Andrew C. McCarthy | No deference is called for on judicial nominees

Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review:

Even in traditional, pre-Bork times, the courts were a discrete branch of government. Judges get lifetime appointments that stretch well beyond the presidency in which they are nominated, and far from wielding the president’s power, they are often a check on the president’s abuse of that power. So clearly, even before 1987, the president would not be entitled to the kind of deference that he deserves on executive appointments.

With the Bork nomination fight, however, Democrats politicized the judicial-appointments process and the courts themselves. It would thus be ridiculous to give the president deference by rationalizing — as many Republicans have in the past — that we are really just evaluating a lawyer who will be expected to apply the law without fear or favor; and therefore, we should err on the side of approving any nominee, regardless of ideology, who is competent and of good character.

No, we are not evaluating a lawyer; we are deciding whether Democrats get another vote on a nine-member super-legislature.

The justices chosen by President Obama and the Democrats may be very good lawyers, but they have been selected because they will be reliable votes in favor of left-wing outcomes. That is politics, not law.


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