Friday, March 10, 2006

Claude Allen, one time Bully Boy nominee to the 4th Circuit, arrested

Claude Alexander Allen, 45, was arrested Thursday by Montgomery County police for allegedly claiming refunds for more than $5,000 worth of merchandise he did not buy, according to county and federal authorities.
Allen was the No. 2 official in the Health and Human Services Department when Bush nominated him in April 2003 to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. Bush nominated Allen to the court again a year later, but he never received a Senate vote.
During his confirmation hearing, Allen was questioned about his use of the word "queer" when he was a press aide to Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., in 1984. Allen said he didn't intend it as a slur against gay people.
In early 2005, Bush hired Allen as a domestic policy
adviser. He resigned abruptly on Feb. 9, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Rebecca just phoned to pass on the above, Stephen Manning's "Former White House Adviser Arrested" (Associated Press). What doesn't the article tell you?

"Never received a vote"? Claude, we hardly knew you.

First an endorsement. C. Boyden Gray's "Claude Allen & His Enemies" (July8, 2004, National Review Online -- click here for google cache link to a right wing court site):

In April 2003, President Bush announced his intention to nominate Claude Alexander Allen to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which reaches from Virginia to South Carolina. Sixteen months later, as with so many of the president's other nominees -- courtesy of Senate Democrats -- Allen is still waiting.... The opposition to Allen is directed by left-wing interest groups, from where Senate Democrats increasingly take their marching orders.

Google cache of Traditional Values Coalition whining about the "vilification from liberals" of Alexander.

Now for some reality about this "solid" choice to serve on the bench. From Jack Newfield's "More Bad Judges" (The Nation):

A third horror in the pipeline is Claude Allen, awaiting renomination to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and now the Deputy Secretary for Health and Human Services. Allen has supported antichoice statutes and regulations; urged sexual abstinence as the solution to AIDS and teen pregnancy; and opposed expanded health insurance for poor children. Allen has been involved in Republican politics for many years. In fact, Allen, who is African-American, was Jesse Helms's press secretary during Helms's racist campaign for re-election in 1984.
Bush is trying to transform America through lifetime judicial appointments for this biased batch and their clones. The bottom line is that the reckless Bushies are willing to violate computer privacy and vandalize the Bill of Rights to expedite this transformation. George W. Bush was appointed President by the Supreme Court after losing the popular vote by more than 500,000. Now he is trying to use the courts to legislate a mandate the voters never gave him by abusing the power of appointment and ignoring the Constitution's "advise and consent" clause.

From BuzzFlash's interview with Esther Kaplan:

BuzzFlash: How does the Bush administration's efforts to please the religious right influence federal judicial appointments?
Esther Kaplan: Let me count the ways. Honestly, for every burning issue on the Christian right agenda, Bush has nominated ferocious advocates to the federal bench. On the campaign against sex education, the evangelical right got appeals court nominee Claude Allen, who, as our current deputy secretary for health (Tommy Thompson's number two), has become the nation's most powerful advocate for replacing comprehensive sex education with abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. On their campaign against gay rights, they got Michael McConnell, a hero to the Christian right for successfully defending the Boy Scouts before the Supreme Court, when the organization sought to exclude gay kids. Or William Pryor, mentioned above, who wrote a brief in the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case comparing gay sex to bestiality, pedophilia, incest, prostitution, and necrophilia.

Focus on the Fool enjoyed chatting with Allen -- from Media Matters' "White House adviser Allen appeared on Dobson show, failed to repudiate stem cell/Nazi comparison while joining in Frist attack:"

One day after Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson compared embryonic stem cell research to Nazi medical experiments, White House domestic policy adviser Claude Allen appeared on Dobson's radio program and echoed Dobson's opposition to stem cell research without mentioning -- much less repudiating -- his reference to Nazi atrocities.
Allen also echoed Dobson's attack on Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), which continued for a second day in a row. Frist
announced on July 29 that he now supports expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research beyond the restrictions currently imposed by the Bush administration.
From the
August 4 edition of the Focus on the Family radio program:
DOBSON: I want to devote today's program to a subject that, as you know, is very close to my heart, having to do with embryonic stem cell research and, specifically, that which destroys tiny human life. We discussed that subject yesterday with reference to Senator Bill Frist and several of his Republican colleagues, who have shifted their views from a decidedly pro-life perspective to a more utilitarian position, and we regret that abandonment of what we consider the ethical and moral stance.
The day before, on August 3, Dobson said on the program:
In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true.
Dobson's August 3 comments, which Media Matters for America first noted, produced outrage among such groups as the Anti-Defamation League, which
demanded an apology from Dobson. Notwithstanding Dobson's comments, the White House sent Allen to appear on the August 4 broadcast, during which he echoed Dobson's criticisms of Frist but said nothing about Dobson's Nazi comparison.
Dobson introduced Allen with profuse praise. "I just said how much I love and appreciate you, and it comes directly from my heart," Dobson told Allen. Allen responded in kind, declaring, "It is such a privilege to be on your program. You too have been just dear to me and my family, and so we're very grateful for that. And thank you for your leadership on so many issues that are important to the family and our nation."

[. . .]
Referring directly to Frist, Allen echoed Dobson's comments. "I think that's absolutely right," Allen said. "First off all, I'd say with regards to Senator Frist, it certainly is disappointing to hear when any political leader expresses the view that government should encourage the destruction of human embryos, for the very reason that we're talking about. Simply because someone says that this embryo is unwanted, it doesn't make that embryo unworthy of life or unworthy of protection." Allen added: "It's even more concerning when we say that government, that our tax dollars should be used to destroy those lives. And so we're very concerned."

And here's how his tenure in the administration ended, a February 9, 2006 announcement by Scott McClellan at a White House press briefing:

MR. McCLELLAN: Good afternoon, everyone. I've got a couple of announcements to make, and then some brief remarks, and then I'll be glad to go to your questions.
First of all, I have a
statement from the President. "Claude Allen has been a trusted adviser since 2001. As Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services, he worked to improve the health and welfare of all Americans. During the past year he has served as my top domestic policy advisor at the White House and has helped develop policies that will strengthen our nation's families, schools and communities. Claude is a good and compassionate man, and he has my deep respect and my gratitude. I thank him for his many years of principled and dedicated service to our country. Laura and I wish Claude and his family all the best."
And just a personal note, for all of us who have worked here closely with Claude, we have the highest respect for him, and we will certainly miss him. And we wish him all the best.

"Claude is a good and compassionate man," said the Bully Boy. Right away, you knew to be suspicious. Maybe that's what tipped off the police? The White House has no word on the arrest (or charge) yet. Bully Boy nominated him for the court, Bully Boy hired him for Health and Human Services, Bully Boy hired him as a personal, domestic adviser. So is the line going to be, "I hardly knew him." Another Kenny-Boy Lay kicked to the curb? Another Jack Abramoff forgotten?

Last word goes Patrick Leahy, from "Statement Of Senator Patrick Leahy On The Nomination Of Claude Allen Executive Business Meeting Of The Judiciary Committee July 8, 2004:"

In addition to these procedural difficulties, this nomination has many problems on the merits. This nominee could not be more different from the man he would replace. Claude Allen is a conservative political operative with little litigation experience and extreme views. He has practiced law for a total of six and a half years. This is much less than the minimum 12 years suggested by the American Bar Association. This may be one reason why the ABA’s peer review rating of this nomination included partially "not qualified." He is among the more than two dozen judicial nominees with "not qualified" or partially "not qualified" ratings sent to the Senate by this President.
Where Mr. Allen has had substantive experience, he has shown himself to be extreme with a reputation for recalcitrance and an unwillingness to work with others of differing views. A judge needs to be able to consider facts and legal arguments that might contradict the outcome he would personally like. I have a number of questions about Mr. Allen's actions, including when he served at the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and apparently refused to promote the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and whether he used audits of safe-sex programs to strike out at critics and at programs with which he personally did not agree.

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