Tuesday, January 09, 2007

How to Strangle an Independent Judiciary

What a joke.

Filed at 3:44 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a concession to the Senate's new Democratic majority, four of President Bush's appeals court appointees have asked to have their nominations withdrawn, Republican officials said Tuesday.

These officials said that William Haynes, William Myers and Terrence
Boyle had all decided to abandon their quest for confirmation. Another nominee,
Michael Wallace, let it be known last month that he, too, had asked Bush to
withdraw his nomination.

Haynes is the Pentagon's top lawyer, and was an
architect of the Bush's now-abandoned policy toward treatment of detainees in
the war on terror. He had been tapped for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of
Boyle is a federal judge in North Carolina, and his appointment to
the 4th Circuit provoked opposition from Democrats
who cited his rulings in civil rights and disability cases, as well as his
higher-than-average reversal rate by higher courts.

William G. Myers III, nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sparked opposition from environmentalist organizations and their allies among Senate

Wallace's appointment to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals drew opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and the American Bar Association.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has said only ''consensus nominees'' are likely to win confirmation under the new Democratic majority -- a declaration that effectively doomed the chances for the four men whose appointments were left in limbo when the Senate adjourned last year for the elections.

Several Republican officials said the White House was likely to make the announcement later in the day. They said
Bush also intends to appoint 33 other judicial nominees, including three whose
appointments were not acted on by the Senate in 2006.

The officials who described the developments did so on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement.

I want to puke. Has anybody, ANYBODY, come up with a single, substantiated reason why these gentlemen should not be confirmed to the bench?

Check out the utter crap thrown at Mr. Haynes by the self-styled "People for the American Way" who cite none other than that poster boy of responsibility, clear thinking and self-restraint, the Honorable Edward M. Kennedy:

Nominations do not get much worse than this. Haynes does not come anywhere close to the commitment to fundamental rights and the principle of separation of powers that we all expect from the federal courts. He would be a poster boy on the 4th Circuit for denying the rule of law, and he should not be confirmed.

Well hell, Senator. Arern't you being a bit judgmental? I mean it's not like he drove off a friggin' bridge or anything.

How about the nomination of Bill Meyers to the (thoroughly whacked out) 9th Circuit? Uh uh, baaaaaaby. He evidently does not sufficiently support "environmental protection and the rights of Native Americans" , the lack of which, I must suppose, outweighs his ability to evenhandedly apply the rule of law. You want proof? "He has made statements that cast doubt on his support for the right of privacy and other basic federal rights." Quod erat demonstrandum.

Next out of the que is Terrence Boyle , whose appoint to the federal bench, according to The Paper Record, "provoked opposition from Democrats who cited his rulings in civil rights and disability cases, as well as his higher-than-average reversal rate by higher courts."

Ruh roh.

A bipartisan investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee staff demonstrates that Judge Boyle's reversal rate is actually below the national average for district court judges. Using the standards of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the national rate is 8.6% and Judge Boyle has a reversal rate of only 7.5%.

Let's compare, say, 2002, shall we?

Notably, the 9th Circuit accounted for both 30 percent of the cases (24 of 80) and 30 percent of the reversals (18 of 59) the Supreme Court decided by full written opinions this term. In addition, the 9th Circuit was responsible for more than a third (35%, or 8 of 23) of the High Court’s unanimous reversals that were issued by published opinions. Thus, on the whole, the 9th Circuit’s rulings accounted for more reversals this past term than all the state courts across the country combined and represented nearly half of the overturned judgments (45%) of the federal appellate courts.
Hmmm.... the standards seem to be shifting a bit here.

Last on the chopping block is Michael Wallace. His failings? I dunno.

He graduated cum laude from Harvard University in 1973. In 1976, he received his
Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia College of Law, where he
served on the Virginia Law Review and was named to the Order of the Coif.

Wallace, a longtime member of the influential Federalist Society and lawyer for the Mississippi Republican Party, is a graduate of Harvard University.


Wallace, 54, had been special counsel to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi during the impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999. He also worked for Lott in the 1980s after serving as a law clerk to then-Associate Supreme Court Justice William H. Rehnquist.

You got that?


My faith in the future of the federal judiciary of this nation is failing fast. I cannot conceive of a qualified candidate who would walk away from private practice to take a 200% pay cut in the service of a notion of morons.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Whack Street Journal

Ack. I sneezed, and the world changed format. Not the"world" exactly, just the Wall Street Journal. Same thing to a lot of us old heads who like certain things to stay just the way they are, at least until we're dead.

First, there was the old black and white edition at left that lasted about 110 years. Staid, dull, highly informative, and, evidently, insufficiently "hip" for a modern reader steeped in the flash and glamour of such reliable news media as the internet and USA Today (which, BTW, eventually took over the WSJ's widest circulation title in 2003. Duble-ack.)

So , like any good capitalist, the WSJ changed with the customer. It added color ads in 1995, and in April 2002 slapped four color print right on the front page.

I handled it. It was still the WSJ, after all, even if it now included snappy features about women's fashion trends and parenting for the nanny-challenged. I was proud of the way I so willingly coped with modernity.

But now... well, I don't know if I can take it anymore. Starting today, The Wall Street Journal has lopped off a whole column from each page! They have shrunk the paper from 15 inches to a paltry 12 inches wide, or roughly the same width as a "normal" newspaper, such as the Richmond Times-Disgrace or the Atlanta Urinal-Constipation. "Less bulky!" "More user friendly!" they tell me. "Saves newsprint and curbs global warming." Sure, sure. Whatever.

But this!!!! How do you explain this?

Traffic Report
January 1, 2007 10:11 p.m.; Page B4

It's unforgiveable.
Justin Timberlake over Lil' Scrappy?

Cancel my subscription.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Back on the Air

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that, in general, 2006 sucked bigger than than a giant squid. With the exception of the addition of several new beautiful children and the subtraction of several old murderous bastards, the entire year can be summed up as being a bad case of cramps. A real lollapelosi.

But, after fielding countless emails from my vast readership requesting that I renew their subscription to ennui, I figure that one more senseless rant or two will not hasten the end of days any more than Brittany Spears going commando.
So what the hell.

Let's start 2007 off right then, shall we?