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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Committee Approves Roberts 13-5

By a vote of 13-5, the Senate Judiciary Committee has recommended Judge John G. Roberts for confirmation as Chief Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court. Three Democrats (Leahy, Kohl, and Feingold) joined the ten Republicans on the committee in voting in favor of Roberts. Democratic Senators Feinstein, Durbin, Kennedy, Biden, and Schumer opposed Roberts' confirmation.

By opposing Roberts, these Senators have really boxed themselves in regarding future nominations. Despite Roberts' excellent credentials, his impressive performance before the committee, and his overwhelming popularity with the rest of the nation, these Democrats still refuse to support him. Unless President Bush were to nominate a bona fide liberal to replace Justice O'Connor, it is clear that these Democrats on the Judiciary Committee will not support the President's nominee.

This is extremely shortsighted of these Senate Democrats. With 55 Republic Senators and an agreement from 7 Democrats not to filibuster absent "extraordinary circumstances," President Bush does not need the Democrats' support in order to have his nominees confirmed. Furthermore, though their votes against Roberts will satisfy their liberal base in the short term, Senate Democrats need to start thinking of the precedents they are creating. After all, it is possible that one day a Democrat will be in a position to nominate someone to the Supreme Court, and that that Democrat will need Republican votes in the Senate in order to achieve the needed majority to have the nominee confirmed. Are the Senate Democrats prepared to live with the precedents they are setting (or perhaps they really see no possibility of sending another Democrat to the White House)?