"Deference" To The President's Judicial Nominees

During the nuclear option fights of the Bush Administration era, I always argued against those who claimed that the Senate owed the President unfettered deference regarding judicial nominees. At best, the argument went, the Senate could only consider the nominee's "qualifications." I categorically rejected that view, arguing that the Senate's advise and consent Constitutional role provides the Senate not only the freedom, but the duty to consider all aspects of a nominee's record, including, maybe even especially, their ideology. After all, Senators are elected too.

I am pleased to see that the hypocrisy of the Republican position on this matter will be exposed now. For example, Republican Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) has already announced he will oppose the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to the SCOTUS:

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) became the first senator Thursday to go on the record to say that he would vote against Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. . . . "I do not plan to vote for her," Roberts told radio host Chris Stigall on KCMO Talk Radio 710 this morning.

Roberts' objection can not possibly be related to her qualifications. It must be about what he perceives is Judge Sotomayor's ideology. So the falsehood about deference to a President's judicial nominees is completely exposed. This is a good thing and as it should be.

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    Will the MSM hammer this hypocrisy? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:59:58 AM EST
    Almost assuredly not.  Which means, ultimately, that the hypocrisy is legitimized as principled.    

    Of course, most of the (2.00 / 1) (#11)
    by dk on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:52:32 PM EST
    Democrats will be hypocrites on this too.  Many of them voted against Roberts and Alito based upon their ideology, but will twist themselves in circles to not find out about Sotomayor's ideology, and instead just vote how their party leadership tells them to vote.

    (Note:  Not necessarily saying that Sotomayor holds non-liberal views, just that these senators aren't going to demand that she tells us what her views are.)

    Hypocrisy? (none / 0) (#1)
    by bocajeff on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:50:56 AM EST
    In D.C.? Say it ain't so!

    Not from me (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:55:48 AM EST
    Course I am not in DC.

    The one thing I still hold against (none / 0) (#3)
    by Cream City on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:57:35 AM EST
    my great Senator Feingold is that stand of his about deference to Bush for his nominees.  I did not elect a rubber stamp to go to Washington.  I do not understand how one can talk and talk about holding to principles and then defer on an appointment of someone against those principles.

    So I'm fine with Senators opposing Sotomayor -- but only if it is based on principles.  Roberts just sounds like he's rubber-stamping, too, just in the opposite way.

    He is consistent in this view (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:58:59 AM EST

    I have always disagreed with him on this point.


    Not quite consistent (none / 0) (#12)
    by Cream City on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:56:14 PM EST
    but almost.  But that's not consistent, then.

    He distinguished (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ben Masel on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:17:29 PM EST
    deference on Cabinet and other temporary posts from greater scrutiny of lifetime Judiciary appointments.

    Not completely (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:19:57 PM EST
    I think he has given the PResident deference on judicial appointments as well. Just not as much as for executive branch appointments.

    He said so (none / 0) (#13)
    by Cream City on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:56:50 PM EST
    but then wavered. . . .

    Yeah (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:01:03 PM EST
    well, I knew they were lying when they said this so I'm not really going to complain about them opposing her. Whatever.

    He voted against her (none / 0) (#9)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:28:12 PM EST
    in 1988 also.  Would not hypocrisy be voting no in 88 then voting yes now?

    That would be a different type of hypocrisy (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:31:31 PM EST
    But of course he could say that after seeing her performance, his views on her changed. sort of like the crap Jeff Rosen pulled on Diane Wood.

    The hypocrisy I am writing about this claim of deference to the President's judicial choices.  


    Hmm (none / 0) (#14)
    by me only on Thu May 28, 2009 at 12:58:36 PM EST
    My memory is not what is used to be, but conflating the "nuclear option" and deference to the President is not what I recall.  What the Republicans wanted in regards to Alito and Roberts was a vote.  The nuclear option was proposed to eliminate the filibuster, not to end Senate Review.  Senator Roberts has indicated that he will vote (again) against judge Sotomayor, not that he will filibuster her.

    Has any recent (since FDR) SC nominee received 100% of the Senate confirmation vote?

    Senate confirmation votes (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu May 28, 2009 at 01:13:54 PM EST

    Kennedy was a 97-0 vote, Scalia was 98-0, O'Connor was 99-0, Stevens was 98-0, Blackmun was 94-0, and Morrison Waite (under Grant) got a 63-0 vote.  Those were the only unanimous vote-getters.


    :ow do you know (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Thu May 28, 2009 at 01:56:57 PM EST
    This bit of arcane info?

    Did you click (none / 0) (#17)
    by me only on Thu May 28, 2009 at 02:23:27 PM EST
    on the link?

    Ahhhh (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Thu May 28, 2009 at 07:59:30 PM EST