Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!
Monday, October 31, 2005
I mean, read between the lines here folks.
Thursday -- Miers withdraws her "nomination."
Friday -- Libby indicted (and Rove not).
Monday -- Bush nominates Alito.
I admit that I don't fully understand how the Libby indictment supports this Rovian plot, but that's part of Rove's genius. The rest of us won't always understand his sinister plottings. All I can say is that we need to be on the look out for Rove's next move because you won't read about it in the Rove-controlled conservative media.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Women's Injury Network
401 Pike Rd.
Reading, OH 45215-5900
ATTN: Wallace Litigation
Rest assured, I will be posting updates as the litigation progresses. Knowing the adversary involved, my grandchildren will also be posting on this case.
Friday, October 28, 2005
The idea of renting software isn't new, but the idea of not having to actually run the software is. The primary impediment to the approach is security and confidentiality. What business, in its right "business judgment" would hand over its critical and confidential data to a third-party? Well, individuals do it already: hotmail, gmail, etc. And with business being as complex as it is, it's already happened with the financial aspects of business. Anderson, for example.
Enter Salesforce.com (CRM), which has done a marvelous job of jumping on this bandwagon early.
(This blogger offers no guarantees as to the reliability or success of his recommendation.)
Thursday, October 27, 2005
To them, Margaret falls into the category of avoidable human suffering. At best, a tragic mistake. At worst, a living embodiment of the pro-life movement. Less than human. A drain on society. That someone I love is regarded this way is unspeakably painful to me.
This view is probably particularly pronounced here in blue-state California, but I keep finding it everywhere, from academia on down. At a dinner party not long ago, I was seated next to the director of an Ivy League ethics program. In answer to another guest's question, he said he believes that prospective parents have a moral obligation to undergo prenatal testing and to terminate their pregnancy to avoid bringing forth a child with a disability, because it was immoral to subject a child to the kind of suffering he or she would have to endure. (When I started to pipe up about our family's experience, he smiled politely and turned to the lady on his left.)
. . .
In ancient Greece, babies with disabilities were left out in the elements to die. We in America rely on prenatal genetic testing to make our selections in private, but the effect on society is the same.
Margaret's old pediatrician tells me that years ago he used to have a steady stream of patients with Down syndrome. Not anymore. Where did they go, I wonder. On the west side of L.A., they aren't being born anymore, he says.
. . .
I have to think that there are many pro-choicers who, while paying obeisance to the rights of people with disabilities, want at the same time to preserve their right to ensure that no one with disabilities will be born into their own families.Five letters to the editor in response, both for and against, can be found here. Those objecting take issue with the notion that abortion is being done for eugenic purposes. Regardless of whether eugenics are being pursued explicitly or not, it is undeniable that an overwhelming percentage of these children are being aborted. In fact, for most doctors there is a presumption that a child with a disability like Down Syndrome will be aborted, no doubt causing a certain amount of pressure on the parents to do so.
Obviously, aborting disabled people, people who can live very full, happy, and joyful lives is disturbing and immoral in itself. But I find it disturbing for another reason. With only 10% of Down's kids surviving childbirth, the numbers speak for themselves: our society is gradually turning into one that is "pure," free of individuals with mental disabilities. That means, for us who are "normal," we are losing the opportunity to interact and care for disabled people, which is an overwhelmingly enriching experience, a real oppportunity for charity, and a good reminder of what really matters in life. It also means, for those few remaining people with disabilities (always dwindling in number), as they become more and more outnumbered, they will become more and more subject to prejudice and increasingly considered unworthy members of society.
Thank you for withdrawing your nomination. I hope you know that we conservatives did not oppose you personally but merely felt that you were not the best person for the job. Thank you for serving the President faithfully over the years, I'm sure you will continue to do so in some other capacity.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Monday, October 24, 2005
Pope Benedict: "Latin makes it easier for Christians from different countries to pray together, especially when they meet for special occasions."
By the way, I think the critics were right. The conservative opposition to the Miers nomination was (and is) rooted in sexism. I, for one, will no longer take part in such bigoted attacks.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
With the widespread news of bird flu cases on the rise, this organization may find itself as the next Red Cross.
We are just over six months away from the next International Respect for Chickens Day, May 4, 2006. You can read about the rousing success of the 2005 observation of this new, celebrated holiday here. (The Dave Barry disclaimer applies: I am NOT making this up.)
A feminist agenda appears to be at the root of this organization. Some quotes:
The analogy between women and nonhuman animals overlooks the perhaps more crucial comparison between women and farm animals.
Not only men but women and animal protectionists exhibit a culturally-conditioned indifference toward, and prejudice against, creatures whose lives appear too slavishly, too boringly, too stupidly female, too "cowlike." Moreover, we regard conscious logical reasoning as the only valid sort of "mind." Evidence that chimpanzees possess such a mind is a primary reason why many are now insisting that they should be granted "human rights." Human rights for chimpanzees? Yes. Human rights for chickens? Meaningless.
This brings in the question of deep ecology. The philosophy of deep ecology, with its emphasis on the ecosphere as a whole, including both sentient and nonsentient beings, presents a salutary challenge to the reductionist logic and homocentric morality of western culture. As the branch of environmentalism that emphasizes the spiritual component of nature and of our relationship to the natural world, deep ecology offers deliverance from the western exfoliative global enterprise based on mechanistic models and unbridled greed of acquisition and inquiry masquerading as progress.
Oh dear . . . I'm afraid I'm dangerously close to having a "homocentric morality."
Admittedly, I find this entire website uproariously funny, hence, I set out to mock it by this post. Well, the author condemns my attitude:
If women feel bludgeoned by this oppressive mentality, how must the animals be affected by it? Let us consider not only the pain that we impose on them, but the moral ecology within which we inflict it--the belittling, sniggering atmosphere of pompous hatred and contempt that we emanate in which countless billions of beings are forced to live. This moral ecology is as distinctive a human contribution to the range of experiences in the world as anything else that our species has conferred.
Wow. Any effort to engage in meaningful dialogue with this philosophy has to begin with Genesis, at least.
Be sure to peruse the "Thinking like a chicken" page, where there are links to essays comparing the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust and FAQ page entitled "Don't Plants Have Feelings Too?"
I will clearly need to update as Thanksgiving draws near . . .
(Hat Tip: Gilbert Magazine)
Thursday, October 20, 2005
As Blessed John XXIII (of happy memory) said: “The Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic and non-vernacular.” (Veterum Sapientia, 1962).
The magazine title comes from a great little poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the mission statement of the magazine is as follows:
Dappled Things is a new literary magazine dedicated to providing a space for young writers to engage the literary world from a Catholic perspective. The magazine is committed to quality writing that takes advantage of the religious, theological, philosophical, artistic, cultural, and literary heritage of the Catholic Church in order to inform and enrich contemporary literary culture. Dappled Things pledges complete faithfulness to the teachings of the Catholic Church as expressed by the Bishop of Rome and the Church's Magisterium.Looks like something worthy of support. Spread the word.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
My point is not to pile on Patrick Fitzgerald. In fact, the point is that there is no "pile." Conservatives are not villifying Fitzgerald for his investigation of Plame-gate. Instead, we're merely observing that little is known of the present investigation and that talk of widespread indictments is nothing but unfounded speculation and wishful thinking.
The contrast is once again telling about how the two sides play politics. It will be interesting to see how quickly the Left will turn against Fitzgerald if he does not indict any major officials in the Bush Administration.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
And then, of course, catastrophe. The history of gay America as an openly gay culture is not only extremely short--a mere 30 years or so--but also engulfed and defined by a plague that struck almost poignantly at the headiest moment of liberation. The entire structure of emergent gay culture--sexual, radical, subversive--met a virus that killed almost everyone it touched. Virtually the entire generation that pioneered gay culture was wiped out--quickly. Even now, it is hard to find a solid phalanx of gay men in their fifties, sixties, or seventies--men who fought from Stonewall or before for public recognition and cultural change. And those who survived the nightmare of the 1980s to mid-'90s were often overwhelmed merely with coping with plague; or fearing it themselves; or fighting for research or awareness or more effective prevention.
This astonishing story might not be believed in fiction. And, in fiction, it might have led to the collapse of such a new, fragile subculture. Aids could have been widely perceived as a salutary retribution for the gay revolution; it could have led to quarantining or the collapse of nascent gay institutions. Instead, it had the opposite effect. The tens of thousands of deaths of men from every part of the country established homosexuality as a legitimate topic more swiftly than any political manifesto could possibly have done. The images of gay male lives were recorded on quilts and in countless obituaries; men whose homosexuality might have been euphemized into nonexistence were immediately identifiable and gone. And those gay men and lesbians who witnessed this entire event became altered forever, not only emotionally, but also politically--whether through the theatrical activism of Act-Up or the furious organization of political gays among the Democrats and some Republicans. More crucially, gay men and lesbians built civil institutions to counter the disease; they forged new ties to scientists and politicians; they found themselves forced into more intense relations with their own natural families and the families of loved ones. Where bath houses once brought gay men together, now it was memorial services. The emotional and psychic bonding became the core of a new identity. The plague provided a unifying social and cultural focus.
But it also presaged a new direction. That direction was unmistakably outward and integrative. To borrow a useful distinction deployed by the writer Bruce Bawer, integration did not necessarily mean assimilation. It was not a wholesale rejection of the gay past, as some feared and others hoped. Gay men wanted to be fully part of the world, but not at the expense of their own sexual freedom (and safer sex became a means not to renounce that freedom but to save it). What the epidemic revealed was how gay men--and, by inference, lesbians--could not seal themselves off from the rest of society. They needed scientific research, civic support, and political lobbying to survive, in this case literally. The lesson was not that sexual liberation was mistaken, but rather that it wasn't enough. Unless the gay population was tied into the broader society; unless it had roots in the wider world; unless it brought into its fold the heterosexual families and friends of gay men and women, the gay population would remain at the mercy of others and of misfortune. A ghetto was no longer an option. [Emphasis added]
Sullivan's openness to admit this is shocking to me. The essential element of the homosexual movement's argument is that their conduct is private and that the rest of us should mind our own business. Sullivan admits, however, that this is not true. According to him, gays (at least homosexual men) would die without the support of a sympathetic and financially generous heterosexual society.
Here's a suggestion to Sullivan and his gay friends. Instead of asking society to support your risky sexually behavior, if you don't want to contract AIDS, stop having anal sex with each other!!!!
And because Sullivan and company will likely accuse me of being offensive and intolerant, I'm going to beat them to the punch. I find it offensive that they would engage in private conduct which is destructive to their own lives and society at large and ask me to support it.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Update: Read the comments to the Oct 13th, Yom Kippur post on the "Miers" blog. Not only will it lighten your day, but you'll learn new words. I did and it's jew-riffic!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Those who know the happy couple expect great things from what can only be described as a fantastic marriage of brains and beauty. And as for the groom, he's not so bad himself!
Let's just hope their kids don't look like Wednesday....
Seriously, God bless you both as you prepare to know Him more fully through the sacrament of matrimony.
"Deny it if you will, but this kind of language betrays its author as unambiguously as stiletto heels and a feather boa."
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Five years into the 21st century, an 1846 anti-dueling law is being used to prosecute two cousins accused of getting in a knife fight outside their suburban Detroit home.
"Any person who shall engage in a duel with any deadly weapon, although no homicide ensue, or who shall challenge another to fight such as duel ... shall be guilty of a felony," says the law, with a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Police say the cousins, ages 19 and 31, disagreed Monday over a $30 dollar debt.
The older man brandished a knife and challenged the younger man to fight outside their Mount Clemens home, and the younger man accepted, said Sheriff Mark Hackel.
"He could've done any number of things," Hackel told The Macomb Daily. "He could've called police, he could've fled the area. But he took on the challenge and became part of the problem."
The way I see it, the dueling cousins only did two things wrong.
First, they should have conducted their duel in their home, instead of outside. This alone, might have been enough to afford them with the Constitutional protection of Lawrence v. Texas. As Justice Kennedy explained in Lawrence: "The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other . . . The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives."
Second, had their duel been both private and sexual in nature (and please don't ask me what this might entail), they certainly would have been able to invoke the protections of Lawrence. Once again, Justice Kennedy explained in Lawrence: "The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government."
Then again, even had the dueling cousins done nothing differently, all they really need to do to avoid prosecution is to appeal to the "penumbras" of the Constitution. See Griswold v. Connecticut. Surely there must be something in there that could be used to invalidate the 1846 anti-Dueling law.
Monday, October 10, 2005
"A comprehensive look at the recent events at Ave Maria School of Law, as well as Ave Maria College, Ave Maria University, and everything that falls under the Ave Maria Foundation umbrella"
I will attempt to post all Ave Maria related items to both blogs in the future. Keep praying for a just resolution to the AMSOL, AMC, and AMU situations.
(an email address will be listed on the whoseamsol site soon for postings to be sent to)
Saturday, October 08, 2005
I just ordered this off Amazon for Harriet Miers, and am hoping to send it to her. Does anyone have her mailing address handy? We need to get this to her soon, so she'll have something to refer to during her confirmating hearings!
Ave Maria moving suit dismissed
Saturday, October 8, 2005
BY CATHERINE O'DONNELL News Staff Reporter
A lawsuit aimed at slowing or preventing Ave Maria College's move from Ypsilanti to Florida has been dismissed by a Washtenaw County judge.
Rev. Neil J. Roy, then-academic dean but now a professor at the college, sued the school and its board of trustees in September 2004, alleging that transferring money and assets from the college to Ave Maria University in Florida would imperil the college's accreditation and its students' abilities to receive government financial aid.
"We are obviously very pleased with Judge Connors' decision. From the beginning of this case, we have maintained that it was without merit and that we would prevail,'' said Paul R. Fransway, a lawyer for the college.
Roy could not be reached for comment.
In an order issued Sept. 8, Judge Timothy P. Connors ruled that both the college and the university have received sufficient accreditation that students may receive both financial aid and academic degrees. Also, said Connors, the university and the college have almost identical mission statements.
Transferring operations to the university would give the school a permanent home, thus furthering its mission, said Connors.
Connors concluded Roy provided no evidence that the board wanted to injure the college or committed willful abuse.
Groundbreaking for Ave Maria University is scheduled for November, said spokesman Branden Blackmur. Founded and largely funded by Catholic philanthropist Tom Monaghan, the school will be built about 50 miles northeast of Naples, Fla.
According to Blackmur, initial classes at the new campus will be held in fall semester 2007. This past year, Monaghan said Ave Maria College will remain open until spring 2007. Ave Maria University has 445 students; Ave Maria College, 49.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Here is how one historian described the battle:
"At dawn the Turkish fleet emerged, taking its customary crescent formation (the crescent moon being the symbol of Islam) which extended all the way across the gulf from shore to shore. Mass was said on the Christian ships and the priests gave general absolution to the men aboard. The ships then gathered in a formation shaped like a cross, with the bulk of them in the central column...Turkish Grand General Muesinsade Ali flew a great green banner copied from one carried by the Prophet Muhammad and long kept at Mecca, with the name of Allah inscribed 28,900 times upon it in letters of gold. Don Juan of Austria flew the blue flag with the figure of the Crucified Christ. Don Juan went from ship to ship to speak to the men, holding up a crucifix and telling them: "Live or die, be conquerors; if you die, you go to Heaven" [Pius V granted a plenary indulgence to those who would die at Lepanto]. Then he hung the crucifix on the forward mast of his flagship.
The two flagships met with a tremendous crash, and a woman called Maria the Dancer, disguised as a man and burning to avenge the contempt for womanhood so cruelly characteristic of Islam, led the Christian charge to the Turk's deck. Hundreds of men followed, reinforced by more from other ships nearby. The struggle for the Turkish flagship went on for two full hours...The green flag with the 28,900 names of Allah came down; the blue banner of Christ Crucified was brought from the Christian flagship to be raised over the flagship of the infidel, and there was not a hole nor a cut in it....By mid-afternoon what remained of the Turkish fleet was seeking only to escape." [Warren H. Carroll, The Cleaving of Christendom]
A pint for those who died at Lepanto! Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.
Scripture says, "The prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James
5:16). We cannot hope for a Supreme Court victory unless we earnestly
and fervently pray for one. Please join us as we bring this petition
before God during the 54 days leading up to our appearance on Nov. 30.
We ask you to participate in this Novena by praying the Rosary for
each of the next 54 days, beseeching God for justice in the NOW v.
Scheidler case. We invite our Protestant brothers and sisters to
chose an alternative prayer for the Novena.
Providentially, the Novena begins today, the Feast of Our Lady of the
Rosary. The Novena will conclude on November 29, the eve of the NOW
v. Scheidler hearing. For a synopsis of the NOW v. Scheidler case, visit http://www.prolifeaction.org/nvs/.
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We report today on a vital issue related to women's health. The FDA is under extreme pressure to approve over the counter sales of the so-called morning after pill that can cause abortions. The FDA is asking for public input. Read the story below and then act. Go to http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2005/NEW01223.html, read their statement and at the bottom fill out their online comment form to let the FDA know your thoughts. It is especially important for doctors and pharmacists to respond.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Once again, Bush has missed his chance to have an overdue discussion in the Senate as to the proper role of the judiciary.
Not only does he give us a poorly qualified nominee, but we are again left to the mercy of this President and his yes men as to what her judicial philosophy is (because obviously she will be about as forthcoming about it as Roberts).
Anyway, have a read at Mr. Buchanan's op-ed below:
From Human Events Online: Republican Senators should not rally around their President on the Miers nomination
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
to: All law distribution, all alumni
from: Dean Bernard Dobranski
subject: Associate Dean Michael Kenney
cc: Associate Dean Micael Kenney
It is with sadness and regret that I announce that the Associate Dean of External Affairs, Michael Kenney, will be leaving Ave Maria School of Law at the end of December.
He will be assuming a new position as the Director of Planned Giving in the Development Office of the University of Notre Dame.
Dean Kenney has been with the law school from the beginning and has been the person most responsible for the recruitment of our outstanding group of students. He will be sorely missed, but I know all will join me in wishing him well in he new undertaking.
The objection to Miers is not that she is not experienced enough or not expensively enough educated for the job. It is that she is not good enough for the job.
. . . .
And she will remain not good enough even if she votes the right way on the court, or anyway starts out voting the right way. A Supreme Court justice is more than just a vote. A justice is also a voice.
. . . .
Believe it or not, legal conservatism is a powerful and compelling school of thought. The Scalias and the Thomases and the Rehnquists have had their effect not by forcing their positions on the country by brute vote-counting, but by persuasion.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Tomorrow, Wednesday 10/5/05, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in what amounts to the first Culture of Death case of the term: Gonzales v. Oregon (f/k/a/ Oregon v. Ashcroft). [For a fairly-balanced overview of the case, with links to the briefs, click here.] Wading through arguments about personal autonomy and the "right to die," the Court will decide whether a state (Oregon) has the authority to carve out an exception to a federal law (the Controlled Substances Act) for itself in order to enact a state law allowing the prescription of lethal doses of barbituates for those determined to kill themselves.
Little will likely be said about the substance of the Oregon Death With Dignity Act, beyond the arguments by the parties that the Ashcroft Directive in question either will or will not serve to gut the Act. The United States will argue (insincerely) that even if Oregon is prevented from allowing the misuse of certain prescription drugs due to the CSA, there will be all sorts of other pills doctors can over-prescribe in order to kill their patients. ("Mabel, be a dear and bring over those bottles of Viagra....") Oregon will argue (even more insincerely) that unless its doctors are allowed to violate the CSA, its depressed citizens will have no means of killing themselves and will be forced to live. Egad.
And while Oregon's attorneys try valliantly to argue that this case isn't about controlled substances (federal issue) but the practice of medicine (state issue), it's unlikely that anyone will make this rather obvious point: the Oregon DWDA is intended to kill people. It's not medicine, folks, and for those who care it also does not meet the criteria for a just law under Thomas' definition.
So while the left changes colors for the day and demands "states' rights" in order to fit its particular agenda of unfettered autonomy -- damn the consequences -- just remember that this is not a case in which the federal government has usurped a state right. To the extent the CSA is valid federal law (and while the Cato folks will tell you that's anything but settled, this is not an issue before the Court tomorrow), the Ashcroft Directive is necessary...and proper...to prevent abuse.
And in the "why does this matter anyway" column, here's a thought: why is it that in one of our states a person who suffers from a terminal illness, or one who suffers pain on a chronic basis, and who perhaps goes through a phase of depression, is "assisted" in killing himself or herself? In Michigan, a doctor who did this is sitting in prision creating bad art...but in Oregon this same doctor would be celebrated as a champion of autonomy. Why is it that in 49 states, the sick person on the ledge is encouraged -- begged -- to come down and save himself, but in one state he's encouraged to jump? Oh, and he's given a doctor to help push (and to ensure that the death is about as protracted, inhumane, and generally undignified as possible)?
I don't have answers to this one, other than to ask that those reading this renew their committment to upholding the value of every human life, regardless of stage or state. Even if that state is a bowl of granola like Oregon.
[Here is additional information from the good guys and some other good guys and (equal time and all) the bad guys.]
Monday, October 03, 2005
There are some new developments with the fate of the College that supporters of the Law School should keep an eye on. The current students at the College had been promised that classes and school would continue through the next school year, 2006-2007, with the College being closed after that time. However, the President of the College recently conveyed to the students the possibility that the students would be "bought out" of the last year of the school, so that the school could close one year earlier than promised. It is still uncertain what exactly this proposal entails: whether students would be given money for scholarships to another school; how much money is involved; whether students could opt out; whether the "buy out" is still only a hypothetical possibility; or whether it is a foregone conclusion. Please know that Fumare will be sure to keep all informed of any additional news.
This development at the College is an example of a business philosophy which I believe to be incorrect: a philosophy holding that agreements can be broken as long as the breaching party is willing to pay full economic damages for the broken agreement. In this view, agreements no longer have any more worth or value than a figure with a dollar sign. Unfortunately, this purely economic analysis of contracts is dominant in today's legal world. Once the absolutes of truth, beauty, and goodness are forgotten, money becomes the only standard to measure the value of a thing. With this economic analysis of contracts, promises and agreements lose the sanctity they once had; someone's word is no longer something that should be upheld for its own sake.
Let's assume that a "buy out" of Ave Maria College students with full tuitions to other schools makes the most economic sense for all involved: Ave Maria College saves money from shutting down a year early, and the students are fully compensated with a paid year at another institution. Even with the economic benefit, however, the students still lose out: they lose out on a year of great classes with great professors; they lose out on a year of great friendships with their fellow classmates; they lose out on a year of living in the great Christian community and environment present at Ave Maria College; they lose out on a whole great year of their lives, a year that was promised to them when they first entered the College.
Thus, even if one accepted hypothetically that the closing of Ave Maria College and Law School and the move to Florida was a great idea, one should recognize that there is a proper way to accomplish the move that takes more into account than a simple economic cost/benefit analysis. There may be a method to accomplish the Florida move that considers, in addition to economics, the well-being of students, professors, and faculty who have contributed so much to the success of the schools; a method that, though perhaps financially costly, recognizes the value of keeping one's promises.
To put it simply, I'm angry. I'm disappointed. I'm tired of being let down by Republican political leaders.
Judges was the number one domestic issue for me. I didn't like getting an unknown quantity in John Roberts, but Roberts was brilliant. Certain conservatives vouched for Roberts. Roberts had polish and gave a great appearance. Even his Democratic critics on the Senate Judiciary Committee were wowed by him.
Harriet Miers is no John Roberts. More importantly, however, she's no Mike Luttig, Edith Jones, Samuel Alito, Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor, or Michael McConnell. In other words, there were plenty of qualified originalist nominees and we got President Bush's longtime personal lawyer and friend. That just doesn't cut it for me.
No matter how good Harriet Miers may turn out to be, the President has wasted an opportunity to name a brilliant and persuasive originalist judge. If a second-term Republican President can't name such a jurist with 55 Republican Senators and a majority in the House, then it appears such a President never will.
All that being said, I think Harriet Miers will probably turn out to be a conservative. President Bush has a good record of appointing conservative judges and he knows Miers well. I would be very surprised if he doesn't know Miers' views on many issues.
If Miers is able to join in some good conservative opinions before the 2006 elections (like significantly eroding Roe v. Wade), the President may dodge a bullet and the party may never feel any repercussions from this decision. Nevertheless, I refuse to believe that President Bush couldn't have done better with this nomination.
CONTROVERSY ERUPTS AT AVE MARIA SCHOOL OF LAW
By Paul Likoudis
(print date September 29, 2005)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - When the Board of Governors of the Ave Maria School of Law meets this week, one of the major issues on the table is the reappointment of the longtime board member Dr. Charles E. Rice. As this issue of The Wanderer goes to press, rumors are swirling around Ann Arbor that Dr. Rice will not be reappointed - rumors that the law school dean, Dr. Bernard Dobranski, says "are not accurate."
From Lynchburg, Va., where he was on his way to the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars meeting in Charlotte, N.C., Dr. Dobranski told The Wanderer in a telephone interview that he does not know what recommendation the nominating committee of the board will make with regard to reappointing Dr. Rice, adding: "why the confidential deliberations of the board are even being discussed is very strange to me."
"I simply do not know what will happen, " he reiterated, concerning Rice's appointment.
But others at the law school, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this week - as well as its full accreditation in early August by the American Bar Association in the shortest time frame possible - say the board intends to drop Rice, who has opposed the law school's founder, Thomas Monaghan, by voicing opposition to his plan to move the school to Florida, where it would join Ave Maria University.
Monaghan was in Rome and unavailable for comment: Rice declined to speak to The Wanderer.
Dr. Rice, professor emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, is a visiting professor at Ave Maria and an original member since the Board of Governors' inception. At the meeting of the nominating committee of the board, Rice was not renominated to his position.
The type of controversy that has dogged Ave Maria College and Monaghan's actions now threatens to engulf Ave Maria School of Law in similar chaos.
Dropping Rice from the board, however it occurs - either by imposing term limits for all board members or by some other means - would be, say sources in Ann Arbor, a public relations disaster for the school. As one source said: "Charlie Rice is an icon in conservative Catholic circles. His bona fides go back 40 years, and dropping him would send up a lot of red flags for that community."
Rice as a member of the board is opposed to the move to Florida, a position shared by many of the faculty. In fact, Ave Maria School of Law's origins go back to Rice's vision. For nearly 40 years, Rice has been teaching his students at Notre Dame that the American legal system, the teaching of law in American law schools, and contemporary legal practice were in crisis, and that Catholics in the legal profession have a moral obligation to change the culture. Indeed, eight of the 25 members of an extraordinary faculty are Notre Dame graduates, several of whom graduated first in their law school class.
"So removing Charlie is really a drastic move. It makes no sense," said this source.
Members of the Ave Maria Board of Governors are: [list redacted for space]
Most, if not all of the members, are expected in Ann Arbor this week for the school's fifth anniversary celebrations. How they will react to Rice's rumored removal is yet to be seen.
An article in the Clevand State Law Review states, "Terms such as 'outside the mainstream' or 'burden of proof' are wholly inapplicable to a judicial nomination. The continued use of these terms, in any form or fashion, will allow Senators to easily reject qualified nominees for unjustified reasons." Michael M. Gallagher, Disarming the Confirmation Process, 50 Clev. St. L. Rev. 513, 548 (2002/2003) (footnotes omitted). I agree wholeheartedly, of course. Another law review article, which was part of a symposium entitled Judicious Choices: Nominating and Confirming Supreme Court Jusices, contains a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President, National Women's Law Center, who testified that "[a]t bottom, no judicial nominee enjoys a presumption in favor of confirmation. Rather, as numerous legal scholars have shown, it is the nominee who carries the burden of convincing the Senate that he or she should be confirmed, and any doubts should be resolved against confirmation." Senate committee Hearings on the Judicial Nomination Process, Statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, 50 Drake L. Rev. 429, 485 (2002) However, Greenberger's support for her claim that "numerous legal scholars have shown" that the burden lies on the nominee doesn't convince me. Rather, she seems to rely primarily on the following quotation from Professor Chemerinsky:
Under the Constitution there is no reason why a President's nominees for Supreme Court are entitled to any presumption of confirmation. The Constitution simply says that the President shall appoint federal court judges with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Senate is fully entitled to begin with a presumption against the nominee and confirm only if persuaded that the individual is worthy of a lifelong seat on the Supreme Court.
Little intellectual consistency exists in the confirmation process. When a Senator's party controls the White House, that Senator extols the virtues of presidential dominance in the confirmation process. Conversely, when a Senator's party does not control the White House, that Senator suddenly argues for increased ideological scrutiny of judicial nominees, and greater input in the process.
Francis and his fiancee, Liz, are to be married next April. Please keep them both in your prayers.
Reformed Democrat, maybe. But has this supporter of Mr. "Living, Breathing Consitution" become a "strict constructionist in the mold of Justices Scalia and Thomas"? I fear the president has broken another campaign promise....
UPDATE: (via Volok Conspiracy) Those leaving comments at the conservative blog Confirm Them are apoplectic. Although I could tick off 10 people I'd much prefer to be nominated in as many seconds -- mainly because they are known quantities that I trust to uphold the Constitution with all that entails -- I'm not quite ready to jump off the Key Bridge. Still, I will put no money on the "undue burden" test going away post-O'Connor, and wonder if there's really any point in re-listing any of the pre-Miers cases. We might just be better off with the devil we know.... Ann Coulter might want to consider recycling her recent SCOTUS-related columns.
UPDATE II: David Frum, who has worked with Miers, give this endorsement of the new nominee back when Justice O'Connor had just given notice of resignation. Among the interesting things said by Frum: "She is quiet, discreet, intensely loyal to Bush personally, and - though not ideologically conservative - nonetheless firmly pro-life." Alarmingly, though, Frum is backing away from his prior enthusiasm today.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
A Tom Monaghan Production
Of a Tom Monaghan Play
Written by Tom Monaghan
Directed by Tom Monaghan
Produced by Tom Monaghan
A Tom Monaghan Adaptation
Of a Tom Monaghan Idea
(No, Really, He Thought of This First. I'm Serious)
Tom Monaghan proudly presents
Tom Monaghan.......as...............Henry VIII
Fr. Mike Orsi...........as.....Cardinal Woolsey
Bernard Dobranski ....as........ Duke of Norfolk
Naples, Florida...........as ............ Anne Boleyn
Board of Governors.....as.........English Bishops
Judge James Ryan......as......... St. John Fisher
Founding Faculty.......as....Catherine of Aragon
Charlie Rice ...........as..... Sir Thomas More
King Henry cannot be faithful to the promises he made to his Queen, Catherine, and is consumed by lust for Anne Boleyn. More, the most respected scholar in the land, is urged by Henry's henchmen to support his divorce from Catherine, but More refuses. When all the bishops but one go along with Henry, More is put to the test to protect Catherine's honor. Surrounded and pressured by powerful, self-interested, and deceitful men, More must be loyal to his conscience, even at the cost of his own head.
© 2007 FUMARE