The nominations of Alito, Miers, and Roberts, and the confirmation process

Selected posts

January 12, 2006
Signing statements, continued
In light of the looming vote in the Senate on Alito, Philip Cooper’s research, published in Presidential Studies Quarterly, on signing statements could not be more timely or important.

January 8, 2006
Let us bork
...“borking” was possible because Bork stated his views clearly before the Judiciary Committee.

Alito and the “unitary executive”: The Latin Americanization of the US Constitution?
...in Alito we have a potential Supreme Court justice who believes that the United States would be better if we had a more Latin American style presidency: One that has much more than a veto, but instead has the constitutional right to implement laws as it sees fit.

January 3, 2006
Alito and presidential signing statements
While it is true that the President’s approval is “just as important as that of the House or Senate” inasmuch as all three institutions must consent to the same text of a bill (ignoring bills passed over a veto), it does not follow from that fact that the “president’s understanding of the bill should be just as important.” Congress consists of two chambers, numerous members, and committees. It debates alternate versions, strikes amendments, and replaces provisions. It thus has a lengthy record of why it approved one version and not others that were considered. However, under our constitution, the President is provided a take it or leave it option.

December 19, 2005
The Miers nomination in a new light
So, George W. Bush attempted to put a crony on the court with his first nomination to replace O’Connor. ... In light of the violations of FISA and assertions of (unspecified) constitutional authority to wire-tap domestically, it all makes so much more sense now...

December 12, 2005
US Supreme Court to hear DeLaymander case/Frist and Byrd spat on ‘nuclear option’–on anniversary of Bush v. Gore
Interesting that both of these matters would come precisely at the fifth anniversary of Bush v. Gore. These cases all tie together and provide a trifecta of one party using dubious manipulation of law and rules to solidify its grip on the levers of federal power.

November 15, 2005
Alito, malapportionment, Mugabe, and conservatism
Finally, something that the US conservative movement and Robert Mugabe can agree on!

October 31, 2005
Hamilton and Alito: Extraordinary circumstances?
Will the Republican base be rewarded for having gambled against Hamilton’s logic that opposition to one nominee can’t guarantee that a subsequent one will be more acceptable?

October 9, 2005
Harriet Miers, meet Alexander Hamilton
Why did Bush nominate a crony? Because the Republican party is currently reeling and any attempt to nominate someone with a clear right-wing record would provoke the “extraodinary circumstances”...

October 1, 2005
The not-so-overwhelming confirmation of Chief Justice Roberts
While some reports have characterized the 78-22 vote for new Chief Justice John Roberts as being “overwhelming,” it is worth putting it in perspective. ... Most justice confirmation votes are a good deal more overwhelmingly postive than 78-22. ... the no votes against Roberts were more numerous than all but two previous nominees who were confirmed to fill vacancies: Thomas and the man Roberts replaces, Rehnquist.

September 15, 2005
Confirmation and information in the judicial appointment process
In a system of co-equal independent executive and legislative branches, public disagreements between the executive and legislators (in this case senators from the party with the minority of seats) provide information to the public. ...We don’t have anything like the Question Period that exists in Britain and Canada, or the no-confidence procedures that exist in all parliamentary democracies. In most of these democracies, justices of the supreme court are simply selected by the prime minister. ... But in our system the executive is independent. Thus hearings for confirmation (and other purposes) are the closest analogue we have to Question Period and confidence votes.