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"Schumerism"

Lawrence Solum (many posts), Crescat Sententia (Curmudgeonly Clerk et. al.), and many others have been getting hot under the collar about the "politicization" of the judicial confirmation process. I have argued (more than once) that this concern is misguided, and I continue to believe that it is. Hence, it's good to find Nathan Newman with an eminently sensible take on the issue:

There is no reason in a democracy why either superior virtue or intelligence entitles you to office. Judges have too much power in my view to not be judged based on their views before given lifetime appointment. As things stand, the appointment process is the one check on judicial power for the lifetime of a judge. It should be a tough check for that very reason.

Some other persuasive arguments come from, as usual, Brian Leiter:

It's hard not to feel that our public culture, and our public discourse about law, would be a lot healthier if the truth of legal realism were more widely acknowledged. Consider the battle over federal court nominations: if we're realists, then we can say plainly that these are battles over life-time appointments of government agents who will be called on to make moral and political judgments, by which the force of the state will be brought to bear against the parties so judged. Ergo, it is perfectly reasonable, indeed, appropriate, for Senators to oppose nominations on moral and political grounds.

Three cheers for Schumerism! (and for legal realism!)