21 April 2009

Up or Down

Just a quick note on this op-ed from Democrat Walter Dellinger. An excerpt:

On the eve of George W. Bush's inauguration in 2001, I cautioned fellow
Democrats against "delaying or denying confirmation of nominees to cabinet and
subcabinet posts." I argued on these pages that blocking executive nominees
would weaken the presidency and be counterproductive for the opposition: "If a
president cannot promptly place his chosen people in key offices, he can hardly
be held fully responsible for the missteps of the administration."
In the
past few years, many Republican senators have agreed, saying that it is
unacceptable to filibuster a nominee submitted to the Senate for its "advice and
consent." Some Republicans have gone further than I would, asserting that
filibusters of presidential nominations are unconstitutional.
I was therefore
taken aback by recent speculation that Republicans might filibuster two of
President Barack Obama's key nominees: Dawn Johnsen, to head the Justice
Department's Office of Legal Counsel; and Harold Koh, to be legal adviser to the
State Department.

I hope the speculation turns out to be unfounded. It may well be. It would be wrong to perpetrate an unfortunate and damaging practice. To the victor go the spoils.

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