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  • 'Advice and Consent' Takes Time

    This morning, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States. While this may seem like the culmination of a long process, it actually marks just the beginning–really, the very first step–of the confirmation process laid out in our Constitution. President Obama’s aggressive confirmation timetable–he is demanding hearings and a vote before Congress leaves for its August recess–risks shortchanging the Constitution’s commands.

    The Appointments Clause (in Section 2 of Article II) states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court.” Nomination is only the first of these three steps.

    The second is for the Senate to provide its “advice and consent.” John McGinnis describes the purpose of this requirement in The Heritage Guide to the Constitution:

    The Senate has independent authority in that it may constitutionally refuse to confirm a nominee for any reason…. [T]he Framers located the process of advice and consent in the Senate as a check to prevent the President from appointing people who have unsound principles as well as blemished characters.

    That is the constitutional duty that the Senate must now exercise. This duty is not a “brake” or a “speedbump” in the confirmation process; rather, it is essential to ensuring that the President’s nominee has the principles, character, and temperament to take the bench on the High Court.

    As the position of Associate Justice is one that wields (in this day and age) nearly limitless power, and as the tenure is lifetime, the Senate has a responsibility to go about its work with care and diligence. It should not delay, but nor should it be rushed.

    Others have raised questions about Judge Sotomayor’s principles and character. As National Journal’s Stuart Taylor has observed, she has vocally advocated making policy from the bench and has denied that a judge can be objective in most cases. Moreover, she has stated that judges of different genders and races can and should rule differently in the same cases, with the same facts and law. Even today, this is an unusual principle.

    Others, such as the New Republic’s Jeffrey Rosen, have called into question her character and, specifically, her temperament. Attorneys appearing before her consistently attest to being “bullied” and describe her as “domineering.”

    Then there is the matter of the Ricci case, concerning New Haven’s discrimination against white firefighters, which she and two other Clinton-appointee judges attempted to bury by issuing a one-paragraph unreported decision. Even fellow Clinton appointee Judge Cabranes has stated that this maneuvering was unusual and improper.

    It may be that these questions come to nothing, but that is for the Senate to investigate and determine. And with so many questions raised, that will take time. The President hopes to have his nominee confirmed by Congress’s August recess—an aggressive timetable. But that may not comport with the Senate’s constitutional role and responsibility.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    13 Responses to 'Advice and Consent' Takes Time

    1. Jim, Rockwall, Texas says:

      May God have mercy on America!! Will the populace ever wake up and realize that "change, Change's sake" is not healthy and America does NOT need a judge who is a "feeler".

    2. mike winter neptune says:

      thanks to pres. obama for choosing someone who will relate to people and not harbor hate and catholic doctrine like the homophobic scalia who believes in states rights except when it comes to elections and probably thinks the doctrine of pope "infallibilty" should be part of american law let us get rid of these neanderthals and select more justices like sotomayor who believe in rights for "people" rather than lunatics like bork who don't think people should have any rights unless specifically written these morons would have voted against brown because it was not the opinion of the majority these dinosaurs need to return to the 19th century when men ruled all and the poor need not apply for fairness in law you right wing white men need to just end your life now because your day is over as a white man myself i welcome my disenfranchisement since the majority of us are such idiots anyway

    3. Jay, Detroit says:

      Six reviews by the Supreme Court; five times she is over ruled. What does that say about her knowledge and judicial temperament?

    4. Julie Kleinhenz, Den says:

      Just what we need, a justice who thinks discrimination is ok if it is directed at white people! How incredible! But corruption comes from the leader, and the leader Obama must believe that discrimination against whites is proper. He is more than happy to promote racism against white people (german, italian, and every other nation that makes up this country).

    5. Thomas, Sackets Harb says:

      Mike, the self-admitted idiot apparently thinks that "law" is a chameleon that must change it's color to blend in with whatever social themes seem to be in fashion at any given time. This concept certainly has been handy for various dictators, who help to sway social fashion to their favor, and then swoop in to profit when there are enough "idiots" to carry the majority, or at least the vocal minority. Mike apppears to carry the same overburdening guilt that Obama (and probably Sotomayor) carries, and expresses his guilt the same way – by exercising revenge. I am not any idiot, thank you, I can think for myself.

    6. Pingback: Obama’s Supreme Court Pick: Judge Sonia Sotomayor « Nice Deb

    7. Kathy, Boston says:

      Whooo…I'm a woman and her blatant discrimination and broad generalizations about people raise my antenna…this woman is a lose cannon….a life time appointment ???? I think the nation will request a "divorce court" from this one if she is picked…and she is tempermental….I doubt that she would follow any rules let alone the constitution…..and the appropriate role of a judge on the Supreme Court….she is clearly in her own intellectually arrogant self-centered little world….

    8. Pingback: Sonia Sotamayor « Sohum Parlance II

    9. A Fleming, Washingto says:

      Judge Sotomayor raises obvious questions about suitability to the high court. It's a matter of whether or not the Senate and, more importantly, the GOP will be willing to grow a spin and take ask them.

      She had numerous cases reversed by the very court to which she is nominated and the one with which they agreed with her on the decision, they slammed her on the law and rational used. This doesn't provide evidence of her ability to interpret the law and defend the Constitution. She has a discrimination case pending that she and a few colleagues denied and in doing so tried to bury the case! She should have been removed for that not rewarded as a Supreme Court nominee. Her vetting and investigation should be put on hold until the Court hands down its decision on this case. The president is asking for an aggressive confirmation, but the Senate needs to stick its collective heels in the ground and execute their Constitutional responsibility by carefully examining her credentials.

      Her very public pronouncements revealing her belief that judges make policy is reason enough, but add her questionable jurisprudence and I think there basis for denying her a seat on the bench. And if further evidence she is unfit is required, just listen to her philosophy that a "Latino woman" can make a better decision than a "white male". I don't know how this could be possible if the law is being applied blindly and appropriately. The double-standard is mind-boggling – if a white male would have made such a ridiculous comment he would be stamped as a racist and probably removed from the bench.

    10. Jim C - McKinney, TX says:

      This nomination is simply another example of extreme arrogance by President Obama. Her frequent reversals by the Supreme Court, her documented blatant discrimination against a group she obviously scorns, and her reputation for bullying and overbearing demeanor would be sufficient cause for disqualification in almost any other time. She has said without stuttering that she is an activist, and we do not need – cannot afford activist judges on our highest court.

    11. Janice Jones, Oregon says:

      Amen! to Jim C – McKinney. The nomination of Sonia Sonomayor "is another example of extreme arrogance of President Obama." By her own racial statement and being "five times overruled by the Supreme Court" reveals to all of us that she is unqualified to sit on the highest court of the land. The American people need to learn that the qualifications for any leader has nothing to do with how one feels but everything to do with Truth, Justice, and a firm knowledge and understanding of the law!

    12. Pingback: The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room » MIDDAY ROUNDUP

    13. Harry, Illinois says:

      These hearings are nothing but a dog and pony show. BO WARNED congress not to block this WISE LATINA'S nomination. Senator LayHe has already stated that she will be confirmed. So why the waste of taxpayers or should I say STIMULUS money?? My God, how much more are we going to have to endure of this madness?

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