Monday, September 19, 2005

Minority Rule

John Hinderaker makes an excellent point about Democrats and Judge Roberts:
This whole Supreme Court nomination story has gotten a little weird, with everyone in suspense over whether the minority Democrats will approve Bush's nominees. Who cares? Since when does the Senate minority get to establish the critieria for Supreme Court nominations? When Clinton nominated Ruth Ginsburg in 1993, do you remember any discussion of what she would have to do to satisfy the Republicans? No, neither do I. (In the event, she did nothing, and they voted for her anyway.)

The Bull Moose has a similarly smart post:
Roberts is a conventional conservative not a right wing revolutionary jurist.

People for the American Way knows this. The American people know this. The Family Research Council knows this. Ted Kennedy knows this. Sam Brownback knows this. And they will all take their predictable side on the question of his confirmation.

John Roberts is not the Moose's cup of tea. He will undoubtedly be far too differential to corporate power. But, alas, his candidate for the Presidency lost. And one of the consequences of an election is that the winner chooses Supreme Court vacancies. The view from this bench is that the President gets the benefit of the doubt on nominations - elections have consequences. . . .

Probably, the majority of the Democratic Senators will oppose Roberts. That is tactically unfortunate because their opposition will have less resonance if the President truly nominates an extremist for the O'Connor vacancy - the donkey crying wolf syndrome. Is the Democratic Party merely the sum of its interest groups? It is not unlikely that a large number of Democrats prefer controversial issues such as gay marriage and the pledge of allegiance to be resolved in the legislative process rather than be circumvented by judicial fiat.

Sometimes, an opposition has to dare to say "yea".

As always, the Democratic party would do better if they listened to the Moose.

Bonus: Beldar notes the stunning difference between the NY Times and Washington Post editorials on Roberts. I think we can safely attribute the Post's huge advantage to Ben Wittes. Wittes is one of the finest legal affairs writers in America and while the Post benefits from having his pen for their editorials, I wish he was able to step out under his own byline more often--he deserves the spotlight.

If I was Gail Collins and I was faced with an op-ed vacancy from, say, Paul Krugman, Wittes would be a blockbuster hire.


ELC said...

He will undoubtedly be far too differential to corporate power. Differential? Oh, my. That brings back memories of four semesters of the Calculus. :-)

Bizarro Jack said...

Well, do consider that this is not the dominant issue that got Bush into power. If the election was just for "guy who picks supreme court justices" without "tax plan man" and "commander in chief" tied in, he wouldn't have won. Of course, all of those are one job, and he DID win, so of course the illiberals shouldn't stand down; It's not like we could keep these positions vacant til 2009 or later.

But I think the bottom line is that the "minority" party has much more interesting things to say about this position, while all the majority has to do is stand by their man (or incur the wrath of the money machine).

Jay D. Homnick said...

"Deferential" is the word he was looking for in that spot.

Michael said...

You think the Dems can use the "We are saving the country from another Michael Brown" gambit?