In it, but not of it. TPM DC

The White House and Democratic leaders in Congress were in top political form on Friday, ushering the Waxman-Markey bill to passage by the narrowest of margins. In so doing, they picked off Democratic fence sitters strategically, to use what leverage they have to pressure Senate moderates into voting for passage as well.

For instance, a number of Democratic reps from states like Indiana, Missouri, and others voted for passage, which could make it harder for skeptical senators like Claire McCaskill and Evan Bayh to filibuster, or vote against it.

They also tailored the bill in such a way that it will be more palatable to Democratic senators from manufacturing states--like Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania and Sherrod Brown in Ohio--than past climate change bills have been.

But much will also depend on the timeline.

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Now this is a truly bizarre story, about a Democratic Congressional candidate's fundraising event being raided by a whole squad from the San Diego Sheriff's Department -- including pepper-spray and a helicopter!

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a fundraiser for Francine Busby, who previously ran for the deeply-Republican Fiftieth District and came close to winning in the 2006 special election and subsequent regular election, was raided by sheriffs after an unnamed neighbor made a noise complaint. Busby now calls it a "phony" noise complaint, and the article says that multiple neighbors said there was no great noise at all.

Here's the twist: The fundraiser was hosted by a lesbian couple, and shortly before the sheriffs came a particular neighbor had shouted anti-gay slurs at the assembled crowd. "It was a quiet home reception, disrupted by a vulgar person shouting obscenities from behind the bushes," Busby says.

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This is already making the rounds. Conservatives are alleging that, in today's ruling, all nine Supreme Court justices have disputed the reasoning of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals--and therefore of Sonia Sotomayor herself--in the Ricci case. See here and here.

But where did they come up with such a claim? It turns out they're citing the 10th footnote in Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissenting opinion, which reads "The lower courts focused on respondents' "intent" rather than on whether respondents in fact had good cause to act. See 554 F. Supp. 2d 142, 157 (Conn. 2006). Ordinarily, a remand for fresh consideration would be in order. But the Court has seen fit to preclude further proceedings. I therefore explain why, if final adjudication by this Court is indeed appropriate, New Haven should be the prevailing party."

Ergo, Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Stevens, and Souter all think Sotomayor is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. Or something.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is now raising campaign cash off her floor speech this past Friday, Greg Sargent reports, in which she boldly called the climate-change bill a government takeover of "every aspect" of people's lives by a tyrannical government.

"When I spoke on the floor during the debate, I laid the question out in its most bare-boned terms: this is about liberty versus tyranny," Bachmann writes.

She later adds: "Please help me show that conservatives will not simply stand by while they destroy jobs, delete liberty, and decimate our economy."

Delete liberty? Remember, patriotic Americans, there's still time to go to the Dock at the bottom of your screen, and grab that liberty file back out of the Trash!

Full e-mail after the jump.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)--chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee--is out with a statement criticizing the Supreme Court's opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano and warning conservatives not to wield it as a cudgel against Sonia Sotomayor. "It would be wrong to use today's decision to criticize Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who sat on the panel of the Second Circuit that heard this case but did not write its unanimous opinion," Leahy said.

Judge Sotomayor and the lower court panel did what judges are supposed to do, they followed precedent. It is notable that four justices would have upheld the Second Circuit's ruling, including the retiring Justice Souter, who Judge Sotomayor is nominated to replace. The dissent concludes: "This Court has repeatedly emphasized that [Title VII] 'should not be read to thwart' efforts at voluntary compliance.. . . The strong-basis-in-evidence standard, however, as barely described in general, and cavalierly applied in this case, makes voluntary compliance a hazardous venture."


You can read his entire statement below the fold.

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Within an hour of the Supreme Court's ruling in the Ricci case, the Federalist Society hosted a conference call for reporters with a number of conservative legal experts--speed readers presumably--each of whom hit upon a couple themes we're already seeing Sonia Sotomayor's opponents trumpet.

Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity suggested that the ruling "gives the Senate Judiciary Committee a lot to ask about" and that it brings to light her past statements on this issue.

He was joined by Gail Heriot, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law in the insistence that each of the nine Justices had rejected Sotomayor's reasoning in her Second Circuit decision, a frame the Judicial Confirmation Network is also using. This, of course, despite the fact that four of the justices think the second circuit decided the case correctly.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is bringing out some big names for the final days of the second fundraising quarter, with new fundraising e-mails signed by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright.

The Kerry e-mail, which was sent out today, alludes to the way Kerry was Swift-Boated in 2004. "I've seen first hand how the far right reacts when they see their failed policies challenged," says Kerry. "Rush Limbaugh calls for failure, and Republican House leaders back him up. When their attacks start flying, we need to hit them hard."

The Albright e-mail, which was sent out over the weekend, is a rare occurrence of a former Sec. of State taking a role in full-fledged partisan politics. "After eight years of Republican foreign policy mistakes, President Obama is attempting to restore America's international reputation and leadership," Albright says. "Not surprisingly, he is running into opposition from the same misguided politicians who led America into disaster under President George W. Bush."

Check out the full e-mails, after the jump.

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Conservative reactions to the Supreme Court's Ricci ruling are trickling in. Wendy Long, the leading face of the Sotomayor opposition, posted a press release on the web site for the Judicial Confirmation Network. The best part is the misspelling of Sonia Sotomayor's name (Long went for Sotomayer).



There's also this mystifying gem:

"Frank Ricci finally got his day in court, despite the judging of Sonia Sotomayor, which all nine Justices of U.S. Supreme Court have now confirmed was in error."

The ruling, of course, was 5-4. Oh, and this:

"What Judge Sotomayor did in Ricci was the equivalent of a pilot error resulting in a bad plane crash. And now the pilot is being offered to fly Air Force One." That's poetry, folks.

Check it out here, and let us know if Long fixes her spelling.

Late update: Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a member of the Judiciary Committee, took a shot at Sotomayor without calling her by name. "The Second Circuit should have recognized the serious and unique issues this case raised and given it the thorough treatment it deserved," he said in a statement.

Here's the full statement:

"The Supreme Court today correctly held that race-based employment decisions must be justified by facts, not fear," said Hatch. "These firefighters, who worked long and hard for it, were denied the chance for promotion because of their race.

"In the twenty-first century, race discrimination requires more justification than the fear of being sued. The Second Circuit should have recognized the serious and unique issues this case raised and given it the thorough treatment it deserved."

Over the weekend, after the Waxman-Markey climate change bill passed the House by a predictably slim margin, President Obama sat down with some climate and energy reporters to discuss the state of play of energy reform.

Addressing the political risk some Democrats took by voting for the bill, Obama mocked the GOP for perpetuating a myth that should be familiar to readers of TPMDC. "So are there going to be nay-sayers?" Obama asked. "Absolutely."

Are there going to be short-term instances where you can get political gain by scaring the bejesus out of people and telling them that their electricity rates are going to go up a thousand percent and this is going to be a tax of $3,000 -- even though the studies that they cite the authors of say that these guys are just lying about these costs? Yes. Those political talking points will, in some cases, have some short-term impact.

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In a 5-4 decision--in which Anthony Kennedy was once again the swing vote--the Supreme Court has rejected a decision by Sonia Sotomayor and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, finding that the city of New Haven's promotion policy for firefighters, amounted to discrimination against whites. The city had tossed out a promotions test on which black firefighters performed poorly, prompting a number of white firefighters to sue.

The ruling can be found here (PDF). This move could reignite the fight over Sotomayor, who Obama nominated to the Supreme Court this spring. Conservatives have repeatedly cited the case--Ricci v. Destefano--as evidence that the New York judge would favor minorities in her decisions as an Associate Justice.

Already, the RNC has released a "Research Briefing" called "Reaching on Ricci" in which they allege that Sotomayor has now had seven of her decisions go before the High Court, and the Court has agreed with her reasoning only once."

To reach that ratio, though, they cite one case--Knight v. Commissioner--in which the lower court's ruling was upheld.

Conservative groups and Sotomayor supporters alike will be weighing in throughout the day. We'll let you know what they have to say.

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