Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Leahy and Schumer have rope ready

I hope I'm wrong to predict that the Democrats are ready to lynch Roberts. I sense they'll give him the same treatment they gave Clarence Thomas, and of course, Robert Bork.

Right now I don't have enough information to say whether or not Roberts would be a fine member of the high court. That won't matter to the Democrats, though. Once I heard Pat Leahy and Charles Schumer's remarks after Bush's press conference, I knew this is only the beginning. Just like the infamous "Democratic response" to Republican presidents' "State of the Union" addresses, the words had probably been prepared long before, with a few blanks filled in to make it sound specific. The underlying message that I heard was that the Democrats will use this to show Bush who's boss.

Leahy said a few nice-sounding things, like "To fulfill our constitutional duties," and "We have to ensure the Supreme Court remains a protector of all Americans' rights and liberties from government intrusion..." But he also said, "No one is entitled to a free pass to a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court," "all of these raise very different considerations than in the lower court," and a reference to "the extreme right." What this tells me is that enough Democrats went along with confirming Roberts for a federal judgeship, but this time they'll seize the opportunity to show Bush who's boss.

Leahy observed the danger of rubber-stamping a nominee, which is valid. Then in response to a question, he said a most questionable thing: "The Supreme Court, however, can interpret the law any way it wants." Did he mean "can" in that the Constitution gives the Court broad authority to interpret laws, or that the Court interprets law regardless of what the Constitution actually says? Sadly, the former is not true, and the second is. We've forgotten what Jefferson admonished us: "In questions of power, then let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down by the chains of the Constitution."

Schumer was more obvious about the upcoming power game: "The burden is on a nominee to the Supreme Court to prove that he is worthy, not on the Senate to prove that he is unworthy" and "But now it's a whole new ball game for those of us who voted against him, for those of us who voted for him and for Judge Roberts." He specifically noted how he voted against Roberts' confirmation to the federal bench,

What really struck me, however, was Schumer's ignorance of the Constitution: "Now that he is nominated for a position where he can overturn precedent and make law, it is even more important that he fully answers a broad range of questions."

Not according to Articles I and III of the Constitution, Chucky. A member of Congress ought to know better.

"For these reasons, it is vital that Judge Roberts answer a wide range of questions openly, honestly and fully in the coming months." (emphasis added) Months. Months?! We have just over two months before the Supreme Court will start its next session, so just how long is Schumer talking about?


Blogger Quincy said...

Actually, Schumer has rather accidentally captured the state of government with his "making law" quote.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 2:52:00 AM  
Blogger TKC said...

Judge Roberts was one of the judges in the Hamdan case.
Powerline talks about it here.

I'll give him a favorable mark for that but I'll still want to look around more before I'll say I like the guy for Supreme Court.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 4:37:00 PM  

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