Obama could pick his nominee as early as Friday, though most expect the decision to extend into next week. No matter when he makes his pick, Republicans are ready. And you can bet your bottom dollar on what they’re most concerned about.
“At the core of our vision of a constitutionally limited government has to be a respect for the document itself, what the words were intended to mean, by the people that placed them in the document, said Sen. Jeff Sessions, in a conference call this afternoon. “This is at the core of what our government is all about.”
It’s easy to think that this round of nominations will simply be the Sotomayor hearings 2.0. But two factors make it a little bit different. The first is the rhetoric that Obama has put forth just as soon as Justice Stevens announced his retirement. Obama has said he is more concerned about the end result of the pick rather than the process of choosing the judge. That means Obama unabashedly declaring his preference for a judge that adheres to the policies Obama is most interested in. That’s a shift from at least pretending like he cares about Constitutional restraint to an all-out refusal to consider the Constitution at all.
The first is directly related to the second factor: health care. Now that the bill has been passed, Sessions is expected to drive a line of questioning that gets to the heart of whether the bill is Constitutional. No nominee President Obama picks will be even remotely interested in repealing his signature piece of legislation. But that doesn’t mean Republicans won’t have a field day making the point about how health care reform extends beyond the limits of our founding document.
Whil that might make for fun television, it won’t make for a reassuring judicial pick.
“Obama is far less wedded to process and more wedded to what the results will be. He’s much more results oriented. Well, this is a very dangerous thing. If this is his judicial philosophy, we’ve got a bigger problem than most of us have thought,” said Sessions.