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July 3, 2005

In the balance

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” today, Joe Biden made it clear that if Bush nominated Janice Rogers Brown (or a clone) to replace Sandra Day O’Connor, a filibuster would be inevitable. Rogers Brown, remember, has likened minimum-wage and national labor-relations laws to a “socialist revolution,” and suggested that even modest affirmative-action programs resemble the “Jim Crow” laws that once mandated racial segregation in the south.

Biden doesn’t think filibustering such a nominee is particularly radical, noting that one in five justices nominated by a president of the United States since 1789 has been rejected by the Senate.

He also has some words of advice for Bush:

“The bottom line is that whenever there has been a balance in the court that would change with the replacement of a nominee, the nominee has been more closely looked at relating to that balance … Replacing O’Connor with another O’Connor would not change it, but replacing an O’Connor with a Rehnquist, that would change it. So it does come closer into play than it ordinarily would.”
… “[T]his is a chance for the president to resurrect his second term here. This is a chance for him to get back on his game. And for him to go and pick some pure ideologue—does anybody in American think we need in this diverse country more pure ideologues on the Supreme Court? I’m confident he understands that. I don’t know whether he’ll be able to resist the pressure from the hard right, but I sure hope he does for the country’s sake and, quite frankly, his second term’s.”

Biden is being charitable, but I live in hope.

Posted by Stephen at 5:03 PM in Legal issues | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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