New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Judiciary, Sotomayor


May 28th, 2009

Advice and Consent on SCOTUS Pick – First Time in Decades?

The comments were buried deep in an article in today’s New York Times on the process by which President Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court. Obama, it seems, did the unheard of practice of calling every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee seeking their input.

While the Constitution requires (Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2) the advice and consent of the Senate for Supreme Court justices, stating that the President:

…shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court…

the reality is that Presidents, at least in recent memory, ignore the advice part and simply ask for consent. Presidents are funny that way.

According to Republican Senator Charles Grassley, however, in his 29 years on the Judiciary Committee Obama is the first President to call and actually seek that advice. From the article, with my emphasis:

As he narrowed his choices, aides said, Mr. Obama kept asking for more original writings by the candidates, and he called every member of the Judiciary Committee, something few if any presidents have done.

In his conversations with senators, Mr. Obama did not let on whom he was thinking about, but described what kind of nominee he was looking for and asked for names. “I don’t think he saw the process as him saying, ‘Which of these five people would you oppose or support,’ ” said Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, the Judiciary Committee chairman.

“He asked if I had any suggestions for nominees,” said Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, a member of the committee for 29 years. “This is the first time I’ve ever been called by a president on a Supreme Court nomination, be it a Republican or a Democrat.

A President that actually cares about the Constitution. What a concept.

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blawg review #214
had enough of the credit-crunch? this is an edition of blawg review for those who say… “when the credit-crunch gets tough… the credit-crunched get crunched with smokedo… and blog.” it is not x rated, it is office safe; the geeklawyer
posted by charonqc @ May 31, 2009 2:03 PM

2 thoughts on “Advice and Consent on SCOTUS Pick – First Time in Decades?

  1. Yep, he seems to care about the part with seeking advice as you pointed out, but he doesn’t seem to want someone who feels justice should be blind.

    Outside of the government stepping in and taking over public and private companies, yeah, he cares about the constitution.

    He cares that it cleans his shoes as he steps on it….
    # posted by Anonymous Anonymous : May 28, 2009 12:21 PM

  2. This post wasn’t designed as discussion of all of Obama’s policies. Just a note that he did something that no recent president, Dem or Rep, has done. He actually followed a part of the Constitution that has been widely ignored.

    There will always be people that disagree with one policy or another, but that is a separate issue.
    # posted by Blogger Eric Turkewitz : May 28, 2009 12:36 PM