Carol Platt Liebau: A Shortsighted Precedent

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Shortsighted Precedent

With support from three Judiciary Committee Democrats, John Roberts' nomination is out of committee and headed for the Senate floor.

Not a single Democrat has opposed Roberts on the grounds that he lacks the qualifications, the ethics or the temperament to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Instead, as the story linked above indicates, they have based their opposition on Judge Roberts' appropriate reluctance to prejudge cases, his refusal to answer questions about his personal political predilections, and his (presumed) failure to share the left wing judicial philosophy of lightweights like Joe Biden.

Do the Democrats understand what kind of precedent they're setting here? Perhaps they should be paying more attention to the analysis of the brilliant Michael Barone, whose views are discussed today in a column by Jim Pinkerton:

Looking ahead to 2006, Barone sees good news for Republicans. He notes that Bush carried 31 states last year, compared to Kerry's 19. That means that if the trend toward polarization continues - "red" states getting redder, "blue" states getting bluer - the GOP has little reason to fear losing the Senate.

So presumably, the future looks "rosy" red for Roberts and others like him . . . but not quite so inviting should the Republicans decide to play the Democrats' game, in the (unhappy) event that a Democratic president gets to do the nominating.


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