The Conservative Guide to Consultation

The right’s simple four-step guide to ramming a Supreme Court nominee through the Senate:

Don’t Offer Suggestions: “From her second-floor quarters in a corner of the West Wing, [White House Counsel Harriet Miers], formerly Mr. Bush’s personal lawyer, also telephoned members of Congress and asked them to avoid pressuring the president by publicly promoting or opposing specific people for the bench.”

Don’t Ask Questions: Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who sits on the Judiciary Committee, calls the desire to hear detailed views from President Bush’s nominee “highly objectionable,” pointing negatively at “other cases in which Democrats had raised objections to Bush administration nominees in part on the ground that information was being withheld, including the nomination of John R. Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations.”

Cover Up the Nominee’s Past: Supporters of President Bush “say they will try to limit the access senators would have to F.B.I. documents on the potential nominee — the unpredictable wild card in any judicial confirmation because even the White House cannot fully anticipate the outcome of the background investigation when the president makes his choice.”


Rush the Process as Much as Possible: According to the New York Times, a “central element” of the White House confirmation strategy is to “shrink the target of attack on any nominee by limiting both the questions that may be posed and the time between the nomination and the hearings.”