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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Constitutionally Politicized Confirmation Process

Yale law prof Akhil Reed Amar had an excellent op-ed in yesterday's Post. Here's a key point (similar to one I made in another post):
While the Constitution's text does not say whether a president may consider a would-be judge's ideology, the very nature of the appointments process invites such consideration. The Founders intentionally politicized judicial appointments by vesting these appointments in elected executive and legislative officials. In several modern European countries, by contrast, many judges are selected by fellow judges in bureaucratic, civil service fashion.

And here's another:
Each of the eight men who sat on the Supreme Court before 1796 had been a prominent Federalist ally of George Washington in the struggle to ratify the Constitution. The first former anti-Federalist to serve, Samuel Chase, did not win Washington's approval until after Chase had shown himself to be a strong supporter of the Washington administration.

Remember these points next time someone tries to tell you that all that matters is whether a nominee is resume-"qualified".

Update: See this post at Think Progress for a quote from Arlen Specter's 2000 book Passion for Truth.


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