“Passing Judgment … on Your Particular Philosophy”: Biden’s First Nominee Versus Biden’s Bork Standard

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“In passing on this nomination to the Supreme Court, we must also pass judgment on whether or not your particular philosophy is an appropriate one at this time in our history.” Those words in 1987 were a game changer in American confirmations when Democratic senators opposed the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork by President Ronald Reagan. While the Senate had long maintained that a qualified nominee would be confirmed despite his judicial philosophy, that changed with Bork. The man who uttered those words was the senator from Delaware: Joe Biden.

Biden has now made his first nomination as President. Democrats insisted, in the words of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.),  Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson‘s confirmation must be “beyond politics.”

That has not been the position of the Democrats since Bork and certainly not in the last three nominations. Indeed, many Democrats went public with the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett that they would vote against her entirely on her conservative approach to constitutional and statutory interpretation.

The question is whether these hearings will clearly establish the judicial philosophy of Jackson.

In her opening statement, Jackson discussed her past decisions and stressed “I believe in transparency. That people should know precisely what I think and the basis for my decision.” GOP senators will demand the same transparency from her during the question and answer sessions.

While other nominees have been relative unknowns on their judicial philosophies, Jackson has an interesting added element. In her recent appellate court confirmation process, Jackson expressly refused to discuss her judicial philosophy.

Far left groups like Demand Justice are clearly confident about Jackson’s judicial philosophy. Many of these groups opposed fellow short-lister District Judge J. Michelle Childs because she is viewed as too moderate.  Indeed, Childs expressly said that she does not believe in the liberal interpretative model of the “living constitution,” where the courts can substantially change the meaning of the Constitution without being formally amended.

Yet, President Biden stressed that his nominee must follow a “living constitution” approach, including a broad view of “unenumerated rights.”

Jackson was asked this standard question when she was last before the Senate. She was specifically asked if she followed the “living constitution” model. She repeatedly refused to answer that questions. She told the Senate that she is “bound by the methods of constitutional interpretation that the Supreme Court has adopted, and I have a duty not to opine on the Supreme Court’s chosen methodology or suggest that I would undertake to interpret the text of the Constitution in any manner other than as the Supreme Court has directed.”

The answer left many confused and a bit bemused. She is bound to follow the precedents of the Supreme Court — but she is allowed to have her own philosophy on constitutional interpretation. Moreover, prior nominees have discussed their approach to constitutional and statutory interpretation. One of them was Jackson herself. When she was nominated for the district court, Jackson answered “no” to that question.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett not only refuted the premise of the living constitution theory but expressly embraced an originalist interpretative approach.

Since Bork, Democrats have demanded that Republican nominees answer such questions and opposed them based solely on their philosophy. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D., Mass) famously attacked Bork on the Senate floor:

Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is — and is often the only — protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy…No justice would be better than this injustice.

It was a gross misrepresentation of Bork’s views, but it worked. Bork was “borked” and Biden played a key role in the “borking.

Jackson has spent days before “murder boards” practicing responses to this and other expected questions. She is likely to give a highly generalized response.

The strategy of confirmations is to offer the smallest target by offering the least possible information. To that end, Jackson is likely to invoke the “Ginsburg Rule” that any discussion of her interpretation in specific areas would be inappropriate. However, she is likely to be pressed on whether she still agrees with interpretative approaches in her arguments before joining the bench.

The amicus brief in McGuire v. Reilly is likely to draw the greatest attention. As a volunteer lawyer, Jackson wrote on behalf of women’s groups defending a Massachusetts law that barred abortion protesters from the entrances of facilities. In fairness to Jackson, the law was similar to a Colorado law upheld by the Court 6-3 in Hill v. Colorado. However, that decision is viewed by many conservatives as fundamentally at odds with the Constitution.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a dissent with Justice Clarence Thomas:

“What is before us, after all is a speech regulation directed against the opponents of abortion, and it therefore enjoys the benefit of the ‘ad hoc nullification machine’ that the Court has set in motion to push aside whatever doctrines of constitutional law stand in the way of that highly favored practice. Having deprived abortion opponents of the political right to persuade the electorate that abortion should be restricted by law, the Court today continues and expands its assault upon their individual right to persuade women contemplating abortion that what they are doing is wrong. Because, like the rest of our abortion jurisprudence, today’s decision is in stark contradiction of the constitutional principles we apply in all other contexts.”

Based on what the Democrats have stated since 1987 (and most recently with Justice Barrett), Republicans could vote against Jackson if she still holds that same view. Democrats opposed Barrett even though her interpretative views were supported by the majority of the Court in prior cases on issues like gun rights.

Indeed, Republicans may be quoting Biden from the Ginsburg hearing where the Ginsburg Rule was fashioned.  Biden advised Ginsburg that these hearings are meant “to discuss your judicial philosophy” and later expressed concern over how Ginsburg, “at least from my perspective, appeared to be reticent to answer” questions about her judicial philosophy. Professor Biden is likely less worried than Senator Biden about such reticence in the days to come.

224 thoughts on ““Passing Judgment … on Your Particular Philosophy”: Biden’s First Nominee Versus Biden’s Bork Standard”

  1. If Only Judge Jackson Had A Chance To Answer These Questions:

    If your husband had attended the rally in D.C. ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, would you feel obliged to recuse yourself from cases related to what transpired that day?

    When right-wing justices proclaim, for example, that a “fetus has an interest in having a life,” do you think they understand that they are improperly substituting their own religious views for constitutional analysis?

    Is it appropriate for a president to pick nominees from a preapproved list of candidates created by a group with a partisan agenda and whose funding sources are hidden? Shouldn’t people have to disclose whether they have contributed to groups that provide such a list to a president?

    Is the notion of “originalism” a way to minimize the rights of those excluded by the Framers (e.g., women)?

    Edited From:


    1. Is it appropriate for a president to pick nominees from a preapproved list of candidates created by a group with a partisan agenda

      That’s kind of the Senates job. It says so in the constitution.

      1. You’re confused.

        The Senate didn’t create the list of names that Trump picked from. Leonard Leo and some of his FedSoc pals created the list.

        Also, it isn’t the Senate’s job to create a list of people for the President to pick among. Their job is limited to assessing the nominees and either approving or not.

    1. Why are you posting this which has nothing to do with Turley’s post?

      1. Sergeant, since when does The Blog Stooge determine what can be posted?

        1. Why are you calling me names? People are posting a lot of content that has nothing to do with the original post. If you want to post things off topic then create you own website.

          1. You first.

            Do you need examples where you’ve posted things that are off topic?

            1. Anonymous, Sergeant is the stooge. He can post anything he wants because it’s ‘his’ blog (or so he thinks).

          2. Sergeant Major,

            My advice is to simply ignore the various Anomalies, they have nothing of value to offer.

            1. Ray, your authenticity is also in question. You have a tendency to always be parroting whatever message the stooge is putting out.

              1. Anomaly,

                Does this mean that I am on ‘double-secret probation’? Oh my!

          3. “If you want to post things off topic then create you own website.”

            This, again?!

            If you want to decree blog rules, then create your own blog. This one’s owned by Turley.

  2. “President Biden,” not “Professor Biden.” Hard enough to believe Biden is President, let alone imagining him to be a professor. And of what? Ice cream?

    1. Biden still tells the lie that he was a professor at Penn after his VP gig. He was paid about $800k by Penn for a year of “teaching a class” that he never actually taught, and he was never an actual professor of any class. But Biden still repeats the lie that he was a professor at Penn. In actuality, he showed up a few times to lecture groups on something or other to justify the payoff. But in Biden’s demented mind, he was a professor at Penn. And he really enjoyed it, too.

  3. By Gad, Turley, you’re becoming predictable. Today’s little trash piece, masquerading as “legal commentary” by a “legal scholar”, is nothing more than Fox’s effort to deflect away from the truly disgusting display of the Republicans at Judge Jackson’s confirmation hearing yesterday. In particular, there’s the shocking accusation that Judge Jackson has a “hidden agenda” by that white trash hag Marsha Blackburn, who also veered into CRT, transgender athletes, child predators, crime and other irrelevant topics. Then, there’s pathetic little Josh Hawley, who lied about Judge Jackson being soft on possessors of child pornography. His sad little blows went nowhere. And, they really didn’t create any sound bites to be shown on the Hate Network, either. Judge Jackson came across as poised, sincere and patriotic. So, what do to? Attack Joe Biden over Robert Bork. Yeah. That’ll work, even though it was 35 years ago. The disciples will literally believe anything, and that’s been proven, and they don’t think much either, another proven point. Gorsuch, Barrett and Kavanaugh were specifically nominated, after vetting by the Federalist Society BECAUSE of their philosophy, but, hey, don’t let a chance pass by to criticize Joe Biden.

    1. Shut uppa you face! Mr. Turley is one of the most thoughtful and honest commentators we have. I want to hear what he has to say. If you don’t like it turn on MSNBC and enjoy.

    2. By Gad, Turley, you’re becoming predictable.

      You’ve been predictable since your 2nd post on this blog. So once again…yawn.

    3. “Judge Jackson came across as poised, sincere and patriotic”

      Because she’s not being asked the tough questions. Because the cowardly Repub’s are pulling their punches and not pressing her on her RECORD or her throwing the punches that need to be thrown at her. BECAUSE she’s a Black woman you know, so they better not risk the blowback. It is sickening how weak the Repub’s are.

    4. Just because you’re a leftist dipshits doesn’t mean Turley is less credible. Where’s your law degree and bar association membership? Jackson was nominated exclusively due to her leftist philosophy and proven leniency toward.pedophiles. Crawl back under your rock.


        Byteme is almost certainly a puppet of The Blog Stooge.

    5. Go to Mother Jones since you do not like others opinions, or an actual constitutional scholars review of the facts on the ground.

      You people are such hypocrites, this nominee has proven she rules by politics/ideology, NOT the US constitution. Not fit for SCOTUS, End of story.

    6. Democrat’s words not mine. Except for the first two items it sounds like what Republicans believe in today. This is still germaine today. This woman is unfit and a radical and racist agitator. BLM appologist too. “Robert Bork’s America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is — and is often the only — protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy…No justice would be better than this injustice.”

    7. Natacha, Really? wow. OK lets take a look at what Hawley did – he recited the cases, the minimum sentences and what the judge gave the guilty party as punishment. all of that is just something you liberals hate – facts. You have zero right to critique the bahavior of the GOP Senators, in light of the treatment the left gave the last three nominees. You called one a serial rapist, and the other a religious zealot. And yeah, your President SHOULD be held by his words from 35 years ago, because we call know what a racist he was then, and is now.


        Mike Wohlstein and Damp Danny are almost certainly puppets of the Blog Stooge.

        1. Calling people names and repeating the same line over and over again is not necessary nor is it constructive.

    8. It was ACB who came across as poised, confident, capable, sharp, sincere and judicious while under the onslaught of absurd personal attacks that were launched one after the other by the disgusting, utterly despicable, dirty, dishonorable Democrats and their media slime. She made all of them look like the rag tag bunch of misfit dummies they actually are.

    9. KBJ is a lightweight. She’s being treated far too gently by Republican senators. She would crumble under anything close to what ACB handled with agility and poise.

    10. It’s disappointing that you find a Supreme Court nominee’s opinions about “CRT, transgender athletes, child predators, crime” irrelevant.

      And Hawley wasn’t lying about Jackson “being soft”. Just a few examples.

      U.S. v. Stewart, where sentencing guidelines called for 97 to 121 months in prison for a man convicted of possessing thousands of images of child porn and attempting to travel across state lines to abuse a 9-year-old girl. Jackson sentenced him to 57 months.

      U.S. v. Cooper, where the guidelines called for 151 to 188 months for a sex offender convicted of posting 600 images and videos online. Jackson sentenced him to 60 months.

      U.S. v. Chazin, where the guidelines called for 78 to 97 months for possession of child porn. Jackson’s sentence was 28 months.

      1. Her sentences are typical for both conservative and liberal judges in cases involving defendants who did not produce of child porn.

        In United States v. Stewart, the government probation officer recommended 42 months and she sentenced Stewart to 57 months.
        In United States v. Cooper, the government probation officer recommended 60 months, and that’s what she sentenced.
        In United States v. Chazin, the government probation officer recommended 28 months, and that’s what she sentenced.

        She is not “soft” on child porn. Her sentences are similar to those from conservative judges.

        1. Probation officers don’t determine the sentencing guidelines, they make recommendations. The guidelines are established by the U.S. Sentencing Commission and are based on the level of the offense and criminal history. The guidelines are for the judges, not the probation officers. That’s why they’re called sentencing guidelines and not recommendation guidelines. In each of those cases her sentences were below the guidelines thus she was “being soft”. And what of the cases when her sentences were below the probation officer’s recommendation? It’s irrelevant if both conservative and liberal judges are “being soft”. Hawley didn’t lie.

          1. No one said that probation offices determine sentencing guidelines.

            In and of itself, having some sentences below the guidelines does not make the person “soft” on the crime. To determine whether someone is “soft” on crime, you’d need to look at the entirety of their sentencing decisions, not cherrypicked ones.

            Keep in mind that the seven-member USSC (nominated and confirmed by both Democrats and Republicans) has unanimously recommended changes in the guidelines.

            Also keep in mind that the guidelines are only that: guidelines, not requirements, and the guidelines specifically state that judges should make final decisions based on the specifics of each case. As KBJ noted, the probation office is an arm of the government whose findings constitute an independent analysis of the facts of the individual case in relation to the guidelines, and judges are supposed to consider the probation office recommendations, not just the guidelines. Do you deny that?

            I didn’t say that Hawley lied, so that’s a straw man argument. I pointed out that he is purposefully omitting relevant information.

            “what of the cases when her sentences were below the probation officer’s recommendation?”

            Hawley asked her about 1 of the 2 cases where that occurred, and she responded. Did you listen to that exchange? Do you want to discuss what she said, or do you only want to gripe in general?

        2. “Her sentences are typical for both conservative and liberal judges in cases involving defendants who did not produce of child porn.”

          That is false.

          In 2019, the average sentence for such crimes was 103 months.

          Jackson’s average sentence for such crimes was 45 months.

    11. You sir or madam are an ignoramus of the first order, a viperous snake whose only arguments are ad hominem. Your reference to Mr. Turley’s article as a “little trash piece,” US senator Marsha Blackburn as a “white trash hag,” and “pathetic little” US senator Josh Hawley as a liar are all beyond despicable. You have no arguments other your hate. I suggest you take that hate and put it in any non gender specific cavity on your person where the sun don’t shine.

    12. Natacha, Josh Hawley didn’t lie, but you certainly did. Did you even watch the confirmation hearing yesterday? Senator Hawley cited seven (7) different cases that Judge Jackson presided over where she gave the pervert convicted of possessing child pornography (and in one case travelling across state lines to have sex with a child) far less than the what the sentencing guidelines recommended, and even less than what the prosecutors recommended. The only liar here is you. What is wrong with you?

      1. The sentences were lower than the prosecution asked for, but not lower than what the probation officer asked for. The judge has to consider both, as well as the specifics of the case. All judges — both those appointed by Republicans and Democrats, both those described as conservatives and liberals — do the thing that you’re complaining about.

        Here’s a fuller discussion that includes the probation officers’ recommendations:
        Perhaps you’ll reject it because of the source instead of looking at the facts.

        Has it occurred to you to listen to or read her responses when asked about this?
        C-Span creates an automated closed-captioning transcript: https://www.c-span.org/video/?518342-1/confirmation-hearing-supreme-court-nominee-ketanji-brown-jackson-day-2

        1. Anomaly,

          You said; “ The sentences were lower than the prosecution asked for, but not lower than what the probation officer asked for. The judge has to consider both…”

          Please cite the legal requirement for federal judges to consider sentencing recommendations from probation officers. I can certainly understand such recommendations being worthy of consideration when offered by prosecutors or by defenders but probation officers? Really?

          On what point of the law would a probation officer be qualified to opine? They are simply bureaucrats. This is like suggesting that a restaurant’s dishwasher should have input into the chef’s menu ingredients simply because he works in the restaurant and is a prt of the process

          In my opinion, neither the probation officer or the dishwasher are qualified to offer an opinion in their respective cases. Prove mw wrong.

    13. “By Gad, Turley, you’re becoming predictable.”

      Talking about being predictable, if one reads one of Natacha’s comments, one has read them all.

  4. Guyventner says: “republicans should say NO to everything and anything Democrats do!”

    Guyventer is correct! The Republicans will gain no friends or voters from those who wish this candidate’s installation. It was made clear from the get go why her selection was made, race. I just finished listening to a Democrat who belongs to a white only beach club tell this candidate how great she was, hypocrisy at the highest and his lisp annoys the hades out me. Republicans hold firm, stick to the issues affecting every working American regardless of race, religion, creed and sex. Above all protect the coming election from any kind of manipulation!

  5. Living constitution?

    “They think that government may vary like modes of dress, and with as little as ill effect; that there needs no principle of attachment, except a sense of present convenience, to any constitution of the state.” Edmund Burke

    1. Eureka!!!!

      Living Constitution? No such animal.

      A nugget of truth. Finally.

      The Ten Commandments were written to stand in perpetuity and cannot be “amended.”

      The U.S. Constitution was written to stand in perpetuity, while extremely infrequently assimilating infinitesimal amendment that does not “injure” the very Constitution itself.

      The sole charge of the judicial branch and Supreme Court is to assure that actions comport with statutory and fundamental law.

      The judicial branch has no power to legislate, modify legislation or modify legislation by “interpretation.”

      The judicial branch should have been impeached en masse long ago for abuse of power, usurpation of power, negligence, dereliction, corruption, politicization and treason against American fundamental law.

      “And if there are amendments desired, of such a nature as will not injure the constitution, and they can be ingrafted so as to give satisfaction to the doubting part of our fellow citizens; the friends of the federal government will evince that spirit of deference and concession for which they have hitherto been distinguished.”

      – James Madison, Proposed Amendments to the Constitution, June 8, 1789

      “…courts…must…declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”

      “…men…do…what their powers do not authorize, [and] what they forbid.”

      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

      Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

      Central Planning, Control of the Means of Production, Redistribution of Wealth and Social Engineering are unconstitutional. Government cannot use the tax code to “plan” and promote enterprises and industries, government has no power to control through regulation, government has no power tax for redistribution or to effect social engineering, and government has no power to deny rights, freedoms, privileges and immunities of citizens, in order to favor other citizens.

      Article 1, Section 8, provides Congress the power to tax ONLY for “…general Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual welfare, specific welfare, redistribution of wealth or charity. The same article provides Congress the power to regulate ONLY money, the “flow” of commerce, and land and naval Forces. Additionally, the 5th Amendment right to private property is not qualified by the Constitution and is, therefore, absolute, allowing Congress no power to claim or exercise dominion over private property, the sole exception being the power to “take” private property for public use.

      Government exists, under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to provide maximal freedom to individuals while it is severely limited and restricted to merely facilitating that maximal freedom of individuals through the provision of security and infrastructure.

      The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional including, but not limited to, matriculation affirmative action, grade-inflation affirmative action, employment affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, minimum wage, rent control, social services, forced busing, public housing, utility subsidies, WIC, SNAP, TANF, HAMP, HARP, TARP, HHS, HUD, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.

      The vote must be restricted; turnout was 11.6% in 1788. The American Founders established a restricted-vote republic, understanding that one man, one vote democracy is untenable and bound for dictatorship.

      “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the people discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy–to be followed by a dictatorship.”

      – Alexis de Tocqueville

  6. Sampson was the best judge. But Delilah found out his secret.

    As she deceived me, I watched and went out of my mind. She stood there laughing.

  7. The hypocrisy of the dem/left is sickening, especially when biden is pimping a racially preferenced judge who is openly soft on child pornography after creating scandalous judicial committee inquiries both for Bork and Clarence Thomas. What a sad loser we have occupying the white house at this time.

    1. Ding! Ding! Ding! Turley’s little trash piece accomplished its mission. Alma bought the lie about Judge Jackson being soft on child predators and that Joe Biden is a “sad loser” for questioning the judicial philosophies of Bork in a committee hearing 35 years ago. Turley, you really should be ashamed because you DO know better. You DO know that Judge Jackson’s sentencing of child predators was consistent with the prosecutors’ recommendations and sentencing guidelines. Josh Hawley’s lie about her being soft on child predators has been disproven. And yet, Turley goes after Biden for a hearing that was held 35 years ago instead of addressing a Senator lying about the record of a SCOTUS nominee. Then, there’s that bottle blondie hag from Tennessee who accused Judge Jackson of having a “hidden agenda”. Did any Democrat ever accuse a Republican nominee of a ‘hidden agenda” in past hearings? You know the answer, Turley, and that is the much bigger story today rather than what Biden did 35 years ago. Today’s piece is just a deflection against the outrageousness of Republicans in Judge Jackson’s hearing.

      1. “Hawley’s lie about her being soft on child predators has been disproven.”

        No, it has not.

        “Did any Democrat ever accuse a Republican nominee of a ‘hidden agenda” in past hearings?”

        No, of course not. Democrats have always treated Rep nominees with all due respect. Unless they are creating their usual friggin’ circus and accusing them of being gang rapists and members of secret Handmaiden’s cults.

        The only “deflection” is the cowardly Rep senators who are not going hard on the questions about porno pedo’s.

  8. The Professor hits it right out of the Ball Park with a single swing.

    We have to follow up on that by asking Biden if he was wrong back then….or wrong today and not accept an excuse of just his seeing things differently.

    The cornerstone of our system of government and law is the Constitution as written…including its Amendments.

    Of all Americans….the US Supreme Court…..must bear the most honest fidelity to that wonderful Text in deciding Cases that come before the Court.

    It matters not what views of life one holds as a Justice….so long as that they hold one key core value….fidlelity to the Constitution.

    They not only must speak the words….their record must demonstrate that they have unfailingly lived up to that requirement at every opportunity.

    The Senate….has its own duty to adhere to the Constitution as does the President but when we come to the SCOTUS and its Nine Justices…..they each and all both jointly and severally must bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution as they are the Court of Final Appeal.

    The People do not get to vote on the fitness of the Nominee….that is a duty the Senate holds and it should be a true vote on the fitness of the Nominee and that Nominee’s view on the Constitution is the foremost quality that has to be determined and considered by the Senate.

    1. “The cornerstone of our system of government and law is the Constitution as written…including its Amendments.”

      As correct as you are, what you said can be viewed differently. The DOI is the cornerstone of America, and the Constitution is the frame that surrounds it.

      1. The Declaration of Independence is not the law. It’s just what it is. A declaration. Nothing more. It’s a set of ideals expressed. Ideals that ironically involved slave owners who wanted to be….free.

        The DOI is like any other company’s mission statement. It sounds great when you read it. But the reality is often a lot different than what that statement says.

        1. The DOI is like any other company’s mission statement.

          That is absolutely incorrect. The DoI is a vision statement. It described what this country wanted to become, not what it was. Closing the gap between that ideal and the current state is to be done within the limits provide by the constitution. Lincoln articulates this beautifully in his Fragment on the Constitution and the Union.

          All this is not the result of accident. It has a philosophical cause. Without the Constitution and the Union, we could not have attained the result; but even these, are not the primary cause of our great prosperity. There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something, is the principle of “Liberty to all”—the principle that clears the path for all—gives hope to all—and, by consequence, enterprise, and industry to all.

          The expression of that principle, in our Declaration of Independence, was most happy, and fortunate. Without this, as well as with it, we could have declared our independence of Great Britain; but without it, we could not, I think, have secured our free government, and consequent prosperity. No oppressed, people will fight, and endure, as our fathers did, without the promise of something better, than a mere change of masters.

          The assertion of that principle, at that time, was the word, “fitly spoken” which has proved an “apple of gold” to us. The Union, and the Constitution, are the picture of silver, subsequently framed around it. The picture was made, not to conceal, or destroy the apple; but to adorn, and preserve it. The picture was made for the apple—not the apple for the picture.

          1. Olly, mission statement or vision statement, both do the same thing. It’s a set of ideals put forth for everyone to see. Both don’t conform to reality. Just as any business that has a mission statement or vision statement.

            Boeing has one and obviously the reality is nothing even remotely close to what it’s mission or vision statement declares.

            The DOI’s ideals were ideals for just a segment of the nation’s citizens. It obviously wasn’t one that applied to everyone.

            1. mission statement or vision statement, both do the same thing.

              Logically, that makes no sense. If they were the same thing, then they both wouldn’t be necessary. I’m a federally certified Strategic Planning facilitator. Here is how each is defined:

              Vision: An idealized view of where or what an organization would like to be in the future. (written in the present tense.)
              Mission: An enduring statement of purpose. Describes what the organization does, who it does it for, and how it does it.

              There is always a gap between the vision and the current state. Strategic goals are long-range performance targets that move the organization closer to the desired vision.

              The DoI was clearly not a statement of reality. It was written to describe the principled vision and just cause for any nation, and specifically why we had to become independent of Great Britain. The preamble to the constitution refers back to that vision in describing what, who and how we will be governed to become a more perfect (vision) union. The challenge for this country has always been and will always be the power struggle over the execution of the mission.

            2. Svelaz, your understanding of the English language is appalling. Your problem is similar to the problem we had with the words accurate and excellent, where I had to explain to you that an inaccurate textbook ( Howard Zinn’s textbook) cannot be an excellent textbook.

              Your type of ignorance makes it painful to explain things to you, so nowadays, I avoid such lengthy explanations that I used to provide.

              1. S. Meyer,

                “ Your problem is similar to the problem we had with the words accurate and excellent, where I had to explain to you that an inaccurate textbook ( Howard Zinn’s textbook) cannot be an excellent textbook.”

                LOL! It was not my problem. It was your disingenuous attempt at trying to make accurate and excellent synonymous with each other. They are not the same meaning in any context. You grotesquely contort and torture the meanings forcing them to “mean” the same thing. That’s a symptom of stupidity.

                You’re not explaining anything. You’re just making yourself look really stupid. Keep going it’s working.

                1. Svelaz,

                  Your straw man argument fails. Stating that an inaccurate book cannot be a excellent book, a true statement, is not the same as stating that an accurate book is an excellent book, a false statement.

                2. This, along with the HTTP, is what took place.

                  The author of that piece believes Howard Zinn to be an accurate historian. He says: “Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States – an excellent text that breaks down many American myths.”

                  Later you replied, “Nowhere did the author state Zinn was an accurate Historian. You lied about what the author said. Looks like that credibility issue is your own problem.”

                  My reply: “You are an absolute dummy. I will quote the author: “Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States – an excellent text” If it is an excellent text, then it is accurate or reasonably so. December 6, 2021 at 5:23 PM

                  (Howard Zinn is inaccurate and therefore cannot be an excellent textbook.)

                  The discussion starts at: https://jonathanturley.org/2021/12/05/big-daddy-dobbs-airing-out-the-stench-from-the-oral-argument-over-abortion/comment-page-2/#comment-2141725

                  You define an excellent textbook: “An “excellent” text just means it’s a good one. It doesn’t mean it’s accurate. An “accurate” text means it’s true according to a standard.

                  I replied: “Svelaz, I will leave it up to others to determine what type of dummy you are. According to your logic, an excellent textbook is full of inaccuracies.”

          2. Olly, it was impressive that you chose the quote, I remember, when all I provided in my response was the word frame.

            Thumbs up!!! Kudos!!! Impressive!

              1. Olly responding to Meyer:

                “Thank you Hillsdale College!”

                No sh*t? Is that the college Meyer went to? That would explain a lot!

                BTW, what field are you a federally certified Strategic Planning facilitator?

                  1. I had thought your profession would specialize in a particular field. I’m not familiar with your profession.

                    1. Here we go again, Jeff. Once we get to the skin-deep level, you openly admit you don’t know much of anything. Unfortunately, before you reach that level, all you do is insult or say things you are unable to prove.

                      Keep it up, Jeff. You are what you sound like.

                    2. That’s a common but incorrect assumption of what a strategic planning facilitator does. The planning team is chosen based on their professional expertise and their value relevant to the strategic planning process. I was trained and certified while on active duty in the Navy. I’ve facilitated planning for various military commands, including in other branches. I’ve facilitated for the computer tech industry, VFW, local and international Christian nonprofits. I don’t need to know what they know. My role is to lead them to discover a shared vision and mission and their guiding principles.

                1. You are so dumb, Jeff. No, I didn’t go to Hillsdale, but maybe you should have. It is a good school and provides an education you never received.

                  Since you are flailing around and seeing me on every response I will sign my name.

                  1. SM,
                    I’m not receiving email notifications of posts that I’m following. I am receiving emails for new posts from JT. Do you know how to fix the former?

              1. Yet, Svelaz misses the entire picture and its frame.

                You have a solid understanding of the founding of this nation.

        2. “The Declaration of Independence is not the law. ”

          Svelaz, you are an idiot. I said: “The DOI is the cornerstone of America, and the Constitution is the frame that surrounds it.” I didn’t even mention the word law. You need to go back to school and develop some reading skills.

          Above is the first part of your stupidity. Olly explains the rest by using the proper word, vision instead of mission. The DOI was written before the country was born. Olly hit the nail on the head, even quoting the passage I alluded to when I used the word frame.

    2. Dearest Senators of the United States of America,

      As an American, we look to the Constitution of the United States as our bible, North Star, Rosetta Stone and metaphorical “moral compass” that was put to paper and amended by our Founders and the combined “electorate” of our states and legislatures to ensure our constant fidelity to the framework that has woven our Sovereign States and People together for more than two centuries. Unfortunately, and sometimes tragically, the constant gnawing and direct attacks at the integrity, brilliance, prestige and basic fairness exemplified by our blessed US Constitution have and will continue to erode the combined and shared basic beliefs of our citizens. I firmly believe our Constitution is “alive and well”, because it may always be amended and improved by a super majority of our Sovereign States—and NOT a group of nine black robed men and women that happened to attend Ivy League universities and law schools. The fact is, our shared and living US Constitution is also firmly rooted in the majesty and purpose of it’s original creators. If there is a man or woman alive today that believes they could have penned a better founding document over two hundred years ago, or even today with perfect information as their guide, please let that person step forward.

      Hopefully, some day, the whole of our United States’ Senate will once again “stand up” and serve as the deliberate and vigilant protectors and supporters of our Constitution, instead of a acting like a bunch of “ancient” cartoon characters in a Sodom and Gomorrah kangaroo court—while important and historic decisions need to be considered and perfected. Our great nation, our children and our children’s children require and must have an honest, fair and just society to thrive and become the proper heirs of this great and amazing group of sovereign, yet united states. Literally, every time I say, write or type these hallowed words, “The United States of America”, I always feel a chill that goes right through every inch of my physical and spiritual being.

      I am and will always be humbled, proud and grateful that I literally won the lottery and was born free to “pursue my own happiness” right here, in this great nation, we also call America.

      So, to each of my esteemed US Senators, that temporarily share the membership and right to practice “politics” in the United States Senate, please stop for just a moment each and every day and say a very short prayer. Perhaps, that prayer might go something like this…Please let me understand the solemn duty that I have to all of my countrymen. And, for all of my misdeeds and frailties of character, I apologize and ask for forgiveness and guidance. I pledge and promise that today and everyday, I will strive, to the best of my ability, to always make studied and thoughtful decisions that will benefit the long term success of the great nation I represent. And, without the need for any constraining law, I will never, ever allow anyone or any form of possible remuneration cloud or lead me away from the righteous path required to perfect my tasks. Or, I suppose, you could just say the Lord’s Prayer and leave the rest unsaid, but understood by all.

      Respectfully submitted by Justin R. “Randy” Swearengin—a simple man, proud dad, practicing husband, great friend, loyal patriot, lover of man’s best friend and humble citizen of the State of Oklahoma and the greatest nation in the history of the world—The United (Sovereign) States of America!


      1. Please refrain from posting letters to Senators here. Turley’s post was about the nomination process. I encourage you and other to stay on topic and always keep it civil.

  9. I wonder if you could challenge Jackson’s because it was based solely on sex and race?

  10. “Biden stressed that his nominee must follow a “living constitution” approach . . .”

    “Living constitution” means: You start with a political end or desire. Then you “reimagine” the constitution to satisfy that desire.

    That is not a principled approach to applying the constitution. It is not objective judicial judgment. That is rationalization, and a naked grab for power.

  11. We are in the age of Constitutional Calvinball. Judicial philosophy means nothing, it is all about getting the result you want.

    1. Judicial philosophy means nothing to you and your kind. To true conservatives, judicial philosophy is of the utmost importance. People that think like I do want a Constitution that permits predictable results. The legislature and Constitutional amendments are where change should occur. The living Constitution is like a sailboat without an anchor. In calm seas, it might be controllable, but in rough seas, it can lead to a ship that ends up where it doesn’t belong.

      1. In theory I agree with you, but there are none of them on the court. It is Calvinball.

    2. During questioning this morning, Jackson said she relies on the text of statutes as a limit on judicial authority. In an immigration case she nonetheless used the APA to override a decision by DHS about when to apply expedited review that a statute said was in its “sole and unreviewable” discretion. She argued in her opinion and again this morning that, to reconcile the two statutes, a court could review process under the APA even though the decision itself was “unreviewable.” She said there are other cases that applied the APA in a similar context. She then ordered a nationwide injunction.

      The DC Circuit disagreed and overruled her. I hope a Senator is astute enough to follow up and ask her if she now understands why, and now agrees that, she was wrong to ignore the text of the immigration statute in that case, or if she thinks the DC Circuit got it wrong.

  12. Some members of this blog are angered at Turley because he honestly opposes the hypocrisy of the left.

    1. No, some members of his blog understand that Turley’s arguments are oftentimes flawed. Turley treats the “Ginsberg rule” and the “Barrett rule” as somehow binding. Both of these “rules” can be changed, applied, or ignored all together because whoever is in control of the nomination process can do so.

      Republicans demonstrated this quite clearly when they refused to even hold a hearing for Obama’s nominee. Turley criticizes democrats for not observing precedent set by their “rules”, but defended republicans when they chose not to follow precedent themselves arguing that it was their prerogative to do what they wanted because the constitution gives them the power to make their own rules.

      Turley cites Biden in 1987. But neglects the fact that things were much different then. The political realities of 1987 are so far removed from the political realities of today. Applying the “Ginsburg rule” is not binding and no judge is required to provide an answer to certain questions. Even judge Barrett herself chose not to answer certain questions.

      1. Turley neither said or implied that these rules are “somehow binding”.

      2. Svelaz, as I said, some members of the blog “are angered at Turley because he honestly opposes the hypocrisy of the left.” You are one of those hypocrites, and you belong to the subsection of those with very little functional knowledge where much of it is so erroneous it is not worth pointing out.

  13. Biden has two philosophies. Me-ism and thinly veiled Socialism. As a member of the ruling class of the ha ha ha classless society the two go hand in hand .

  14. “That [i.e., being “beyond politics”] has not been the position of the Democrats since Bork and certainly not in the last three nominations.”

    How deeply disingenuous. Disgusting.

    First: the Senate Judiciary Committee believed that Bork should be rejected but nonetheless passed the nomination out of Committee for the entire Senate to choose, and Bork was rejected with a bipartisan vote.
    Second: after Bork was rejected, the Senate unanimously approved Justice Kennedy.
    Third: Republicans have been as prone as Democrats to vote against nominees for political reasons, and in the case of Merrick Garland to entirely block his consideration.

      1. Anonymous (S. Meyer),

        “ You lack historical context.”

        I really doubt you read the entire article AND understood exactly what it was saying.

        1. Svelaz, that is the difference between you and me. I can read. You pretend.

  15. Someone should ask Judge Jackson if she is immune from questions which are the same or similar to questions asked of the last several decades of nominees for the highest court.

  16. A few bipartisan things that got done under Trump, there were more bipartisan things done under Trump than Obama, when all Republicans did was say no. (ask Mitch McConnell)
    First Step Act — criminal justice reform, passed with support from both parties and the black community
    U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement (USMCA) — replaced NAFTA and passed despite Democrats’ impeachment effort
    Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act — relief bill for COVID-19, passed overwhelmingly
    Great American Outdoors Act — funding maintenance in national parks, passed during bitter 2020 campaign
    What you believe and what is true are two different things.

  17. republicans should say NO to everything and anything Democrats do!
    Name one thing Democrats allowed under Trump…beyond a couple impeachments, a number of criminal conspiracies and mountains of hate and lies?
    What they did to Kavanaugh was criminal…and people should have gone to jail!

    1. Jail for opposing a radical right winger for the court? Wow the fascism is strong with you.

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