Tuesday, April 19, 2005


DEFCON 5: One Week to Nuclear War

Enjoy your democracy...while it lasts

Got an inside scoop from the Senate today. Staffers are reporting that Senator Frist will unveil his all out assault on the filibuster next week. I'm puzzled as I really doubt that a majority of moderate Republicans (McCain, Collins, Snowe, Chaffee, Hagel) would go along with it and doubt that Senate Giants like John Warner (who values tradition) would join the fray. Perhaps Senator Frist is bringing it up, as promised, for his noisy group of radical right supporters (Family Research Council, Concerned Women of America, etc.), but I doubt it.

I spent a lot of time this weekend thinking about the rationale for eliminating the filibuster of judicial nominees, and I concluded that the motivating factor is not the supposed blocking of a mere 10 nominated judges. As I've mentioned before, Bush's success record with court nominations is stunning, 95% of his nominees have been approved by the senate, and only 10 or so rejected. The battle is much deeper and more sinister I'm afraid. In short, I think the GOP leadership is front loading the battle for the next Supreme Court nominee. The radical supporters of Frist and company, with a taste of success from their Gay-Bashing amendments, see a future battle over the most fundamental right in America, the right to privacy.

Why privacy? Well, first off, the right to privacy, at least according to the Supreme Court is penumbral, that is, it is a shadowy right created by the bill of rights that guarantees personal autonomy in a whole host of areas, like contraception, private sexual behavior, abortion, associational rights and such. It's this fundamental right that continues to anger the radical right and since they cannot prevail on constitutional or legislative bans on things like birth control, gay rights and abortion, they need more radical action, and that action is to overturn the line of cases (Duarte, Casey, Lawrence, Roe) that led to the development of the right to privacy. That's there goal, and it should scare the bejebus out of true conservatives, as it would open the door to unlimited federal intervention into the social lives of its citizenry. Of course if that doesn't work, then we can always resort to violence against judges....

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