Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who last week called for war on ANY nominee President Bush might appoint to the Supreme Court, now wishes to negotiate at Camp David with the President on picking a "consensus" judicial nominee. Merriam-Webster Online defines consensus as the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned. The U.S. Constitution grants the sole power of nominating a Supreme Court justice to the President and allows the Senate (currently being controlled by the President's own party) to then vote on that nominee. Any effort by the President to include the Senate's minority party, the Democrats, is done out of President Bush's goodwill.
Of course, this isn't really true at all. The constitution specifically says that President nominates his picks, and they are confirmed "with the advice and consent" of the senate. Schumer's proposal seems to clearly fall within the realm of proposing "advice."
Now, normally, I'd just assume that FRC, like on so many other issues, is simply unaware of the particularly constitutional provisions implicated here. As a wise man once said, I never assume malice when mere ignorance will suffice. But, as it happens, the FRC used to make quite a bit of hay over the constitutional clause they've now "forgotten."
"The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed Sen. Specter this year because "he would be in a position to block some of the ideologically extreme federal judges likely to be nominated by President Bush in a second term, some of them for the Supreme Court." With all due respect to Sen. Specter's journalist pals, but the Constitution makes it clear that the Senate's role is to "advise and consent" when it comes to judges, not "block and dissent."
In the latter statement, Mr. Perkins essentially removed the "consent" qualifier. In the former, he omitted the "advice" clause. Two wrongs--make a bigger wrong. Who knew?