Recently Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight.com wrote a piece on Supreme Court Justice Ruth “Buzzy” Ginsburg. He began by quoting her from an interview she gave Elle magazine, where Ginsburg said, “If I resign anytime this year, [President Obama] could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see on the court.… So anybody who thinks if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, they’re misguided.”
Enten disagrees, saying that he believes a Ginsburg clone would in fact be confirmed today. He explains that Ginsburg flew through the “confirmation process in 1993 with 96 votes, including 41 Republicans.”
96 of 100 senators voted for the Ruth Bader Ginsburg disaster. Pitiful! How some things don’t change from decade to decade. The Senate then, just like now, houses mostly conformist establishment big government Republicans, most who believe they must confirm anyone the president nominates, unless it’s a Republican president.
Ginsburg was a former ACLU attorney. Just knowing that, I would have voted against her. Any representative of the ACLU would automatically be disqualified. But then I’m not a learned Senator.
Doesn’t a senator need a legal reason not to confirm?
In fact, I’ve had this disagreement with some legal scholars before – the last being Jay Severin of Blaze Radio. It seems every “legal” mind I’ve discussed this with says the same thing when I state I would not confirm so and so. They ask “on what grounds?” That is to say, under the law what disqualifies this or that person from being appointed?
Article II, section 2 of the Constitution allows only for the advice and consent of the Senate for Supreme Court nominees. Nowhere does it require any “legal authority” to vote no. Senators have constitutional authority as senators to ensure that anyone holding a lifetime office making laws for the nation must follow the Constitution. If a Senator even suspects that an apointee will not abide by the Constitution, then that Senator must not vote for him or her. It’s that simple.
Why have the “advise and consent language” in the Constitution if the Senate is to be a rubber stamp for the President when “separation of powers” is fundamental to the Constitution?
Enten says that Ginsburg, when nominated, wasn’t really all that liberal, not compared to recent nominees like Kagan and Sotomayor, or even as he puts it, “liberal lions such as William J Brennan or Thurgood Marshall.” I’m just going to let that ridiculous statement go without comment.
I almost forgot to mention that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was even recommended by our friend and establishment backstabber Orrin Hatch. Great job Orrin.
Enten continues his article quoting a bunch of silly metrics from the “Segal-Cover Score” ideology index, which with his own derived index, shows that a Ginsburg clone would indeed have no problem being confirmed.
One can show all the metrics and indexes one cares to, but in the end, it all comes down to ideology, political correctness, and a lack of courage.
Enten states that this new nominee would be confirmed with at least 80 votes, whether the Republicans control the Senate or not.
I agree, but not because the nominee is qualified – or not. It’s all politics and ideology for Democrats, and it’s the politics of fear for Republicans.
Enten’s article is really an exercise in nothing. Any nominee presented by a Democrat president will be confirmed. That’s just the way it works – period. No litmus test, few questions, and little hesitation. Republicans are too afraid not to confirm. Sure, a few Republicans might vote no, but mainly just for cover in an election year.
Heck, Obama could nominate Sheila Jackson Lee, and she would be confirmed. Develop a metric for that one, Harry.