Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

: Monday Morning Roundup


In today’s Wall Street Journal, ABA president Michael Greco defends his organization, not very convincingly, as fair and nonideological (this in response to the Journal’s criticism of the ABA’s treatment of judicial nominee Michael Wallace).  The Journal’s editors respond, oh yeah, then what about that claptrap you published last week on signing statements?

In the New York Times, Walter Dellinger takes down the ABA’s feeble task force report on signing statements, though his argument is marred by some weak jabs at President Bush.

And at the Weekly Standard’s website, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Adam J. White argue that Arlen Specter is opportunistic in his on-again, off-again attachment to judicial supremacy.  They put their case well, but I am inclined to defend Specter’s deeper consistency in his wrongheaded attachment to the rule of judges.  More later, perhaps.

Oh, and that Benjamin Wittes piece in yesterday’s Washington Post, to which Ed Whelan pointed us?  Yes, of course it is vastly superior to the tripe the Post published by Senator Kennedy (not a hard mark to hit).  But while Wittes makes a decent case that our hearings on Supreme Court nominations are pretty dysfunctional, his closing argument is an odd one, that the “real democratic moment” to which we should pay attention is not the hearing’s interrogation of each nominee but the floor debate on each one.  How is this a helpful suggestion?  The article leaves this a woefully underdeveloped argument.  Perhaps it is fleshed out more fully in the forthcoming book Wittes has written, of which this column appears to be a foretaste.  I hope so.

Tags: Franck


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