Bench Memos

Post Backs Rosenstein Nomination

Maryland’s two Democratic Senators, Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski, are objecting to President Bush’s nomination of Maryland U.S. attorney to an open seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  They claim he has not been a member of the Maryland bar long enough to merit appointment to a “Maryland seat” on the Court.  Today the Washington Post dismantles their obstructionist arguments and urges Senate confirmation for Rosenstein.

Federal appeals court judges rule almost exclusively on the basis of federal law — not state and local law — so experience in the local bar or local courts would have little, if any, impact on their ability to perform the job. And punishing Mr. Rosenstein by denying him a judgeship because of an outstanding performance as U.S. attorney is perverse. In fact, the office has stabilized under Mr. Rosenstein and counts among its ranks senior lawyers who would be capable of taking charge.

Ms. Mikulski and Mr. Cardin may be hoping to stall Mr. Rosenstein’s nomination until a Democratic president can fill the Maryland seat. Such a move would not be unprecedented, but if it is happening, it is wrong. And it is most disturbing when it affects a nominee of Mr. Rosenstein’s caliber. . . .

 . . .blocking Mr. Rosenstein’s confirmation hearing — as the Maryland senators may yet do — would elevate ideology and ego above substance and merit, and it would unfairly penalize a man who people on both sides of this question agree is well qualified for a judgeship.

Jonathan H. Adler — Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in environmental, administrative, and constitutional law at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Most Popular

Science & Tech

Special-Order Babies

Procreation is becoming a matter of manufacturing, engineering, quality control, and other accouterments of industrial control. Babies are already made by IVF, and then sorted for health and neo-eugenics attributes -- including sex. Desired embryos are implanted in a uterus -- either that of the mother, or a ... Read More

What Self-Help Guru Tony Robbins Was Trying to Say

Tony Robbins must have known immediately that he'd made a huge mistake in how he responded to a question about #MeToo. Last month, at one of Robbins's popular, sold-out seminars, audience member Nanine McCool told the self-help guru that she thought he misunderstood the #MeToo movement. You can see the entire ... Read More

The Dominant-Sport Theory of American Politics

I think it’s safe to assert that President Trump has an unfortunate tendency to do and say (and tweet) embarrassing things. When he does, we all join in the condemnation, and often it’s not so much for the substance as for the style. The president of the United States should be dignified, measured, slow to ... Read More
Film & TV

Little Pink House Speaks Truth to Power

Coming soon to a cinema near you—you can make this happen; read on—is a bite-your-nails true-story thriller featuring heroes, villains, and a history-making struggle over . . . the Constitution’s Takings Clause. Next February 24, Little Pink House will win the Oscar for Best Picture if Hollywood’s ... Read More