GOP Must Get Revenge in High Court Hearings

Democrats changed the rules by opposing Roberts, Alito
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2009 8:10 AM CDT
GOP Must Get Revenge in High Court Hearings
In this Sept. 21, 2005 file photo, then-Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts, left, meets with then-Sen. Barack Obama, in Obama's office on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, FILE)

When Democrats waged an ideological war on the Supreme Court nominations of conservatives John Roberts and Samuel Alito, they set a dangerous precedent that should boomerang on whoever President Obama selects, says the Bush official in charge of those confirmations. Previously, the Senate graciously ushered through anyone with sufficient intellect, temperament, and experience, writes Ed Gillespie in the Washington Post, but Senate Republicans are this time all but obligated to oppose a liberal nominee.

Forty-one of 44 Senate Republicans voted for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and 33 of 42 for Stephen Breyer. By contrast a whopping 40 of 44 Democrats voted against Alito. Barack Obama was among them, urging his colleagues to consider a nominee’s “philosophy, ideology and record.” Now, Republicans must apply the same standard to Obama’s nominees, Gillespie writes, lest the court slide forever leftward. (More Barack Obama stories.)

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