April 26, 2010

What a Judicial Nominee Should be Entitled to

The Washington Post endorses 9th Circuit nominee, Goodwin Liu, in a short, unsigned editorial. There is much that could be commented on, but I want to focus on one paragraph in particular.
It would be no surprise if Republicans gave Mr. Liu a taste of his own medicine and cast party-line votes against him. But it would be wrong. Mr. Liu, like every other judicial nominee, should be judged on his qualifications and voted down only if he is ethically compromised or if his views fall far outside accepted strands of legal theory.
This is flat out wrong. Judicial Nominees are not and should not be entitled to a Yes vote. They are entitled to a fair, timely process and, in my opinion, an up or down vote. While Mr. Liu's views may not be "far outside accepted strands of legal theory," they are certainly far outside the views of mainstream Americans. As such, Senators should be able to reflect the views of their constituents by casting a No vote.

Addendum: Much like The New York Times, The Washington Post leaves itself plenty of wiggle room to advocate against conservative nominees with their "far outside the strands of legal theory" language. Because academia is so dominated by left wing views, conservative legal beliefs are often necessarily out of the academic mainstream. This generally puts them, however, within the views of mainstream Americans.