How the Left Blurs the Distinction Between Judging & Politicking

In an editorial entitled “The Inquisitor: Charles Schumer, leader of the anti-Bush crusade,” John Miller writes these important words:

…[Schumer] has embarked on a careful strategy of blurring the fundamental distinction between judging and politicking. In 2001, he chaired Judiciary Committee hearings on whether ideology should play a more open role in confirmations. Previously, senators have focused on the professional qualifications of court nominees rather than their political beliefs, which is why a known liberal such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg was able to secure a spot on the Supreme Court with only three Republicans voting against her. With Bush in the White House, however, Schumer decided to try changing the ground rules. One of his mentors has been University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein, author of the forthcoming book Radical in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts are Wrong for America.
If Democrats want to evaluate nominees on their legal views, Republicans shouldn’t object. What Schumer proposes doing, however, is evaluating nominees on their political preferences. This is something else entirely, and it is a natural outgrowth of legal realism, an academic movement that claims laws aren’t neutral rules so much as tools of power. By the time Schumer sat in Harvard’s lecture halls, variants of this idea were firmly entrenched there – and it is the chief intellectual doctrine behind the judicial activism that liberals applaud and conservatives abhor. It essentially says that judges are no less political than politicians. Therefore, confirmation hearings should not be dispassionate episodes of advice and consent, but raucous quasi-elections that engage the interests and urges of the public…
Schumer cloaks these views about ideology by saying he simply wants to avoid extremes. “People on the far left [and the] far right want to make law,” he said on Meet the Press in July. “Neither of them should be on the bench.” The presumption, of course, is that senators possess the impartiality to determine what’s mainstream and what’s not. “If he thinks that he can set aside his liberal ideology and make these choices,” asks Republican senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, “then why can’t judges do the same when they’re ruling on the law?”…

Here are some previous postings on the Supreme Court nomination process, with an emphasis on the proper role of the judiciary:
Judicial Activism: Commandeering the Public Debate & Violating the Founding Principles of America
“The Supreme Court Has Converted Itself From a Legal Institution to a Political One”
Are You an Originalist?
How Original Intent Does Not Equal Conservative Judicial Activism
Rediscovering Proper Judicial Reasoning
Playing the Religious Bigotry Card, Again
Nothing But a Fishing Expedition
Senator Schumer’s Double Standard
“Restoration of Judicial Restraint Assists the Restoration of Good Will, Because Democratic Governance Gives Everyone Their Say”
The Ginsburg Precedent
Orrin Hatch: Don’t Overstate “Advise and Consent”
Senator Santorum: Judicial Activism is Destroying Traditional Morality
Relinking Constitutional Law & Jurisprudence to the Constitution
The Kelo Decision: When Private Property Rights are Eroded, Our Freedom is Diminished
Here are two examples of how the Left views the same issues:
Viewing the Supreme Court Nomination Battle From the Far Left
“We Are Going To Go To War Over This”
Here are other postings on this site about the related issue of the judicial filibuster debate:
The Filibuster…Continued
The Injustice of Smearing A Fellow American For Political Gain
The Senate Judicial Filibuster: Power Politics & Religious Bigotry
Mac Owen’s open letter to Senator Chaffee
Senator Mitch McConnell on the Judicial Filibuster
The Foolish Fourteen: An editorial by the former Dean of BU’s Law School
A Power Line overview of the filibuster debate
Revisiting the Case for Janice Rogers Brown

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