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Monday, September 19, 2005 

Novak: Roberts Wins Big

Bob Novak's column about the Roberts confirmation hearings makes some good points.
"If this were a fight, the referee would have stopped it," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham told me in assessing the Schumer vs. Roberts confrontation.
I don't always agree with Graham, but this is a great line and he did a great job during the hearings.
Beyond their legal duel, the outcome should set a new standard for Supreme Court confirmations. It is unlikely any future nominee can be drawn into an inquest of their policy positions.
That is the major point of the article (other than gloating over Schumer's defeat). I don't think the Ginsburg precedent will need to be cited anymore. The Roberts precedent was made this past week and made much more convincingly. However, both precedents could be cited, strongly showing the modern trend of what is demanded of a nominee during the hearings. I have no idea what will happen with the vote, but I'm sure it will be nowhere near the 90s like Ginsburg and Scalia got. Kinda weird when you think about it like that.

Of course, there is still a problem with past opinions and writings. I think it is hard to duck explaining those. And that is why the nominee's past is so important. That is also why I would be shocked (pleasantly) if someone like Michael McConnell would be named. I still have no idea who it's going to be or when the announcement will come. I could see Bush naming someone right after Roberts is confirmed. He's having meetings with the Senate Democrats to "consult" with them again. I find this whole song and dance routine annoying. The White House did its interview process very recently for the Roberts nomination. They have their list; they know who they want. Name the replacement right after the vote, push for a speedy confirmation, and let O'Connor retire. I don't think she feels like hanging around there anymore.

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