Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rudy and the judges

So, one of the selling points of Rudy Giuliani is that he promises to nominate judges like Scalia, Alito and Roberts and yet Politico looked at the rulings of the judges he appointed in NYC and found they weren't in that vein:

But most of Giuliani's judicial appointments during his eight years as mayor of New York were hardly in the model of Chief Justice John Roberts or Samuel Alito -- much less aggressive conservatives in the mold of Antonin Scalia.

A Politico review of the 75 judges Giuliani appointed to three of New York state's lower courts found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than 8 to 1. One of his appointments was an officer of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. Another ruled that the state law banning liquor sales on Sundays was unconstitutional because it was insufficiently secular.

A third, an abortion-rights supporter, later made it to the federal bench in part because New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a liberal Democrat, said he liked her ideology.

Cumulatively, Giuilani's record was enough to win applause from people like Kelli Conlin, the head of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, the state's leading abortion-rights group. "They were decent, moderate people," she said.

The judges he tended to appoint were judges who were like him, tough on crime:

Giuliani's judicial appointments continue to win good reviews in New York legal circles for being what conservatives sometimes say they want: competent lawyers selected with no regard to "litmus tests" on hot-button social issues. Many of these people were in the mode of Giuliani himself: tough-on-crime former prosecutors with reformist streaks and muted ideologies.

"He took it very seriously -- he spent a lot of time with these candidates," recalled Paul Curran, a Republican and former U.S. attorney who chaired Giuliani's Commission on Judicial Nominations. "He was looking for judges who were willing to enforce the laws."

At first when I read this article I was upset but then when I thought about it I realized that he was appointing judges that would ensure that he would be able do the job he needed to get down, clean up NYC. I'm not defending him but I think that we shouldn't be comparing apples to oranges. If he appointed judges who were "willing to enforce the laws," then why wouldn't he appoint judges that would be "strict constructionists?"

BTW, towards the end of the article there are some cases sighted that the writer seems to think would bother conservatives. They seemed rather nitpicky to me, let me know what you think, conservatives. I actually agree with what this judge says:

Charles Posner, a Brooklyn judge appointed by Giuliani, made the kind of decision that keeps conservatives up nights when he was asked to levy a fine against a shopkeeper, Abdulsam Yafee, who had illegally sold beer at 3:30 a.m. on a Sunday. In an unusual, lengthy 2004 ruling, Posner found that "there is no secular reason why beer cannot be sold on Sunday morning as opposed to any other morning."

Noting that Sunday is only the Christian Sabbath, Posner continued, "Other than this entanglement with religion, there is no rational basis for mandating Sunday as a day of rest as opposed to any other day."

Of course it's based on religion, what secular reason could you have to distinguish Sunday from any other day?