Several news items have recently burbled to the top like shrimp rolling about in a bubbling pot of gumbo — surfacing long enough to be seen, then sinking slowly back into the pot. Or, depending on how fast the gumbo is bubbling, the “shrimp cycle” may bring it back to the surface again and again, or it may stay at the top for a spell.

OK, now I’m hungry for some yummy Cajun food.

President Bush has nominated Judge John G. Roberts, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Rumors flew that Judge Edith Brown Clement was the President’s pick to fill Justice O’Connor’s vacancy, and the liberals instantly mounted an attack about the President’s poor choice. Once Roberts became the official pick, the contrary liberal voices apparently crossed out Clement’s name and wrote in Roberts’. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the Washington Post pointed out that the Democrats had the same battle plans in place for whomever the President nominated:

Democrats signaled that whoever the nominee is, their three likely lines of attack will be to assert the White House did not consult them sufficiently, then paint the nominee as ideologically extreme and finally assert that the Senate had not received sufficient documents about the candidate. But Senate Democratic aides said they will focus for now on bipartisan consultation and not publicly prejudge the nominee.

Cox and Forkum do a great job of lampooning this Democrat attitude.

Liberal Dems attack any choice

I have already written about Senator Dick Durbin and his claim that Guantanamo Bay is equivalent to the Nazi concentration camps or the Soviet gulag. While that story boiled fast and furiously for days, this recent story on Senator Durbin rolled to the top and just as quickly sank out of sight. According to Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, Senator Durbin confronted President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and asked him what he would do if the law would require a ruling that would be against his Catholic beliefs. Senator Durbin says he didn’t ask Roberts that question, but Turley stands fast. “Did!” “Did not!” Although I don’t know Turley and can’t vouch for his honesty, I’d be inclined to believe his side of the story over anything Senator Dick “It’s a gulag!” Durbin has said.

So assuming this line of questioning was accurately represented, it shows that Senator Durbin views Roberts’ religion as pivotal to his confirmation. There is just one problem with asking a judicial nominee about his religion — it violates Article VI of the Constitution:

…no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

This is why you won’t normally hear Senators asking a nominee about his religion; instead, the Senators will ask about the nominee’s “strongly-held personal beliefs.” Just once I’d love to hear a nominee retort by asking the Senators to define what that phrase means, exactly, and watch the Senators attempt to spin their religious test as anything but a religious test.

Speaking of nominations, President Bush’s nomination for ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, was installed by President Bush as a recess appointment. This action prompted the standard condemnation by the Left — so standard, in fact, that it was described as predictable. In his response to the President’s appointment, Senator Ted Kennedy stated the following:

It’s bad enough that the administration stonewalled the Senate by refusing to disclose documents highly relevant to the Bolton nomination. It’s even worse for the administration to abuse the recess appointment power by making the appointment while Congress is in this five-week recess. It’s a devious maneuver that evades the constitutional requirement of Senate consent and only further darkens the cloud over Mr. Bolton’s credibility at the U.N.

This so-called “evading” came because the liberal Senators wouldn’t allow Bolton to have an up-or-down confirmation vote, and President Bush acted completely within his power, appointing Bolton once the Senate recessed as specified in the Constitution: “The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” Senator Kennedy describes this completely Constitutional act as “devious,” but he seems to like it well enough when it is used in his party’s favor. He was quoted in the Washington Times in 1999, saying the following about recess appointments:

I have long urged recess appointments to break this logjam — this irresponsible, unconstitutional Republican leadership position which fails to give people their due and fails to meet the constitutional standard.

Matthew Hoy points out that the Democrats caused this logjam themselves by not allowing the vote for Bill Lann Lee to take place; the majority Republicans were not going to vote Bill Lann Lee into the Department of Justice. There were enough votes to pass Bolton, but not enough for Lee. But in both cases it was the Democrats who chose to dig in their heels. Predictable.

And finally, Rep. Nancy Pelosi exposed her ignorance of the Supreme Court. When she was asked about the recent decision on eminent domain, she responded:

It is a decision of the Supreme Court. If Congress wants to change it, it will require legislation of a level of a constitutional amendment. So this is almost as if God has spoken. It’s an elementary discussion now. They have made the decision. [emphasis mine - CM]

Oh really? These nine robed Justices speak with the voice of God in their decisions? In that case, what does the esteemed Rep. Pelosi think of other Supreme Court decisions like the Dred Scott decision of 1857 — the one that declared blacks not to be American citizens, and decided black slaves could be legally handed back to their owners even if they had escaped to free states? Or what about the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case that said it was OK for the nation to be “separate but equal,” giving the green light to “Colored Only” drinking fountains and other egregious cases of societal racism and segregation? It took the “voice of God” almost 60 years to reverse the Plessy case sanctioning segregation with the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case.

Forgive me if I don’t consider Supreme Court decisions to be equivalent to holy writ.

In the spirit of honesty and accuracy, I must acknowledge that Nancy Pelosi is the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives, not the Senate. But her wacky comments rank right up there with the rest of the Democrat Senators.