by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — One of the top pro-abortion Democrats in the Senate says he wants Congress to slow down on confirming the next Supreme Court nominee if President Bush has a chance to pick one more before the end of his term.
Sen. Charles Schumer, of New York, commented on the same day a poll showed a majority of Americans backed the high court’s decision in the partial-birth abortion case.
Schumer said on Friday at the American Constitution Society convention that the Senate should only confirm Bush’s next high court nominee "in extraordinary circumstances" and should "reverse the presumption of confirmation."
"The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance," he said. "We cannot afford to see Justice (John Paul) Stevens replaced by another (Chief Justice John) Roberts, or Justice (Ruth Bader) Ginsburg by another (Justice Samuel) Alito."
Schumer, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said he and other abortion advocates have second thoughts about confirming Roberts and Alito.
“Alito shouldn’t have been confirmed,” Schumer said. “I should have done a better job. My colleagues said we didn’t have the votes, but I think we should have twisted more arms and done more.”
"Were we too easily impressed by the charm of nominee Roberts and the erudition of nominee Alito?" he asked rhetorically. "Did we mistakenly vote our hopes when our fears were more than justified by the ultraconservative records of these two men? Yes."
He said he felt "duped" during confirmation hearings for the two most recent additions to the US Supreme Court given their decision in the partial-birth abortion and other cases.
Schumer said senators too easily accepted the nominee’s word, during their confirmation hearings, that they would respect legal precedents.
"There is no doubt that we were hoodwinked," he concluded.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino responded to the comments and said Schumer’s remarks "showed a tremendous disrespect for the Constitution."
"This is the kind of blind obstruction that people have come to expect from Sen. Schumer," Perino told the Politico web site.
"He has an alarming habit of attacking people whose character and position make them unwilling or unable to respond," she added. "That is the sign of a bully. If the past is any indication, I would bet that we would see a Democratic senatorial fundraising appeal in the next few days."
Members of the Supreme Court such as pro-abortion Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are both facing advancing age and significant health issues. However, it doesn’t appear President Bush will see any retirements from the high court during the rest of his term.