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DT: come reap

This man deserves an icon.

Posted on 2006.30.01 at 12:30
How I feel about it all: pleasedpleased
Soundtrack: The Al Franken Show
Tags: , ,
I'm copying this because the Providence Journal requires free but inconvenient registration:

Chafee will vote against Alito

11:17 AM EST on Monday, January 30, 2006

projo.com staff writer

PROVIDENCE -- U.S. Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee announced this morning that he will vote against the nomination of Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.

He is the only member of the Republican Party so far to announce that he will vote against the conservative judge.

In a statement issued at a press conference this morning, the Rhode Island Republican said he was "greatly concerned" about some of Alito's philosophies.

Chafee described himself as a "pro-choice, pro-environment, pro-Bill of Rights Republican," in explaining his decision against Alito, the choice of fellow GOP President Bush.

Chafee noted that while Alito had "outstanding legal credentials," the judge's philosophy on certain issues, including the commerce clause, executive power and women's reproductive rights, influenced his decision.

The senator had said during his 2000 campaign that he would not vote for a nominee who did not pledge to affirm the landmark Supreme Court decision -- Roe v. Wade -- that legalized abortion.

Chafee had been under pressure as one of the last senators undecided on Alito's fitness for the Supreme Court. A Senate confirmation vote on Alito is due tomorrow.

His stance had drawn attacks from his opponents in both parties, underlining the incumbent's dilemma on difficult Senate votes in this election year. Chafee faces a primary challenge from Cranston Mayor Stephen P. Laffey. Also vying for the seat are two Democratics: former Rhode Island Atty. Gen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Secretary of State Matthew Brown.

Chafee's fellow senator from Rhode Island, Democrat Jack Reed, announced last week he would vote against Alito.

Chafee had committed himself to help fellow Republicans break a last-ditch Democratic filibuster of the nomination. He re-affirmed that stand this morning.

-- With reports from Journal Washington bureau chief John E. Mulligan and the Associated Press

I'm not sure if he's the ONLY Republican Senator to vote against Alito, but I think so. He was also the only Republican Senator to vote against the invasion of Iraq.

Sen. Chafee's vote won't change anything, but I'm glad he's doing it. I'm opposed to Alito--mostly for his threat to Separation of Powers and civil rights issues--and it's good to see a Republican (or anyone!) buck the Party Line and vote his conscience. And he's MY Senator!

Way to go, Senator. Dad would be SO proud.

Have I told y'all how much I love this man? Oh. Yeah, I probably have.


my life's so common it disappears
songdog at 2006-01-30 20:42 (UTC) ()
I heard about this this morning on NPR, and cheered! Jeffords has also said he won't support Alito either...
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-01-30 21:10 (UTC) ()
It's pretty much all symbolic at the mo', but yay for maverick Republicans!
loveneverfails at 2006-01-30 21:52 (UTC) ()
I actually like Alito. He's generally been mischaracterized by the media, but you'd never know it unless you watched the hearings themselves or read his opinions. I think he's pretty cool. What in his civil rights and separation of powers issues are you concerned about? As far as I've been able to see he's got a pretty good grasp on what the founders set up for separation of powers instead of a modern, rather odd idea that the courts should be making the laws.
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-01-30 22:03 (UTC) ()
My biggest problem with him is his vagueness/worrysome comments about Executive power and Civil Rights. I'm not sure I favour a filibuster, because I think it could turn on its ear and bite democrats on the arse one day, but I'd certainly wish for someone more pro-civil rights and someone who doesn't have the potential for helping grant the President, any President, more power than he has, which IMO is already too much.
loveneverfails at 2006-01-30 22:22 (UTC) ()
First of all, it's important to keep in mind that the current government is a far far cry from the way that the framers intended it to be. The legislature does essentially no lawmaking, merely appropriations instead, the courts actually do the lawmaking, and the executive generally does nothing (this President being an exception, because he seems quite happy to go to war, a great deal too happy in my opinion.) The problem is an executive bureacracy coupled with a legislative judiciary. It's an absolute nightmare.

I know that I tailor what I say to my role at any given time. I would do the best I could to represent the interests of my client too if I were in Judge Alito's position during the Reagan administration and as a judge he has been pretty danged fair. His ruling in a case of a Muslim woman was the groundwork for the entire theory that one could be granted asylum based on gender. He decides based on the actual cases, which can make it extremely difficult to figure out what he thinks because he's bound to a reactive position (like all judges should be) instead of a proactive one. It's the job of the judiciary to allow the legislature and the executive branch to do what is licit according to the Constitution with as little interference as possible as long. The Constitution outlines the rights and responsibilities both of the government and of the citizens and that's what the courts should be bound by: strict interpretation, not radical discovery of new rights, such as what happened in Roe v. Wade. I don't see Alito "discovering" such extra hidden powers once he's on the bench, but if you are representing a client and your job is to make the best plan of attack and argument you can that is what you do. Now that his job is different I'm sure that he will act accordingly. Plus he's Catholic and I've got a soft spot in my heart for Catholic justices. :-)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-01-30 23:50 (UTC) ()
I'm a Unitarian, so religion isn't an issue for me, and I agree with you that the courts shouldn't rewrite the Constitution (I'm a big fan of it, actually *g*).

I think it's because I'm scared that this President is going to send us into very, very scary, dangerous things if he's given the power he wants so badly, that I'm gunshy about any hints of increasing executive power. The next President might be just fine, but what about the one after that, and the one after that?

As for "strict interpretation", what is that? Really, everyone's going to have a bias, even if it's buried somewhere down deep. Even the Founding Fathers had their agenda. After all, the Constitution originally was only for white men of property.

As for Roe,, I've always maintained that it's a messed-up piece of legislation that was pushed through too fast, too hard, and is way too broad. (example of "broad": the woman referenced in this post who basically got an abortion for no greater reason than her baby was a boy and she and her DH couldn't decide on circumcision).

Having said that, I'm going to sit back and wait. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised at what this new justice does. He doesn't sound Evil; personally, he seems like a decent guy.

*sigh* I wish everyone could be like the guy in my icon. He's one of the good ones :)
(Deleted comment)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2006-01-30 22:11 (UTC) ()
Chafee's the best. The. Best. He's got a lot of detractors, because, well. The GOP doesn't like him because he doesn't always toe the Party Line, and a lot of the Dems don't like him because they think he's pandering to TPTB to get re-elected. Which I'm sure is part of it (he's a politician, after all), but I seriously doubt that he'd support any issue he didn't believe in. His father, John Chafee, was the same type of guy--a quality human being.

Link's gonna have a hard battle this election. I'm voting for him. Yes, me, vote for a Republican. Because I believe in him that much. *g*
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