Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Clarence Thomas Blasts Confirmation Process

As Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito prepares to go before the Senate in January, Justice Clarence Thomas has criticized the Senate confirmation process. If anyone knows how brutal and unfair the confirmation process can be, it is Clarence Thomas, who was assaulted by unsubstantiated accusations and dragged through the mud by a former co-worker, despite his obvious qualifications. This mugging took place for no better reason than the political Left feared the presence on the Court of a Justice who would rely on the U.S. Constitution to decide cases.

Justice Thomas told students and other audience members in a question-and-answer session at the University of Alabama School of Law that the process is so intense that federal court judges turn down the opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court. It’s a sad day in this country when qualified people shy away from public service because the process of getting approved is so poisonous and dirty that they don’t want to go through it.

According to a report in the University of Alabama's newspaper, The Crimson White, Justice Thomas also made these comments during the Q & A session:

The personal lives of Supreme Court nominees shouldn't be thoroughly bared during the confirmation process.

The Senate votes for people who make decisions for or against their interests, instead of deciding whether they are capable of interpreting the law.

The courts are being "held hostage" by the issue of abortion, which has been at the center of every confirmation hearing since Roe v. Wade.

When asked about religion and government, Thomas said the separation of church and state couldn't be found in the Constitution.

All of those statements are true. The most relevant one at the moment is number 2, for it foreshadows what may be coming next year when the Alito nomination comes up: that Senators sometimes put their solemn duty to fairly and objectively evaluate a nominee’s qualifications aside and substitute their personal feelings and political eiency when it comes to Supreme Court nominations. Such despicable behavior is a grave disservice to the nation, and a gross failure in the responsibility of their office.

The method of evaluating a nominee’s fitness for the Court based upon qualifications and experience was good enough for the Democrat’s when Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed, despite her liberal record. We’ll see soon whether the Democrats in the Senate today are fair minded, or just cheap political hacks who put nothing ahead of their selfish, narrow political agenda.

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