Will a Ginsburg Clone be Confirmed to the Supreme Court?


Recently, Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight.com wrote a piece on Ruth “Buzzy” Ginsberg of the Supreme Court. He began by quoting her from an interview she gave Elle magazine, published last week, were Ginsburg said, “If I resign anytime this year, [President Obama] could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see on the court.… So anybody who thinks if I step down, Obama could appoint someone like me, their misguided.”

Enten disagrees, saying that he believes a Ginsburg clone would, in fact, be confirmed today. He explains that Ginsburg flew through the “confirmation process in 1993 with 96 votes, including 41 Republicans.”

96 of 100 senators voted for the Ginsburg disaster. Pitiful! My, how some things don’t change from decade to decade. The Senate then, just like now, houses mostly conformist, establishment, big government Republicans—most who feel they just confirm anyone the president nominates, unless it’s a Republican president.

Ginsburg was a former ACLU attorney, and, last I checked, it isn’t now, nor has it ever been, a constitutionally conservative organization. Just knowing that, I would have voted against her. Any representative of the ACLU would automatically be disqualified, in my book. But then I’m not a learned Senator.

But wait… doesn’t a senator need a legal reason not to confirm?

In fact, I’ve had this disagreement with some legal scholars before – the last being Jay Severin of Blaze Radio. It seems every “legal” mind I’ve discussed this with says the same thing when I state I would not confirm so and so. They ask “on what grounds?” That is to say, “what under the law disqualifies this person from being appointed?”

To that, I would explain that I have no such grounds – but frankly, I don’t need any. Article II, section 2 of the Constitution allows only for the advice and consent of the Senate for Supreme Court nominees. Nowhere does it require any “legal authority” to vote no. Maybe I don’t like the nominee’s shoes or hair – who cares? My yes or no vote can be completely objective or subjective, and either is just as valid under the Constitution.

Anywho, Enten says that Ginsberg, when nominated, wasn’t really all that liberal—not compared to recent nominees like Kagan and Sotomayor or even, as he puts it, “liberal lions such as William J. Brennan or Thurgood Marshall.” I’m just going to let that ridiculous statement go without comment.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Ginsberg was even recommended by our friend and establishment backstabber Orrin Hatch. Great job, Orrin.

Enten continues his article quoting a bunch of silly metrics from the “Segal- Cover” ideology index, which with his own derived index, shows that a Ginsburg clone would indeed have no problem being confirmed.

One can show all the metrics and indexes one cares to, but in the end, it all comes down to ideology, political correctness, and a lack of courage.

Enten states that this new nominee would be confirmed with at least 80 votes, whether the Republicans control the Senate or not.

I agree, but not because the nominee is qualified – or not. It’s all politics and ideology for Democrats and it’s the politics of fear for Republicans.

Enten’s article is really an exercise in nothing. Any nominee presented by a Democrat president will be confirmed. That’s just the way it works – period. No litmus test, few questions and little hesitation. Republicans are too afraid not to confirm. Sure, a few Republicans might vote no, but mainly just for cover in an election year.

Heck, Obama could nominate Sheila Jackson Lee, and she would be confirmed. Develop a metric for that one, Harry.

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