Advice and Consent
The President’s trip to Scotland for the G-8 summit has given Democrats and Republicans alike the opportunity to begin laying the groundwork for their strategies regarding the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by Justice O’Connor’s resignation earlier in the week.
Today, Democrats criticized
Durbin, the Democratic Whip and one of the leading spokesmen for the party, welcomed the White House effort "to reach out in a bipartisan manner and actively consult" with lawmakers from both parties. Other Democrats, notably Sen. Kennedy, were critical of the WH efforts to reach across party lines. Kennedy said:
"To be meaningful, consultation should include who the president is really considering so we can give responsive and useful advice."
It seems that the WH can’t win on this one in the eyes of the Democrats in the Senate. During this early stage of the vetting process, the WH seems to be working with Senators from both parties to ensure that there is a flow of information that can help prevent a return of the nuclear option over whomever is the nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
While I agree with Senator Kennedy that names will need to be shared with Congressional leaders if the true meaning of “advice and consent” is to be met. However, it may not yet be time for the WH to disclose the names of potential nominees and they should be congratulated on the attempts to reach across partisan lines -- at least for now.