SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Friday, July 01, 2005

STEPPING DOWN: JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR. The first woman to serve on the U.S Supreme Court is retiring. I wish the Justice well in her retirement.

And now, a big showdown that we've all been anticipating will happen. This will be interesting...

UPDATE (8:45am). I just watched President Bush's short speech at the White House, thanking Justice O'Connor for her service. For her successor, he asked for a fair process, a fair hearing and a fair vote. Sounds fair. No nominee was named.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

TAKING A STAND FOR AG GONZALES. If President Bush nominates U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for Chief Justice or Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, AG Gonzales has my full support.

AG Gonzales was confirmed to his current post because of his strong qualifications. Those same qualifications also render him fit for a place on the Supreme Court. If Gonzales was qualified to become AG, there is no reason why he is not qualified to sit on the nation’s high court. This past winter, I strongly endorsed this man for the post of AG. Most conservatives did as well, and they would do well to remember why.

The conservative opposition to AG Gonzales has surprised me. Such opposition to AG Gonzales is unwarranted and should stop. He is absolutely qualified and if nominated he should be supported. We know his story. He came from humble means, graduated from a top law school, had a successful law practice, served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, served as White House Counsel and is now the Attorney General. There is no doubt in my mind that he is up to the task.

The knocks against AG Gonzales that I have come across fall short of disqualifying him from consideration. They’re simply not convincing to me. The two most frequent knocks are: 1) he ruled against a Texas parental consent law while on that state’s Supreme Court; and 2) he supported affirmative action in the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling on that issue, Grutter v. Bollinger (2003).

As to the former, proponents the no-litmus-test-on-abortion standard need to remember that standard. It cuts BOTH ways. (In any event, it should be kept in mind that then-Justice Gonzales was considering a STATE law under a STATE constitution, not a FEDERAL statute under the FEDERAL constitution. I would not take that one opinion as being decisive in this regard.) As to the latter, I’ve heard conflicting reports as to just whose will Gonzales was carrying out in supporting the Michigan law. Nonetheless, I still don’t think his view on that subject should eliminate him from serious consideration for the high court—particularly when looking at the larger picture and the most pressing issues facing the federal judiciary.

AG Gonzales has served as White House counsel to the President during the War on Terrorism. There remain serious concerns about judicial overreach and second-guessing of decisions that properly belong to the President. The Executive is vested with the power to make war, and federal court cases brought by opponents of the war concerning prisoner detentions are worrisome—particularly when we are still at risk and have soldiers still fighting in the field. If anyone knows the importance of executive prerogative, it would be AG Gonzales. He takes terrorism seriously. AG Gonzales understands the importance of detaining foreign terrorists at Guantanamo Bay and wouldn’t be one to cave into the Sen. Durbin-like hysterics of the Left when it comes to understanding the important military measures that are necessary to successfully wage war.

AG Gonzales has also been on hand to take note of the troubling practice of certain Supreme Court Justices to cite foreign court decisions in interpreting provisions of the U.S. Constitution. In his conduct as White House Counsel, he has demonstrated his unwillingness to swallow the elite, Left-wing professoriate’s gloss on international law. It would be a complete reversal for would-be Justice Gonzales to suddenly smuggle the opinions of foreign tribunals into American constitutional jurisprudence.

Whether President Bush will nominate AG Gonzales for the Supreme Court remains anyone’s guess. This is not to say that AG Gonzales is necessarily my number one choice if/when a vacancy occurs--particularly when we just got him into his current post. Another AG confirmation hearing would be a hassle--particularly if there are TWO Supreme Court vacancies. Nevertheless, AG Gonzales has what it takes to be on the Supreme Court and would deserve an up-or-down vote and confirmation if nominated. Should the President go with AG Gonzales, count me in as a supporter.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)
DESTRUCTION OF BERLIN COLD WAR MONUMENT. When socialists aren't distoring history, they sometimes resort to attempts to destroy it. For a recent, bothersome example of this, see Medienkritik's blog post.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS ON PROGRESS IN IRAQ. If you missed President Bush's address to the nation on Iraqi and the War against Terror, you can view it online at C-SPAN.

Hugh Hewitt provides a crucial statement from the President:

Some wonder whether Iraq is a central front in the war on terror. Among the terrorists, there is no debate. Hear the words of Osama Bin Laden: "This Third World War is raging" in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war." He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation."

The President's address comes in at approximately thirty minutes. He spoke before our valiant soldiers stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The President outlined the outstanding work of our men and women in the military, who are defending our freedom and establishing a beachhead for freedom in the Middle East. He reiterated his resolve to see the job through in Iraq, and praised the troops for all the progress that they have made.

On that score, I highly recommend "The War is Over, and We Won," an American Enterprise Online article by Karl Zinsmeister. Fresh from his THIRD stint as an embedded reporter in Iraq, Zinsmeister gives an update on the progress being made:

What the establishment media covering Iraq have utterly failed to make clear today is this central reality: With the exception of periodic flare-ups in isolated corners, our struggle in Iraq as warfare is over. Egregious acts of terror will continue—in Iraq as in many other parts of the world. But there is now no chance whatever of the U.S. losing this critical guerilla war.

I had the chance to hear Zinsmeister speak at a World Affairs Council event last fall in Bellevue, WA. His talk highlighted the military operations and nation-building projects being carried out by American soldiers. His book, Dawn Dawn over Baghdad: How the U.S. Military Is Using Bullets and Ballots to Remake Iraq, has much to offer in this regard. It is a highly recommended read that will make one feel deeply thankful for the sacrifices that our soldiers are making to keep our nation safe.

There is a long road still ahead in Iraq, but we can be amazed and proud of what our fighting forces have accomplished over there.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)
SUPREME COURT WATCH. With a possible retirement (or two) from the Supreme Court, Confirm Them and NRO's Bench Memos are two blogs worthy of attention for the latest news, rumors and commentary. The current Supreme Court lineup has been there for a long, LONG time. I'm looking forward to a change, and hope to see two retirements.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Monday, June 27, 2005

ROVE CALLS IT FOR WHAT IT IS: THE LEFT IS SOFT ON TERRORISM. Apparently, the MoveOn crowd has been demanding an apology from Karl Rove for his remarking that after 9-11 conservatives decided it time to take the war to the terrorists, while the left thought it time to submit petitions calling for restraint. Rove hasn't apologized, and he darn well shouldn't. He is exactly right and the American electorate knows this. That's why the left isn't in charge of our nation's security.

It was President Bush's committment to waging war against the terrorists--more than any other issue--that led me to vote for him in 2004. He has demonstrated his determination to protect the nation and to preside over a military that is taking the battle directly to the terrorists. (The alternative was the "global test"--which the American electorate rejected.)

In an NRO article from the other day ("Rove Was Right about MoveOn"), Byron York discusses the MoveOn leaders and the petitions they sent around just after the 9-11 attacks. York is quite familiar with those folks, having followed them around and interviewed countless individuals for his interesting book, The Vast Leftwing Conspiracy--which I strongly recommend.

Of course, York does give the following qualification:

Critics have suggested that at the very least, Rove's "liberals" charge was overbroad. That's a fair criticism. But as far as MoveOn is concerned, Rove's words were accurate and fair.

Then again, York only states that calling overbroad Rove's suggestion (that the left is comprised of softies on the war against terrorism) amounts to "a fair criticism." That criticism *might* be fair, since there are undoubtedly some folks on the left who want to see a robust war against terrorism to protect the nation. But given the big picture of how the left views the war and its causes, this "fair criticism" of Rove is still wrong.

David Limbaugh certainly thinks it wrong, as he spells out in his latest column, "Rove is Right." As Limbaugh points out, the Left is more preoccupied with attacking the administration's handling of the war than in seeing the war successfully waged.

Bloggers on the Left went to some lengths defending the supposed substance of the disgraceful Sen. Dick Durbin comments comparing our soldiers to Nazis, Gulag guards and Pol Pot. Seeing as their man Durbin is still their #2 guy in the Senate after all the al-Jazeera propaganda he provided to our nation's enemies, I'll go with the BROAD interpretation of Rove's remarks.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)