Seth Barrett Tillman:
Finally, I make this last point with some trepidation. It will strike some as ad hominem. But it is not meant to be so. It is put forward only to clarify the issues. The position that a President has a duty to put forward a Supreme Court nominee is narrowly elitist and overtly judicial-centric. Nothing distinguishes the President in his role here in regard to nominating Supreme Court nominees from (1) his role in regard to nominating other judicial nominees and (2) his coordinate role in regard to nominating persons for any and every other office (however humble) within the President’s orbit. If the President fails to nominate a person to one of these less prominent offices who would say that the President failed in his constitutional duty? I think few, and perhaps no commentators would make such an argument. And if you will not make that argument for each and every one of the less prominent positions subject to presidential nomination, I think there is no good reasoned basis for making it for Supreme Court vacancies—except that the great & good all think the Supreme Court was, is, and must be the center of our attention and political life. In other words, this Supreme Court-centered view is exactly the position that AS fought tooth-and-nail. He was right to do so.
[Note: “AS” = the late Antonin Scalia.]
2 thoughts on ““Does the President Have A Duty To Nominate Supreme Court Candidates? Does the Senate Have A Duty To Consider Nominees?””
I am rapidly losing interest who is on the Supreme Court. The fact is that at every crucial turn since 1933, the court has refused to enforce the Constitution’s limits on the power of the Federal government, allowed the President to run amok, and repeatedly thwarted the express will of the people of the several states in the exercise of the police power to maintain public morality in the name of the most fanciful “rights” that any opium fiend could imagine.
For generations men have hoped that if the next king were wiser, braver, and more just, they would live in a better world. And, they are always disappointed.
The real problem is not the Supreme Court, it is us. Hillary and the Donald are not alien beings who have attacked us. They are are symptoms of the sickness that rots our souls, and renders us undeserving of the Constitution that the Founding Fathers established as our inheritance.
We want government to protect us from ourselves, to protect others from themselves, to protect all of us from chance and misfortune. We have not learned that we cannot have self government unless we govern ourselves.
We have ignored the wise counsel of the Founders. John Adams told us:
“The only foundation of a free Constitution is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty. They will only exchange Tyrants and Tyrannies.”
Your servant here, he has been told to say it clear, to say it cold:
It’s over, it ain’t going any further.
And now the wheels of heaven stop, you feel the devil’s riding crop,
Get ready for the future: It is murder.
I watched the Sunday talk shows today (I switch back and forth) and saw no one on the GOP side make what I think is a better case for not holding hearings on Garland. They could point out that he would be subjected to lots of negative commentary, maybe not as evil as Bork was subjected to, but sill a demeaning process when everyone knows he will not be confirmed.
I was a little surprised that no one on the GOP side made the point and also described how shamefully Bork was treated.
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