Patterico's Pontifications


I Need the Angry Clam

Filed under: Judiciary — Patterico @ 12:05 pm

If this L.A. Times article is correct, the only mystery about Alberto Gonzales is whether Bush will nominate him now or for the second spot. Even solid conservatives seem resigned to this. For example, Paul at Power Line said yesterday:

If Bush fills two vacancies, I believe that one will go to a moderate (probably Alberto Gonzales) out of friendship and/or the desire to commit affirmative action. The key right now is to make sure that we get one conservative out of the Bush administration (even his father accomplished that).

No. The key is to get two conservatives on the Court. Not one. Two.

Any suggestion to the contrary makes me so Angry™ that I am tempted to break my self-imposed rule that I will not curse profusely on this site, in the fashion of the Angry Clam™. (The Clam is, of course, free to do so — and does.) The idea that even staunch conservatives like Power Line seem ready to accept a Souter-style “moderate” (read: liberal) for the second nomination has me about ready to tear my hair out.

For God’s sake, people — we won. We won the Presidential election. We won the Senate.

Are we ever going to capitalize on our victories? Ever??

Where is the Angry Clam™ when you need him?

15 Responses to “I Need the Angry Clam”

  1. I really, really appreciate your self imposed rule, but I also am getting tired of chewing on my own tongue every time I read that Bush wants to nominate Gonzalez. No, no, no. No. NO.
    We only won if he puts two conservatives in the Supreme Court. If he chooses Gonzalez, there is no longer a ‘we’ in connection with myself and the Republican Party.
    Okay, really, I didn’t register Republican. But I’ve been friendly in my attitude towards Bush and the Repubs. This will kill it for me.

    DeputyHeadmistress (5d58d4)

  2. Before you go ass over teakettle about who Bush nominates for the Supreme Court, remember that each Supreme Court Judge does what he or she wants to do and no one can know for sure whether that “conservative” will turn into a raving left wing lunatic. Asked what his greatest mistake was, Republican President Eisenhower said “Earl Warren”, a Republican governor of California who Eisenhower nominated for the Supreme Court. The favored “Conservative” nominee may turn out to be your and my worst nightmare. The only time we can be truly safe from Supreme Court Justices “growing” after they find their way onto the court is after they are dead and buried.

    john (fc4860)

  3. Sure — but you have better information on some than on others. There was no reason to think Earl Warren or Bill Brennan would be conservatives.

    I think Kennedy was probably the biggest disappointment of all. He turned out to be a guy who puts ego and the approval of the NYT Editorial Page ahead of principle.

    Patterico (756436)

  4. Patterico, I really think I’m right and everybody else is wrong: I don’t think Bush can nominate Gonzales for the reason that Ramesh Ponnuru points out in National Review Online:

    I paraphrased the Ponnuru Paradox thus on Captain’s Quarters:

    Because Gonzales was White House Counsel for four years (arguing on behalf of President Bush) and is now Attorney General, he would have to recuse himself from half the cases that come before the Court… and especially from any case involving partial-birth aboriton, affirmative action, turning over classified documents to Congress or to news agencies, or any case involving the war on terrorism — military tribunals, the treatment of detainees at Gitmo, the War Powers Act, and so forth, all cases where Gonzales himself argued on behalf of the Bush administration. That’s pretty much every case of moment for the next several years!

    I don’t think even as loyal a fellow as George W. Bush will nominate someone who will have to recuse himself left and right, thus opening the Court to a succession of 4-4 non decisions that will allow deplorable Circus-Court decisions (on forcing civilian trials for all the Gitmo detainees, e.g.) to stand unoverturned.


    Dafydd (df2f54)

  5. There was no reason to think Earl Warren or Bill Brennan would be conservatives.

    Dunno ’bout Brennan, but wasn’t Governor Warren a right-wing hardliner to a fault?

    Xrlq (158f18)

  6. Didn’t he propose a state medical insurance program? I always thought he was considered a moderate conservative as governor. Plus, he was a politician. I don’t want politicians on the bench. I want jurists. O’Connor was a politician; see what I mean?

    Patterico (756436)

  7. Dafydd,

    Want to make a bet? I will bet Gonzales gets the nod the second time around. Steak dinner.

    Patterico (756436)

  8. “For God’s sake, people — we won. We won the Presidential election. We won the Senate”

    How much of the court is republican nominated anyway?

    actus (c8c1c4)

  9. Far more than is apparent from their arrogant decisionmaking.

    Unfortunately, when Justices come unhinged from the text of the Constitution, it increases their own personal power — and gets them plaudits from the elite. This proves too heady for many, regardless of who nominated them.

    Patterico (756436)

  10. Responding to John (#2), I know damned well that Garza is not going to turn into a left wing lunatic. No one who reads his concurring opinion in the Causeway Medical case could think that.

    Garza goes right to the heart of the problem, and that is the vast overtsretching of the Due Process Clause. I have a somewhat different view of that Clause than Garza has (see, but I know Garza is on the right track. That’s a hell of a lot more than I can say about a bunch of these other prospective nominees.

    Andrew (b77187)

  11. Angry Clam! Angry Clam! Angry Clam!

    Bring back the Angry Clam!

    PrestoPundit (cd3f73)

  12. We didn’t win the Senate. Under current rules, it takes 60 seats to control Senate debate on nominees. We have 55, the Democrats have 44 plus Jim Jeffords. So the Senate is still very much a factor, as we saw earlier this spring.

    Jeff Harrell (a5b150)

  13. Jeff.

    Traditionally, it has taken 51 seats to control Senate debate on judicial nominees. You say that, under current rules, it takes 60 seats to control Senate debate on nominees, but you’re omitting the most important rule of all, and that is the rule in the Constitutition that says the Senate has power to make its own rules by simple majority.

    Don’t rules in the Constitution count too?

    Andrew (9ffcfb)

  14. Dude:

    the best replacement for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is Judge Edith Hollan Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit of Appeals. She’s a real conservative.

    See here:

    Judge Jones would make a great conservative addition to the Court – especially if she could be followed by another strong conservative judge, like John Roberts, J. Michael Luttig or one of my favorties: Viet D. Dinh or Miguel Estrada.

    Bottom line: I hate to say it but it’s unavoidable: the President has to replace O’Connor with a woman jurist. And if he replaces her with a true conservative like Edith Hollan Jones, it will be a very good thing – and a real plus for the Supreme Court.

    Just imagine the Dem blow-hards like Kennedy and Kerry trying to beat-up on petite Edith Hollan Jones – who has put her 3 sons through college. Kennedy and his ilk will look like the jerks they are.

    -nikita demosthenes

    nikita demosthenes (6aa116)

  15. Correction – the above should read:

    “Judge Edith Hollan Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit”

    And I agree with Patterico. We have a GOP President and Senate (and House, for that matter). OF COURSE, Bush should only appoint only conservative jurists to the Supreme Court. Bush was elected by conservatives. Elections have consequences.

    Indeed, liberals know that their only hope to achieve their agenda is by non-democratic means – i.e., the courts – since they are no longer a viable national party – as Zell Miller correctly wrote.

    For pete’s sake, we shouldn’t HELP the liberals achieve court-imposed decisions that they would never be able to achieve through the national (or most state) legislatures.

    Please, President Bush, appoint the most conservative and well-qualified jurists available. Again, I commend (1) Edith Hollan Jones, (2) John Roberts, (3) J. Michael Luttig, (4) Viet D. Dinh or (5) Miguel Estrada.

    You campainged on it. Please do it. Let’s end the liberals’ only remaining tool: an anti-democratic activist court

    And when the Chief Justice’s job comes up, please make Antonin Scalia the new Chief Justice. He’s earned it, and he’s the right man for the job. He knows that being a judge is about interpreting text – not about being a social theorist. There is no “moderate” way to interpret text, as Scalia has appropriately argued time and time again. See, e.g.:

    -nikita demosthenes

    nikita demosthenes (6aa116)

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