July 14, 2005

Is Bush trying to "avoid a partisan battle" over the Supreme Court nominee?

Reuters reports:
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators who crafted a compromise on judicial nominees two months ago said President Bush's talks with both parties for his first nomination to the Supreme Court may help avert a divisive confirmation battle....

"We all expressed mutual confidence and praise for the manner in which the president has initiated 'the advice and consent,"' added Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia. The U.S. Constitution requires that the president seek the advice and consent of the Senate on nominations....

Seeking to avoid a partisan battle, Bush is consulting with a variety of senators on who they would like to see on the court while insisting they will not get a veto.
What is the basis for concluding that Bush is "seeking to avoid a partisan battle"? The consultation with the Senators? Wouldn't he also do that just to avert criticism for failing to take the "advice" part of the Constitution seriously?

I find it a little hard to understand why Bush needs to go out of his way to avoid controversy on this. What is his motivation? He said quite clearly when he was running for election and reelection what sort of justice he'd choose. Isn't it more controversial to back down on that that to follow through? Why wouldn't he choose the person he genuinely thinks is best and proceed with the fight for confirmation?

3 comments:

The Editors said...

"The U.S. Constitution requires that the president seek the advice and consent of the Senate on nominations.."

No, it requires the president "...shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint..."

The nomination part is the president's power alone.

"Why wouldn't he choose the person he genuinely thinks is best and proceed with the fight for confirmation?"

Perhaps he will. He hasn't done anything yet. Most of the commentary and worry is premature.

Kathleen B. said...

What is the basis for concluding that Bush is "seeking to avoid a partisan battle"?

the reporter probably got it on double super secret background.

-Peder said...

The Dems in congress will oppose any nominee that Bush puts before them. Probably hystericaly. By meeting with large numbers of them before any nomination he can blunt any suggestion from them that tried to run roughshod over their role in the Supreme Court. Getting any of them on record as to how cooperative Bush is being will only highlight their opposition to come.
The battle is inevitable. He's just rying to defang them before it comes.