Bench Memos

Garnett on Today So Far

From my in-box: “The Republicans need to defend a vision of the Constitution and not merely lay down procedural rules for the confirmation process. In today’s opening remarks, the Democrats again and again proposed a vision of the Constitution in which unelected judges take it upon themselves to push society in a policy direction favored by liberal Senate Democrats. The Republicans must articulate a competing vision in which questions of policy and morality are decided by the people through their elected representatives and not by unelected judges. The Senate Democrats complained repeatedly about Supreme Court rulings overturning Congressional decisions and yet they were silent on the all too common practice of Justices substituting their policy preferences for those of state legislators and of the people. In United States vs. Lopez, Chief Justice Rehnquist echoed Chief Justice Marshall that the federalist structure of our government serves to protect the liberties of individuals. The Senate Democrats need to be reminded of this basic civics lesson.” – Rick Garnett, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and former clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist.

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