The Specter Standard For Supreme Court Nomination Hearings

Here’s what Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, wrote in his 2000 book, Passion for Truth:

[T]he Senate should resist, if not refuse to confirm Supreme Court nominees who refuse to answer questions on fundamental issues. In voting on whether or not to confirm a nominee, senators should not have to gamble or guess about a candidate’s philosophy, but should be able to judge on the basis of the candidate’s expressed views.

In short, Supreme Court nomination hearings are about more than a nominee’s character — the nominee must also answer specific questions about his or her views on legal issues. Let’s make sure Specter sticks by that when hearings start for the person Bush nominates to replace O’Connor.