Senator Charles Schumer and his leftist colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee have reached a new low in suggesting that President Bush is being divisive by appointing his political allies to the bench.
Every president is entitled and expected to appoint to the bench those who share his worldview. The nominee's party affiliation is not a legitimate reason for the other party to oppose confirmation unless, perhaps, it will lead him to judicial activism on the bench. But in such cases it's not his party affiliation but his activism that makes him objectionable.
The irony is that conservatives, as a matter of principle, generally reject judicial activism. That is, they believe that judges should interpret rather than make laws. Conservative appointees are far less likely to impose their ideology through judicial "legislation." (Please, liberals, don't trot out Bush v. Gore here.)
It is liberals, like Schumer, who support liberal judicial activists for the bench because they believe the end justifies the means. Indeed, for years the Left was upfront about its intention to use the courts to further its policy agenda, since it was unable to do so through democratic processes.
How else would they have succeeded in federalizing abortion "rights"? And they're trying it again with same-sex marriage, beginning with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Consider the audacity of Schumer lecturing President Bush for appointing to the court conservative Republicans who would probably exercise judicial restraint, when the Schumerites would confirm liberal Democrats who would unapologetically engage in judicial activism.
That's why it's a little hard to take Chuck Schumer castigating President Bush for appointing his White House Counsel Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. "If President Bush wanted to unite us, would he nominate Brett Kavanaugh?" a pseudo-incredulous Schumer asked, oozing with indignation.
Wrong question, Senator. Judicial appointments are not designed to bring harmony to Washington. Besides, Bush can hardly be accused of divisiveness for doing what all presidents do and are supposed to do. You, Senator, are the one being divisive, by opposing judicial nominations for purely partisan reasons. If it's harmony you want, quit your posturing and honor your constitutional duty to confirm qualified nominees.
There is no requirement that a judicial nominee have a history of nonpartisanship as a condition to serving on the court. In fact, shouldn't we be skeptical about anyone seeking such an appointment who doesn't have strong political convictions?