October 31, 2002
Bush's Judicial Plan

I deplore the Democratic Party's politicizing of judicial hearings, but this is not the way to fix the problem.

President Bush yesterday laid out an accelerated method for getting the judges he wants onto the federal bench, brushing aside longstanding traditions by trying to fill vacancies before they occur and demanding that the full Senate vote on all nominees.

The scary thing about this dispute is that I share the same opinion as Ralph Neas, commisar president of the uber-liberal People For the American Way. Of course, my reasons are not the same as his:

Requiring the full Senate to vote on all nominees "is contrary to about 220 years of Senate history and Senate precedent," he said.

What about the blather about the Consitution being a "living document"? I thought PFAW was "progressive", yet here he is defending hidebound traditions...

My opposition is because it violates the balance of power between the various branches of government, as envisioned by the framers of the Constitution. It is similar to the objection voiced by Neas, but it is (in my opinion) a bit more grounded than Neas' babbling.

posted on October 31, 2002 05:05 PM


My understanding of the plan is sketchy, but my understanding is that it RESTORES the balance intended by the founders. It was always intended that "the Senate", not a committee thereof, would advise and consent.

Do you have more information on the plan?

posted by Spoons on October 31, 2002 09:45 PM

I don't have a lot of info on the plan, only what I read in the article. However, it *does* fly in the face of the way things have been done in the past.

As I think about it, however, I think I might be coming around. After all, anything that Ralph Neas opposes can't be too bad... (grin)

The "filling vacancies before they are vacant" is what clears my sinuses, however, and suggests a potential for abuse. By requiring judges to announce their retirement ahead of time, the potential for mischief by an outgoing congress (or president, or both) has to be considered. All it would take is one rushed confirmation hearing to start a series of lawsuits.

posted by timekeeper on November 3, 2002 04:11 PM

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