PRESIDENT, SENATE, & APPOINTMENT OF FEDERAL JUDGES:
A FLAWED SENATE CONFIRMATION PROCESS
YIELDS A FLAWED FEDERAL JUDICIARY
By Christopher G. Adamo
An assessment of the current U.S. Senate confirmation process clearly indicates that few, if any, of the principals involved, whether the nominees themselves, the President or the Senate, have a strong understanding as to how and why the process was established. And, with the current method of confirmation being so skewed, prospects for any worthwhile individual to actually make it to the federal bench appear less a matter of fitness than random chance.
Much discussion has transpired in recent weeks over the qualifications of John Roberts, President Bush’s nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Yet little of this discussion, particularly among the President’s partisan opponents, centers on Roberts’ actual eligibility, or lack thereof. Far worse is the fact that the Republicans, who ostensibly should be on the President’s side in this debate, appear as clueless as those on the political Left. And such has been the case for quite some time.
Roberts, they claim, is “squeaky clean,” not on the basis of an unshakable advocacy of constitutional principle, but rather because he does not appear to cross the ideological lines of the Liberal Leftist Democrats' precious “litmus tests.”
Throughout much of the Twentieth Century, judicial confirmations verged on being a mere formality, providing that nominees possessed the necessary legal credentials. But, as the battle over the nation’s governing ideology escalated, partisan Democrats began searching for any appearance of scandal or impropriety as a means of disqualifying nominees.
This situation degenerated during the 1987 confirmation hearings of Robert Bork, in which irrelevant events of Bork’s past were trumpeted as a means of discrediting him. But things reached an absolute low in the 1991 confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas. During that sordid episode, baseless accusations of sexual harassment were invoked in last minute efforts to derail the nomination.
Thomas creditably acquitted himself of the slanderous charges and was subsequently confirmed. But, rather than standing immovably by his selection of Thomas as a sterling example of a judge who upheld the United States Constitution, a shell-shocked President George H. W. Bush reacted to the controversy by attempting to find someone less inflammatory to fill the next vacant seat on the Supreme Court.
The President’s quest for common ground with his adversaries eventually turned up the seemingly mild-mannered David Souter. Consequently, America has since suffered dreadfully from Souter’s banalities, ineptitude, and outright Liberal activism.
During the Clinton administration, Republicans had an opportunity to return the Senate confirmation process to its constitutional framework. Instead, they completely dropped the ball. Rather than holding Bill Clinton’s nominees to an immutable standard of recognizing of their constitutional role, and stressing the non-negotiable necessity of diligently upholding it as such, Republicans responded with the platitude “The President should be allowed his choice of nominees.”
While intending to shame the contentious Democrats for having degenerated previous confirmations into political catfights, such absurd and cowardly reasoning -- we must allow President Clinton his choice of nominees -- completely ignored the legitimate constitutional purpose of the confirmation process.
In truth, the process was intended as a crucial check on the power of the executive and judicial branches of the U.S. national government, ensuring that the Senate would establish in office only those individuals who could be counted upon to adjudicate with integrity and fidelity to the principles of law and the constitutional foundations of the country. Thus the only worthy litmus test is a nominee’s faithfulness to the U.S. Constitution.
Granting a president “his choice of nominees,” reduces the federal judiciary to nothing more than a “spoil of victory” for the reigning President and his political party. From such a distorted process, no great potential for a worthwhile judiciary can be anticipated.
Thus, with only two of the U.S. Supreme Court justices being nominated by a Democratic President during the past thirty-seven years, the Court is nonetheless overwhelmingly devoid of members who would fight to uphold the Constitution, though that premise is among the basic principles they have sworn to uphold.
The remaining seven seats were filled by Republican presidents. Yet only three members of the Court qualify to be there on the basis of their history of upholding the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Considering how much is presently at stake, this does not bode well for the future of the American Republic.
Legal Issues, Lawyers, & America's Judiciary
U.S. Constitutional Law & Political Philosophy
American Government & the U.S. Congress
American Government & the U.S. Presidency
American Politics & Political Competition
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer who lives in southeastern Wyoming and works in the field of industrial instrumentation.
He is actively involved in Wyoming's political process, serving as a delegate to successive Wyoming State Republican Conventions
and as a member of the Wyoming State Republican Central Committee. He has assisted Republican candidates for local and state
legislatures and for the United States Congress. His articles, which appear regularly in The Progressive Conservative, U.S.A.,
and on a number of other websites, reflect a major concern with the damage being done to Conservatism and Conservative causes by
the Liberal Leftist faction in the Republican Party as well as by the much larger and more powerful Liberal Leftist faction in the
Democratic Party. During the early and middle 1990s, Adamo was Editor of the Wyoming Christian Coalition's official news organ,
The Wyoming Christian.
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * France
Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor