Should the President Get to Pick Supreme Court Justices?

Should the President Get to Pick Supreme Court Justices?
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Joel Cohen: Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer has said he will oppose any Supreme Court nominee who is out of the “mainstream,” and he considers Donald Trump's nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, precisely that. Might this be payback for the Republican refusal to even consider President Obama's nomination of mainstream (and universally respected) Judge Merrick Garland? Payback or not, shouldn't the spoils belong to the victor? Is there any reason, absent disqualifying issues in the nominee's past, that a president shouldn't have the right to his Supreme Court nominees?

Judge Richard A. Posner: I'm a realist. Trump has picked precisely whom he wants. Period. There are no rules or principles that govern appointment of a federal judge or justice. The president appoints, the Senate confirms or rejects. Weeping over the rejection of Garland is a total waste of time. He is a well-regarded court of appeals judge but could of course be a stealth liberal, and you can't criticize Trump or the Republican senators for not wanting another liberal justice.

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