your problem is not that Mr. Alito has been shown to be that kind of person; your problem is that he hasn't.

And speaking of embarrassing, the senior Massachusetts Senator went off on a rant today before the cloture vote took place, one that saw Mr. Alito move by 72-25 to a final confirmation vote scheduled for tomorrow. Senator Kennedy's complaint against Judge Alito is essentially that he's not an activist liberal judge. Well, duh.

James Taranto in last Friday's 'Best of the Web' referred to "Otter and Bluto, the Senators from Massachusetts." Bluto was in action today.

D-Day: War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.

Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Otter: Germans?

Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.

Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... [thinks hard] ... the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go!

UPDATE: Well, somebody had to do it. (hat tip: Ace of Spades)

UPDATE REDUX: A must read on the failed Alito Borking - Dean Barnett of Soxblog.

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