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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 22, 2010 9:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was Have a great weekend. The next post in this blog is The West Hills people want more of your money. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

DeFazio steps off the edge

Most of the time, I like it when the congressman from Eugene tells it like it is. But when he says stupid stuff, he hurts the whole liberal cause.

Comments (40)

Yeah, if you're going to kick off a Great Republican Witch Hunt, why not start with an easier target? Someone who has openly committed clear and obvious violations of the law, and hasn't bothered to try to hide it.

Someone like, say, Jay Bybee.

It does seem a bit Quixotic. After all, Roberts's lies in the confirmation process were no more flagrant than Thomas's or Alito's.

What a fool DeFazio is.

When Carla at BlueOregon calls you crazy (and she would know "crazy" like the back of her hand), you have lost the middle, the left AND the far left.

Move on, DaFazio, move on.

What, exactly, is the Liberal Cause?

Sorry, I'm stupid. It seems to me that if you want to "spread the wealth", then you should go first and see how that works out.

If it's all the same, I'd prefer to see somebody spreading my work ethic.

Can we leave your narcissism behind, though?

Carla chiming in on smearing is special.

She is the expert.

Curious Jack. Why is the judicial off limits? This is a democracy. Why wasn't it crazy for the repubs to impeach Clinton, yet they did and successfully marginalized him (or at least his 'progressive policies'). If we had another Warren leading the court (and doing common sense changes- like civil rights-which our senate was incapable of), you can be damn sure that the republicans would do everything in their power to impeach and delegitimize him.

Liberal cause? We sure seem to be moving right fast. Our vaunted health care plan is more conservative then the one Nixon proposed, universal coverage without any consideration of cost (like a Medicare for all option could have accomplished). WTF? Sure seems like the no hold barred gamesmanship of the republicans is winning to me.

Citizens Vs. United was an atrocious ruling with profound ramifications. Sure we are all cynical so its expected...but all hail the separation of the powers? I don't get your beef.

Clinton never should have been impeached, and neither should Roberts be. It's time to stop shouting the "I" word every time you disagree with someone's politics.

I agree that the liberal cause has been subverted by corporate money. It's why I'm not voting for Ron Wyden, the moneybags hypocrite, and why I don't think as much of Obama as I did a year and a half ago.

Lifetime appointments for justices is a bizarro anachronism. We need more FDR vs. Supreme Court sort of stuff, at the very least to get Thomas to stop his wife from calling someone who he harassed.

I think pretty much everyone would agree that Thomas shouldn't be on the court. Yet he's there for life. That's weird.

No, it isn't. Lifetime appointment for judges is as it should be. It lets them actually apply the law rather than having to bend to the latest outcry on Hannity.

What's crazy is having judges run for office. It's how you get really weird -- Justice Ed Fadeley being Exhibit A.

In Thomas's case, he never should have been confirmed for the High Court in the first place, but the U.S. Senate was completely spineless. No news there.

Well, facts come to light late, at least in some cases.

Surely a judge who, for example, made a vow NEVER to rule on the side of investors (versus institutions) should be removed?

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/10/retiring-judge-accuses-colleague-of-corruptly-siding-with-major-financial-firms-over-20-years.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tpmelectioncentral+%28TPM+Election+Central%29

The simple fact is that the judiciary has been corrupted by politics (e.g., Gore v Bush; Thomas' wife leading Tea Party shenanigans), and therefore it should be possible to more expediently remove judges corrupted by politics.

As it is, federal judges appointed by our political representatives are necessarily political. That's no more obscene than judges running for direct elections given the criteria our representatives use.

So DeFazio has no problems then with the national SEIU donating to local unions to fight for Oregon tax measures?

Clinton's impeachment was a waste of time. The best deal out of that insanity was getting NOW to betray their own principles for "their guy" in the white house.

PJB, with all due respect, I think that the Founding Fathers of this great nation were a lot smarter than you. About this, at least.

Because the judges aren't independent enough from politics, you want to make it easier for the politicians to remove them? It doesn't follow.

Being a judicial activist is not a "high crime or misdemeanor" punishable by impeachment. It's not even close. Indeed, it's laughable. At least in Clinton's case, he had allegedly perjured himself in a deposition. But even that was bogus.

Get off the impeachment shtick.

In an ideal world yes, we shouldn't yell I every time someone we disagree with does something. But that doesn't seem to be the world we live in. One set of rules for one party, but a different set for the other? R's have been rewarded for their intransigence, and are about to be again, and then will create even farther right policies. The ratchet effect:

http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org/stopme/chapter02.html

I can't believe Obama has left gitmo open. I don't expect much but that was all I needed to support him. However I get his 'rock and a hard place' with wall street. They have us- If he cracked down on them, they just stop playing and the economy gets much, much worse. This is the heart of how are system currently works and it's a structural issue, One which the United ruling makes much, much more difficult to ever address. If ever. If corps can buy every election unimpeded then...well wrap it up.

Roberts needs to be stopped and Thomas deserves to be impeached. Civil or not.

I mean, surely it would make more sense for judges to be appointed by, say, the ABA than the crazies who will soon confirm them.

(Paul the crazy, Paul the crazier, Angle the self-proclaimed Asian, Miller who "arrests" journalists, Buck who says rape victim had "buyer's remorse")...

Or, at least, when we nationally come to our senses, we should be able to remove the morons that these morons confirm.

I think the best thing would be if Thomas lost whatever interest he has in the Court gig and retired somewhere where he could enjoy his favorite literature all day long.

And Jack with the deft parry wins the day. Well played.

I mean it. Maybe he or Tony Scalia could be persuaded to go out and get rich making speeches and seeing the world before they're dead.

And then there's Justice Ginsburg, for whom I have a deep fondness, but it would be nice to know that the future of her seat is not going to be controlled by Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney.

The increasing fallibility of our judicial and political system reminds me of this wonderful Jeffers' poem:

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/shine-perishing-republic/

Thanks for that. Great piece.

When I was in law school (and I was for one year until I took over my own life's course) in contracts class, we studied this case on strip mining and the application of specific performance. The property owners in question would only sign contracts allowing their land to be strip mined if the mining companies agreed to put the land back as it was once they were finished. Same case, two different states, two different results. In the state where judges were elected (and re-elected), specific performance was enforced. In the state where judges were political appointees for life, specific performance was not enforced and the property owners got a flat amount based on the damage to the value of their properties. And this amount would nowhere cover restoring the land back so it could be farmed. So I kind of like the idea of electing judges. It keeps them honest and it stops corporations like Monsanto from putting bozos like Thomas on the bench.

How was the one result more "honest" than the other? Reluctance to confront an angry mob with the rule of law is not necessarily honesty.

Thomas used to work for Monsanto the
Soy bean monopoly among other things; he could work there. But Monsanto and the other big corps want him and his cronies right where they are...ruling in favor of big corporations.
Can't prove it of course but I would be willing to speculate that there are quite a few private perks that could go along with a Supreme seat if you wish to partake.

And then there's Justice Ginsburg, for whom I have a deep fondness, but it would be nice to know that the future of her seat is not going to be controlled by Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney.

I see a disconnect between this sentiment and your reluctance to vote to reelect Ron Wyden.

Roberts probably should not be impeached for his reasoning in this decision but the man is taking medicine to control seizures and I have to wonder how much that impacts his decision making skills. Then we might wish to apply that same standard to others sitting on the court. What medicines are they taking and how do they effect their thinking skills?

Jack, so the electorate are an angry mob?

Until your comment to LucsAdvo, I was ok with your rebuttals but this one is off the wall. By your reasoning, if I contracted to provide a service for x amount of dollars, did so but then was paid far less because after the fact, someone later decided x- was all it was worth, you claim that is as fair as full price agreed upon?

Gitmo: let us please not forget that the senate republicans used the filibuster to prevent the funding for the closure.
Roberts: impeachment cause would not be what he has done in office but what he said under oath to the senate.

Whatever! DeFazio will keep his DC parking spot.

I thought Supreme Court Justices receive "lifetime" appointments. Has there ever been a SCOTUS impeachment?

DeFazio's just blowing off steam. Axtman ought to know that but she's so lacking in any sense of humor and proportion that she treats every statement as a declaration of war.

Kinda like Clinton: impeached, but acquitted on the charge.

Has there ever been a SCOTUS impeachment?

Besides Samuel Chase, a few were unsuccessfully threatened with it - Abe Fortas in 1969, and William O Douglas (twice, in 1953 and 1970).

I support life tenure, and the insulation that brings to the office. If we grew too fond of impeachment proceedings, it would likely drive some of our best justices away from office, not do anything to remove the worst, and fundamentally change the character of the court.

That being said, we now have a 5-4 court that is often divided in voting in a manner that pretty much reflects the platform of the party of the President who appointed them. David Souter was the last of a long line of surprises - in my own memory, Earl Warren, William Brennan, Byron White, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, and Sandra Day O'Connor could also fit that description, more or less. This party-line division, combined with a life expectancy that far exceeds that which existed when the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, does not bode well for future appointments. How soon before we have a justice on medical life support but refusing to resign until the party of his/her choice comes into office? This could be a real issue in the future.

Jack - The mining companies negotiated in bad faith, you do know that concept, right?, because they never intended to put the farm land back. However, if they had not agreed to put the land back, the farmers would have never entered into contracts with them. So they tricked the farmers by lying, pure and simple. And it was organized and blatant trickery by large corporations against individuals. Does that sound familiar? We have a lot of that crap here.

Now to get back to contract law, there are several views of contract law. In the Roman view, your word is your bond and you will carry out the contract - no IFs, ANDs, or BUTs. However, English common law came up with this squirmy concept of putting someone in as good a position as if the contract had been carried out. Now if I want to farm the land that I leased to the lying, cheating mining companies, getting paid the difference between the value of my property pre-mining and post-mining really doesn't put me in as good a position as if the contract had been carried out does it?

It is entertaining to watch the left implode on themselves nowadays....

It's not entertaining to watch the foam coming out of the mouths of the rabid right.

So what about a Medical Impeachment ?
If Roberts is known to be mentally disabled by medicine , he can not carry out his oath or duties , right!

It's time to stop shouting the "I" word every time you disagree with someone's politics.

What's crazy is having judges run for office. It's how you get really weird -- Justice Ed Fadeley being Exhibit A.

Nice to see that we agree on something.

LucsAdvo: It's not entertaining to watch the foam coming out of the mouths of the rabid right.

Do you pay attention to, say, Airhead America broadcasts? Ever checked out BO or Kos? Didn't think so.

You'd not be talking about the "rabid right" if you paid any attention to the left side.

Gee Max when I want to hear your opinion aimed directly at me, I'll let you know. You don't know my politics at all, but you've decided to make them up for me. Thanks, but no thanks, now find something else to do, please.

And to be clear, I am fiscally conservative and socially liberal/libertarian... so yeah I do find all the radical religious posturing to be rabid. Next.

Great discussion.

On the question of elections vs lifetime appointments in the judiciary, I've never come up with a satisfactory answer. It brings to mind the Churchill aphorism:

'It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.'

Some states use a hybrid method that allows for an executive appointment process with regular retention elections (e.g., every ten years the voters get to vote yes or no on the following: Should Justice X retain his position for another 10 year term?).

The biggest problem with changing the process midstream is that it is usually driven with a short term political end in mind (e.g., FDR's courtpacking scheme).

I think permanent structural reform will never get out of the gate without a couple of ground rules:

1) changes don't take effect for at least 5 years from the effective date of the amendment (too hard to predict who will be in power when it goes into effect)

2) grandfather current justices with lifetime appointments.

Without those groundrules, reform just amounts to searching through different rationales for reconstituting the current court for political ends.


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