Chief Justice Rehnquist has passed away.

Looks like Bush will get to pick two new supreme court justices sooner than anyone thought. CNN is reporting that Chief Justice William Rehnquist is dead at the age of 80. His battle with thyroid cancer came to an end around 11PM this evening.

OK, perhaps now it’s time to be a bit worried.

32 thoughts on “Chief Justice Rehnquist has passed away.

  1. Don’t sit on your ass pondering the next judge, start campaigning for someone!

    You do realize they’re not elected, and those who decide about them are with the Prez, at least in general terms?

    Anyway, I think that the 49% (perhaps even more now) who did NOT elect Bush last time must have gone ‘Oh SHIT!’ when they heard this.

    Wonder what the rest thought. ‘Hur, hur, hur…’ probably, some of them. The good little Christians.

    Okay, enough bashing.

  2. Donald Kaul had a column about that recently – “try electing one of your candidates to the presidency for a change, or you’ll wake up one morning and find John Roberts is the most liberal member of the Supreme court” – or words to that effect.

  3. Don’t sit on your ass pondering the next judge, start campaigning for someone!

    Indeed.  I’d like Clarence Thomas to be the new chief, please.  Smartest justice on the court.


    ..you’ll wake up one morning and find John Roberts is the most liberal member of the Supreme court.

    Funny how liberals and conservatives sometimes have the same nightmares.  I worry that Roberts will turn into the next Souter.

    Why does Bush have to be such a pussy, anyway?  The Senate is comfortably in the hands of Republicans and he nominates a white-bread, middle-of-the-road judge?  This is why I hate Bush with a passion.  Where is a real conservative?  Someone to stand up and say, “Well, we’ve strung together quite a few elections.  Time for the court to tack hard right.  Socialists, I’d like you to meet Janice Rogers Brown and Edith Jones, your new supreme court justices.”

  4. If’n Bush wanted to be a dick, he could easily nominate a new chief justice to create an absence.

  5. Why does Bush have to be such a pussy, anyway?  The Senate is comfortably in the hands of Republicans and he nominates a white-bread, middle-of-the-road judge?

    Bush knew he was going to get two seats on the bench and while Roberts isn’t going to make any ground-breaking decisions in support of the left, he most surely isn’t going to go against the neo-fascist right.

    This leaves Bush to declare Roberts as a ‘gift to the left’ and press forward with a more conservative nomination without losing any more political ground.

    If Presidential popularity continues to decline, Bush will need to be more cautious with his ‘global strategy’ as some nutjob out there might decide to introduce him to the well know military term of ‘friendly fire’.

  6. This leaves Bush to declare Roberts as a ‘gift to the left’ and press forward with a more conservative nomination without losing any more political ground.

    Exactly my point.  Why the hell are we giving “gifts to the left”???  I don’t recall Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter looking for ways to mollify conservative senators.

    I hope that the next conservative President will start by saying, “I’m promise to be a divider, not a uniter.  We have the majority.  We are going to shove our own conservative policies down liberals’ throats—like it or lump it.”  I’d vote someone like that in a heartbeat.

  7. I hope that the next conservative President will start by saying, “I’m promise to be a divider, not a uniter.  We have the majority.  We are going to shove our own conservative policies down liberals’ throats—like it or lump it.

  8. Wow Daryl, we’ve been friends a long time, but I have to admit your recent comments leaves me wondering how we ever got to be friends in the first place. I never realized you were so keen to force your beliefs down everyone else’s throat.

  9. I never realized you were so keen to force your beliefs down everyone else’s throat.

    I’ve never thought of myself as wanting to force my belief’s down anyone’s throat.  I guess it’s a difference of perception.  I consider liberals to be the ones “forcing their beliefs down everyone else’s throats”.  For example:

    Liberals believe they should look after your retirement, because you can’t be trusted with your own money.  Did you think you could do better than the amazing 1% return on investment offered by Social Security?  Tough.  We’ll seize your assets if you don’t join our dumb retirement scheme.  Got a terminal disease and prefer to spend your money now, instead of saving it for a retirement you’ll never see?  Too bad—your first mistake was thinking of it as “your money” just because you were the one who worked for it.  Remember, we’re the government, ergo, we know what’s best for you.

    Liberals believe you should pay for others’ “alternative lifestyles”.  They brought us disasters like no-fault divorce and homosexual marriage.  But when the children of these lifestyles are inevitably raised ignorant and/or destitute, taxpayers are expected to shell out for section 8 housing credits, food stamps, TANF, welfare, subsidized lunches, special ed teachers, and the rest of the socialist agenda.  Note to liberals: as long as the children of these substandard unions end up living off my tax dollars, I have every right to concern myself with what is being done to reduce their numbers. If welfare moms don’t like people like me “meddling

  10. …to be a divider, not a uniter. We have the majority. We are going to shove our own conservative policies down liberals’ throats—like it or lump it.

  11. Shit, Les will probably rip into this soon enough, but some of the most glaring points I’ll adress right now:

    They brought us disasters like no-fault divorce and homosexual marriage.  But when the children of these lifestyles are inevitably raised ignorant and/or destitute,

    Asshole. I’m the son of a single-dad. I am neither destitute nor ignorant. My dad worked hard to put me through college AND pay off creditors.

    According to you, it would be INEVITABLE that I end up on welfare. And as to gay unions causing such things? Arrogance, intolerance and plain wrong talk shining out of your ass.

    Liberals will make it as hard as possible, because they need a large population of poor people to vote for them. someone

    The poor voted for Bush in huge numbers. Including the poor down in Louisiana. And the states receiving the most federal aid per person are certified ‘red’ states. Hypocrite.

  12. Special ed teachers are for children with genetic and birth defects, Darrell.  What are you really saying there?

    But as for forcing beliefs down throats, what about activist pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for the morning after pill?  I don’t see you getting worked up about that—hell no, you agree with it so it’s ok!

  13. Damn, you beat me to the punch, ingolfson.  My parents divorced, and I, too, am not ignorant nor destitute (although certainly not well off).  And to make matters more intriguing, my mother is a lesbian and I ended up quite straight (Daryl may have a hard time figuring that one out).

    AND, I live and work in one of the poorest states in the nation which is a Red State: Mississippi…go fig.

    I find it interesting that every thing that Daryl focused on dealt with money in some form or fashion…money money money: the ONLY thing that is important for some.

  14. jesus christ how worked up we can get.

    holland, MI here.
    we may not be as actively conservative here as some other places, but i got a quite dirty look when i was with my girlfriend picking up her birth control.

    at least it wasn’t refused, i guess.

    oh yeah, on topic.
    oh shit.

  15. I’m going to be terrified if it is another relatively young conservative.  Rehnquist got 34 years on that bench, with the state of medicine I could se someone in his or her 50’s getting forty or even fifty years on the bench.

  16. I’m going to be terrified if it is another relatively young conservative.  Rehnquist got 34 years on that bench, with the state of medicine I could se someone in his or her 50’s getting forty or even fifty years on the bench.

    I wonder how much such a court really follows public opinion. Because somehow I still have the hope that the US public is eventually going to get sick of all the conservative/religious policies of Bush and his ilk. But what hapens if the court is solidly arch-conservative by that time? I guess then it would be time for some activist laws wink

  17. I’m going to be terrified if it is another relatively young conservative.  Rehnquist got 34 years on that bench, with the state of medicine I could se someone in his or her 50’s getting forty or even fifty years on the bench.

    Time to be terrified.  Bush’s nom goes to Roberts, oh fucking joy.

  18. I’m going to be terrified if it is another relatively young conservative.

    I’d be perfectly fine with it if said conservative was against government interference in our lives and religious extremeism.  Like say, a traditional conservative.

  19. I’ve never thought of myself as wanting to force my belief’s down anyone’s throat.  I guess it’s a difference of perception.  I consider liberals to be the ones “forcing their beliefs down everyone else’s throats

  20. Religion, you are what might be called “half a libertarian”.  You like the libertarian ideals of personal freedom, but reject the responsibilities and consequences which go with those freedoms.  The proper name for your world-view would be “anarchist”.  Anarchists very often mistake themselves for libertarians, to the great annoyance of actual libertarians like myself.

    You are basically stating that one who is married is required to stay in an unfavorable relationship unless real harm can be shown. This is also noting that one should be barred from the pursuit of happiness because of a bad decision.

    On the contrary.  No one can “require” a man or woman to stay in a marriage they don’t want to.  Married people have always had the freedom to leave a marriage.  What no-fault divorce did away with was the consequences of leaving a marriage.

    Marriage is a commitment to another person.  You commit to staying with them for the rest of your life, and they commit to the same thing.  Each person in a marriage voluntarily limits their own freedoms (freedom to sleep around; freedom to move to Nepal and become a monk) in return for the other person making the same commitments.  Marriage was designed to assure both partners that the other partner is going to be around for a long, long time so that they can feel confident starting a family.  That’s the purpose of marriage: to provide a stable family unit for the raising of children.  Without marriage, women take an enormous risk every time they get pregnant: Once the man has spread his genetic material at almost no cost to himself, will he actually help to raise the child?  Or will the woman and child end up twisting in the wind with no support?

    Getting married is like getting a mortgage: you agree to pay the the bank money every month, and they loan you enough dough to buy a house.  You certainly have the freedom to stop paying your mortgage, but of course the consequence is that you will be evicted and your house will be sold at auction.  Perhaps we should have “no-fault mortgages” where you can stop paying the bank every month, but still get to keep your house?  No?

    A century ago there was no such thing as “no-fault divorce”, and people left marriages all the time.  Back in those days, people had the good sense to call it what it was: “spousal abandonment”.  If a man no longer fancied his wife and left her, she would eventually sue for divorce.  The grounds for divorce would be abandonment (or perhaps adultery), and the “fault” would be his.  Because he abandoned the commitments he made, she would get the majority of the property, she would get custody of their kids, and she would get alimony payments.

    Now all that has been turned on its head.  A woman who decides she doesn’t want to be married anymore can abandon her husband and her commitments, and suddenly it’s “nobody’s fault.”  How is it nobody’s fault?  As a practical matter, no-fault divorces are indistinguishable from divorces where the man is at fault.  The wife gets the kids and the house, and the husband is relegated to a lifetime of slavery, on pain of imprisonment.

    Not surprisingly, it’s becoming harder and harder to find men who are interested in getting married.  At this point, divorce law is so completely slanted in the direction of women that unless your wife is dead or in prison, you can kiss your family good-bye.  Get used to being called “Weekend Dad”.

    No-fault divorce laws should be repealed immediately.  If one party to a marriage wants to abandon his or her spouse and kids, they have always had that freedom.  However, every freedom comes with responsibilities and consequences.  You commited to raising a family with another person, and then reneged on that commitment.  You lose the benefits which came from that commitment (kids, income, house, etc).  Those things belong to the marriage, and you left the marriage.

    These are “substandard unions

  21. Daryl, how about stating your points better in the future? Your last post actually raises some valid issues.

    And yet…

    hope that the next conservative President will start by saying, “I’m promise to be a divider, not a uniter.  We have the majority.  We are going to shove our own conservative policies down liberals’ throats—like it or lump it

    …with such an opinion, any agreement will never be more than on individual points.

    The Senate is comfortably in the hands of Republicans and he nominates a white-bread, middle-of-the-road judge?

    Three cheers for middle-of-the road people. Most of humanity is there – in the middle, in compromise, in AVERAGE life. We don’t need ANYONE to threaten or entice us into extremes.

  22. If you are a republican, please let me know what the republican philosophy is as from all I can find, it is simply a slower drift towards communism (than U.S. liberalism).

    One of my favorite columnists, the arch-conservative Thomas Sowell, once quipped that if the Democrats proposed jumping off a thousand foot cliff tomorrow, the Republicans would propose jumping off a five hundred foot cliff next week. Unfortunately, I have to agree with both of you!

    If you are unfamiliar with them, look up libertarian and authoritarian and do some reading on what they mean. You sound like a libertarian who is just quite confused…and must resort to name calling as an argument due to ignorance/confusion.

    Speaking as a socially conservative libertarian, it is my contention that the libertarians are often confused on two points:

    1. Libertarians generally appreciate contractual obligations for voluntary agreements in all areas of life except for social compacts. E.g. marriage and childrearing.
    2. Insurers noticed a long time ago that once you protect people from risk, their behavior often gets a lot riskier. This is called moral hazard. Another effect is law of demand. Prices are set by supply and demand, if you lower the price you will also raise the demand. The Democratic party’s policy of provide “social insurance” is vulnerable to both of these effects. The net result is an increase of socially irresponsible behavior such as out of wedlock childbirths. Conservatives do not (usually) know enough about economics to appreciate moral hazard and law of demand, so they respond much as insurers often respond: by regulating the behavior of those who would benefit from their taxes.

    Libertarians *should* recognize this as a rational response to the state’s use of aggression to force people to provide social insurance, instead they turn a blind eye to this (because many libertarians are socially liberal, IMO), saying “libertarians are neither left nor right, liberals want to restrict your freedom in economic matters, conservatives want to restrict your freedom in social matters.” That is the incorrect conclusion to draw. The correct conclusion is this: “Democrats create risky (and impoverishing) behavior, the conservatives want to fix it by legislating morality, and the libertarians want to fix it by undoing the Democrats policies, making the conservative fix unnecessary.”

    As a final point, the way society’s provide charity to the poor while avoiding these moral hazard/law of demand effectives is through moral values and social norms. If you are raised hating charity and with a strong belief that having children out of wedlock is morally wrong – and if your family, friends and neighbors have similar beliefs – then society can safely offer charity while feeling assured that it will not be abused. It is tragic that the Democrats have been both offering charity while attacking the moral values that act as safeguards against needing it.

  23. Wow Daryl, we’ve been friends a long time, but I have to admit your recent comments leaves me wondering how we ever got to be friends in the first place. I never realized you were so keen to force your beliefs down everyone else’s throat.

    Hi Les! I’m also one of Daryl’s old friends, so I’ll play him on TV (or a blog, as the case may be). Daryl believes in everything he used to believe in (fighting poverty, reducing the power of corporations, protecting the little guy against the big guy, etc…), he’s just since realized that the government makes these problems worse.

    You posted a link to the online book Ain’t nobody’s business if you do by Peter McWilliams. It is a book by a libertarian defending consensual crimes. Daryl has taken that same lesson and applied it more generally. I appears that you are economically liberal and socially libertarian. I maintain that those are two mutually exclusive beliefs and that with proper examination one of those must be jettisoned.

    For a starting point, allow me to recommend another online book by a libertarian, Healing our World, by former Libertarian Party Vice-Presidential nominee, Mary Ruwart. I would recommend starting with Chapter 11.

  24. I have a hard time with many of the planks of the Libertarian party which is why I’m not a member so I doubt I’d find much I’d agree with in a book written by a former VP nominee of that party.

    And, based on your past comments, I’d rather Daryl played the part of Daryl rather than have you act as a surrogate.

  25. I think it is important to have an ideologically consistent philosophy. You shouldn’t play up the importance of society protecting consensual behaviors in one part of life – the freedom to drugs etc… – and then turn around and take it away in other parts of life.

    If you do wish to give and take freedom like that, then of course you are going to have some strong disagreements with me and Daryl!

  26. You say that like I should be concerned. I concede that there are still aspects of my philosophy I’ve not totally settled on, but your methods of argument so far have done little to sway me to your points of view on many, many topics. If anything, they leave me aghast.

  27. I consider myself a libertarian (lower case “L”), but like Les have problems with some of the Libertarian (upper case) Party’s planks.  Read more here (the link function doesn’t seem to be working, sorry):

    http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/archives/2005/02/libertarians_an.html

    No political platform is wholly without flaws, unfortunately.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_libertarianism

    But libertarianism, in general, is closest to my beliefs. 

    —Joe

  28. That reminds me, I need to re-add the Two Percent Co. to my blogroll.

    Joe, your essay on the problems you have with the Libertarian party pretty much matches my list of complaints with the party. Which is why I tend to use the little “l” when using the word libertarian.

  29. Like you, Les & Joe, I find the official platform of the Libertarians to be too extreme in many cases, but, it does come closer to my true beliefs than the two major parties. I’ve beginning to come to the conclusion that the only way I’ll be happy with a political party is to create my own, so I’m working on doing just that with some friends here in Michigan. We intend to call ourselves The Rationalist Party is it ever gets off the ground.

  30. Joe, your essay on the problems you have with the Libertarian party pretty much matches my list of complaints with the party.

    (blush) Thanks for the compliment, but I didn’t write that essay.  I came across Two Percent Co.‘s website and was puzzled by a statement where they said they were all for personal responsibility and the government keeping its nose out of our business, but that they disagreed with the Libertarian Party platform—that’s all they said.  I wrote them and said I thought the LP was for the same things they were, so why did they disagree with them?  Two Percent then wrote the essay to explain—until then, I really didn’t know the LP was so … extreme.

    I think libertarianism makes a better principle than a party.  I also see it as a gradual process.  If all consensual crime laws were taken off the books in one go, there’d be absolute chaos.  This would eventually settle once the novelty wore off, but it still be a gigantic mess.

    —Joe

  31. I think libertarianism makes a better principle than a party.  I also see it as a gradual process.  If all consensual crime laws were taken off the books in one go, there’d be absolute chaos.

    I actually agree with you competely on this point!

    Having said that, my druthers would be to slowly evolve towards radically smaller government that would be pretty similar to the LP platform. For example, the two percenters favor registering gun owners but I think that is dangerous. As Lyndon Johnson once pointed out, the test for a government policy is not how it could be used, but how it could by misused. The most important reason to support the right to bear arms is a defense against the government itself. I don’t want the government to have lists of gun owners anymore than I’d want them to have lists of jews or homosexuals.

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