RUSH: Interesting story in The Hill, Capitol Hill newspaper that ran yesterday: “Pre-Vacancy Polls Back Conservatives.” It’s a story by David Hill, and David Hill is director of Hill Research Consultants, “a Texas based firm that has polled for Republican candidates and causes since 1988,” and he says this, “In the days and weeks ahead we’re going to be public polls used by the media to gain coverage in the selection of a replacement for Sandra Day O’Connor. Because media organizations cannot openly campaign for a particular nominee or type of nominee, they will hide behind biased or leading polls to advance their agendas.” Amen! Somebody is finally saying it. That all these public opinions are, are editorials. It’s the way the mainstream media gets their opinion of things out there and makes it look like a majority of Americans agree with them.
It’s become such a sham this whole polling, all of this, “What the American people think of this?” and the American people think of that. You ask the question the right way you get the answer the way you want it and you run it as big news when in fact all it is, is an editorial, and David Hill is pointing out here the media is going to do the same thing in the Supreme Court nomination fight. Since they can’t openly campaign for a particular nominee or type they’ll hide behind biased or leading polls to advance their agendas. “Before we succumb to these prejudiced conclusions,” he says, “we should look at a plethora of polls that were taken just before O’Connor’s announcement. These pre-vacancy polls may provide more useful insight on the public’s real views of the court, its justices, and their decisions. One of these surveys released on June 20th by the legal website FindLaw makes us wonder whether public opinion should play any role in replacing O’Connor. The national survey…” and I don’t — frankly, if I may make a brief departure — I don’t know how it can.
Public opinion is not going to sway Chuck Schumer or Ted Kennedy, all these clowns. Schumer is out there saying he’s going to have a petition with 30,000 signatures by the end of the week. Hey, Chuck, I could do that in 30 minutes here. I could get 30,000 signatures on something in 30 minutes here — and then MoveOn.org is out there. They’re getting a petition signed. Do they honestly think that delivering these… and Chuck Schumer, by the way, said that he’s going to personally deliver his petition with 30,000 signatures to the front door of the White House which is just going to serve as kindling for fires when the winter comes in the White House. It’s not going to have one bit of impact on the people in the White House. Does anybody really believe that a bunch of petitions brought to the White House by Chuck Schumer or a bunch of petitions generated by MoveOn.org, are going to change anybody’s mind about anything?
Consequently if I went out and did a petition, and let’s say I got two million signatures on a petition and I sent a copy of the petition with all the signatures to Ted Kennedy or any other Democrat senator, is it going to change their mind? Hell no. So my point here is: What’s the role of public opinion in this anyway? The president is going to do what he’s going to do and I will guarantee you his decision is not going to be based on petitions or polls or anything of the sort, and whether this nominee is opposed or supported is not going to have anything to do with public opinion on this. One of the big problems with public opinion is that it is not accurately represented by special interest groups anyway. MoveOn.org does not represent anywhere near a majority of Americans no matter what they might think, neither does Chuck Schumer. Neither does any petition that he’s going to get signatures on or anybody else. Public opinion is determined when there is an election, not a poll, and unfortunately there is not any election on judges, not Supreme Court judges or appellate court judges or federal district court judges.
There are no elections, so public opinion polls here are irrelevant — and guess what? It’s designed to be that way. It’s designed. That’s why there’s the confirmation process. The elected officials, representatives of the people get a chance to weigh in on it — but the president, who also won an election — that’s what this is all about, folks. This is really all about whether or not elections matter. When you get right down to it, that’s all this is about. The Democrats cannot believe they’re losing elections, and they don’t want to act like they’ve lost elections, and they don’t want to believe that the Republicans are winning elections — and so they’re trying to make it that elections don’t matter. That’s why they’re filibustering nominees. That’s why they’re making all these efforts to plan a war, filibustering the Supreme Court nominee or whatever.
They’re trying to actually just wipe out an election — and not just with this nomination or any of these other judges. Remember my theory, ladies and gentlemen, that I’ve so cleverly articulated in recent months. The Democrats still can’t get over two things. A, they lost the House in ’94. They still haven’t gotten over that — and they really haven’t gotten over Bush vs. Gore 2000, the aftermath in Florida, and as far as they’re concerned, the Republicans as the leaders in the Congress are illegitimate, and Bush is double illegitimate because he was “selected, not elected.” So Bush is not legitimate, therefore he doesn’t get to do anything that presidents get to do. He doesn’t get his nominees; he doesn’t get Social Security reform; he doesn’t get tax cuts. They have to fight him on everything, and their purpose is to see to it that after these eight years of Bush they never happened. The eight years of Bush may as well have never happened because whatever Bush wanted they’re going to stand in the way of everything. That’s how upset and angry and perverted they have become.
So when you get to the Supreme Court nomination fight all of this talk about stopping the nominee, twofold. They’re trying to make sure that Bush gets nothing else done. It’s part of the lame duck angle. But it’s also part of making sure that Bush never happened. In practical reality terms, Bush never happened. His presidency never happened, and so in order to make this possible, elections have to be rendered irrelevant. You win elections; you get to pick the nominations to the Supreme Court and the other federal courts. You lose elections, and you don’t. That’s why yesterday I was saying, “You Democrats, just shut up. When you win elections, you can go pick your Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and you can pick your John Paul Stevenses and whoever else you want, but until such time as you win elections, shut up! We really don’t care. We really don’t care what you think. You didn’t win elections.
This is not your right at this point to determine the structure of the federal bench. You’ve gotta win elections to be able to do that.” But the Democrats are trying to make sure that nobody who voted for Bush counts, that this election didn’t matter, because they’re so peeved and so perturbed, and that’s why they’re trying to bring public opinion into it. They’re trying to reverse the results of an election by making it appear that the public regrets voting for Bush, that the public didn’t know what they were doing but now does know what they’re doing. They regret they voted for Bush and they want the Democrats to take over. That’s what the Democrats are trying to do with their mainstream allies in the media, create the impression that you, the American people, realize your mistake in voting for Bush and putting the Republicans in charge and you want the Democrats to run this show. That’s what this is all about. That’s why this story in the Hill is interesting. Forget the public opinion polls that you hear from now on.
Go back and look at the ones prior to O’Connor’s requirement. Take a break here. Some of the data in these pre-vacancy polls, I don’t know if it will surprise you, but some of you it will. I’ll guarantee you.
RUSH: All right. So David Hill, who has a polling company, says, “Before we succumb to these prejudiced conclusions [that we’re going to see from now on out], we should look at a plethora of polls that were taken just before O’Connor’s announcement. These pre-vacancy polls may provide more useful insight on the public’s real views of the Supreme Court, its justices and their decisions. One of these surveys, released June 20 by the legal website FindLaw, makes us wonder whether public opinion should play any role in replacing O’Connor.
The national survey of 1,000 adults found that nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t name a single current U.S. Supreme Court justice. Departing [Sandra Day] O’Connor was the best-known justice, named by 25% of Americans. Close behind her was Clarence Thomas, mentioned by 21%. No other justice was mentioned by more than 10% of the public. Liberal Democrats will rant and rave that Bush plans to appoint ‘another Scalia,’ but how threatening will that be when just 9% of American adults recalled Antonin Scalia’s name as a justice? And when Americans are so unfamiliar with the current court, what justifies popular involvement in the selection of a new justice?” Nothing anyway. The public doesn’t get to vote on these people.
The way the public works on this, is they elect presidents and then presidents take care of this, and one of the things presidents — this one did, anyway — was campaigned on the kind of justices he would nominate, and the public voted. So the public is in on this. The idea that we… Look it, I don’t want to repeat myself, but all this is is trying to roll back the results of an election, trying to pretend the election never happened or trying to disqualify them. That’s all it is, and I don’t know whether I agree or understand this poll, but it was taken before Sandra Day O’Connor retired. Make sense to you, Mr. Snerdley, that the #1 named justice was Sandra Day O’Connor by only 25% of the people?
Two-thirds couldn’t even name one? (interruption) That does make sense to you? Seemed a little low to me, but we’ll accept it here because this is the point that the guy who wrote this piece was trying to make anyway. Let’s look at another poll, this one conducted in mid-May for the Associated Press. It appears to redeem the public a little bit. “This poll asked 1,028 adults nationwide whether judges base their decisions mostly on interpretations of the law or mostly on their personal beliefs and political opinions. [Fifty-one percent] said the law prevails, a strong 43% said judges let their own views prevail. This sizable minority shouldn’t object to Bush’s trying to appoint a justice whose views are consistent with his own. If justices rely on their own views more than they rely on the law, Bush must appoint a conservative.
Media polls will also press for ‘moderation’ because they know they can’t win the war for outright liberalism,” and this is key. Liberalism does not win at the ballot box, which is another reason why this battle is so crucial to the left. They cannot get liberalism inculcated into the fabric of our society or woven there via the legislative process. It will go down to defeat every time it’s tried. So liberal judges become “moderates” now. Liberal judges become “pragmatists.” This is designed to fool the public — and these media polls are now going to say we need a “moderate” judge or a “pragmatist,” because they cannot win the war for outright liberalism.
“A nationwide Gallup poll of 1,006 adults taken in mid-June, before O’Connor’s decision, asked Americans whether they would like to see Bush appoint a new justice who would make the court more liberal or more conservative than it now is or whether they’d keep the court as it is now…. 41% chose a justice who’d make the court ‘more conservative’ Only 30% wanted a more liberal court, and just 24% championed the status quo.” So they may not know the justices’ names but they know what the outcomes of these decisions mean to them. So 41% chose a justice who would make the court more conservative. This is again a poll in the middle of June, and it is a Gallup poll. So this is why the left is not going to go out and say, “We need liberals on the court,” and it’s why they’re not saying it now, because they’ve got the same poll and they believe these polls, by the way, especially a Gallup poll.
They live and die by them, and they see the dire straits that they are in, which is only going to gin them up even more to try to force something on people that they don’t want. This is going to make the elites on the left say, “You’re even stupider than we thought you were! You’re even less qualified to be a citizen here than we thought you were! You don’t know what’s good for you. Forty-one percent of you want a more conservative court? All right. If 41% of you are a bunch of Hitler-like Nazis we have to take over and we have to get our people on the court to save this country from the likes of these 41% who want conservatives,” and that’s what’s going to animate them and that’s what’s going to motivate them, but you’re never going to hear the word liberal. You’re going to hear the word “moderate.” You’re going to hear the word “pragmatist.”
You’re going to hear, “We can’t have extremists! We can’t have extreme right-wingers! We can’t have conservatives,” but the polling data, pre-vacancy polls, is clear on what the plurality of Americans want here. “The media will also argue that Bush should name a ‘noncontroversial’ justice because their polls show that the Supreme Court is losing favor with the American public, a finding of Gallup and Pew Research Center polls reported last month. But some cross-tabs from the Pew poll reveal that this is really an argument for a more conservative justice.” So they’re also going to be talking about noncontroversial because the polls show the Supreme Court is losing favor with the American public as it is, and the left is going to look at these polls, “Stupid people! No wonder we’re losing elections! What are we going to do get these ideas past these idiots?” meaning you.
So they’re going to come up; they’re probably going to talk to George Lakoff (rhymes with), and they’re on going to come up with all kind of words that will describe the justice they want and it’s going to be words that will dovetail with what these polls are short of using the term conservative. “Liberal Democrat approval of the court is virtually unchanged from the past Pew polls. The most significant declines in approval of the court were recorded among white Protestant evangelicals and self-described conservative Republicans. So if the media really wants to boost the Supreme Court’s sagging poll ratings they should urge Bush to name a certifiable conservative to replace O’Connor.”
But that’s not what the media wants. The media doesn’t want to boost the Supreme Court’s poll ratings, not in this way. They were being honest is the point. If they’re really being honest about worried about the public opinion, the low opinion that public has for the court. “Why, appoint a conservative, Mr. President. That’s what the people of America are saying.” Of course the media is not going to say that. Nor will Ted Kennedy or any other Democrats out there. “So the media and their polls will try to make religious an issue in the naming of a new justice, but even here pre-vacancy polls suggest that Bush is on firm ground in naming a conservative. Rasmussen survey, 1000 adults taken in early June showed that a near majority of 46% of Americans says the Supreme Court has been too hostile toward religion. Half that number, only 23%, feels the court has been too friendly to religion.”
So David Hill of Hill Research Consultants concludes here that Bush “would be justified in appointing someone who is not hostile to America’s religious heritage, beliefs, and values, and is therefore conservative. That would please the vast majority of the American people,” and it makes sense because Bush won the election. Again, this is from the Hill, and we will link to this. I don’t know if they’re a subscription site or not, but if not, we will link to it at RushLimbaugh.com later this afternoon so you can read this and digest it yourself. But it’s really, really, really good news.
Read the Articles…
Headline: After O’Connor
Subheadline: President Bush owes his supporters a nominee in the Scalia-Thomas mold.
Date: Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Source: Wall Street Journal Editorial
When President Reagan nominated Sandra Day O’Connor for the Supreme Court in 1981, former Texas Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, a Democrat, declared, “I don’t know the lady, but if she’s a good lawyer and believes in the Constitution, she’ll be all right.”
And so Justice O’Connor was confirmed unanimously as the 102nd Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and the first woman to sit on the highest court in the land. Twenty-four years later, her retirement has set the judicial-appointment process in motion again for the first time in 11 years. On Friday President Bush called for a “dignified” confirmation process, meaning no repeat of the attempts to annihilate Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. By way of contrast, Barbara Jordan’s comment seems like a relic of a more gracious past.
Hours after Justice O’Connor’s announcement, MoveOn.org was predicting a nominee who is “an extremist who will undermine the rights of individuals and families.” Ted Kennedy was already ratcheting up his end-of-days rhetoric. Mr. Bush shouldn’t let these threats deter him from choosing someone who will move the Court in the direction that voters have endorsed in two Presidential elections in a row.
Justice O’Connor is being hailed as the Court’s “swing” Justice, but her legacy is more complicated. She has been a conservative on property rights and federalism, most recently in her Kelo dissent, where she took vigorous issue with the Court’s extension of government’s eminent domain power to include the taking of private property for private economic development. Replacing her with a “moderate” could actually mean a more liberal court on those issues.
Where she drifted left over the years–and where her written opinions often sowed confusion–was on social issues, notably church-state and racial matters. She focused more on the facts of a particular case than on determining bright-line rules that citizens could understand and legislatures could follow in the future. Before the Ten Commandments decision came down last month, Beltway wags joked that Justice O’Connor would find five of the 10 unconstitutional.
Her muddled 2003 rulings on racial preferences at the University of Michigan is a case in point. On one hand, she found a “compelling governmental interest” in ensuring diversity, but she also expressed the hope that 25 years hence it would no longer be needed. Even here, however, she opposed the most blatant race-based schemes, which would put her to the right of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, judging from what we know about his role in influencing the government brief in the Michigan cases.
She also moved left on abortion over the years, but her departure does not put Roe v. Wade in jeopardy, notwithstanding claims on the left. Justice O’Connor provided the fifth vote in Casey, reaffirming Roe and a woman’s right to abortion, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg has since joined the Court as the sixth vote in favor of Roe. On the other hand, the Carhart partial-birth abortion case–a 5-4 decision overturning Nebraska’s ban–could well be overturned. But then two-thirds of Americans support laws banning that procedure, and it is the Court’s extremism that has blocked just about any regulation of abortion even up to the time of birth.
Mr. Bush has had five years to evaluate possible nominees to the Supreme Court and there are many highly qualified candidates–male and female, on the appeals courts and elsewhere. Liberals who are demanding that he replace Justice O’Connor with a non-conservative are ignoring the recent history of Supreme Court nominations. When President Clinton named liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg to replace Byron White, who had voted against Roe, Republicans didn’t object even though that clearly moved the Court to the left on abortion and most other issues.
Mr. Bush has often said he’d like to appoint a Hispanic to the Court, and there are several fine candidates, including Miguel Estrada, whose nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was filibustered during Mr. Bush’s first Administration. As a war President, Mr. Bush will also want someone who has a healthy respect for executive power in fighting terrorism–such as the Fourth Circuit’s J. Harvie Wilkinson. This argues against Mr. Gonzales who, as former White House counsel and now head of the Justice Department, would have to recuse himself from most if not all of the war-on-terror cases. A series of 4-4 rulings would be bad for the country on what promises to be a fundamental legal debate in the coming years and could be a matter of national survival.
Any nominee will provide a test of the recent Senate deal barring a filibuster except in “extraordinary circumstances.” If words mean anything, they ought to allow a filibuster only in the case of something truly unusual, such as an ethical scandal. They shouldn’t include judicial philosophy, although the left is already trying to re-define them that way. The only time the filibuster has been used against a Supreme Court nominee was LBJ’s choice of Abe Fortas, who faced corruption charges, and even then it was used mainly to gauge Senate support.
Justice O’Connor served 24 terms, and the average tenure for recent Justices is 19.5 years, or five Presidential terms, so the stakes are enormous. For liberals, the courts have become the preferred way to win policy victories now that Americans are consistently rejecting their agenda at the ballot box. Unlike Barbara Jordan and her colleagues 25 years ago, modern liberals are unlikely to be satisfied with a nominee who is a “good lawyer and believes in the Constitution.”
But the only way to stop “borking” as a political strategy is to defy and defeat it. Mr. Bush told voters in 2000 and 2004 that he would nominate Justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. He owes it to the country, and his most loyal supporters, to keep that promise.
Headline: Pre-vacancy Polls Back Conservatives
Source: The Hill
Byline: David Hill
Dateline: July 6, 2005
In the days and weeks ahead, we are going to see public polls used by the media to gain leverage in the selection of a replacement for Sandra Day O’Connor. Because media organizations cannot openly campaign for a particular nominee or type of nominee, they will hide behind biased or leading polls to advance their agendas.
Before we succumb to these prejudiced conclusions, we should look at a plethora of polls that were taken just before O’Connor’s announcement. These pre-vacancy polls may provide more useful insight on the public’s real views of the Supreme Court, its justices and their decisions.
One of these surveys, released June 20 by the legal website FindLaw, makes us wonder whether public opinion should play any role in replacing O’Connor. The national survey of 1,000 adults found that nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t name a single current U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Departing O’Connor was the best-known justice, named by 25 percent of Americans. Close behind her was Clarence Thomas, mentioned by 21 percent. No other justice was mentioned by more than 10 percent of the public.
Liberal Democrats will rant and rave that Bush plans to appoint “another Scalia,” but how threatening will that be when just 9 percent of American adults recalled Antonin Scalia’s name as a justice? And when Americans are so unfamiliar with the current court, what justifies popular involvement in the selection of a new justice?
Another poll, conducted in mid-May for AP-Ipsos, appears to redeem the public, however. This poll asked 1,028 adults nationwide whether judges base their decisions mostly on interpretations of the law or mostly on their personal beliefs and political opinions. Although a slim majority of 51 percent said the law prevails, a strong 43 percent said judges let their own views prevail. This sizable minority shouldn’t object to Bush’s trying to appoint a justice whose views are consistent with his own. If justices rely on their own views more than they rely on the law, Bush must appoint a conservative.
Media polls will also press for “moderation” because they know they can’t win the war for outright liberalism. A nationwide Gallup poll of 1,006 adults taken in mid-June, before O’Connor’s decision, asked Americans whether they would like to see Bush appoint a new justice who would make the court more liberal or more conservative than it now is or whether they’d keep the court as it is now. A strong plurality of 41 percent chose a justice who’d make the court “more conservative.” Only 30 percent wanted a more liberal court, and just 24 percent championed the status quo.
The media will also argue that Bush should name a “noncontroversial” justice because their polls show that the Supreme Court is losing favor with the American public, a finding of Gallup and Pew Research Center polls reported last month. But some cross-tabs from the Pew poll reveal that this is really an argument for a more conservative justice.
Liberal Democrat approval of the court is virtually unchanged from past Pew polls. The most significant declines in approval of the court were recorded among white Protestant evangelicals and self-described conservative Republicans. So if the media truly want to boost the Supreme Court’s sagging poll ratings, they should urge Bush to name a certifiable conservative to replace O’Connor.
The media and their polls will also try to make religion an issue in the naming of a new justice. But here, too, pre-vacancy polls suggest that Bush is on firm ground in naming a conservative. A nationwide Rasmussen survey of 2,000 adults taken in early June showed that a near majority of 46 percent of Americans said the Supreme Court has been too hostile toward religion. Half that number, only 23 percent of Americans, feels the court has been too friendly toward religion. So Bush would be justified in appointing someone who is not hostile to America’s religious heritage, beliefs and values.