Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Feeding the Monkey(s)


Professor Bainbridge and certain other libertarians have long been opposed to triggering the constitutional option, and they’ve been unpersuasive in my view.

As for consultation, I was involved in the judicial vetting process for about twelve months while serving in the Reagan White House. Much deference was given to homestate senators over district court nominations. No deference was given to any senator respecting circuit or Supreme Court nominees. Consultations at that level involved working with key Republican senators, and possibly sympathetic Democrats, to strategize the best way to achieve confirmation. This approach was critical to ensure that senators didn’t think they could have the same kind of influence over the circuit and Supreme Court nomination process that they were allowed on the lower courts. This has always annoyed certain senators, who want to play a larger role in the process. And I am not surprised this is in the agreement, given the huge egos of the seven “moderate” Republicans involved in this farce … I mean, MOU.


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