Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Conservative Standard on Judicial Nominations

Jay Nordlinger correctly identifies the debate that exists among conservative Republicans:

One great question for conservatives and Republicans is, What should be our standard? What should be our standard in confirming or rejecting Supreme Court nominations? The Republican practice has been clear: We just wave ’em through. A Stephen Breyer comes up, a Ruth Bader Ginsburg — she was general counsel to the ACLU! And we just wave ’em through.

Barack Obama and many other Democrats think differently: If a conservative comes up, they vote against him — because he is a conservative. Obama did this with John Roberts and Samuel Alito. He admitted that they were perfectly qualified to serve on the Court. At the same time, they were not qualified — they were unfit — because they were, in a word, conservatives.Should conservative senators vote against liberal Supreme Court nominees on the Obama principle — on an ideological basis? Should the standard be tit-for-tat, in this realm? That is the question.

And I’m not yet sure of the answer. All I know is: Liberal nominees are lucky that conservative and Republican senators don’t operate on the Obama principle.


While Mr. Nordlinger professes not to know the answer, I believe that I do. Senator Obama and other Democrats were wrong about this. If the nominee is qualified, he/she should not be rejected on philosophical grounds.

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