The Point to Powerline!

Comparing the parallel posts, Drum vs Mirengoff … point Mirengoff. The Hatch/Clinton story doesn’t hold water in Drum’s version.

On the other hand, Mr Drum is right, if Leahy were to suggest a conservative Constructionist to Bush and assured him he’d pass, Mr Bush might go for it. But I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for anyone on the left to suggest one even though it is what Mr Bush has repeatedly stated is is main criteria (Constructionism that is).

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  1. Ed Darrell says:

    But Mirengoff forgets his history: Hatch had already invented the filibuster for judge nominees — he personally had held up confirmations of Patricia Wald, Abner Mikva and others for months, largely over the issue of such consultations.

    Even AFTER this abuse of the process, Clinton went back to the tried-and-true process of consulting openly with key Senators.

    Drum has it right, and Mirengoff clearly doesn’t know Kennedy at all. He takes cheap shots at the guy who personally won the 18-year-old vote case before the Supreme Court, and a man Orrin Hatch calls a close friend.

    Drum has it right. It’s difficult to imagine Bush being a big enough man to call Kennedy or Biden or any other Democrat to deal. It would be good for the country, and it appears from this location (in Texas) that what is good for the country is generally very far from Bush’s mind.

    Generally, prior to 1976, the judicial nominating process worked well with broad consultations all the way around. It would gall conservative Republicans (some of them, in any case), but it would be good to return to the use of comity to make things work.

    In their first terms, Sens. Hatch and Richard Lugar proposed the use of judicial nominating commissions to get around political impasse. Hatch created such a commission for Utah’s second federal judgeship (1979? 1980?) and it worked well. It was only with the increasing partisan demands from his party that Hatch fell away from that notion.

    America has suffered for the political shenanigans employed since 1976 in judicial nominations. It would be good for the Senate to announce an end to the craziness, if Bush plays along and goes for qualified judges over political correctness that pleases the far right.

    We can hope.

  2. Mark Olson says:


    I think the craziness is in the Senate’s hands, not Bush’s. And I think, neither you nor I suspect if asked (as Mr Drum suggests) would Leahy suggest for nomination (and clear) a conservative Constitutional constructionist, which is what Mr Bush has stated he will seek. I for one will be disappointed with Mr Bush if he does not nominate someone who meets those criteria. My guess is that what the left sorely wants to oppose is another constructionist in the mold of Scalia or Thomas.