Monday, March 3, 2014

the last book I ever read (Promises to Keep by Joe Biden, excerpt twelve)

from Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics by Joe Biden:

Later in the speech I reminded some of my colleagues of their own place in the history of “advice and consent.” The ranking Republican on Judiciary, Strom Thurmond, had himself invoked ideology in the confirmation process of Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the bench. Senator Thurmond emphasized the importance of balance: “This means that it will require two additional conservative justices in order to change the tenor of future Supreme Court decisions.”

Thurmond, I noted, had expressed similar sentiments the next year when lame-duck president Lyndon Johnson nominated Abe Fortas to replace Earl Warren as chief. “It is my contention,” he said to the Chamber, “that the Supreme Court has assumed such a powerful role as a policymaker in the Government that the Senate must necessarily be concerned with the views of prospective justices—of Chief Justices—as they relate to broad issues confronting the American people, and the role of the Court in dealing with these issues.”

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