The Corner

Ungag Them

I’ve got some unsolicited advice for the White House regarding its unconfirmed judges: Let ‘em loose. Or at least a few of them. Like Janice Rogers Brown, for instance. I’ve never understood why people nominated for a Senate-confirmed job all of a sudden have to shut up and not say anything publicly. Well, actually, I do know: This is an ancient D.C. protocol that’s meant to show respect for the world’s greatest deliberative body, or somesuch nonsense. Yet a nominee like Judge Brown is her own best advocate. She ought to be going on Larry King and a few other shows to talk about her background — born in the South, attended segregated schools, remembers Brown v. Board decision coming down, etc. Americans will like her. But right now they’ve never met her. And they won’t ever meet her as long as she’s bottled up by Democratic senators, to whom the administration continues to pay fealty by observing a set of outdated and counterproductive rules.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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