Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Let The Games Begin
Yes, I've been otherwise occupied for the past week or so and thus unable to post on the news of the day. I've got some catching up to do, and I might as well start with the search for a new Supreme.
For those of you living on Pluto, in Death Valley, or some other region that has yet to get cable news, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor retired from the SCOTUS last Friday. Politicians, pundits, bloggers, and even some skid row drunks rushed to microphones, cameras, keyboards, and barstools all across the country.
In an effort to warn the Blogosphere about impending liberal whinings, the SOTR Department of Blogosphere Sanity raised the Blogosphere Liberal Alert System to its highest level (RED/SCREECH) for the first time.
Scrappleface reported that Ted "Scotch" Kennedy had already slammed an "Unnamed Supreme Court Nominee as a "brutal, Bible-thumping, right-wing ideologue who hates minorities, women and cocker spaniels." Proving that illustrating absurdity by being absurd is often not far from the truth, today's Washington Post carries an editorial approved by Scotch Kennedy.
I say "approved" and not "written" because I do not believe, even for a moment, that Scotch writes his own editorials. I personally believe his staffers had to interrupt Scotch's 4th of July liquor-fest (which no doubt started sometime on June 30th) in order to get him to sign the copy. That said, here are a few excerpts from Kennedy's editorial:
If both the president and the Senate must agree on an appointment, there is a strong incentive to select people who can obtain a consensus in the nation and in the Senate. It means picking from a list of mainstream lawyers and judges who have demonstrated that they are dedicated to the Constitution and the rights it guarantees. It means avoiding candidates who would come to the court with personal, partisan or ideological agendas. It means ignoring the advice of those who prefer that the president pick fights with the Senate instead of picking judges with the Senate."What Kennedy is attempting to do here is redefine the "Advise and Consent" clause of the Constitution. The President appoints who he wants to appoint. The Senate then has the right to confirm or reject said appointee (by a simple majority vote). The Senate has no role in the process of choosing, vetting, or otherwise nominating the appointee. The Senate has no seat at that table. Its an Executive Decision, not a Legislative one.
Memo to Kennedy staff - you might want to retake that High School Civics class you slept (or were otherwise indisposed) through.
Not to be out done, "Slow" Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware penned his editorial in the San Diego Union Tribune. Am I the only person who sees the irony in a Delaware senator pontificating in a Southern California newspaper? I don't believe "Slow" Joe wrote this himself, either. He has, after all, a documented history of plagiarism. That said, some "Slow" Joe "wisdom":
But we don't have to have a confirmation process characterized by confrontation and division. The Senate's level of scrutiny of a nominee is, in large part, determined by the president's own actions. When a president selects nominees to the court primarily on the basis of detachment and statesmanship, with a sensitivity to the balance of the court and to the concerns of the country as a whole and, the Senate should be inclined to respond in kind. That's what happened when President Nixon appointed Justice Powell (89-1), when President Ford appointed Justice Stevens (98-0), and when President Clinton appointed Justices Ginsburg (96-3) and Breyer (87-9)."Slow" Joe actually makes an important point. You'll notice the confirmation vote for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 96-3. Ginsburg is so far to the left of the judicial, political, and any other spectrum, she's in danger of falling off the edge. Yet she was confirmed by a Republican controlled Senate.
No delaying tactics.
No 30 year old accusations of inappropriate throwing of telephones, chasing co-workers through hotel lobbies.
Ginsburg is a liberal justice appointed by a liberal president. She was confirmed by a Senate led by people who understood that a president appoints, and the Senate - unless evidence proving unfitness for the bench is provided - exercises its constitutional duty and consents to the confirmation of the nominee.
Will the liberals in the Jackass Caucus of the US Senate consent to the confirmation of a conservative nominee put forth by a conservative president?
Don't hold your breath.
Here endeth the lesson.