Sen. Patrick Leahy is warning President Bush not to appoint conservatives to the Court and, indeed, wants to have a say in choosing the nominee. While having the president get tacit approval from the Senate–including the minority party–before announcing a nominee turns the traditional process on its head, it strikes me as being within the spirit of advice and consent as outlined in the Constitution. And, given the practicalities of a nearly evenly divided Senate and Supreme Court, I believe something like this will indeed happen.

(Hat tip: Krempasky)

An aside: The same story has this little snippet toward the bottom:

“The courts are the one part of government people yearn to believe is free of politics,” Mr. Leahy said. “That’s why the Florida case shook people so much,” a reference to the Supreme Court ruling in Bush v. Gore that resulted in Mr. Bush’s presidency.

Aaaaaaaaaaaah. This is getting really old. Mr. Bush getting more electoral votes than Mr. Gore is what “resulted in Mr. Bush’s presidency.” That would have been the case even had the Supremes decided the other way: Bush won the vote in Florida, the decisive state, by a very small number of votes. The first count. The second count. And every recount. Including the one done by the NYT and other media outlets. I’m so glad there’s no liberal bias at the NYT.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. DANEgerus says:

    But the whore-mongering subversion of the Presidential powers to appoint judges doesn’t bother you? Better “leaky” Leahy the obstructionist go back to getting people killed by flapping his gums then continue to kill judicial nominees that are anything short of the Dummocrit ideal of activists against the Constitution…

    This just proves the Dummocrats intend to subvert the Constitution and it should be exposed as such…

  2. James Joyner says:


    I just don’t see the alternative. As the piece notes, Hatch and the GOP did something similar with the Clinton nominees. The Democrats can filibuster now. They can force Bush to submit “acceptable” nominees now. Doing it up front rather than tacitly is probably the better way to go.

    We already have blue slips and the Senatorial Courtesy processes whereby home state senators essentially have the nomination power for lower court judges. I’m not sure the process is all that sacrosanct.

  3. Steven says:

    The most annoying part, in fact, is that getting “politics” out of any part of government is just plain silly.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Yep. I always say, politics is pretty political. Or, you can’t take the politics out of politics.