YDATL Blog NOTE: The opinions expressed by our individual bloggers are their own, and not necessarily those of Young Democrats of Atlanta.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
Thoughts on the judiciary
Our new president, Kimberly, asked me to post this message for y'all:
Hello, all . . .
As a result of a stimulating ongoing conversation between myself and my dad (a lawyer) on the topic of the current Washington brouhaha over Senate confirmation of judges, I undertook to do a little looking into the history of this Constitutionally mandated practice, and found some very interesting and authoritative sources. You might also be interested in looking at these:
Notable findings: 1) The current Democratic practice of filibustering judicial nominees is not at all unprecedented. Republicans did exactly the same thing to Abe Fortas in 1968. The parallels between the situations are imperfect, but telling . . . .
2) Richard Nixon and LBJ were unambiguously horrible men with no business in high elected office.
3) This country and the principles it embodies have been subject to men at least as bad as the current crop, under tougher historical circumstances, and came out OK in the end.
4) Democratic opposition to the current crop of nominees is not entirely ideological in character, because when they had the chance, they didn't scuttle Scalia and Thomas. Now, remind me why I keep voting for them?!?
5) The vote to confirm Thomas (available at http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=102&session=1&vote=00220) was the closest vote to confirm a judicial nominee in over 100 years. A very similar vote is likely if any of the filibustered are voted upon. This is the exception and not the rule in American history. Moreover, Thomas was confirmed by a Senate of the other party. Certainly none of these in question would rise even to that historically minimal test.
6) While there are serious objections raised to the ABA's practice of reviewing judicial appointments (always from the right, as far as I can tell); it is a fact that it, as the largest legal professional organization in this country, performed that service for many years before President Bush discontinued it because of ABA opposition to a few of the nominees in question. Now, because I'm not a lawyer, I won't wade into the strife within the profession about this practice. It appears that it divides people of the legal profession roughly down party lines, like just about everything else. My question: if conservatives can dominate the infrastructure of religious denominations with such ease, why can't they rein in that pesky ABA??? Methinks in the answer to THAT question lies all our current heartache . . . .
6) Buckle your seatbelt if Frist gets his votes . . .