So, I was reading this article in the New York Times about how Senator Patrick J. Leahy (the ranking Dem on the Senate Judiciary Committee) has recently sent letters to President Bush urging him to “consult” with Democrats before nominating anyone for the as-yet theoretical vacancy on the Supreme Court. Another SJC Democrat, Charles Schumer of New York, went so far as to send Mr. Bush a list of candidates that the Democrats might be generous enough to let pass through the confirmation process. Based on the names on the list that I recognized, it’s a good bet that nobody who cares about the rights on pre-born children will have an opportunity to serve our country in that position of honor.
I guess I must be ignorant, because that’s not how I remember it working when I learned about the confirmation process in civics class. I think the Democratic senators need to be very careful that their obstructionism doesn’t cost them even more seats in the upper chamber than they lost during the last cycle.
Here’s a great quote from the article:
“‘The courts are the one part of government people yearn to believe is free of politics,’ Mr. Leahy said. ‘That’s why the Florida case shook people so much,’ a reference to the Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore that resulted in Mr. Bush’s presidency.”
Let me just clarify something here: it wasn’t the Republicans that went to the courts trying to rewrite the electoral process in the first place. Secondly, to say that the court’s ruling was political — basically charging that the justices made their decisions based on personal political beliefs — is a pretty serious accusation. I wonder what the Democrats wanted — 6 months of limbo while a system that already proved itself incompetent counted over and over until just one time it came up with the results that it wanted? And then what, accuse the Republicans of obstructionism when they would have (rightfully) taken that result to court?
While I’m ranting about liberal politics, I might as well throw in that the Republicans didn’t contest shady election results in Chicago, or in St. Louis, where even the liberals had enough sense left to know that the easiest way to elect a dead man to the U.S. Senate is to have dead men vote for him. Okay, I’d better stop now.
But to respond to Mr. Leahy’s assertion about our beliefs in the courts: bull-oney. Nobody with an ounce of sense believes that judicial appointments aren’t political. Each party nominates candidates whose track records more or less jive with the positions of the party platform, and Democrats are far worse about litmus testing than Republicans. That’s because Republicans, in general, believe that the courts are supposed to interpret the law (as per the Constitution) while Democrats, again in general, believe that the courts are there to rewrite the laws. Okay, I’m really ending my rant now.