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Conservatives Slam Obama’s Answer About Supreme Court Justices

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Doomsday101, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    A former law clerk for Clarence Thomas is leading a pack of critics who say Barack Obama’s comments about the Supreme Court justice reveal the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s ignorance and misunderstanding of the Constitution.

    A weekend event at the 22,000-member Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., was meant to give both Obama and John McCain a chance to address questions of importance to the large evangelical community. Church Pastor Rick Warren, known for his bestselling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” posed the series of questions to each candidate, which were aimed at getting to their personalities, foibles and leadership styles.

    During the symposium, Obama said he would not have nominated Thomas to the bench because “I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.”

    Click here to see many of the question-and-answer segments at the Saddleback forum.

    Obama then added that he would not have nominated Justice Antonin Scalia because they disagree, not because of any intellectual deficiencies.

    Wendy E. Long, currently counsel to the The Judicial Confirmation Network, called Obama’s responses about the bench “ludicrous.” Long released a statement saying the remarks demonstrate Obama contradicts himself in his “own alleged criteria” for high court nominees.

    ”Obama started to say that Justice Thomas didn’t have enough ‘experience’ for the Supreme Court. In mid-sentence, when Obama realized that he himself has far less experience for the presidency than Justice Thomas had for the court in 1991, he shifted and said Justice Thomas ‘was not a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time,’” said Long, a former Senate aide whose conservative group works to get “highly qualified” justices confirmed to the bench.

    “This is all reminiscent of (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid’s comment several years ago that Justice Thomas was ‘an embarrassment to the court’ and that his opinions ‘were poorly written’. Reid was exposed as the ignoramus then, and the Congressional Black Caucus asked him to stop using ‘stereotypes and caricatures,’” she continued.

    Reid is among several critics who have called Thomas’ written opinions lightweight and suggested that he wants to abandon the principle of “stare decisis” — standing by precedent — and reinvent the wheel with every case.

    The topic of several biographies, Thomas, who was confirmed to the court by a 52-48 margin, has also been described as disinterested because he does not ask questions during oral presentations before the court. The justice has defended himself against the criticism, it as an effort to demonstrate respect for the attorneys presenting their cases.

    “Reasonable Supreme Court observers of all political stripes, who do not necessarily agree with Justice Thomas’ jurisprudence, consider his work to be scholarly and of top quality. And yet Senator Obama is, sadly, unable to acknowledge even that much about an intelligent, wonderful and kind man who broke racial barriers to rise to the very top of the legal profession,” said Helgi Walker, a former associate counsel to President Bush and former law clerk for Thomas.

    Long and others said Thomas has repeatedly proven critics wrong about his intellectual capacity and repeated previous defenses that much of the criticism of Thomas is because he is a black conservative.

    “Apparently, Obama can do no better than to recycle discredited statements of Harry Reid when it comes to Justice Thomas. Like other liberal elites, Obama cannot stand it when a black man strays from the ideological plantation and refuses to implement liberal policies through the courts. But Obama will never point out any intellectual deficiencies in Justice Thomas’s work, because he can’t. Justice Thomas’s opinions consistently reveal faithfulness to the Constitution, judicial modesty and deference to the will of the people in our representative democracy. That is opposed to everything that Obama and the liberals are trying to do in grabbing power from the people and giving it to the courts,” she said.


    “It’s precisely because Justice Thomas has proven himself such a faithful steward of the Constitution that Barack Obama says he wouldn’t have nominated him,” said Ed Whelan, president of the Ethics and Policy Center and a former law clerk to Scalia. “If he is elected, Obama is a sure bet to appoint liberal judicial activists eager to invent farfetched constitutional ‘rights’ that entrench the left’s agenda on issues like same-sex marriage, stripping God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, child pornography, partial-birth abortion, and national security. It’s Obama who lacks the experience and judgment for the position that he seeks.”

    Long did not offer comment to McCain’s response to the same question in which he said, “with all due respect,” he would not have nominated Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and John Paul Stevens.

    “Well, I think that the president of the United States has incredible responsibility in nominating people to the United States Supreme Court. They are lifetime positions, as well as the federal bench. There will be two or maybe three vacancies. This nomination should be based on the criteria of proven record, of strictly adhering to the Constitution of the United States of America and not legislating from the bench. Some of the worst damage has been done by legislating from the bench,” McCain said.

    Left off both candidates’ lists were the nominal moderate in the court, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and the newest Justice on the court Samuel Alito.

    The nomination of justices to the bench is one of the most important criteria for conservatives in the coming election, and several leaders on the right have said they will swallow their distaste for McCain’s record on other matters and vote for him because they know he will nominate conservative justices.

    The Wall Street Journal editorial page also took jabs at Obama’s answer, noting both his and Thomas’ career at the time they reached the highest office of their ambitions. The editorial noted that Obama’s response may have been inartful.

    “Even more troubling is what the Illinois Democrat’s answer betrays about his political habits of mind. Asked a question he didn’t expect at a rare unscripted event, the rookie candidate didn’t merely say he disagreed with Justice Thomas. Instead, he instinctively reverted to the leftwing cliché that the Court’s black conservative isn’t up to the job while his white conservative colleagues are,” the editorial board wrote.

    Long warned that Obama’s response reveals the kind of judges Obama would appoint.

    “Obama wants justices who will do his bidding, who will implement the preferred policies of the liberal establishment – not Justices like Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito, who understand that the role of a judge is not to legislate from the bench,” she said.

    She also slammed the candidate for saying that he would take the counsel from his wife and grandmother as well as former Sen. Sam Nunn and Sens. Dick Lugar, Ted Kennedy and Tom Coburn.

    “Obama’s answer about the three wisest people in his life, upon whom he would rely heavily in his administration, also sheds light on the way he would choose Supreme Court Justices. Obama said he would consult his grandmother, his wife, and Ted Kennedy. This is unlikely to yield the highest quality judicial nominees who understand the Constitution and the role of judges in our constitutional democracy,” Long said.
  2. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Exactly. Obama wishes he was a sharp and as smart as Clarence Thomas.

    Thomas understands the Constitution... a document that Obama clearly has very little familiarity with.
  3. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Has Clarence ever talked dirty with or to you? I know you have met him a few times and you are a clean cut good looking young man with pearly white smile that could rival the osmonds.

    So...fess up, give us the dirt.
  4. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Anita Hill's story has more holes than swiss cheese.

    But even if it were true, what does that have to do with Thomas' intellect, his qualifications or his legal mind?
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I don't care about that Anita Hill hussy.

    I am talking between you and Clarence.

    Come on, don't hold back...dish the dirt.

    As nirvana sang...Here we are now...Entertain us.
  6. Danny White

    Danny White Winter is Coming

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    Just had my picture taken with him after a speech he gave.

    I've never had the opportunity to spend quality time with him, but I do know that he's a huge Cowboys fan.

    Be fun to go to a game with him, that's for sure.
  7. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Boy talk about a big let down...Heck you could have made up some crazy stuff or something to entertain me a few more minutes until I leave work.

    I got a new nickname for you...rhymes with PaltSeter. ;) :D :p:
  8. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

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    Is that an alien pubic hair on that picture of Long Dong Silver?
  9. DFWJC

    DFWJC Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Baaaaad.:eek:
  10. SuspectCorner

    SuspectCorner Bromo

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    You're joking, right?
  11. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    He may be joking, but I'm not. Obama is not a constitutional lawyer, no matter what school allowed him to pretend he is. He is an adherent of the "living constitution" school that proposes to pay no heed to original intent or the amendment process, but to "reinterpret" the constitution to "make it better" without letting the people (those dolts who may not appreciate the special expertise of liberal judges) decide whether or not a proposed change is "better."

    :cool:
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    I would say both current Presidential candidates and the current sitting president and VP don't seem to know or care much for the constitution...heck I doubt there are many on the hill that actually care about it like they claim. If they did they would not act and do the things they do.
  13. utrunner07

    utrunner07 Active Member

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    Yup, and it seems to get worse every election...and Obama is the worst in this one...
  14. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Nah...he has no power yet, nor McCain.

    Bush and Cheney are the worse because they have been abusing it.

    But...Obama or McCain will get it soon and we will just be in for four more years of the government eroding the constitution.:(
  15. CanadianCowboysFan

    CanadianCowboysFan Lightning Rod

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    The problem with those who rely on what the framers intended is clear. The framers lived 230 years ago and society at that time has no bearing on society today. It isn't like the US constitution was frozen in the 1780s and was not made to be interpreted according to the present time.

    All constitutions are the same. In Canada we face similar issues regarding federal provincial relations and interpretation of the Constitution Acts of 1867, 1982 etc.

    Times change and the interpretation of the document has to change with the times.
  16. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    And that is another idiotic statement from up north.

    The men who wrote the Constituition have been proven over the centuries to have been incredibly insightful. The document (at least up untill the last 30 years or so) had had relatively few meaningful changes.

    And another lesson for you, free of charge. Original intent is one of the foundations that is taught at any good law school. So sit down and shut up, or better yet go suck a ice cube.
  17. Angus

    Angus Active Member

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    No. All constitutions are not the same.

    That is why Canada has no basic law, no anchor. It is willow-the-wisp, with nothing that can be counted on to remain constant. And the U.S. has suffered the same fate in the hands of the liberal judges who legislate from the bench.

    But the United States Constitution has a process for its amendment. Change for modernity was contemplated and arranged for, but on an orderly, democratic basis put in the hands of the people.

    Liberal judges have usurped the U.S. Constitution. Your Canadian argument is fine for a willing-to-float country not founded on such principles, but not for this nation. There needs to be a reexamination of SCOTUS opinions over the last several decades.

    :)
  18. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    Indeed, times change. This is the very reason the Founding Fathers created a process through which the Constitution could be amended, revised, or changed only after a lengthy review by many different elected and appointed officials; in this way, one person can never usurp our rights or make changes solely in his or her interests.

    Unfortunately, some overzealous, activist judges ignore this process. They've seized the power to make arbitrary changes, at their whim, in order to advance their own agendas. That simply doesn't strike me as very democratic.
  19. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    If we listened to the founding fathers, states would have more say so in their own affairs instead of being dictated to by Washington.
  20. SuspectCorner

    SuspectCorner Bromo

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    :hammer:

    The Federal Government, particularly (but not exclusively) the Executive Branch, is running away with our Republic.

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