Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Stop. The. Presses.

Woah now! Who could have possibly seen this coming!?!?

The Senate Democratic leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said Tuesday that he would oppose the confirmation of Judge John G. Roberts Jr. as chief justice...

Well now. You don't say? Really. Please, take this time to color me seven shades of surprised.

...surprising both the White House and fellow Democrats still conflicted about how to vote.

Well, this maybe surprised the dunces at the Times, but, ummm..., roughly no one else. One has to wonder whether the 500 people being laid off by the Times were as surprised.

In announcing his decision in a lengthy speech on the Senate floor, Mr. Reid questioned Judge Roberts's commitment to civil rights and said he was "very swayed" by the civil rights and women's rights leaders who testified Thursday in opposition to the nomination - and with whom Mr. Reid met privately that same day. Liberal advocacy groups, who raise millions of dollars to support Democratic candidates and who have been putting intense pressure on Democrats to oppose the nomination, were elated.

I have to wonder whether Reid was actually swayed by some sort of actual argument from these so-called advocacy groups, or if they simply showed him a picture of a campaign contribution check with a large, red VOID written across it. I dare say the smart money's on the second scenario.

With a vote in committee scheduled for Thursday, the eight Democrats on the judiciary panel met Tuesday to discuss the nomination. They emerged tight-lipped, saying they wanted to speak to the entire Democratic caucus before announcing their votes. Several, including Mr. Leahy, said they had not yet reached a decision.

Raise your hand if you really think they haven't honestly reached a decision. How about these senators do what they are supposed to do, and... oh wait, I am getting ahead of myself here. No matter what the context, this is a course of action we have come to never expect.

The White House reacted coolly to Mr. Reid's announcement. A spokeswoman, Dana Perino, said it departed from Senate tradition in which members have "based their decisions on the qualifications of the nominee, not on whether or not the person doing the nominating was in their same party."

And the White House actually knocks one out of the park, for a nice change of pace. At the risk of being repetitive, does anyone remember when Ginsberg was confirmed without anyone expecting the release of confidential documents and without forcing her to answer hardly any questions at all, let alone ones on issues that would likely appear before the court?

The liberals here have established some really filthy precedent, and I wish that the Republicans weren't so incredibly spineless as to throw it back at them should the situation ever arise.