Much has been written about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s alleged dying wish that she “‘not be replaced until a new president is installed.’” Much less has been written about her wish that confirmation hearings proceed without acrimony and that the Senate judge a nominee based on qualifications, not politics.
One person who is writing about that well-documented wish is Carrie Severino, president of the Judicial Crisis Network. In an important piece in National Review, Severino reminds us that Ginsburg’s own confirmation process was “smooth sailing” — even though she had taken controversial positions when working for the ACLU — precisely because her credentials were so stellar. According to Severino,
Senator Orrin Hatch recommended Ginsburg to President Clinton for the vacancy due to her qualifications, putting aside his ideological disagreements with her. During her nomination hearing before the Judiciary Committee, no senators tried to use her past with the ACLU against her. It’s hard to imagine today, but Ginsburg was confirmed nearly unanimously by the Senate (96-3), and with the support of Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley.
Ginsburg was confirmed overwhelmingly because Republican Senators believed that the touchstone for confirmation should be a nominee’s qualifications, not her political ideology. In recent years, Ginsburg lamented the political turn that the confirmation process has taken, remarking that the Senate should be focused on whether the nominee has “the qualities it takes to be a good judge” not on trying to guess how the person might vote on the Court.
Severino wonders if perhaps the best way to honor Justice Ginsburg is to confirm the next Supreme Court nominee without delay. Read her full post HERE.