The Supreme Court will now have three women justices.

Elena Kagan is now the third woman on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Think Progress

The Senate just confirmed Elena Kagan to be the next Supreme Court justice in a vote of 63-37. She will be the 112th justice and the fourth woman in history to serve on the court. The AP reports:

Five Republicans joined all but one Democrat and the Senate’s two independents to support Kagan. In a rarely practiced ritual reserved for the most historic votes, senators sat at their desks and stood to cast their votes with “ayes” and “nays.”

Pat Buchanan suggests Judge Walker struck down Proposition 8 because he is gay.

Think Progress

Last night, after U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violated the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution, supporters of Proposition 8 expressed disappointment and pledged to appeal the decision all the way up to the Supreme Court. Some conservative activists lashed out against Judge Walker, using his sexual orientation to dismiss the decision altogether. This morning, MSNBC commentator Pat Buchanan argued that same-sex marriage was unnatural and suggested that Walker ruled against Proposition 8 because he is gay:

BUCHANAN: It is unnatural…an older white guy handed down the decision and he happened to be gay. That might have had something to do with it.

Watch it:

The Wonk Room has a list of conservatives using Walker’s sexual orientation as an excuse and explains the irony behind the allegation.

Feingold nixes GOP request for hearings into 14th amendment

The Plum Line – Greg Sargent

Republicans may be calling for hearings into revising the 14th amendment, which guarantees citizenship to children of illegal immigrants, but it looks like they’re not going to get ’em.

Russ Feingold, who chairs the Constitution Subcommittee, which would conduct the hearings, has “no plans” to allow them to go forward, his spokesman confirms to me.

And Feingold, in a statement, is reiterating that Federal immigration reform, not amending the Constitution, is the solution:

“We can and should address the problem of illegal immigration head-on without amending the Constitution. The way to do that is to pass bipartisan comprehensive legislation improving border security, protecting American jobs and addressing those currently in the country illegally. It is past time for Congress to resume the bipartisan effort that was started by President Bush and enact meaningful federal immigration reform.”

Right now, the list of Republicans supporting hearings into whether to repeal birthright citizenship includes Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, and Lindsey Graham, who has hinted at a Constitutional amendment. Mitch McConnell and John McCain also seem supportive of hearings, though their backing is ambiguous.

Does Feingold’s opposition mean no hearings on the issue? Unclear. The Constitution Subcommittee appears to be the first stop for efforts to amend the Constitution, But in theory, Senator Patrick Leahy, as chair of the overarching Judiciary Committee, could decide to go forward, despite Feingold’s opposition. That seems unlikely, however.

More broadly, other Senate subcommittees, such as the one on immigration, could hold hearings on the issue itself, if not on whether to change the Constitution.

But it’s looking less and less likely that any Constitutional tweaks are on the table. Conservative defenders of the Constitution will no doubt be deeply relieved! Oh, wait…

The 14th Amendment Brouhaha and other GOP Political Theater

It’s rather odd that the “party of strict constructionism” has decided that in the case of the 14th Amendment and “anchor babies“, times have changed.  Rachel Maddow was right, these people are not ashamed of their hypocrisy.

On Sunday, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.)  became the highest-ranking Republican to suggest support for the repeal of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Birth tourism:  Is anyone addressing the recently revealed Korean “birth tourism”  where expectant mothers can come to the United States to have their babies for a price (it costs about $20 – 50,000 USD.  ) These mothers are seeking protection for their child.  They do not want their child who would then be an American citizen  to join the military in South Korea.  Mandatory service in the military is not applicable to children who are not South Korean citizens.  Is this not the definition of anchor baby?

Looks like Joe the Plumber has to find a job after all.  His federal lawsuit that claimed former state employees violated the constitutional rights of a man Republicans dubbed Joe the Plumber by illegally accessing his personal information.

Sharron Angle has overtaken Sarah Palin and Michael Steele’s title of the gift that keeps on giving. Ms. Angle had the blogosphere abuzz  two days ago when she told Fox News reporter Carl Cameron that she expected to have Fox News boost her campaign contributions by telling viewers to vote for her.  She also told the reporter that she expected Fox news to only ask her the questions that she wants to answer.  One must say Mr. Angles’ demands are unthinkable, that is, except Fox News has already been doing just that for her.  Her honesty about what she wants may have a few FNC execs pulling out their hair, though!

More on GOP duplicity and hypocrisy:  Lately, the talk among the right is a move to over turn the 14th amendment to end the “anchor baby” crisis, according to them.  They claim the 14th amendment is outdated.  Yet on their  site, they actually tout the passage of  14th amendment as a GOP accomplishment.

If Lou Dobbs say they have gone too far over talk of overturning the 14th amendment, then you know…they have gone too far!

Finally, Soda Head sums it up:

In the schizophrenic world that is illegal immigration politics, the public, in various polls, backs immigration reform, wants tougher illegal immigration laws, wants a system to legalize them and doesn’t put illegal immigration high on their priority list.
But politicians, especially Republicans, continue to pounce on the issue because while it can’t be easily fixed, it’s an issue that can be easily digested into a sound bite.
The latest manifestation of this is the growing call to amend the U.S. Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment, and end giving citizenship rights to anyone born in this country whose parents are not citizens or legal residents.
“If both parents are here illegally,” said Arizona Republican Jon Kyl, on “Face the Nation,” “should there be a reward for their illegal behavior?”
Amending the Constitution is not easy as it requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate, and then has to be ratified by three-fourths of state legislative bodies.