Chuck Schumer and The Supremes

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Chuck Schumer once again, on Meet the Press yesterday, revived the lie that Bush has some obligation, either in law or in tradition, to consult with the minority opposition Senators before selecting a Supreme Court nominee.

Now, Bush is doing so, but he has no obligation to. He's doing it as a courtesy, one I think he shouldn't do, just because the Democrats are lying and bullying him into it.

First, the Constitution does not require it. It's never been held that "with the Advice and Consent of the Senate" puts a prior requirement on the Senate. You can choose to read it that way, but it's always been taken to mean that the Senate acts on the nominee, not before the nominee.

Second, even if it did require it, it says "the Senate," not "the minority opposition members of the Senate." The Senate is, to the Constitution, a single unit, not lots of little factions, and it is represented by whoever controls the majority of the Senate. Seeking the advice of a majority party of the Senate would certainly, indisputably, meet any Constitutional requirement of advice, if one existed.

Schumer dishonestly noted that Clinton spoke to the Republicans when he was putting up his nominees, but that's because the Republicans were the majority party in the Senate.

Schumer told other lies, as he usually does. My favorite is that when criticized for demanding answers to how he would rule on specific cases, he says, "it's our obligation to understand their judicial philosophy." But he goes far beyond merely understanding their judicial philosophy, and demands answers to specific examples of caselaw.

Then he called Scalia extreme, and said extremists should not be on the court, or if they are, there should only be one extremist on "each" side, liberal and conservative. An extremist, he says, is someone who makes up law, instead of interprets it.

Funny, to me, that's the definition of a liberal.

I saw Justice Stevens on CSPAN this weekend, and he basically said he feels it is his responsibility to make up new laws. Oh sure, he didn't put it in those words. But he brought up various cases, such as the Ten Commandments issue, where the law didn't actually say something because it didn't occur to the legislators to consider it, but the principle involved obviously, to Stevens, should be extended to cover the present case. But that is the job of legislators, not courts.

Liberals disagree with that, of course, but there's no getting around that this is what liberals do: they make up new law when they feel it is appropriate to do so. If we took Schumer at his word, he would exclude pretty much every liberal justice you could name.

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