January 24, 2006

Senator Graham Gets It

I listened to some of the Democrats’ speeches today before the Judiciary Committee and I can’t help but think of that great American philosopher, Yogi Berra, when he said, “It’s like déjà vu all over again.” Again and again Democratic Senators repeated the same old tired talking points, distortions and accusations that they’ve been trotting out before the public for the last several months. I did notice that they’ve stopped talking about Vanguard or CAP. I guess they figure they’ve embarrassed themselves enough with those non-issues.

One Senator who did I felt did bring up a number of excellent points and really got to the crux of the problem with the judicial selection process was Senator Graham. Here is part of his statement:

“[T]o long for the good ol' days of the united nation under President Clinton is…rewriting history. I don't remember it being that united. I remember it being pretty contentious…What's changed? It's not the quality of the nominees; it's the quality of the process.
To my friend, Senator Feinstein, from a pro-life point of view, Justice Ginsburg replaced a vote on Roe v. Wade. Justice Byron White voted against Roe v. Wade. We knew that would be a change... [But we] decided not to make our vote dependent upon Roe v. Wade. Every Democratic nominee that I can remember has openly campaigned on the idea that, ‘If I get to make a Supreme Court choice, I will make sure it will be a judge who will honor Roe v. Wade.’ There is no hiding that; that's said at the convention…

I really do worry that we're going to take the Supreme Court nominating process and boil it down to abortion. And that won't be good for the country, but that's definitely the direction we're headed.

And let me tell you another thing that's not good for the country. With little chance of stopping Judge Alito confirmation to the Supreme Court, Senate Democratic leaders urged their members Tuesday to vote against him in an effort to lay the groundwork for making a campaign issue of the decisions on the court.

I'll just tell you right now we welcome that debate on our side. We'll clean your clock. I mean, Judge Alito is closer to the mainstream of America than [People] for the American Way. We'll win that debate, but the judiciary will lose…

Why did seven judges who served on the 3rd Circuit come to his aid? How do you ignore that? How could someone who is that hard- hearted, that bent on ignoring the law and following a narrow agenda, get a well-qualified rating after thousands of cases have been analyzed by the American Bar Association?...

Professor Michael Gerhardt, who's an adviser to our Democratic friends about the confirmation process, wrote, ‘The Constitution establishes a presumption of confirmation that works to the advantage of the president and his nominee. Furthermore, once a nomination is made, it is likely, by virtue of having been formally made by the president of the United States, to be clothed with an aura of respectability, credibility and presumptive merit unless a critical mass of senators can show otherwise…’

We're no longer advising and consenting. We're jockeying for the next election. And over time we'll erode the quality of the judiciary.”