Senator Robert Menendez has responded to reports that he may be blocking confirmation of Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in retaliation for her boyfriend’s role in an investigation of Senator Menendez during the 2006 election. From the NYT:
In his statement, Mr. Menendez said that in his interview with Judge Shwartz, she did not “adequately demonstrate the breadth of knowledge of constitutional law and pivotal Supreme Court decisions, such as Citizens United,” the 2010 ruling that struck down many restrictions against corporate spending to influence federal elections.
“In my opinion, she misapplied the application of strict scrutiny versus rational basis review to the questions at hand,” his statement said, referring to two kinds of tests that courts apply when weighing government policies. “She did not express substantive knowledge as to the scope of the rights of corporations under the Constitution or jurisprudence on the constitutional limits of executive branch powers.”
Earlier in the statement, he said, “It is incredibly disappointing and unfortunate that my real concerns over the suitability of Judge Shwartz to serve a lifetime appointment as circuit court judge have been spun as some petty political vendetta by some of her supporters.”
According the the story, Senator Menendez has refused to return a blue slip for Judge Shwartz and does not intend to.