An arbitrary and authoritarian Left-wing extremist with no respect for the law has no place as a judge
Paul has written here and here about Goodwin Liu, a left-wing law professor whom President Obama has nominated to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. To say that Liu is thinly qualified would give him too much credit, as he has scarcely ever practiced law at all. Now, an attack Liu launched against John Roberts in 2005 has surfaced and has raised new questions about his nomination.
When President Bush first nominated Roberts to succeed Sandra O'Connor, Liu responded with an attack that tells us nothing about Roberts but a great deal about Liu. First, Liu criticized Roberts' associations:
Before becoming a judge, he belonged to the Republican National Lawyers' Association and the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, whose mission is to promote (among other things) ``free enterprise,'' ``private ownership of property,'' and ``limited government.'' These are code words for an ideological agenda hostile to environmental, workplace, and consumer protections.
Private property, free enterprise and limited government are "code words"? No one holding such a bizarre, anti-Constitutional view should hold public office in any capacity, certainly not as a judge.
Liu went on to attack an opinion that Roberts authored as a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the famous "french fry" case, Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. You might have to be a lawyer to fully appreciate the dishonesty of Liu's description of the case and of Roberts' opinion:
Last year, for example, he wrote an opinion rejecting the civil rights claims of 12-year-old Ansche Hedgepeth, who was arrested, searched, handcuffed, booked, and detained by police for eating a single french fry in a subway station in violation of D.C. law. Although an adult committing the same infraction would have received only a citation under D.C. law, Roberts said the police's treatment of Hedgepeth served the "goal of promoting parental awareness and involvement with children who commit delinquent acts."
From Liu's account you might think that Roberts was the D.C. official who wrote the law, not a judge called upon to rule on its constitutionality. Here is how Roberts began his opinion on the case:
No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation. A twelve-year-old girl was arrested, searched, and handcuffed. Her shoelaces were removed, and she was transported in the windowless rear compartment of a police vehicle to a juvenile processing center, where she was booked, fingerprinted, and detained until released to her mother some three hours later -- all for eating a single french fry in a Metrorail station. The child was frightened, embarrassed, and crying throughout the ordeal. The district court described the policies that led to her arrest as "foolish," and indeed the policies were changed after those responsible endured the sort of publicity reserved for adults who make young girls cry. The question before us, however, is not whether these policies were a bad idea, but whether they violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution. Like the district court, we conclude that they did not, and accordingly we affirm.
Roberts did, here, exactly what a judge is supposed to do--not impose his own opinion as to whether a law or ordinance is foolish, but evaluate its constitutionality according to established principles and precedents. It is worth noting, too, that Liu described Roberts' opinion in this case as though it were outside the mainstream, while in fact Roberts wrote for a unanimous court, and every judge who looked at the case ruled the same way. Liu here betrays the arrogance of the left-wing academic: anyone who disagrees with me is an extremist, even if his disagreement represents a consensus among competent jurists.
This is the section of his opinion in which Roberts evaluated the constitutionality of the D.C. no-food-in-the-Metro ordinance:
On cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court ruled in favor of the defendants. Hedgepeth v. Washington Metro. Area Transit, 284 F.Supp.2d 145, 149 (D.D.C.2003). Addressing the equal protection claim, the court applied "the highly deferential rational basis test," id. at 156, because it found that age is not a suspect class, id. at 152-53, and that there is no fundamental right to be free from physical restraint when there is probable cause for arrest. Id. at 155. The court then ruled that both the District's no-citation policy for minors and WMATA's zero-tolerance policy survived rational basis review.
Rational basis review applies and we accord the challenged policies a strong presumption of validity. We will uphold them "if there is any reasonably conceivable state of facts that could provide a rational basis for the classification." ... We conclude that the no-citation policy for minors is rationally related to the legitimate goal of promoting parental awareness and involvement with children who commit delinquent acts.
Issuing a citation to a child is complicated by the fact that there is often no ready way to ensure that the child is providing truthful or accurate identifying information. A child often will not be carrying a form of identification, and there is nothing to stop one from giving an officer a false name -- an entirely fanciful one or, better yet, the name of the miscreant who pushed them on the playground that morning. In this situation parents would be none the wiser concerning the behavior of their children. The correction of straying youth is an undisputed state interest and one different from enforcing the law against adults. Because parents and guardians play an essential role in that rehabilitative process, it is reasonable for the District to seek to ensure their participation, and the method chosen -- detention until the parent is notified and retrieves the child -- certainly does that, in a way issuing a citation might not. The district court had and we too may have thoughts on the wisdom of this policy choice -- it is far from clear that the gains in certainty of notification are worth the youthful trauma and tears -- but it is not our place to second-guess such legislative judgments. See City of New Orleans v. Dukes, 427 U.S. 297, 303, 96 S.Ct. 2513, 2516-17, 49 L.Ed.2d 511 (1976) (per curiam) (rational basis review does not authorize the judiciary to sit as a "superlegislature").
Far-left professors like Goodwin Liu don't seem to understand that a judge's role is not to serve as a dictator, imposing left-wing policy preferences on an unwilling public and an "unenlightened" legislature.
One last quote from Liu's self-revelatory attack on Roberts:
In addition to weakening key environmental laws, Roberts's theory of limited federal power would potentially undermine bedrock civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
"Roberts's theory of limited federal power"? Has Liu ever read the Constitution? Did he actually attend law school? If so, was he not taught that ours is a government of limited powers? It is shocking that President Obama would nominate an extremist like Goodwin Liu, who expresses outright hostility to the most fundamental principles of our democracy, to the federal bench. Republicans, as well as Democrats who understand that we do, indeed, have a government of limited powers, should do everything possible to defeat his nomination.
Intellectuals Step 'Off The Cliff,' Drag Rest Of Us Down
Smart people should make smart decisions. So why do the best and the brightest always seem to create more problems than they solve? This is not just an academic question, precisely because academics dominate the Obama administration and its approach to such key issues as health care and Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons. Renowned economist Thomas Sowell argues that intellectuals have strong incentives to step out of their area of expertise and "off a cliff." Ultimately, everyday people pay the price when intellectuals and abstract concepts trump real-world specifics. Sowell explores these topics and more in a wide-ranging IBD interview regarding his latest book, "Intellectuals and Society."
IBD: How do you define intellectuals?
Sowell: I define intellectuals as persons whose occupations begin and end with ideas. I distinguish between intellectuals and other people who may have ideas but whose ideas end up producing some good or service, something that whether it's working or not working can be determined by third parties. With intellectuals, one of the crucial factors is their work is largely judged by peer consensus, so it doesn't matter if their ideas work in the real world.
IBD: What incentives and constraints do intellectuals face?
Sowell: One of the incentives is that, to the extent that intellectuals stay in their specialty, they have little to gain in terms of either prestige or influence on events. Say, an authority in ancient Mayan civilization just writes about ancient Mayan civilization, then only other specialists in ancient Mayan civilization will know what he is talking about or even be aware of him. So intellectuals have every incentive to go beyond their area of expertise and competence. But stepping beyond your area of competence is like stepping off a cliff - you may be a genius within that area, but an idiot outside it.
As far as the constraints, since their main constraint is peer consensus - that's a very weak constraint on the profession as a whole. Because what the peers believe as a group becomes the test of any new idea that comes along as to whether it's plausible or not.
IBD: You say that most intellectuals believe in the "Vision of the Anointed." What does that mean?
Sowell: It's the theory that there is an elite group of people who are very knowledgeable and their knowledge should be used to guide the decisions of society. So they are not simply an elite in the sense that sinecurists might be an elite, but they are elite with an anointed role in the world. To put it uncharitably, as someone once said, "Born booted and spurred to ride mankind." Examples of that would not be hard to find in Washington, D.C.
IBD: Why shouldn't intellectuals make decisions for the rest of us?
Sowell: Because they don't know as much as the rest of us. It's one of those non sequiturs. They have more average knowledge than the average person in the limited sense in which knowledge is usually spoken of by intellectuals. But the knowledge that has consequences in the world includes vast amounts of knowledge that I call mundane knowledge and probably no one on earth has 1% of that knowledge. Yet that knowledge is consequential, and it includes knowledge that is in no way intellectually challenging but is nevertheless crucial.
Much more HERE
Obama's foreign policy: Mostly Hope
After more than a year in office, the Obama foreign policy based on hope has run its course. Time after time, the administration has pursued a policy of pre-emptive concession rather than hard bargaining, with predictable results. In Europe, the U.S. simply walked away from a defensive missile shield in an effort to hit the "restart" button with Russia. Our allies, Poland and the Czech Republic, who had counted on our commitment, were hung out to dry.
In the Middle East, the U.S. has hectored our best ally in the region, Israel, while assiduously courting Syria. The "open hand" that was so flamboyantly extended to Iran was also offered to Syria. Bashar al-Assad didn't get a videotaped New Year's message from the president, as the mullahs did, but a procession of high-ranking diplomats has trooped to Damascus to offer better relations, trade agreements, and diplomatic recognition. Without preconditions, the administration decided to name a U.S. ambassador to Syria for the first time since 2005, when the U.S. withdrew its ambassador to protest Syria's role in the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The administration might have asked for any number of commitments in exchange -- an end to support for insurgents in Iraq or cutting off aid to Hezbollah and Hamas -- but it chose hope instead.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did make one request, though -- that Syria reciprocate for these gestures by distancing itself from Iran. Last week, al-Assad responded. Hosting Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Damascus, al-Assad ostentatiously signed a treaty of friendship with Iran and said of the secretary of state's request, "I find it strange how they talk about Middle East stability and at the same time talk about dividing two countries." Further mocking her, al-Assad joked, "We must have understood Clinton wrong because of bad translation or our limited understanding, so we signed the agreement."
The administration has been similarly accommodating toward China, starting with Secretary Clinton's February 2009 declaration that human rights issues in China "can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis." The president followed up by declining to see the Dalai Lama before his November trip to China (though, he did finally host him last month). While there, Obama tamely agreed to speak before an audience of carefully chosen communist party students, without any assurance that his comments would be broadcast live.
The president's defenders argued that the soft approach to China would yield dividends in other areas -- such as Chinese support for tough sanctions against Iran. That fond expectation is now being tested.
Late, very late, the Obama administration has gotten around to the arduous process of pursuing sanctions on Iran. In May 2009, the president said "we're not going to have talks forever" and estimated that "by the end of the year," he'd re-evaluate. In July, watching the regime's thugs shoot down protesters in the streets, he accelerated the timetable slightly, saying that the Iranians would need to prove their bona fides by September.
Something did happen in September: Word reached Obama and other world leaders that Iran had built a secret nuclear enrichment facility outside the city of Qom. The president was scheduled to address the United Nations on Sept. 24 and preside over the Security Council the next day. It would have been a perfect moment to confront Iran about its duplicity, abandon the policy of "engagement," and rally international support, as French president Nicolas Sarkozy urged. But the president said nothing. He didn't want the "diversion" of Iran to detract attention from his nuclear disarmament message. This prompted Charles Krauthammer to note the president's achievement in getting to France's left on foreign policy.
Now the administration is hoping to get United Nations backing for a series of sanctions reportedly including choking off access to international credit and limiting oil exports. Are the Russians and Chinese on board? Spokesman Robert Gibbs has been long on hope, touting "the resolve and unity of the international community with regard to Iran's nuclear program."
But this week, the Chinese told the Security Council that there is still room for diplomacy, and the Russians advised that there is "still a horizon" for negotiations. This is what comes of using a smile for your umbrella.
"Coffee Party" Leftism covered up
John Roberts and Kiran Chetry omitted mentioning that Annabel Park, the founder of the so-called Coffee Party, worked as a volunteer for President Barack Obama's presidential campaign, during an interview on Wednesday's American Morning. The anchors also didn't mention Park's past work for the liberal New York Times.
Roberts and Chetry interviewed the Coffee Party USA founder at the bottom of the 8 am Eastern hour. After an initial question about the origin of the name, the two asked about the principles of the nascent movement and if health care "reform" was going to be a major issue for it. In her last question to Park, Chetry did ask if the Coffee Party had any ties to a political party: "[T]he tea party movement really, in some ways, has been a challenge to Republicans to move more toward fiscal conservative ideals. Are you aligned with a party? I mean, as we know, passing health care reform has been a huge goal of liberal Democrats for decades. Are you aligned with the Democrats, trying to get them more to move to the left when it comes to health care?"
The founder denied that her movement was aligned to any party, and actually criticized the longstanding two-party system in the United States as being "incredibly outdated." In reality, as William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection blog exposed, Park worked for one of the two parties, as an organizer and operator of the United for Obama video channel on YouTube (NewsBuster P. J. Gladnick blogged about Jacobson's expose on Tuesday evening). As the United for Obama page admits, "We are a network of Obama volunteers from all across the country and from all backgrounds working together to support Obama's message of unity and change....Some of us are filmmakers and we created this page to amplify Obama's message on YouTube...The filmmakers include...Annabel Park..."
Bizarre Bachmann Obsession Strikes Again: Lefty Group Introduces Derogatory Comic Book
Latest liberal attack on congresswoman already in its third issue
You got to wonder, what is it with this relative congressional backbencher that drives lefties so crazy? Throughout Rep. Michele Bachmann's, R-Minn., two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, she has been target of liberal scorn - from the great mind of MSNBC's Ed Schultz to the bomb-throwing commentator parading as a pseudo-investigative journalist known as Matt Taibbi. But this latest round of Michele Bachmann derangement syndrome actually required time and effort - a comic book dedicated to denigrating the representative from Minnesota's 6th Congressional district.
The comic book series is called "False Witness! The Michele Bachmann Story" and is up to its third issue. The first issue laid a foundation for future misogynistic exploits by the creators and the second issue took direct quotes from Bachmann to prove anecdotally she's a "right-wing lunatic." And in the latest installment, the creators wear their feelings on their sleeves about Bachmann's stand for traditional marriage instead of supporting a pro-homosexual agenda.
Eric Kleefeld of the left-wing news site Talking Points Memo reviewed the third issue and concluded this "art" made a "serious point" about Bachmann - not that she actually believes what she says, but instead she is just operating to advance her own political career.
"As for the treatment of the subject matter, the creators set out to make a serious point: That Bachmann has advanced her career on a platform of singling out a group within society for hatred and ostracism, and that this is a highly dangerous thing to do," Kleefeld wrote.
For those that think this type of political art is something that would fit into their collection - a misogynistic angry screed about a relative newcomer to the U.S. House of Representatives, the each of the issues are available for $4.95 through PayPal on the creators' Web site.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)