I'm getting more and more impressed with Lindsey Graham. [Update: Judging by his prepared statement, most of what impressed me was off the cuff. That's even more impressive. One thing he said is that Democrats are not well-placed to judge who is a mainstream conservative. That's certainly true of most Democrats on this committee, particularly the ones who most often use the phrase "out of the mainstream". He says the right judicial attitude is to consider precedent as important but not absolute and never be unwilling to hear arguments against it. People can err on both sides, and some on this committee seem to want nominees to err on one side. He also reminded Democratic senators that conservative views and associations shouldn't be any more disqualifying than liberal views and associations were for ACLU lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg.] He said almost everything I thought ought to be said, most of which no one before him had brought up, and he said much of it quite eloquently. I'm beginning to think some people's predictions that he could someday be a presidential contender might have something to them. Chuck Schumer took over immediately afterward, and we see a huge contrast.
Schumer's false dilemma of the day: Are you going to be a justice in the mold of O'Connor, or are you going to be a justice in the mold of Scalia and Thomas? As if there's no way he could be an independent thinker who won't model himself after particular justices who happen to be on the court right now.
He also seems to think the only explanation for why someone might have disapproved of Miers but approved of Alito is over ideology rather than the primary issue people objected to. Most opponents of Miers didn't think she was remotely qualified. But somehow this is supposed to show that Alito is way out of the mainstream.
John Cornyn steps in just afterward and, with an amused look on his face, comments on Schumer's triply high standard, hinting very strongly that it's in fact a double standard. Schumer had explicitly stated exactly the view that my last post rejected as complete nonsense. The three things that Schumer thinks increase the standard are the fact that he replaced the withdrawn Miers, the fact that he's replacing O'Connor, and because his record raises questions. His record should obviously be considered, but it doesn't raise the standard. The record has to be submitted to the standard. It doesn't raise it. That would be a double standard. The standard is constant. Whether someone meets it depends on what's true about them. What's true about them doesn't change the standard.