Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"... and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the Supreme Court..." - U.S. Constitution, Section 2, Clause 2, the powers of the President

Okay, Bush's first Supreme Court nominee is a little-known fellow called John G. Roberts. No surprise: he's fairly conservative. We wouldn't and shouldn't have expected anything different. And, if he's not confirmed by the Senate, we won't get anything terribly different from the next nominee.

And so the conservatives on the TV and the radio and in the papers are already screaming about the "obstructionists" in the Senate who will drag their feet by extending the confirmation process. They would like the Senate to simply rubber stamp any nominee the President sends them.

Except for this pesky little thing called the Constitution. Democratic Senators are not obstructionist: they are doing their job. The President did not heed their advice, but he still needs their Consent. That's the law.

Roberts is comparatively young - only about 50. He could be on the bench for the next 30-40 years. The American public deserves to know who he is, and where he stands on a few issues, before we give him a job that will last a generation.

Yes, Abortion is the big one that most pundits are talking about. We won't get a pro-choice nominee out of this President. Not going to happen. That's not the main thing I'm worried about.

Some of the other things I've heard that concern me more regard Roberts' views on school prayer (he thinks it's a good idea) and flag burning (he thinks it's unconstitutional). At this point it's only bits and pieces. It's the Senate's job to ask the tough questions, put the puzzle together, and find out exactly what kind of man the President has sent them.

Only after they've given it their full and complete consideration can they give their Advice and [perhaps] their Consent.

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