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Depends on What Your Definition of 'Advice and Consent' Is

Posted By Todd Thurman On June 4, 2009 @ 2:19 pm In Legal | Comments Disabled

There are some who believe that the president, having won the election, should have complete authority to appoint his nominee and the Senate should only examine whether the justice is intellectually capable and an all-around good guy; that once you get beyond intellect and personal character, there should be no further question as to whether the judge should be confirmed. I disagree with this view

– Then-Senator Barack Obama in 2006 [1]

This was said by Harry Reid in 2009 [2]

I understand that during her career, she’s written hundreds and hundreds of opinions. I haven’t read a single one of them, and if I’m fortunate before we end this, I won’t have to read one of them

What’s changed?

Clearly, a lot has changed. Obama is now president, and Liberals have a stranglehold on the Senate and the House. However, shouldn’t the same standards apply to people Obama chooses? Or, was he not referring to himself when he said that he disagreed with the President having complete authority when appointing a nominee? Seems as though he was not referring to himself.

This is said because he has taken steps to ensure a very quick confirmation process. Obama has already stated an arbitrary deadline [3] for the confirmation process setting himself up to decry Conservatives, who may filibuster, as an attempt to disrupt things.

Constitutionally, the confirmation process is set up to be a long one. It is very important, because the Senate is appointing someone to a life term with no oversight and where the only rule is “good behaviour [4].” It is important to consider the nominee carefully. In other words, apply the “Obama Standard [5].” Article I, Section III of the constitution calls for the advice and consent [6] of the Senate to confirm nominations of the Supreme Court. Heritage wrote about what the Constitution says about what ‘advice and consent’ means [7].

By any standards, ‘advice and consent’ does not mean to simply glaze over an appointment judged simply on the merits of who appointed the nominee. The Founders did not think that, Senator Obama did not think that, and conservatives in Congress don’t think that. There are serious, fundamental differences in how Sotomayor interprets the Constitution and those need to be expounded upon.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/06/04/depends-on-what-your-definition-of-advice-and-consent-is/

URLs in this post:

[1] – Then-Senator Barack Obama in 2006: http://www.ajc.com/print/content/printedition/2009/05/26/gillespieed0526.html

[2] This was said by Harry Reid in 2009: http://www.foundry.org/2009/06/03/senator-harry-reid-i-havent-read-a-single-one-of-them/

[3] arbitrary deadline: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2009/05/republicans-sot.html

[4] good behaviour: http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleiii.html#section1

[5] Obama Standard: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed051309c.cfm

[6] advice and consent: http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articlei.html#section3

[7] Constitution says about what ‘advice and consent’ means: http://www.heritage.org/Research/AmericanFoundingandHistory/wm800.cfm

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