February 24, 2002
Why is Bush in a rush to have his Federalist Society judges confirmed? The answer is simple: By packing the Federal Courts, the Bush Administration can control two branches of government.
Take the current case of the GAO vs. the White House as an example. Who is legally defending Cheney's untenable position of keeping secret the names of people who participated in the Cheney energy task force? Why it's none other than Ted Olson.
Now, Ted is not on the bench, but he's well connected, so to speak, with the Federalist judges currently wearing robes in U.S. Courts. Let's face it, Ted is part of the Scalia, Thomas, Rehnquist inner circle -- and was at the heart of efforts to unseat President Clinton. The Democrats committed a grave injustice in allowing him to be confirmed as Solicitor General, even after learning of his role early on in helping to implement a smear campaign against Clinton through the infamous "Arkansas Project."
Olson knows well the power of the Federalist society judges' willingness to abandon Constitutional principles to advance the interests of their fellow true believers. After all, Olson argued the 2000 Florida vote case on behalf of George W. Bush before the Supreme Court. He understands the effectiveness of a wink and a nod among cronies wearing black robes.
at the current moment, is preparing to make his December, 2000, Supreme
Court appearance on behalf of Bush and Cheney just another "deja
vu all over again." The GAO case has been assigned to none other
than a Ken Starr protege, Federal Judge John Bates. According to columnist
Joshua Micah Marshall, "Judge Bates served as Deputy Independent
Counsel under Ken Starr from September 1995 until leaving in March 1997.
That year Bates argued the case in which an appeals court ruled that then-First
Lady Hillary Clinton had to turn over notes of conversations about Whitewater."
When Bates left the Ken Starr entrapment operation, Starr issued a news release in which Bates was quoted as saying: "It has truly been a privilege to serve with Judge Starr and the rest of the outstanding OIC staff, and I look forward to continuing to work with them in this important effort. Judge Starr has led the investigation with integrity, balanced judgment and extreme care, in the best tradition of prosecutors on behalf of the United States. I also look forward to resuming my responsibilities in the United States Attorney's Office, from which I have been absent for far longer than originally anticipated." (See http://www.oicray.com/01.09.97.htm)
According to Marshall, "Bates is a Bush appointee who was confirmed only on December 11th, 2001. He's considered a moderate Republican."
Now BuzzFlash always believes that most judges do try to strive for justice when considering a case. But loyalty, not ideology, appears to be the real criteria being used by the Bush vetting team to select judges for the Federal bench. So Cheney might just be confident, once again, that the courts will uphold his stonewalling about releasing what is information that rightfully belongs to the American public.
Anyone who doubts BuzzFlash's theory just need recall December of 2000. It was the consensus of the liberal and conservative legal scholars alike that the Supreme Court would never consent to hear the Florida voting dispute, because it was nearly universally regarded as a state's rights issue.
But, of course, the powers behind the Bush campaign knew otherwise. According to an account in the incisive election analysis "Too Close to Call," by Jeffrey Toobin, James Baker made the following comment the day after the election to Joe Allbaugh, the Bush campaign manager (and now head of FEMA): "Allbaugh asked Baker how he thought the controversy would end: 'It's going to be decided by the Supreme Court,' Baker said."
Of course, no one anticipated how brazen the five Bush loyalists on the Supreme Court would be. Scalia's order stopping the Florida recount used the audacious argument, in essence, that Bush was going to be President in order to justify halting a process that probably would have shown that he hadn't really won in Florida: "the counting of the votes that are of questionable legality does in my view threaten irreparable harm to [Bush], and to the country, by casting a cloud upon what he claims to be the legitimacy of his election."
Scalia's out front excuse for undercutting the democratic process on behalf of his candidate was also reflected in behind-the-scenes despicable intimidation, including accusing, according to Toobin, Justice Ginsburg of engaging in "Al Sharpton" tactics in her legal arguments. What caused Scalia's race baiting? Ginsburg thought that it was the role of the Supreme Court to ensure that there was no equal-protection violation for persons who had voted, particularly given allegations of the suppression of minority votes. But Constitutional issues of fairness would have interfered with appointing Bush President.
The Bushes have only had one fundamental requirement for service in the Bush Royal Court: loyalty to the Bush family. Not loyalty to the nation, not loyalty to the law, not loyalty to democracy.
You can be assured that Bush nominees know the score when they are nominated.
Miracles happen. Maybe even a Bush appointed loyalist might wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and realize that he is an American judge sworn to uphold the Constitution before he is beholden to unwavering loyalty to the Bush dynasty.
One can hope for miracles, perhaps.
But with Ted Olson arguing the cause of the Bush Royalists once again, even if Judge Bates were to uphold the rule of law and side against the White House, the GAO/Cheney case will be appealed to the Supreme Court.
And Olson knows what a wink and a nod can do there.
A BUZZFLASH EDITORIAL
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