Schumer: No More Free Rides For Bush SCOTUS Nominees

Chalk this one up as better late than never:

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a powerful member of the Democratic leadership, said Friday the Senate should not confirm another U.S. Supreme Court nominee under President Bush “except in extraordinary circumstances.”

“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation,” Schumer told the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”

. . . Senators were too quick to accept the nominees’ word that they would respect legal precedents, and “too easily impressed with the charm of Roberts and the erudition of Alito,” Schumer said. “There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked,” said Schumer, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee and heads the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Yes, Senator. You were. More.

In Friday’s speech, he said his “greatest regret” in the last Congress was not doing more to scuttle Alito. “Alito shouldn’t have been confirmed,” Schumer said. “I should have done a better job. My colleagues said we didn’t have the votes, but I think we should have twisted more arms and done more.” . . . Schumer said there were four lessons to be learned from Alito and Roberts: Confirmation hearings are meaningless, a nominee’s record should be weighed more heavily than rhetoric, “ideology matters” and “take the president at his word.” “When a president says he wants to nominate justices in the mold of [Antonin] Scalia and [Clarence] Thomas,” Schumer said, “believe him.”


Update [2007-7-27 22:12:42 by Big Tent Democrat]: I told you so:

Well, I don't know what Dems in Washington are thinking, but it is my view that we fight over this SCOTUS nomination AND the next one, if Bush puts up unacceptable nominees.

Robert is slated to replace the swing vote on many, if not most, of the momentous issues facing the Court. The Bush Administration has stonewalled and covered up Roberts' record on the key issues. Privacy. The Commerce power. Executive power. Civil rights. Federal jurisdiction. Right now, Roberts has not demonstrated his worthiness for the Court and has a paper trail of opposing privacy that makes him unacceptable. Today, he must be filibustered based on the record made available for review by the Bush Administration.

So, the SCOTUS fight is this nomination and the next. The Senate must have the information necessary to determine whether Bush's nominees are out of the mainstream. So far, even on the sparse record, it appears Roberts is clearly out of the mainstream and unacceptable.

What Democrats must do is establish a clear standard of acceptability and stick to it. I think Justice O'Connor sets the bar. Bush should nominate judges with Justice O'Connor's temperament and views. A conservative Justice in the mainstream with demonstrated respect for the institution and for stare decisis. This is fair and right and what the American people desire.
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  • Display: Sort:
    How Lame (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 07:13:24 PM EST

    Hollow posturing (none / 0) (#7)
    by baba durag on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:00:00 PM EST
    Sounds like the haze of denial is finally breaking (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by brklyngrl on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 07:35:13 PM EST
    At least on the Democratic side.

    Here's my question: Was there ever a reason not to believe Bush when he said he wanted to nominate judges in the mold of Scalia and Thomas?

    Well, Harriet Miers was more Fredo than Scalia n/t (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Geekesque on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 07:41:05 PM EST
    BITTER?? (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Sumner on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:22:36 PM EST

    Heh (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:31:05 PM EST
    I hear ya.

    Chuck Schumer is dead to me. [/Michael Corleone] (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Ellie on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 08:04:15 AM EST
    Right. He shoved people the Dems owed bigtime out of the tent to ccourt no-choice deadbeats who were supposed to -- and didn't -- lock arms with the party on "big" issues like Iraq (among others.) Well we all know how that went down.

    ::: shockers :::

    It didn't take long YET A-FREAKIN-GAIN to see that Dem leadership, with Schumer up front airing his teeth, gambled away rights that were not his to lose in return for magic beans that wouldn't get a fart out of an incontinent mouse.

    I'd count myself lucky if the only future awareness I had of self-serving scumbags like this was at my poker table but never at my dinner table. (A girl's gotta eat.)

    Boy, you'd think he just discovered (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 07:05:57 PM EST
    everything you wrote in 2005 and 2006. Go figure.

    sarcasm to follow (none / 0) (#13)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 10:16:36 PM EST
    it's better timing to realize it now... back then it was just paranoid delusion, now it's confirmed and no one will blame him for being level headed and slow in his realization.

    A lot easier to say this as Chairman. eom (none / 0) (#3)
    by Geekesque on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 07:32:32 PM EST

    Sure (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 07:33:49 PM EST
    Hoodwinked is putting (none / 0) (#10)
    by Electa on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:37:18 PM EST
    it mildly.  The Senate fell prey to the propaganda machine and the neocon dilusional tactics.  Civil Rights and socio-justice organizations across this country advised this Senate not to confirm Roberts.  They didn't listen and now the country will suffer for the next 40 yrs.

    It seems time for another one of your (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:42:42 PM EST
    "will he now. . .?" diaries about Iraq. ;-)

    Yeah? (none / 0) (#12)
    by rdandrea on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 08:45:57 PM EST
    So why did Bush SCOTUS nominees get a free ride in the first place?

    Just sayin' ya know?

    why do they think (none / 0) (#14)
    by pyrrho on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 10:27:22 PM EST
    "I'm really stupid" is a good defense exactly?  decades at a time...

    I am waiting to hear them realize "oh... minorities can filibuster!?!?  who knew!?  we thought you said 'Professor Mustard'".

    Heh (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 10:27:45 PM EST
    Schumer is My Hero (none / 0) (#16)
    by LiberalsAreSuperDuper on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 10:48:12 PM EST
    Chuck Schumer stands for the people. Justice Alito and Justice Roberts stand for capitalist fat cats.  In my opinion, standing for the people is better.  I guess that's just how I was raised.  I would like to work for Senator Schumer but that probably won't happen because I am not qualified. Talk to you later my good friends!    

    Let's hope never again (none / 0) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:07:52 PM EST
    What does that mean? (none / 0) (#19)
    by LiberalsAreSuperDuper on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:46:20 PM EST
    You can read Schumers Statement (none / 0) (#18)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:37:25 PM EST
    to the ACS Convention here.

    Pls apply viewer sensitivity warnings for the vid (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ellie on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 09:26:29 AM EST
    I had the privilege to take part in their confirmation hearings, and I did my best to perform my solemn constitutional duty to assess their fitness to take their seats on the high court.

    Bleccch, not according to my eyes and ears. Here's the excuse-laden schwah. I'd advise avoiding doing what I did and watching/listening over breakfast.

    (Oh, what a world! Every day he's pained! Golly, even squiring no-choice hardliners to the front of the tent?!)


    And he'll reverse himself (none / 0) (#20)
    by jarober on Fri Jul 27, 2007 at 11:50:39 PM EST
    As soon as a Democrat gets in the White House, he'll  call anything vaguely similar from the Republicans heresy.  And "Big Tent" will too.

    dangerstein (none / 0) (#23)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 02:21:24 PM EST
    in the Politico on impeachment the other day got me seeing a bit more to the dynamic on calling for impeachment. It made sense to me of why the Rethugs are daring Dems to start impeachment - they're hoping to drive a wedge between the party and the base over it. There certainly would seem to be a danger for such an emotional issue to get out of control and bite Dems if they refuse to act on the demands of the base. But taking an aggressive stance on investigations and oversight outside of impeachment, and statements like this of Schumer's of contrition and promises to stick to a line in the sand could go a long way toward defusing the dangers.

    It also made it a bit clearer why the more party-focused people are still so opposed to impeachment while the independent ones like JMM (and me) are starting to hear the call despite the facts on the ground.

    Dangerstein? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 03:21:43 PM EST
    Uh oh. I may need to check my thinking if he agrees with me.

    A warning sign all right (none / 0) (#25)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 04:41:48 PM EST
    You may be in the early throes of Seriousness.

    Heh (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jul 28, 2007 at 06:16:24 PM EST