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Away From Home

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Nominee ideologies

Are the ideological views of a Supreme Court nominee fair game?


The White House and Senate Democrats headed toward a collision
yesterday over the role ideology should play in the selection of the
next Supreme Court justice, outlining a key conflict that could define
the nomination battle over a successor to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political architect, said precedents
from the most recent Supreme Court vacancies suggest that
opposition-party senators have a responsibility to back a president's
choice if they believe a nominee is qualified, even if they disagree
with the person's views. He also maintained that a strongly held
ideological stance would not amount to "extraordinary circumstances"
justifying a Democratic filibuster under a recent bipartisan Senate

But several Senate Democrats who co-authored that deal countered that
ideology is a legitimate line of inquiry and potentially a reason to
block a nomination. "In my mind, extraordinary circumstances would
include not only extraordinary personal behavior but also
extraordinary ideological positions," said Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman
(D-Conn.), a moderate the White House has been hoping to enlist to
give bipartisan backing to the nominee.

What do you think? Should the ideology of a nominee have an effect on
their confirmation?


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