By Peter J. Smith
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – President Bush can expect to make no more Supreme Court judicial appointments “except in extraordinary circumstances” according to Senate Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
“We should reverse the presumption of confirmation. The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance,” Schumer said Friday at the American Constitution Society convention in Washington. “We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts, or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito.”
Schumer and other Democrats fear that another justice like Justice Alito could presage the demise of Roe v. Wade and lead to a decidedly 6-3 conservative court, instead of the current 5-4 court, with Justice Anthony Kennedy often acting as a wild card.
Schumer says that he regrets the confirmation of Alito to the Supreme Court, since his replacement of retiring Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has tipped the Court’s precarious 5-4 split more towards the conservative side. Schumer called it one of the “greatest failings” of his career as a senator and claimed President Bush “hoodwinked” Senate Democrats into allowing a vote on Alito.
“Alito shouldn’t have been confirmed,” Schumer said. “I should have done a better job. My colleagues said we didn’t have the votes, but I think we should have twisted more arms and done more.”
Justice Samuel Alito’s confirmation process is, however, already considered to have been one of the most grueling gone through by any Supreme Court nominee. His confirmation proceeded after arm-twisting from Sen. Ted Kennedy forced Mrs. Alito to break down in tears at the judicial hearings, creating a public embarrassment for the Democratic party.
President Bush may still have the opportunity to fill another vacancy on the court, since Justice John Paul Stevens is 87, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 74. However, since both justices are pro-abortion and leftist, they are likely, barring ill health or sudden death, to attempt to hold off retirement until the election of a Democratic President.