Saturday, March 05, 2005

Two Places at the Same Time

The laughs that could be had if I worked for White & Case, LLP.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

There They Go Again

Because he is only serving a temporary recess appointment, Bill Pryor must be confirmed by the Senate in order to permanently sit on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Staying true to form in their love of ideology over competency and integrity, Senate Democrats have filibustered Pryor, even though he enjoys near universal support in his home state of Alabama.

The liberal Anniston Star, for instance, in the same editorial that urges filibusters against most of President Bush's nominees, writes that "Pryor, who possesses a brilliant legal mind, cannot be so easily dismissed. . . . Pryor has been proven capable of setting aside his ideology when it matters most. . . . [He] helped shut down [Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore's Ten Commandments] sideshow and, in the process, displayed personal courage. That alone ought to convince Democrats currently blocking a vote on Pryor to give him a chance."

Why do Alabamians so strongly back Judge Pryor? Because they've seen him in action defending Democratic lawmakers against Republican lawsuits, defying the Republican governor (Fob James) who appointed him, and spending countless hours establishing a youth mentorship program through the attorney general's office. They know him, up close, as a man of integrity and compassion.

National critics have gone to prodigious lengths to muddy that home-state record. Unfairly so. Consider that critics have accused Judge Pryor of being insensitive to women because he successfully argued against one small portion of the Violence Against Women Act. But Judge Pryor's constitutional point was virtually incontrovertible, namely that rape doesn't qualify as "interstate commerce." His goal was to keep authority for prosecuting rapes in state courts, where (in Alabama at least) the juries are likely to be harder on rapists than elsewhere. Meanwhile, he has been praised throughout Alabama by groups that aid victims of domestic violence. Mobile's Penelope House women's shelter even named him to its Law Enforcement Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Agreeable Sentiment, But Wrong

By a 5-4 vote, the SCOTUS finds the imposition of the death penalty on minors to be unconstitutional. From Scalia's sober dissent:

But Hamilton had in mind a traditional judiciary, “bound down by strict rules and prece-dents which serve to define and point out their duty in every particular case that comes before them” [citing Federalist 78]. . . Bound down, indeed.

What a mockery today’s opinion makes of Hamilton’s expectation, announcing the Court’s conclusion that the meaning of our Constitution has changed over the past 15 years?not, mind you, that this Court’s decision 15 years ago was wrong, but that the Constitution has changed. The Court reaches this implausible result by purporting to advert, not to the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment, but to “the evolving standards of decency,” . . . of our national society. It then finds, on the flimsiest of grounds, that a national consensus which could not be perceived in our people’s laws barely 15 years ago now solidly exists. Worse still, the Court says in so many words that what our people’s laws say about the issue does not, in the last analysis, matter: “[I]n the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment.” . . .

The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation's moral standards--and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures. Because I do not believe that the meaning of our Eighth Amendment, any more than the meaning of other provisions of our Constitution, should be determined by the subjective views of five Members of this Court and like-minded foreigners, I dissent."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Pro-Life Swann

That would be Lynn Swann, sports reporter, former Pittsburgh Steeler and USC alumnus, who is looking into running for governor of Pennsylvania.

Swann, who campaigned for President Bush last year, said his conservative views and opposition to abortion began early.

"I wasn't supposed to be born," Swann said, explaining that his parents wanted to stop at two children.

"My mom said, 'Try for a girl.' My dad said, 'No.' My mom said, 'Have a scotch.' And I was born. That's good enough reason to be pro-life."