Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Advise and consent

Lindsay Beyerstein, who is sitting in for Kevin Drum at The Washington Monthly, is exactly on point when she punctures the essential Republican argument over confirmation hearings; Supreme Court appointee or any other:
The Republicans are trying to convince the public that the president has the right to have his nominees confirmed. That's absolutely ridiculous. Regardless of what you think about the judicial filibuster, the fact remains that every senator is responsible for evaluating and critiquing the nominees (adivsing) and approving only those she deems worthy (consenting). Consent implies the choice between assent and dissent. You can't exercise consent when "consent" is your only option.
The President is not the regent. For all the talk of the importance of the Legislature as the representative of the people, when it comes to Presidential decisions the Republicans are quick to cite some super-status that provides the President with some ultimate right to operate that supersedes the system of checks and balances as created by the founders of the American government.

Extreme circumstances do not have to exist for the people's representatives to speak out against a Presidential decision.

- Murphy

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