The Right Coast

May 18, 2005
The most boring nuclear event ever
By Tom Smith

There's something weird in the zeitgeist surrounding the confrontation in the Senate over judicial nominees. I can't quite figure it out. For one thing, the MSM doesn't seem quite as hysterical as they should over it. They are somewhat hysterical yes, but it is certainly not the "Satan himself has been nominated to the Court" that we had with both Bork the Infidel and Clarence the Unbeliever. Is the story too complicated? Are the liberals holding fire? Or are they just outnumbered and exhausted? Or are they just rightly embarassed by the position that the President and the majority of the Senate should not together be able to select federal judges, if 41 democratic Senators disagree? I know extremely distinguished constitutional scholars have taken both sides in this debate, in some cases first the one side, and then the other. So it is hard to know what to think. But to me, the fillibuster seems an odd constitutional principle to take a stand on. And in the event, not a very good tactical choice either, as it seems the Senate rules probably will allow the majority to force debate to end and a vote to be taken. In any event, what puzzles me is why the end of the world talk has been relatively muted. If I had to guess I would say, they're saving themselves for the Supreme Court fight. Remember, when you say "right to choose," you're not taking about Republican Presidents.