Don't answer that.
Leading Republicans are trying to get Democratic senators to promise not to filibuster the next Supreme Court nominee, even before hearing the name.
With John Roberts' confirmation as chief justice now assured, Republicans on Tuesday began pressuring the Senate's minority Democrats to promise what they called a fair confirmation hearing and vote for President Bush's next Supreme Court nominee.
Democrats have successfully filibustered several of Bush's conservative choices for lower courts, and Republicans are jumping out front to try and dissuade them from attempting to do the same to Bush's next pick, who probably will be someone more conservative than O'Connor.
"Because the nominee might be perceived by some to be more conservative in their view than Justice O'Connor, somebody is going to make the argument that this then makes this more extraordinary, and therefore try to put pressure on Democrats who have not seen fit to filibuster judicial nominees to say, 'Well, this is different,'" said Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
Added Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate's No. 2 Republican: "On this particular nomination we conducted ourselves well, and hopefully we can do that again since we'll have another nominee."
In the patronizing language of Republican senators, "conducted ourselves well" means ignored our constituents and gave the Republicans everthing they wanted. In matters like these, I would rather the Democrats be a little more ill mannered. Although, I have to admit, interpreting "advise and consent" to mean "before I ask, you ahve to promise you'll say yes" is a new one to me. I'll have to add it to my Republican - English dictionary.
I think John Aravosis gets it right.
Why should they promise that? Bush hasn't even told us who it's going to be. Not to mention, Bush and the Republicans in Congress are both at - oh - 38% in the polls. Why should the Dems worry about ticking off 38% of the country?
I have an idea, why don't Dems ask President Bush to "promise" now that he'll appoint someone in the image of Justice O'Connor to fill her slot?
Promises go both ways.