A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Age Quod Agis: The High Court, the End of an Era and the Upcoming Battle Royale Posted by Picasa
Good morning to all reading this blog. *Whew*, helped a friend move into her apartment last night around 2200 hrs and didn't get back home until about 0300 hrs. No, I don't like rolling around the big city at 0300 in the morning...way past my bedtime. Now, with that said and before going on with the topic of the day, I want to tip my hat to the great crooner and balladeer Luther Vandross who passed on yesterday at the age of 54 (http://www.kten.com/article.asp?id=8873). The news came down like a ton of bricks...just couldn't believe it. Vandross's lyrics and singing simply took the listener to a higher plane of emotional understanding and (at times) deep introspection...he was without a doubt in a class by himself. What a voice, what soulfulness, what a talent...he will be sorely missed. Although his voice was silenced, his music will continue to resonate unobstructed through time to be appreciated by future generations who will enjoy the lushness and beauty of his vocal talents. On to the topic of the day: which is the surprise resignation and stepping down from the highest bench in the land of the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (http://www.oyez.org/oyez/portlet/justices/), as well as the political ramifications and reverberations which will be a result of Justice O' Connor's resignation. Folks, to say Justice O'Connor's bombshell announcement was unexpected and "out-of-left-field" would be a gross understatement. In fact, I was on the road yesterday late morning when a good friend of mine called on my cellphone and alerted me to the news. We both couldn't believe it since we, like most political junkies, believed it would be Chief Justice Rehnquist who would bow out well ahead of any other Supreme Court justice (http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/21/rehnquist.future/), ...but we were certainly mistaken. Anyway, the bottom line is Justice O'Connor is out and who know's who's coming in. I have to tell you, THIS IS IT...in other words, this is going to be a political and ideological battle royale the likes of which none of us have ever seen. I mean this is the "big enchilada", i.e., a Gettysburg-esque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Gettysburg) and Midway-esque (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Midway) political confrontation. Concisely, this will be a watershed event/confrontation that will simply change the course of history and determine the direction of American jurisprudence and Constitutional interpretation for Lord knows how long. Both sides are gearing up for the 'Tombstone'/'High Noon'-like showdown (shucks, they've been gearing up for sometime now, although the main battle schematics were drawn up around a Rehnquist retirement, not an O'Connor departure...but that's just "sauce for the goose"). The President stated yesterday he would move "decisively" and be "deliberate and thorough" in terms of deciding on who his nominee will be, but that it would be after his trip to Europe around 8 July (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4644243.stm) before he rendered such a decision. So, in the "meantime, in between time", the pundits and pontificators will be spinning their heads off (me included) trying to figure out the identification of said nominee. Be advised, I am certainly not a legal eagle nor a legal expert. But I want to play this parlour game too, so in my humble opinion here are three predictions for who will fill the now vacant seat on the Supreme Court (in order of highest to lowest possibility/probability):

1.) Attorney General Alberto Gonzales- My #1 pick. He's a good ol' buddy of the President and has been with "W" as a loyal supporter since those "Texas and tumbleweeds" days in Houston and Austin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberto_Gonzales). Gives off the vapors of a political moderate, but is more than likely (deep down inside) a conservative/strict constructionist/Federalist along the lines of a Justice Scalia or Thomas. He's also Hispanic, which would be damn near like a bullet-proof vest in terms of him making it through the Congressional nomination process...I mean who in Congress, especially with the Latino population rising and gaining all kinds of political strength and clout, wants to stonewall or shoot-down a guy who would become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice in U.S. history...and Justice Cardozo doesn't count (even though he was an awesome Supreme Court justice, no question, an awesome jurist) because he was Sephardic-Jewish (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephardi) and his heritage was Portuguese versus Spanish, so he's not Latino/Hispanic (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Hispanic, more on Justice Cardozo at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Cardozo). Also, as a bonus, Gonzales has already been (and recently too) vetted by the White House and FBI for his current position as Attorney General...in other words, no skeletons, bugs, or embarrassing zingers (a la Linda Chavez and Bernard Kerik) are in his closet which might dislodge or derail his nomination process. If he's nominated, he would more than likely be a lock.

2.) U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (D.C. Circuit) Judge Janice Rogers Brown- Although recently appointed to the Federal bench (and quite possibly because of it), Janice Rogers Brown (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janice_Rogers_Brown) could/would easily make the transition from the U.S. Circuit Court to the Supreme Court (and would be more than happy to do so in all likelihood). She's an African-American conservative (think a female Clarence Thomas...on second thought, don't think that...but you get my point) who has strong credentials in the conservative movement. Her stance on affirmative action, social programs and the culture war between the "Red and Blue" states (she has stated on record, as a government official, that she believes the country is on the verge of civil war, http://thinkprogress.org/index.php?p=718) is nectar and ambrosia to GOPsters...and all of this coming from the mouth of a Black Republican makes conservatives squeal and swoon with delight. She too would be a tough nut to crack in terms of the nomination process in the same way Alberto Gonzales would be hard to derail, i.e., she would be the first African-American woman on the Supreme Court in U.S. history...who wants to block that? Yet, as a caveat, it would probably be easier to block her nomination than Gonzales's because there would still be a woman on the high court in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if Rogers-Brown didn't get the nod from the Senate; moreover, because Rogers-Brown's record is so glaringly "right-wing ideologue" she would be a catalyst for a really viscious political battle in the Senate, not to mention across the country (http://www.civilrights.org/issues/nominations/details.cfm?id=32149). In short, with all of that said, I believe she would still make it to the Supreme Court...but just barely.

3.) Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) - The junior United States Senator from Texas (Kay Bailey Hutchison is the senior Senator), John Cornyn served on the Texas State Supreme Court and was the state's attorney general before he won the Senate seat vacated by Phil Gramm after defeating former Dallas mayor and Democratic candidate Ron Kirk (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Kirk) in the 2002 election (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Cornyn). Bottom line, the guy is a loyal soldier to the GOP who just spews and gushes conservative ideology and will do the bidding of his handlers with zeal. A virtual unknown quantity on the national stage, he doesn't seem to have too many skeletons in his closet (in fact, he might not have any...but time will tell if he's chosen as the nominee). In short, Cornyn would probably make it through the process without much static principally because he is a U.S. Senator and the U.S. Senate is the most exclusive "100-member club" in the country, in other words (and I know this is sounds cynical as hell), U.S. Senators will take care of one of their own. Again, he would make it through the nomination process but not without a little turbulence.

Alright, those are my three choices...Gonzales, Rogers-Brown and Cornyn. Please feel free to share yours. Also, stand-by to stand-by...if the ailing Chief Justice Rehnquist also determines now (meaning sometime this calendar year) is an appropriate time to step down from the high bench, Bush will have a "two-fer" opportunity that would be unprecedented in modern American history (if not all of U.S. history) to stack the bench however he and his fellow conservatives want it. Oh, the conservatives are working themselves up into a real frenzy and a good ol' lather over this possibility...to replace two Supreme Court justices would be an ideological jackpot and right-wing coup de grace of epic proportions. Food for thought fellow Progressives. It's fighting time. Take care and good hunting. Semper Fidelis


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