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President Bush Speech on Judges:

President Bush will be in Cincinnati on Monday at a Federalist Society event on "The Presidency and the Courts" where he is scheduled to deliver an address. His speech will coincide with the opening of the Supreme Court's 2008-09 term. Other parts of the program include a speech by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and panels featuring the likes of former SG Paul Clement, Ed Whelan, and Professor Michael Gerhardt of UNC, among many others. The event is sold out, but should be available by webcast here.

I am not sure how significant the President's speech will be — he seems to be a particularly lame duck at this point (unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term) — but the rest of the conference looks potentially interesting.

UPDATE: The text of the President's speech is here.

Nathan_M (mail):

...but the rest of the conference looks potentially interesting.

I know it's early, but this is my nominee for best snark of the week.
10.6.2008 2:55am
The Chairman:
It's a crime that Peter Keisler hasn't been confirmed. I hope it gets mentioned, but fat chance that Bush can do anything about it... McCain would be just as sans cajones if elected, though.
10.6.2008 4:09am
rbj:
What with the way the economy is heading, I'm not sure Bush would want another term. Nor am I convinced that whomever gets elected next month could be considered the "winner".
10.6.2008 9:12am
Arkady:

[H]e seems to be a particularly lame duck at this point (unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term)


Perhaps in the Bushverse, a not implausible belief.
10.6.2008 9:29am
ChrisIowa (mail):

I am not sure how significant the President's speech will be -- he seems to be a particularly lame duck at this point (unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term) -- but the rest of the conference looks potentially interesting.


Do you have some assurance that the other speakers will be significant?

Or are you saying that no former or soon-to-be-former President has anything of relevance to say about "The Presidency and the Courts"?

Or are your comments reserved by some reason for the current President?
10.6.2008 10:55am
Redlands (mail):
As far as who has actually gone to the court by way of Bush's nominations I give him good marks.
10.6.2008 11:53am
KenB (mail):
(unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term)
Bush has made a lot of mistakes, in my view especially in domestic policy but also in failing to realize sooner the need for the surge. But this remark seems an unbecomingly cheap shot.
10.6.2008 11:58am
KenB (mail):
(unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term)
Bush has made a lot of mistakes, in my view especially in domestic policy but also in failing to realize sooner the need for the surge. But this remark seems an unbecomingly cheap shot.
10.6.2008 11:59am
Will eat brains for votes:
Chris, considering that Bush doesn't offer much in the way of competent policymaking or the fact that he took a mulligan on his Supreme Court nominees (Miers?!), I don't see a lot of 'relevance' offered by him specifically, other than "Yes I am the President, and yes, I nominate Justices".

Maybe Zombie Reagan can offer more nuance and insight...
10.6.2008 12:06pm
Sam H (mail):
Jonathan, your BDS took control again I see.
10.6.2008 12:22pm
Daniel M. Roche (mail):

Redlands: As far as who has actually gone to the court by way of Bush's nominations I give him good marks.


Ditto. Whatever else he may have failed at I think most conservatives/Republicans are very pleased with Roberts and Alito. Although the Miers bit was kind of a joke.
10.6.2008 12:24pm
gradescales (mail):
Ah, I see. A President's speech during an event about the "Presidency and the Courts" is not significant or interesting. Certainly President Bush has nothing to say about the issue of judges. He's only, you know, nominated lots of judges and had several significant conflicts with the Supreme Court. (insert "roll eyes" emoticon here)

It's become so fashionable to criticize politicians that we've lost all sight of the fact that they do have experience that many of us will never have. Yes, Senator Kennedy is no Einstein and President Bush seems to have been hit on the head with an apple without receiving any Newtonian revelation , but that doesn't mean that the Senator and the President have nothing of interest to say about government.
10.6.2008 12:48pm
Ugh (mail):

unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term


They've already given him two, why not a third?
10.6.2008 12:48pm
ChrisIowa (mail):
From gradescales multiple responses as evidence, I gather that the site's slow response today is not a factor of my particular connection.

[NOTE: I deleted the repeat postings. -- JHA]
10.6.2008 1:09pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
I can see a speech by a soon-to-be-former President on this topic being interesting. I can even see a speech by THIS soon-to-be-former President on this topic being interesting (saying, for instance, whether he has learned anything about the confirmation process or how the public views the courts or whether he would have taken a different approach to attempting to obtain legal authorization for his war on terror initiatives).

However, I doubt that the actual speech WILL BE interesting. Rather, he'll repeat the same old warmed over conservative BS about following the law and not making it.
10.6.2008 1:31pm
Loon E. Tune:

(unless he thinks the Supreme Court will give him a third term)


The Supreme Court didn't "give" him a first or second term. Under the constitutional system, he won them outright. Following the 2000 election, every recount conducted by the various groups who set out to undermine the Florida result indicated that Bush won Florida no matter how many recounts were done. That being so, the Supreme Court's "intrusion" into the race ultimately had no effect on the correct result.

And to the extent the Supreme Court "intruded," it should not be forgotten that it was Gore, not Bush, who sought relief in the courts. Had Gore simply conceded, as did Richard Nixon in 1960 (despite the vote fraud in TX and IL), there would have been no Supreme Court "intrusion."

A president is elected when he gets a majority of the electoral vote, which Bush did twice. It simply doesn't matter that Gore received more popular votes in 2000, any more than it mattered that Clinton was elected twice but never received as much as 50% of the popular vote.
10.6.2008 1:36pm
MarkField (mail):

Following the 2000 election, every recount conducted by the various groups who set out to undermine the Florida result indicated that Bush won Florida no matter how many recounts were done.


This is false. See here.


it should not be forgotten that it was Gore, not Bush, who sought relief in the courts.


This is also false. The Bush campaign filed the first lawsuit (there ended up being about 35 or so, depending on how you count them).
10.6.2008 1:52pm
MarkField (mail):
To clarify my post, the Bush campaign was the first of the two presidential campaigns to go to court. There were also citizen groups which filed lawsuits, and it was one of those which filed the very first one related to the recount.
10.6.2008 2:11pm
Houston Lawyer:
You're going to have to do better than cite Wikipedia for those results.

One thing was clear, the Florida Supreme Court was going to keep working until it could find a way to hand Gore the election. The Florida legislature, however, was poised to step in and make the Florida Supreme Court's blatant disregard of law and facts irrelevent. There was no way that Gore was going to win Florida, after the vote was taken, and I don't recall any manner of recounting the ballots that put Gore ahead.
10.6.2008 2:52pm
luagha:
The wiki page is incorrect in its summation as I read it now.

The only recounts that would consider Gore as the winner require assigning the 'overvotes' (votes where two or more candidates are selected for president) to Gore. Florida election law states that that is not how overvotes are handled.

The problem with overvotes is the many-times-mentioned problem of 'divining the intent of the voter.' If there are two votes for President on a ballot, how can you be sure which the voter really intended? The answer is that you can't. An overvote has to be discarded.
10.6.2008 2:53pm
David Warner:
Dilan,

"However, I doubt that the actual speech WILL BE interesting. Rather, he'll repeat the same old warmed over conservative BS about following the law and not making it."

Actually, the one time I saw him speak in person (at one of the D.C. President's Dinners - long story), I was actually (very) surprised at the depth with which he spoke and his willingness to take brave stands, at times against the sense of the room.

Of course he was just reading Gerson's words, and his stands were all merely warmed over libertarian BS, so you can still cling stick to your guns and religion, Dilan.
10.6.2008 3:39pm
for the record:
Re: luagha

Correction: There were many overvotes where you could divine the intent of the voter. These were optical scan ballots where a voter both filled in the bubble for, say, GWB, and also wrote on it "BUSH." The machine reader counted this as an overvote and threw it out because there was too many markings on it, but a human inspector could clearly and uncontroversially determine that such a ballot was cast for Bush alone. Sixteen counties in Florida used optical scan ballots.
10.6.2008 3:53pm
MarkField (mail):

You're going to have to do better than cite Wikipedia for those results.


I'm not the one with the burden of proof here. Nor do I see anything wrong with the Wiki page, which is accurate. Nevertheless, here's the key language from the CNN page:

"Suppose that Gore got what he originally wanted -- a hand recount in heavily Democratic Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Volusia counties. The study indicates that Gore would have picked up some additional support but still would have lost the election -- by a 225-vote margin statewide.

The news media consortium then tested a number of other hypothetical scenarios.

Use of Palm Beach County standard

Out of Palm Beach County emerged one of the least restrictive standards for determining a valid punch-card ballot. The county elections board determined that a chad hanging by up to two corners was valid and that a dimple or a chad detached in only one corner could also count if there were similar marks in other races on the same ballot. If that standard had been adopted statewide, the study shows a slim, 42-vote margin for Gore.

Inclusion of overvotes

In addition to undervotes, thousands of ballots in the Florida presidential election were invalidated because they had too many marks. This happened, for example, when a voter correctly marked a candidate and also wrote in that candidate's name. The consortium looked at what might have happened if a statewide recount had included these overvotes as well and found that Gore would have had a margin of fewer than 200 votes."
10.6.2008 4:44pm
Pedantry Express, CHOO CHOO:
A wiki (from the Hawaiian) is a type of application, and it usually lives and works on a web server. Wikipedia is one site that employs a wiki; specifically, it uses the MediaWiki software. The first wiki I ever saw was the legendary C2. I don't know if that was the first one, but it was pretty a extensive collection of programmers' knowledge and BBS-style talk before Wikipedia existed.

That is, Wikipedia is a wiki. All wikis are not Wikipedia. When you say "the wiki," we don't know which wiki you're talking about. When you say "the Wiki," we think you've made an error of typography or logic.
10.6.2008 4:52pm
MarkField (mail):

When you say "the Wiki," we think you've made an error of typography or logic.


Given the context and common usage, you might think I made an abbreviation or used a shorthand expression.

I'm a big fan of pedantry, but up with this I will not put.
10.6.2008 5:05pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Actually, the one time I saw him speak in person (at one of the D.C. President's Dinners - long story), I was actually (very) surprised at the depth with which he spoke and his willingness to take brave stands, at times against the sense of the room.

I've heard the guy speak many times over the course of at least 10 years, David. Irrespective of my policy differences, I can myself remember times when I thought he did a nice job-- in the debate against Gore is one time, and many times on the subjects of immigration and education, subject areas in which he had a genuine intellectual interest.

I have never heard him say anything about the subject of the legal system that goes beyond a talk radio soundbyte, however.
10.6.2008 5:10pm
Pedantry Express, HISSSS-SHUFF.:
I see. Calling something by its proper name instead of the type of thing it is is the same as 19th-Century proposition proscription. I'll have to be careful on Site in the future so I Verb Noun.
10.6.2008 5:40pm
Loon E. Tune:


it should not be forgotten that it was Gore, not Bush, who sought relief in the courts.








This is also false. The Bush campaign filed the first lawsuit (there ended up being about 35 or so, depending on how you count them).


I should have been more specific. It was Gore, not Bush, who sought the relief in the courts that culminated in the Supreme Court's Dec. 12, 2000, opinion stopping the recount (you know, the one in which, according to the Democrat partisans, the Court "gave" the election to Bush). The so-called constitutional crisis could have been avoided altogether had Gore simply had the class to do what Nixon did in 1960 and accept the loss.
10.6.2008 7:33pm
MarkField (mail):

The so-called constitutional crisis could have been avoided altogether had Gore simply had the class to do what Nixon did in 1960 and accept the loss.


That's pretty much a tautology (how'm I doin', Pedant?). If there were no disagreement, there'd be no crisis. It could equally well be said that there'd have been no crisis if Bush had agreed to the recount. Which, if he had done so as Gore requested, he would have won.
10.6.2008 8:00pm
David Warner:
Dilan,

"I have never heard him say anything about the subject of the legal system that goes beyond a talk radio soundbyte, however."

As a non-lawyer and given my small sample size, I'll grant that this is not unlikely. His nomination of Miers suggests that it actually likely. The law has never been his strong suit - hence perhaps his evident enthusiasm for evangelical Christianity, and your (not unjustified) distaste.
10.7.2008 12:37pm