Monday, May 23, 2005

On filibustering presidential appointments for judgeships

We should not be looking for political representation in our judges. Our representative in the judicial branch is ourselves when we sit on juries. The interpretation of laws and of the constitution and the administration of justice in general should be as close as we can get to reasonable and objective. Having to satisfy only 60 out of 100 senators that the impartiality and good sense of a candidate can be counted on for the rest of his or her lifetime seems like a very far cry from excessive stringency to me.

Meanwhile, to the extent party discipline is strong, we only have the inconsistency of voters to thank for any balance of the executive by congress, because when one party controls both branches the White House and the Capitol might as well be one building. Did the framers really want government by party? I'm an ignoramus regarding political history, but still I feel sure they didn't. The fact that a judge doesn't register with a party is no hedge against a covert political leaning. I believe the framers didn't want the administration of justice to be tilted in any way, and one of the few ways we have to ensure that is by requiring bipartisan approval of judges. The fact that it's the president who initiates the process with a nomination is incidental.

- Cobbled from a couple comments I made at Althouse.

1 comment:

t.s. said...

What did the framers think about political parties? Were the political parties they knew anything like what we have today? Not even the Democratic or Republican Party of, say, the 1970s is like what we have today.