Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 24, 2006
LAW: The Wages of Delay

On Monday, Justice O'Connor's continued presence on the Court swung a 5-4 decision against state sovereign immunity. Now, as it happens, I haven't read the decision and I'm not an expert on this area, so I don't really have an opinion on who is right on this question, but it's a reminder of why the Democrats are desperate to drag out the confirmation of Samuel Alito as long as possible, to squeeze out a few more of these 5-4 decisions. The delay on his nomination is already reaching historic levels, and this for a guy whose lengthy record on the bench should have long since given everyone in the process plenty of information about his approach to judging. Armando at Daily Kos is droning on about more delay (funny how, when Armando's not spewing profanity he sounds just exactly like a guy who's been in the Senate too long), playing for time.

Of course, one of the little ironies: had President Bush gotten John Roberts confirmed as an Associate Justice as originally planned before Chief Justice Rehnquist died, O'Connor would be gone and the Court would be split 4-4. But had the Chief job come open now, when Democrats are frothing over the whole NSA-wiretaps issue, there would have been an awful lot more questions about the fact that the Chief has sole responsibility for appointing judges to the FISA court.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:03 AM | Law 2006-08 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

THis is what I don't buy about the whole 'changing the nature of the court' and 'filling O'Connors seat with a like-minded justice' arguments - Court seats are not inherited sinecures passed down only to likeminded individuals like English titles or Chicago public offices. Democrats are not arguing for the historical perpetuation of the courts seats - they are arguing fro the perpetuation of THIS courts biases - one which favors them; a more cynical one than I would say ONLY because it favors them. Does anyone doubt that when (IF?) a dem ever gets to nominate ajustice to replace Scalia, they will talk about 'moving forward' and 'new viewpoints on the bench'?
On a sidenote, previosly when there was a lame duck/senile judge wasn't there a gentlemans agreement among the justices to invalidate any decisions on which said justice was the swing vote? Are there no gentlemen on the court or do Ginsburg and Souter so object to the term that they won't enter into one?

Posted by: bensdad00 at January 24, 2006 9:56 AM

The Court, like politics , has become more about ideaology and less about what is right or what is best for the country. Fifty years ago when an issue was before Congress it wasn't decided by a party line vote, but by what the individual Congressman thought was best for the country. When was the last time, other than an issue that would have been political suicide, have you seen a significant number of either party cross the aisle to vote?

Posted by: maddirishman at January 24, 2006 10:20 AM
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