Confirming Based on Ideology Led to Mediocrity

University of Minnesota law professor (and former Thomas clerk) David Stras had a good Star Tribune op-ed on the underlying causes of the current confirmation mess. He writes:

Something is seriously wrong when neither liberals nor conservatives can embrace a Supreme Court nominee, especially one who was chosen in part on a diversity rationale. How did we reach this point? To my conservative and liberal colleagues alike I say that the blame cannot be put solely on the shoulders of George W. Bush.

It is true that the president nominated two relatively unknown “stealth” candidates to the Supreme Court in Harriet Miers and John Roberts. Together, they have approximately two years of judicial experience between them, yet they will be making the law of the land for the next 20.

Bush’s choices were entirely predictable because ideology has become in many cases the primary, if not the only, barometer of whether a justice is fit to serve.

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

Politics & Policy

Broward’s Cowards

It is impossible to imagine circumstances under which Broward County sheriff Scott Israel could attempt to perform his duties with the confidence of the public. He should resign immediately, and if, as he promises, he refuses to go quietly, then he should be shown the door by the people he professes to ... Read More
Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

CNN’s Shameful Town Hall

CNN recently hosted an anti-gun town hall featuring a number of grieving children and parents from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who aimed their ire at the National Rifle Association, politicians peripherally associated with the NRA, and anyone who didn’t say exactly what they wanted to hear. ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More