Saturday, August 06, 2005

Mehlman Seeks Swift Roberts Confirmation

Speaking at the Republican National Committee's annual summer meeting on Friday, chairman Ken Mehlman criticized Democrats and liberals for what he deemed to be political grandstanding over the John Roberts Supreme Court nomination. Says the AP:

Mehlman argued that in 1993, President Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a judge with a liberal record, and Senate Republicans treated her fairly although she declined to answer many specific questions at her confirmation hearing.

"But the process was orderly and dignified nevertheless, thanks to Republicans who understood that she was fair-minded and qualified," Mehlman said. "I believe Judge Roberts has the right to expect the same treatment, and the same swift confirmation."

He criticized Democrats and liberal groups who try to portray Roberts as anything less than an impartial jurist.

"Unfortunately, some on the other side want to turn a judicial confirmation into a political campaign," said Mehlman, arguing that Roberts will be a "superb Supreme Court justice."

Mehlman makes some good observations but I'm not sure I quite agree with him on that last point. Sure a little pandering to the DU crowd probably comes into play, but the Democrats' motive here is not just to get votes.

What they are really banking on is that Roberts is not quite the conservative he is being painted as. Their strategy is to take someone that they suspect to be a moderate, slap a "hard-liner" tag on him and send him on up to SCOTUS-- with "great reservations" of course. Then they will have a bargaining chip for the next nominee that Bush puts up there: "Hey we gave you another Scalia, now give us a Kennedy!"

Sure it's a gamble, but its about all they can do at this point because they know that a filibuster on Roberts would be... lets say... an unwise PR move. It'll be interesting to watch this unfold.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,