Proving Supreme Court Worthiness

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"The burden is on the nominee for the Supreme Court to prove that he is worthy, not on the Senate to prove that he is not." So says my senator, Chuck Schumer. Is this even a plausible view? The duty of the Senate is to examine the nominee to give their advice and consent to the president in his nomination if the nominee is to be confirmed. Where in that is there anything of the nominee having to prove anything to them?

3 Comments

"So says my senator, Chuck Schumer."

How proud you must be! Sen. Chuck. Sen. Hillary.

I feel your pain.

Kinda.

I suspect this is but an attempt to appear as though he has high and scrupulous requirements for anyone he must approve. The reality, I think, is that he's simply laying the groundwork for a smear tactic and a rationalization to oppose the nomination.

This shows that Chuckster doesn’t even what to hide his attempt to turn this into some sort of show trial instead of a confirmation hearing.

However, it is an encouraging sign in that the Democrats are trying to move the goalposts only because they are desperate. Joe Biden has a website making the absurd claim that the President should only nominate someone with unanimous support, and Chuckster, who's already voted against Roberts based on obstructionist reasons, demands Roberts prove to him his worthiness according to criteria that Chuckie won’t specify. Good luck to them trying to frame the debate in a so obviously biased way against this candidate.

It's not clear that Schumer's reasons were obstructionist. He does have a philosophical reason for it. He asked questions, and they we consren't answered. He consistently votes against any nominee for any position who doesn't answer his questions. It doesn't matter how unreasonable the questions are. In this case, they were extremely unreasonable. They involved speculating about cases that might have come across his desk ahead of time. The legal community considers it unethical to comment on such things ahead of time, which was why Scalia had to recuse himself from the pledge of allegiance case. Schumer thinks he has the right to cause judicial nominees to violate that ethical code, and if they won't go along with it he'll vote against them. This is his conviction, and he does it over and over again. It's not necessarily obstruction. I think he just wants assurance that judicial nominees have an a priori commitment to doing everything in their power to keep abortion as available and unrestricted as possible (to name one issue he cares about), and he wants them to say so or he won't vote for them. If they don't answer, they don't get his vote.

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