Friday, August 05, 2005

Federalist Society Rising

Now I have friends who are in the Federalist Society, but I thought this article was pretty interesting since you don't see many in the mainstream press (certainly not featured on the Yahoo homepage). Some notable points:
On its face, the Federalist Society is just another think tank in a town awash with them. But critics see something more - a well-oiled juggernaut out to remake the courts in the image of Robert Bork, the Supreme Court nominee rejected by the Senate in 1987, who predicted that a new generation, "often associated with the Federalist Society," would transform the legal profession:

"It may take 10 years, it may take 20 years for the second wave to crest, but crest it will, and it will sweep the elegant, erudite, pretentious and toxic detritus of nonoriginalism out to sea," he said in a 1987 speech. Judge Bork now cochairs the society's Board of Visitors with Sen. Orrin Hatch (R) of Nevada, a member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


More than a third of the judges President Bush has sent to appeals courts are members of the Federalist Society, say Democratic staffers on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (That compares with zero for his predecessor, President Clinton.) It's a talking point the Bush White House takes so seriously that it asked news organizations to retract reports that Judge Roberts has ever been a member.


Its founding principles include promotion of limited government, separation of powers, the rule of law, individual freedom, and "the idea that the courts should say what the law is, not what it ought to be."


But, as Judge Roberts is finding out, such affiliations can cause problems in a highly charged political environment that has often marked the nation's capital since its early days.

For example: The Freemasons, a fraternal organization that counted George Washington and Benjamin Franklin among its members, created such suspicion in the late 1820s with its secret rites that it prompted an organized backlash. "The first national convention of any political party was the anti-Masonic party," says Senate historian Donald Ritchie. The third-party movement nearly killed the Freemasons before the organization recovered in the late 19th century.


Early in his first term, President Bush announced that he would not be calling on the American Bar Association to screen judicial nominees - a break with nearly 50 years of presidential practice. Critics worry that that mantle has passed to the Federalist Society - directly or indirectly.


Recently, the society's executive vice president, Leonard Leo, took a leave of absence to help the Bush White House with the Roberts nomination. Critics say it's another sign of the society's influence in the Bush administration's overhaul of the nation's courts.

"It's not a secret conspiracy. The Federalist Society is quite clear about where they want to go on issues like civil rights law and corporate regulation. Their views are in the public, but the public hasn't paid attention," says Ross.
Yes, they are quite clear: there is no such thing as a Right to Privacy. Life, Liberty, & the pursuit of Happiness? Yes. Privacy? No. Read more about how the 'Right to Privacy' was (according to the federalists) a construct of the courts in Griswold v Connecticut a case dealing with (drumroll please...) contraception!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Godzilla vs. MegaChurch

So these folks bought and renovated and the former stadium used by the Houston Rockets and converted it into MEGA-CHURCH!

Sports. Entertainment. Religion. Is it all the same thing now? The great Churches of Europe were supposed to transport you to a better place (a better place than Medieval Europe that is), somehow this was all lost in Super Sized America.

Oh and it you think I'm a bit off? How about this little nugget from Rick 'Dog Love' Santorum:
Michael Novak rightly argues that democratic capitalism taps into individual creativity and initiative and relies on self-interest—not to satisfy individual greed but to benefit others, the principal other being the family. Such a system not only produces wealth but also virtuous people whose worldly enterprise complements the work of the Creator. In attempting to keep companies aligned with their mission of improving society (and not simply maximizing profits), the laborer becomes trained in virtue.
So there you go...

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The New Jib Jab?

Suffering from 'liberal fatigue' so I think I'm giving up blogging on my own and just focusing here... so let's start it out with a little FLASH fun! Gotta love the Web. Sure it proves that an infinite number of monkeys (or chimps as the case is here) won't re-create the works of Shakespeare, but they do come up with a lot of good stuff like Leave It To Bush episode 3 with Sam Jackson and Christoper Walken!


(reminder: HPI friend Michael Penn tonight @ Amoeba!)