Wednesday, September 21, 2005

WaPo takes Reid to task

   The Washingon Post (which is getting to be a daily read around here) is wagging its editorial finger at Sen. Harry Reid this morning:

IN ANNOUNCING his opposition yesterday to the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be chief justice of the United States, Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) made a remarkable statement: "The president is not entitled to very much deference in staffing the third branch of government, the judiciary." Leave aside the merits of the Roberts nomination, which we support; if Mr. Reid regards Judge Roberts as unworthy, he is duty-bound to vote against him. But these are dangerous words that Democrats will come to regret.

* * *

Do Democrats really want the American confirmation system to move in that direction? Republicans may still be in the majority the next time a Democratic president nominates a justice. Is it now okay for them to vote against a person who -- as Mr. Reid put it of Judge Roberts -- is "an excellent lawyer" and "a thoughtful, mainstream judge" who may make "a fine Supreme Court justice" simply because the nominee doesn't represent their ideal? When that day comes, and Democrats cry foul, remember what Mr. Reid said about how little deference he believes he owes Mr. Bush concerning Judge Roberts.

Read the whole thing here.

   Memories are long in the Senate. I doubt this is really a standard that Reid wants to set for the future because Republicans would get no small satisfaction in exacting recompense later. De-politicizing judicial nominations is something that garners fair bipartisan support, but the desire to abide by the old rules after a reversal of fortunes is all but universal.

   Which of those two options do you suppose would prevail?


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