are scheduled to begin January 9.
During his tenure on 3rd Circuit many of Samuel Alito’s opinions have been roundly criticized by other judges. This is particularly true in civil rights cases. In such cases Alito has been repeatedly criticized, not for being conservative, but for being unfaithful to the law. Here’s a sample:
“What [Judge Alito] proposes to do in [his] holding is effectively have courts take a back seat to bureaucratic agencies in protecting constitutional liberties. This . . . is a radical and unwise redefinition of the relationship between federal courts and federal agencies . . . .” (Grant v. Shalala, 1993) (Judge Leon Higginbotham)
“We suggest that to read [as Judge Alito does] the ‘no reasonable adjudicator’ standard in a way that does away with the need for ‘substantial evidence’ not only guts the statutory standard, but ignores our precedent.” (Dia v. Ashcroft, 2003) (Judge Marjorie Rendell)
“I disagree with [Judge Alito's] holding that a union has ‘actual authority’ to waive its members’ Fourth Amendment rights bound only by the fair representation doctrine. . . . This sweeping assertion divests all public sector employees of their Fourth Amendment rights and strains to make legitimate that which clearly is not.” (Bolden v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transp. Authority, 1991) (Judge Richard Nygaard)
in a private memo: “The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees. Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them.”
has filed an amendment to change the official name of the “Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act 2005″ to the “Moral Disaster of Monumental Proportion Reconciliation Act.” (It’s a fitting title.)
Vice President Cheney seems to have brushed off the felony charges against his most senior aide:
The criminal indictment of the vice president’s chief of staff, a rare moment in White House history, does not appear to have derailed Dick Cheney’s career — or even his routine.
The vice president has replaced the aide, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, with two other longtime assistants and seems prepared to continue his role as a central player in the Bush presidency, particularly on foreign policy and the Iraq war.
But the American people haven’t:
Vice President Cheney has never been as popular as the president, but his favorable rating is down nine points this year to just 19 percent.
Among Brown’s messages during Katrina: “Can I quit now?” and “I’m trapped now, please rescue me.” He also found time to chat about fashion (“In this crisis and on TV you just need to look more hard-working … ROLL UP THE SLEEVES”) and arrange for a dog sitter.
Soledad O’Brien and Miles O’Brien of CNN were on the case this morning to help you make sense of the news. The duo offered the following insights:
“Humor is a stress relief, so we understand”
“Who knows if he’s being sarcastic?”
“There was a point when nobody knew how bad it [Katrina] was”
“How many times have you misinterpreted an email?”
nine campaign contributors, including three longtime fund-raisers, to his Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board,” a 16-person board that advises the president “on the quality and effectiveness of U.S. intelligence efforts.”
Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary since President Bush won re-election. Here’s what has happened since:
November 3: Bush Pledges To Reach Out the Whole Nation In Second Term. Bush: “So today I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent: To make this nation stronger and better I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust. A new term is a new opportunity to reach out to the whole nation.” [Link] Read more
On Nov. 1, Colorado voters spoke: No more TABOR.
Coloradans passed Referendum C, suspending TABOR (Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights). TABOR is a hodgepodge of “anti-tax” initiatives that have impaired Colorado’s ability to set priorities and respond to crises. Since TABOR’s passage in 1992, Colorado’s public services have severely suffered. A sampling:
The percentage of Coloradoans with no health insurance rose from 12.7 percent in 1992 to 15.6 percent in 2001.
K-12 education spending per student fell by more than $300 compared to the national average from 1992 to 2000.
In-state tuition at colleges and universities increased 21 percent over the last four years.
The progressive victory in Colorado unhinged its right-wing opponents. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax reform, attacked Referendum C supporter Gov. Bill Owens (R):
Young Republican children years from now will be scared in campground campfires by stories about Bill Owens – the tax-cutting Republican who magically turned into a tax-increase bad guy…and they will not be able to sleep all night.
Douglas Bruce, the author of the 1992 TABOR amendment, also responded maturely:
[Colorado voters] have to accept the consequences of voting themselves back into slavery.
Clearly, the right isn’t used to losing. But they had better get used to it.
Samuel Alito “helped write a Department of Justice opinion that employers could legally fire people living with AIDS because of a ‘fear of contagion, whether reasonable or not.’”