These endless appointments of czars who answer to nobody but the President raise some constitutional issues. The power of appointments is clearly defined in our constitution.
Article II – The Executive Branch, Section 2 – Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution carefully and deliberately to deny absolute power to emanate from one person. That was why they required that no principal officers could exercise any power unless the U.S. Senate decided to confirm them. The Founding Fathers were specifically blocking the type of centralized power that President Obama is currently exerting.Ken Klukoswki at Townhall.com wrote in June about the perilous path that these czar appointments can lead to. (more…)
More and more Congressmen are finding out that the unwashed masses they represent are not happy with what is going on in the halls of Congress. The arrogant and dismissive attitudes of those who are supposed to represent the people continues to build a groundswell of protest from coast to coast. And, it’s all being caught on video.
Maybe Republican Senators should take off the kid gloves and, as they say, “grow a pair”. Sonia Sotomayor has an established and documented judicial record, which puts her in conflict with our Constitution on many issues. For those Republican Senators to give her a free pass in the hopes of Democrats returning the favor at some future date is an injustice to the constituent who elected them to office.
…For some time now everyone has understood the name of the game: Take as much off the table as possible as inappropriate for discussion. Then, dance around the rest. When you get a question that you’re expected to answer, try to sound as knowledgeable as possible, but play for time and never say anything committee members would find objectionable.
So the process is basically for the purpose of giving the nominee the opportunity to commit a gaffe of other unforced error. Then the nominee may be denied confirmation, not so much for their lack of qualifications or even their judicial philosophy, but for their not being clever of artful enough to win the game.
I would suggest that for a person to be judged on the basis of a few days of practiced, self-serving comments iand obfuscation, instead of their entire life and record is absurd. And to think that their service on the Supreme Court would be consistent with their statements before a committee they will likely never sit before again, instead of their record is inconsistent with both logic and experience…
The concern over Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation are not just coming from conservatives. Liberal law professor Louis Michael Seidman called her out for pretending to believe in something no liberal in good standing does: the ability of judges to apply the law to the facts before them. He decried her hypocrisy:
I was completely disgusted by Judge Sotomayor’s testimony today. If she was not perjuring herself, she is intellectually unqualified to be on the Supreme Court. If she was perjuring herself, she is morally unqualified. How could someone who has been on the bench for seventeen years possibly believe that judging in hard cases involves no more than applying the law to the facts? First year law students understand within a month that many areas of the law are open textured and indeterminate-that the legal material frequently (actually, I would say always) must be supplemented by contestable presuppositions, empirical assumptions, and moral judgments. To claim otherwise-to claim that fidelity to uncontested legal principles dictates results-is to claim that whenever Justices disagree among themselves, someone is either a fool or acting in bad faith. What does it say about our legal system that in order to get confirmed Judge Sotomayor must tell the lies that she told today? That judges and justices must live these lies throughout their professional careers?
Perhaps Justice Sotomayor should be excused because our official ideology about judging is so degraded that she would sacrifice a position on the Supreme Court if she told the truth. Legal academics who defend what she did today have no such excuse. They should be ashamed of themselves.
The makeup of our Supreme Court will likely determine if we will continue to be a Constitutional Republic. The Senate, especially Republicans, should do their sworn duty and soundly reject Judge Sotomayor.
The Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, begin today. The big question is not whether she is or is not qualified to sit on the bench of our nation’s highest court, for clearly she is not, but whether the Senate Republicans will fulfill their sworn duthies and block her confirmation. From all indications, it is more probable that they will sheepishly bow to President Obama’s nominee in quest of future political capital. This is a mistake that America will pay for for decades.
The Washington Times has reviewed Ms. Sotomayor’s legal resume as a judge. It is a collection of troubling decisions that should cause concern for all that believe in the sanctity of our Constitution.
The Senate Judiciary Committee today opens hearings on the most radical Supreme Court nominee in memory. Despite her compelling story of personal accomplishment, Judge Sonia Sotomayor has proved by her own words and actions that she is unfit for the nation’s highest court.
On gun rights, we learn from U.S. v. Sanchez-Villar that Judge Sotomayor sees no “fundamental right” at issue. On property rights, we learn from Didden v. Village of Port Chester that she thinks a town can seize land from its owner to give to another private developer for the same basic purpose, without a public hearing. (She also ruled, bizarrely, that the original owner would have had to sue before the land was even seized in order to meet the statute of limitations.)
On abortion, the New York Times describes Judge Sotomayor as “an involved and ardent” supporter of the legal efforts of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund while serving 12 years on its board — efforts that included repeatedly filing suits arguing that government should not “in any way restrict” abortion “rights.” The group argued that the Constitution mandates that public funds must be made available for abortions and that states cannot require parental notification or consent, informed consent or waiting periods. Those radical positions are outside the mainstream of American public opinion, and they put her more in favor of unrestricted abortions than is Justice David H. Souter, whom she would replace on the Supreme Court.
On voting privileges, Judge Sotomayor ruled in Hayden v. Pataki that currently imprisoned murderers and rapists have a constitutional right to vote. On racial discrimination, she ruled in Ricci v. DeStefano that firefighters who earned a promotion can be denied the promotion merely because they are white. On lawsuit abuse, we learn from Merrill Lynch v. Dabit that she can be so biased in favor of jackpot justice that a unanimous Supreme Court — liberals included — slapped her down.
On environmental issues, Judge Sotomayor seems to think deleterious economic effects of regulations should be ignored. The Supreme Court reversed Judge Sotomayor 6-3 in Entergy Corp. v. EPA, when she tried to force the Environmental Protection Agency to ignore the economic costs of superstrict regulation of water use at power plants.
Finally, in several cases, the Supreme Court has unanimously castigated Judge Sotomayor’s legal reasoning even when some of the judges have agreed with her results.
We know from The Washington Post that experts say Judge Sotomayor often pushes right up to the edge of propriety in exhaustively second-guessing the fact-finding of lower court judges. However, from our own analysis, when her decisions are particularly controversial and unpopular, she tends to hide behind short, perfunctory orders that avoid serious discussion of the constitutional issues involved.
From numerous speeches, public appearances and writings, all read in context, we know that Judge Sotomayor believes that:
Objectivity, impartiality and neutrality are virtually impossible.
It is a “public myth” that law should be consistent and predictable.
Judges are justified if they “choose to see” only certain facts and not others.
A judge’s ethnic and gender identity can determine which facts are chosen.
Appeals courts (not just legislatures or governors/presidents) are where “policy is made,” and judges are justified on their own in “push[ing] the law in a new direction.”
American judges should take foreign law and opinions into account in their legal analysis so as to “cobble together a culture of justice-seeking” and not “lose influence in the world.”
Most infamously, “inherent physiological and cultural differences” help ensure that a “wise Latina … would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male.”
From top to bottom, this record is extremely troubling. In an interview with The Washington Times on Friday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Alabama Republican, put it all into perspective:
“The thing that overrides all of this is the president’s stated view that a judge should show empathy in deciding cases. That’s not a legal standard. It’s more politics than law, and [Judge Sotomayor's] speeches seem to go in that direction, perhaps even further so than the president. At the core of what we’ll be talking about is whether or not this judge will be committed to objectivity and impartiality in the conduct of the office. I think it’s a modern legal heresy that personal background and experiences can legitimately impact a decision of a court.”
Mr. Sessions is as correct as correct can be. That’s ample reason to defeat the nomination of this impressive woman, who is a demonstrably bad judge.
The left is already trying to discredit any opposition to Ms. Sotomayor. As Michelle Malkin points out, one of the targets is Frank Ricci, the lead plaintiff in the Connecticut firefighters’ discrimination case. Stand by for a masive display of Chicago style politics.
America is at a crossroads, facing a choice between a government enriching itself and one that seeks to empower the people. I’m running for U.S. Senate to uphold the great tradition of passing down to the next generation a stronger and more prosperous America than the one I grew up in. Join us and stand with our movement to renew America through the power of conservative principles.
The Obama Administration continues to placate pacifist anti-war supporters and in doing so, places our nation at greater risk. The notion that unlawful enemy combatants captured on the battlefield must be advised of their Miranda rights, further proves that the Obama Administration, and President Obama in particular, are incapable of prosecutuing a successful war against terrorists. Yesterday during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney General David Kris stated that these terrorists are entitled to protection under the U.S. Constitution.
At a Senate hearing Tuesday on the use of military commissions to prosecute terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay, some members of the Armed Services Committee took offense at the Obama administration’s view that the detainees should have the same legal protections under the Constitution as U.S. citizens.
Ranking member Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) questioned Assistant Attorney General David Kris about his remarks on the appropriateness of administering the Miranda warning to terrorist suspects captured abroad. “It is the administration’s view that there is a serious risk that courts would hold that admission of involuntary statements of the accused in military commission proceedings is unconstitutional,” Kris said in his opening statement.
“Does that infer that these individuals have constitutional rights?” McCain asked Kris.
“Ah, yes,” Kris answered.
“What are those constitutional rights of people who are not citizens of the United States of America, who were captured on a battlefield committing acts of war against the United States?” McCain asked.
“Our analysis, Senator, is that the due process clause applies to military commissions and imposes a constitutional floor on the procedures that the government sets on such commissions …” Kris said.
“So you are saying that these people who are at Guantanamo, who were part of 9/11, who committed acts of war against the United States, have constitutional rights under the Constitution of the United States of America?” McCain asked.
“Within the framework I just described, the answer is yes, the due process clause guarantees and imposes some requirements on the conduct of (military) commissions,” Kris said.
Until we have a Commander in Chief who can grasp the reality of the enemy we are facing, the men and women we send into battle will continue to be handicapped by bureaucrats and politicians. For all of the screaming by the Left during the Bush Administration that this war is another Viet Nam, they sure as hell are attempting their best LBJ impersonation.
With Democrats in control of all three branches of the Federal Government there is no longer anyone to blame for the state of our union. The NRSC has released this video addressing the full responsibility of governing lies solely with the Democrats.
And, just in case anyone has forgotten, the Dems own this,
The Audacity of Arrogance continues in the Obama Administration. It seems that if you are an Inspector General and diligently carry out the duties of your office, you may be rewarded with a pink slip by Dear Leader if you are inspecting one of his supporters. Gerald Walpin the Inspector General for Americorps had just conducted an investigation into misuse of funds by Sacramento mayor, and Obama supporter, Kevin Johnson. The former NBA star was forced to repay Americorps $400,000. Additionally, Walpin had just completed an investigation on Americorps’ biggest program at the City University of New York, which revealed extensive misuse of funds.
His reward for his hard work on behalf of the taxpayers was a resign or be fired ultimatum. He was given one hour to clean out his desk and vacate his office. This may come back to haunt the Obama Administration and the President himself, as the very law which Obama co-sponsored may have been violated. Byron York explains,
The method of Walpin’s firing could be a violation of the 2008 Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice, plus an explanation of cause, before firing an inspector general. Then-Sen. Barack Obama was a co-sponsor of that legislation. In the case of Walpin, Eisen’s efforts to force Walpin to resign could be seen as an effort to push Walpin out of his job so that the White House would not have to go through the 30-day process or give a reason for its action. When Walpin refused to quit, the White House informed Congress and began the 30-day countdown.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Finance is not letting this get swept under the rug. In a stinging letter to Alan Solomont, head of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, Grassley demanded answers.
Dear Mr. Solomont:
As a senior member of the United States Senate and as the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee), it is my duty under the Constitution to conduct oversight into the actions of the executive branch, including the activities of the Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation). In this capacity, I must ensure that the Corporation properly fulfills its mission of addressing a critical community need as the nation’s largest grantor supporting service and volunteering organization, as well as maintaining adequate accountability of millions of dollars in Federal funds.
An issue was recently brought to my attention by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which concerns the misuse of Federal grant funding by St. HOPE Academy, a grantee of the Corporation. The investigation conducted by the OIG found evidence of the misuse of $850,000 of Federal grant funds provided to St. HOPE Academy from 2004 to 2007. It was reported that this particular investigation was contentious. Furthermore, according to some recent reports this investigation may have been a contributing factor in the decision to remove Inspector General Gerald Walpin. I am very concerned about the appearance that the IG’s communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal. Inspectors General have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to Members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated. This is especially true when such concerns are as legitimate and meritorious as Mr. Walpin’s appear to be…
…After conducting the investigation into the grant fund misuse and then referring the case to the USAO, the OIG was excluded during the settlement arrangement. The OIG subsequently objected to the settlement arrangement by the USAO for obvious reasons. Moreover, according to documents in my possession, St. HOPE Board members ignored a Federal subpoena and erased Mr. Johnson’s emails during the course of investigation. This was discovered after Mr. Johnson’s replacement as Executive Director of St. HOPE, Rick Maya, resigned on the same date of the Settlement Agreement because of various improprieties and potential obstruction of justice issues by St. HOPE Board Members.
In light of the removal of the Inspector General, it is vital that Congress obtain a full understanding of the role that you and your colleagues at CNCS played in these matters. Accordingly, please provide any and all records, email, memoranda, documents, communications, or other information, whether in draft or final form, related to:
the performance of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General;
the removal of Gerald Walpin as the Inspector General;
contacts with the United States Attorney’s Office;
contacts with officials in the Executive Office of the President;
contacts with officials in the Office of the First Lady;
St. HOPE Academy;
No records related to these matters shall be destroyed or otherwise made inaccessible to Congress. Subsequent to the production of the documents requested above, I request that you provide a detailed briefing to my staff regarding what steps you are taking to ensure that funds are not similarly misused in the future.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you by no later than June 19, 2009…
Charles E. Grassley
Committee on Finance
So, Obama gets to write a law, but doesn’t have to follow the law. And just when was the First Lady granted the power to select Inspector Generals? This is starting to make Tricky Dick look like a choirboy. Any bets on Congress taking action on this abuse of power?
Here’s an interview that Glenn Beck had with Walpin.
Judge Andrew Napolitano: Obama Absolutely Broke The Law In Firing Inspector General
Ah, those Friday news releases that someone hopes no one will notice. Thanks to Founding Bloggers for noticing when the White House released this image of Obama Supreme Court nominee Sotomayor quoting a leading socialist, Norman Mattoon Thomas, in her Princeton yearbook. In a previous post, 1944: A Socialist’s Opinion of the New Deal, I provided you with a few other gems from Thomas.
“The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of “liberalism,” they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.” He went on to say: “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.”
It certainly looks as if he was on to something. And, there is this analysis of our political parties.
“The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of Socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly”