Power Line: Alito confirmed

Powerline says that the Alito confirmation essentially changed all the rules of judicial confirmation. I think he’s probably right. The days when the Senate chose not to politicize judicial appointments are over. We have the Democrats to thank for that. One way to look at it is that Borking has now become mainstream. Democrats and Republicans alike in the future are likely to vote primarily along party lines on judicial appointees. If Ruth Bader Ginsberg were nominated today, she’d have a very hard time getting through a Republican controlled Senate.

What this means long term is hard to say. If one party controls both the White House and the Senate, the will likely be able to confirm their choices, but the days of 98 – 2 votes are almost certainly over. But if the White House and Senate are in different hands, then the process is going to be ugly and will likely result in nominees that are “under the radar” candidates whose true views are closely hidden, instead of nominees whose judicial philosophy and paper trail are clear, compelling and demonstrate a direct, confident and incisive intellect.

Or to put it another way, the future of the Supreme Court likely belongs to the Harriet Miers of the world, not the Samuel Alitos.

I think that’s a bad thing, but that’s just my opinion. Now that the entire country has grown to realize that the Supreme Court is truly supreme in many ways, there really is no way to expect the process to have remained above the political fray.

One day in the future Democrats will be trying to get their own nominees approved, and some of them, those with an appreciation of history, will look back to today and say “why did we do that?”

Or at least I hope they are honest enough to do that.