Ed Driscoll

The Long Hot Summer

Hugh Hewitt has some thoughts on what what’s to come during the Supreme Court nomination process:

In short, this is going to be very ugly because the left will commit itself to winning at any cost, and if it takes a dozen Melody Townsels peddling two dozen slanders each, then that is what they will try.

Expect as well the demand for documents that cannot be produced or will not be produced under long standing precedents. That will not succeed in and of itself, but again delay will be the objective until the willing witnesses are found and coached. Like Bush’s DUI in the 2000 campaign, the biggest charge of all will drop just as the hearings come to a close, with the left hoping to force another round of hearings as happened with Justice Thomas.

The best defense here starts with the combination of a thoroughly scrubbed nominee and vigilance of new media on the center right and perhaps even skepticism of legacy media of sensational charges (unlikely). The key, though, will be speed. Senators Frist and Specter need to establish a schedule, stick to it, and alert the public from day one that a filibuster will be met with the constitutional option after 100 hours of debate following the conclusion of the hearings. The longer the process drags on, the greater the chance to invent and deploy Townsels. The more specific the schedule and the notice on the constitutional option, the greater the attention of the public and the scrutiny of would-be Anita Hills.

It would also be useful to start reminding people that there have been more than 300 recess appointments of judges in the country’s history, beginning with George Washington, and including appointments to the Supreme Court. Eisenhower used recess appointments to put Chief Justice Warren, and Justices Brennan and Stewart on the bench.

In his essay from 2002, Brian Anderson explains why the stakes are so high, especially for the left.