The Roberts Confirmation

Congratulations to John Roberts for his approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee to have his nomination as Chief Justice of the United States sent to the full Senate for what looks like a certain confirmation. And congratulations to the Democratic senators on the committee who voted for him (Feingold, Kohl, Leahy) for faithfully performing their constitutional duty rather than obstructing a highly-qualified candidate for partisan reasons.

I think that those Democrats who voted against Roberts (Biden, Durbin, Feinstein, Kennedy, Schumer) and those who have announced their intention to vote against him (Boxer, Corzine, Kerry, Lautenberg, Reid) have sent a clear signal to President Bush with respect to his next nominee. And that message, it seems to me is:

Mr. President, you can safely ignore anything we have to say about the next nominee. Our votes have been captured by left-wing interest groups. We couldn’t even vote for someone as incredibly qualified as John Roberts to replace a conservative like Rehnquist. There is no way in hell that any nominee acceptable to you will pass ideological muster for us as a replacement for O’Connor. So, please pay no attention to our expressed concerns. We are irrelevant. Go ahead and pick someone you’d most like to see on the Court, and don’t worry about a potential compromise with senators like us.

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