MSNBC story on the fact almost all Judiciary Committee Republicans will vote not to confirm.
To summarize: the Republican senators of the panel (with the notable exception of Lindsey Graham, which, damn it, may force me to rethink my opinions of the man :eek: ) intend to vote against confirming Justice Sotomayor. I suppose it’s not too surprising, but in light of the relatively innocuous nature of the situation (replacing a moderate-to-liberal justice with a moderate-to-liberal justice), I was kind of hoping that everyone would go back to limiting their opposition to nominees from the other party’s president to expressions of possible doubt, followed by sighing, gruding acquiesence to the fact that there was no legitimate reason not to confirm. You know, like how things used to was.
Here are a sampling of quotes from the committee’s Republicans:
Sen. Sessions: “Sotomayor’s writings and speeches amount to ‘dramatic expressions of an activist view of judging’.” (quoting article quoting Sessions)
Sen. Grassley: “There’s no doubt that Judge Sotomayor has the credentials on paper to be a justice on the Supreme Court. But, her nomination hearing left me with more questions than answers about her judicial philosophy…”
Sen. Johanns: "[P]articularly troubled about Sotomayor’s stance on gun rights, " (according to the article).
And then, the real clincher, again from Sen. Grassley: “He said his vote to confirm Souter ‘has come back to haunt me time and again.’ He added that Sotomayor’s vague answers on the constitutional separation of powers ‘left me with the same pit in my stomach … that I hoped to have cured with his retirement.’” (quoting from article, quoting Grassley)
So Sen. Grassley thinks that Justice Souter was someone he shouldn’t have confirmed! You know, incredibly liberal, horribly activist Justice Souter. Right.
So it’s finally come to this: in the process of advising and consenting, the Sentate has decided that the litmus test for approval of a justice to our Supreme Court is not the way in which the judge under consideration handles his/her duties as a judge (professionalism and judicial demeanor). Instead, it’s all about the politics, now. Who cares if they are rational, calm, decorous persons? Who cares if they are relatively moderate? It doesn’t matter. If you don’t agree with their politics, if you don’t think they will decide cases the way you would want them to, they don’t belong on the Court.
It’s getting way too silly any more. If this is how things are going to come down any more, then why bother with hearings? Why not just nominate, vote, and be done with it? If hearings are a waste of time, as these apparently were, if it’s all about voting against someone who is not ideologically aligned with you (or with your fan base), then let’s just get the vote on record and get on with the next order of business.
And before anyone tries to do so, it is not possible to lay this at the feet of the Republicans. The hearings over the last two Republican nominees showed an equally unreasonable approach on the part of the Democrats. I’m minded in all three cases of spoiled children stamping their feet and acting like it just ain’t fair.