Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Rudy Giuliani Forms Judicial Advisory Committee

Posted by Mike on July 16, 2007

Rudy Giuliani plans to announce his “Judicial Advisory Committee” later this week in an attempt to alleviate conservatives rightly concerned about his views on abortion and his thus far pathetic defense of those views. The panel will be chaired by Ted Olson and will include strict constructionist superstar Miguel Estrada. This is an encouraging sign if Olson and Estrada are on board with Giuliani. No one can credibly challenge their credentials on the role of the judiciary.

Aside from the obvious superiority over She Who Must Not Be Named on terrorism and foreign affairs, Giuliani is also more likely than her to appoint more strict constructionists to the bench. The pool of judges from which he would select his nominees would be Republican and he would be surrounded with people like Olson and Estrada when making his decision. Allowing SWMNBN to park her broom on the White House lawn would guarantee that John Roberts would be surrounded with several Ruth Biddy Ginsburg disciples for decades. Faced with the SWMNBN guarantee, I’d settle for the Giuliani gamble. Saving the unborn and restoring the Constitution are more important than sending a message.

For that dilemma to have any meaning though, Giuliani first has to win the primary, which let’s face it is the real reason he is forming this committee.  Winning the primary however will not be an easy task for the Mayor, nor should it be. His previous explanations of his jurisprudence are nothing short of troubling. While his name dropping has been fine (he supported the Scalia, Alito, and Roberts nominations), his belief that a strict constructionist judge could uphold or overturn Roe v. Wade still shows an ignorance of Constitutional law that is difficult to explain away to people who have read the Constitution.

Giuliani’s problem is that he is a pro-choice candidate in a pro-life party. This issue is literally a matter of life and death. Because he might nominate decent judges, conservatives should take a chance and support the Mayor if he gets through the primary. However because he might nominate decent judges, conservatives should not take a chance and allow him to get through the primary.

As for this committee, it will help a little bit, but not with those who appreciated God’s take on the subject.

Link via Lucianne

3 Responses to “Rudy Giuliani Forms Judicial Advisory Committee”

  1. Noonan said

    Let me preface my reply by stating that I have a strong respect Mike for you, your politics, and analysis. I know also we are on the same page in the primaries, I believe.

    This judicial advisory committee strikes me as conservative cover, a facade, and nothing more. Has Giuliani pledged to take the recommendations of this panel? Further, while I am unfamiliar with Olsen, and Estrada is indisputably brilliant, Estrada also took on a case for PP before the Supreme Court. While Giuliani uses the words “strict constructionist”, I do not think he means what we mean when we use those words. He believes in a constitutional right to abortion, something utterly irreconciliable with being a strict constructionist. He further believes that gun control is a state issue, which while appealing to our conservative principles of federalism and subsidiarity, is totally contrary to the Second Amendment.

    I listened to Giuliani’s horribly grotesque explanation of his stance on Roe via the link in your post, and two things are for certain. First, he does not understand what it means to be a strict constructionist, he merely knows its a popular political label and buzz phrase. Second, he is as committed to constitutionalizing the abortionist industry as any politician.

    If I were to buy your premise that there is a chance he might appoint a Pro-Life Supreme Court Justice, that would be one thing, but I don’t. To me, this is beyond any reasonable doubt. This has NOTHING to do with sending a message, (although the message of a Giuliani nomination would be devastating and perhaps the political equivalent of checkmate). The sole difference between him and HRC / SWMNBN is that she is running a pro-choice position on the pro-choice party’s platform. He is running it on the GOP platform. He may be more Pro-Choice than she is, and in a general election, I see her taking the Pro-Life vote that turns out to the polls, (or at least most of it). Her “safe, legal, and rare” is contradictary, redundant, and bullshit respectively, but he does not even extend this pretense. Planned Parenthood and NARAL give four times as much money to Rudolph Giuliani as to Hilary Clinton. His campaign has declared open war against Pro-Lifers in their own party.

    Again, I know your commitment to life, and our difference is not one of principle but of strategy. And also, this is not about sending a message when I say that I could never vote for him. The good news is that he continues to fall in the primaries, now garnering only 22% according to Rasmussen, whereas less than 4 months ago he was at 37%. That’s almost as bad as McCain.

  2. Ryan said

    Ted Olson was part of Bush’s defense team when Algore tried to sue to become President back in 2000. His wife was also killed on 9/11 when her plane was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon (Barbara Olson’s actually my biggest argument to the 9/11 conspiracy nuts who thought that the Pentagon was hit by a missile. If so, where’s Barbara Olson?). Either way, his conservative, team-playing credentials are pretty legit. If he’s on with Giuliani, then he believes in Giuliani’s judicial philosophy– Olson’s not the kind of guy to be played with.

    However, I don’t think SWMNBN is going to take any pro-life voters away from the Republicans in that she is a loud proponent of partial-birth abortion and has unabashedly defended that position. At least Giuliani, as pro-choice as he may be, has to placate the pro-lifers as best he can. That’s not even on SWMNBN’s radar. You’d have to be a real git to vote for Her Thighness over Giuliani on the abortion issue.

    Giuliani’s star power is coming down to Earth. However, if Fred can’t adequately demonstrate that he is an electable and viable alternative to Giuliani, I think Rudy may have this thing locked up, which is a mixed blessing– he could beat SWMNBN, taxes would stay low and we’d be on the offense against terror, but we would have a socailly liberal Republican in the White House with power to appoint justices we can’t predict.

  3. Mike said


    It’s a shame that we need these prefaces, but I also respect you and your position. In this case, your position is alot closer to mine than you realize. The way you get there however is another matter. We’ve done this about 20 times before so I’m not going to rehash the debate again but I have to challenge you on Estrada.

    It is true that he represented the National Association of Gals way back in 1994 and I disagree with him for doing so; however, in that case, Estrada advocated on behalf of a client that a RICO plaintiff is not limited to economic claims. The Supremes unanimously agreed with his position on that narrow issue, including William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. If that trio isn’t conservative enough for you, no one is.

    That case is of course public record and was well-known to every interest group involved in the debate over Estrada’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit in 2003. Although pro-life and pro-choice groups don’t often agree on much, they all agreed that the N.O.W. case was irrelevant to his fitness as a judge and that Estrada is a friend to pro-lifers and a foe to pro-choicers.

    Despite public knowledge of Estrada’s position which Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas adopted, all of the pro-choice groups fought Estrada’s nomination in 2003. Planned Parenthood opposed his nomination. NOW opposed his nomination. NARAL opposed his nomination. People for the American Way opposed his nomination. The National Abortion Federation opposed his nomination. These groups knew that Estrada advocating on behalf of a client for a position that Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist adopted was no indication that Estrada would be anything other than a strict constructionist.

    Pro-life groups understood that as well. Estrada’s judicial philosophy was good enough for the Pro-Life Action League. It was good enough for Focus on the Family. It was good enough for Pat Robertson. It was good enough for life It was good enough for Laura Ingraham. It was good enough for Mark Levin. It was good enough for the National Right to Life Committee.

    You clearly overstated the criticism against Miguel Estrada just as you have with some of your other Rudy criticisms (Rudy did not complete his run in 2000 because he had cancer and even the New York Times calls the firefighter thug union video “factually incomplete.”) I’m sympathetic to your position on Rudy but you need to be careful not to overdo it.

    The case against Rudy is a strong one, but overstating the case will only serve to undermine your argument. This committee of Rudy’s may legitmately be advisory or it may be a front, I have no idea. What I do know is that Ted Olson and Miguel Estrada are convinced about Rudy’s jurisprudence. No one is more committed to strict constructionism than those two and no one is more trustworthy on judicial issues than they are. Unlike them , I am not convinced at this point, but they should be listened to. They’ve earned that respect.

    In your haste to undermine Giuliani, you cite facts that are either untrustworthy in source or flat out untrue. Here, you tried to undermine Miguel Estrada by citing a 1994 case he shouldn’t have taken, but his position in that case was adopted by William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Or are those three not conservative enough for you either?

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