I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Democrats cannot meekly accept Alito's confirmation

Beginning today, I will be periodically contributing posts to the very vibrant and popular Crooks & Liars site. My first post there sets forth my rationale as to why the Democrats must filibuster Sam Alito’s lifetime ascension to the swing seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Once the post is available (which will be when California, always lagging a few hours behind, starts its day), I will provide the link here. (It is now available and it's here.) The gist of it is this:

The Democrats are a party in urgent need of a good fight. And the Alito nomination presents the perfect opportunity for Democrats to demonstrate that they are willing to wage a real battle for the things they believe in. At least two core Democratic principles -- which are really American principles -- are at stake in these hearings, and are clearly threatened by the Alito nomination:

(1) whether we live in a country where the President has the right to declare himself to be above the law and can freely violate whatever laws he wants; and,

(2) whether the privacy rights which are the bedrock of individual liberty in this country will be decimated by the Supreme Court, thereby returning us to the days where women were prohibited by the state from having abortions and where the Federal Government is able to intervene in our lives and restrict our liberties in the
most personal and private spheres, from our most intimate relationships to the way we die.

If Democrats are unwilling to fight for these principles, what are they willing to fight for? And if Democrats crawl away from this battle, meekly convincing themselves before even engaging it that they are destined to lose and therefore shouldn’t even bother to try, how can Democrats possibly object when they are perceived as being weak, irresolute, and afraid of taking a stand for their beliefs?

I will also undoubtedly have some additional thoughts as the (relatively) exciting part of the Alito hearings takes place today, and will contemporaneously blog some of those observations here. For actual, full-on live blogging, see ReddHedd, who did a great job yesterday of making a rather boring day somewhat interesting.


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