March 25, 2002


A scar on the Senate (Nat Hentoff, Jewish World Review March 25, 2002)
I challenge Sen. Leahy to find in the Constitution, in James Madison's notes on the debates as the Constitution was being written, and in the Federalist Papers, any justification for allowing a single committee, no matter which party is in the majority, to veto a federal judicial nomination.

Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution says clearly that the president shall nominate judges "with the advice and consent of the Senate." There is no footnote giving the final authority to the Judiciary Committee. Its veto power is the result of Senate rule. A constitutional amendment is not required to change that rule. All it requires is enough senators who believe in a process that is democratic.

It is often necessary to disagree with Nat Hentoff, but always worthwhile reading him. He's everything a civil libertarian should be : reasonable; fair; and consistent. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 25, 2002 7:18 AM
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