This morning on Fox News, former Bush political adviser Karl Rove criticized Judge Sonia Sotomayor, a potential nominee for the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy. “She could be even more liberal than Souter was,” Rove said. “She has a reputation on the Court of Appeals that she’s on for being very liberal.” He then argued that Sotomayor’s views would be cause for conservatives to oppose her, despite her qualifications for the position:
On the other hand, she’s also likely to draw opposition from conservatives because her opinions on the Circuit Court of Appeals have been very liberal and very expansive. In fact, this is going to be one the big dividing lines. President Obama…said he wanted a judge who would uphold the Constitution, but also a judge would be empathetic. These two things are in conflict.
Needless to say, Rove is being hypocritical. When he was shepherding Bush’s Supreme Court nominees through the process, he explicitly made the argument the President was owed deference to choose a qualified nominee and opposition party had a “responsibility to back” that pick. Here’s what Rove told the Washington Post in July 2005:
Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief political architect, said precedents from the most recent Supreme Court vacancies suggest that opposition-party senators have a responsibility to back a president’s choice if they believe a nominee is qualified, even if they disagree with the person’s views. He also maintained that a strongly held ideological stance would not amount to “extraordinary circumstances” justifying a Democratic filibuster under a recent bipartisan Senate deal. [...]
Rove made clear that Bush will consult with senators in both parties, but that he has no interest in any kind of grand bargain between the White House and Congress in which legislators would give support in exchange for advance input on the president’s choice. Some Democratic groups have suggested that Bush seek an early consensus. Rove, however, cited his own weekend reading of the Federalist Papers to argue that the framers of the Constitution envisioned no such role for Congress, leaving the president alone to make nominations.
In the interview with Fox News this morning, Rove lauded the Bush White House’s preparedness for filling the Supreme Court vacancies when they arose and suggested the Obama White House is unprepared for making a nomination. It seems Rove has quickly forgotten his “active role” in the disastrous nomination of Harriet Miers, who came under relentless assault from Bush’s conservative base.
Last night, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz argued, “I think it’s time to say it. This is no time for bi-partisanship, we need a liberal on the Supreme Court. … Will President Obama put a liberal lion on the Supreme Court, and I mean no shame, no apologies. Or will he cave in when the Party of No starts crying about a consensus choice? May I remind Americans tonight, we had a consensus back in November, it was called an election. They lost. Elections have consequences. This is our time to shape the future of this country.”
,The National Review’s Matthew Franck urges GOP senators not to filibuster Obama’s nominee. “Supreme Court nominations deserve an up-or-down vote,” he writes. But he also urges “Republicans to throw some sand in the gears” to slow down the confirmation process.