Back when Mr Bush was nominating people for President, I made what I felt was a strong argument that the Senate should have readily nominated his appointees. I stand by this argument now that the other party is now in the White House. I based this argument on Mr Hamilton’s Federalist Paper #76. Mr Hamilton notes:

To what purpose then require the co-operation of the Senate? I answer, that the necessity of their concurrence would have a powerful, though, in general, a silent operation. It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity. In addition to this, it would be an efficacious source of stability in the administration.

He also notes just prior, mentioning consequences of what might occur if the Senate took too active a role in vetting and selecting nominees.

Hence, in every exercise of the power of appointing to offices, by an assembly of men, we must expect to see a full display of all the private and party likings and dislikes, partialities and antipathies, attachments and animosities, which are felt by those who compose the assembly. The choice which may at any time happen to be made under such circumstances, will of course be the result either of a victory gained by one party over the other, or of a compromise between the parties. In either case, the intrinsic merit of the candidate will be too often out of sight. In the first, the qualifications best adapted to uniting the suffrages of the party, will be more considered than those which fit the person for the station. […] And it will rarely happen that the advancement of the public service will be the primary object either of party victories or of party negotiations. [emphasis mine]

In view of the last two decades of despicable SCOTUS and other similar interviews, Mr Biden and his parties behavior during the Thomas hearings comes to mind, a rejoinder to Mr Hamilton might be, “D’ya think? They might put considerations of party before who might be fit for the station.”

Mr Hamilton suggests the Senatorial advise/consent be exercised to insure the nominee free from “unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment, or from a view to popularity.” If Ms Sotomayor is free from these issues, my view would be to approve her to the position.

Filed under: DemocratsJudiciaryMark O.PoliticsRepublicans

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