Last Updated:April 19 @ 08:23 am

Kennedy: Judges' Senate confirmation too political

By AP Staff

HONOLULU (AP) - Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy says the Senate confirmation for new federal judges is too political and is keeping out highly qualified candidates who don't want to go through the difficult process.

Kennedy told judges gathered in Maui that the Constitution requires Senate confirmation, but the process today is too partisan. He says it makes the judiciary look politicized when it is not.

Kennedy spoke before a group of several hundred judges, lawyers and other court officials at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference.

Kennedy defended the conference itself, which has come under scrutiny by some lawmakers who say it should be scaled back or canceled because of costs.

Kennedy says judges and others need to keep learning as part of their oath to protect Americans.

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2 Comments

  1. sparkyvaComment by sparkyva
    August 15, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

    So whether you are a Statist or a Constitutionalist isn’t important? Just if you have the right political connections you should be elevated to a high judgeship?
    /start sarcasm
    Sounds reasonable to me!
    /stop sarcasm

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  2. lowlifeComment by lowlife
    August 15, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

    Justice Kennedy, again, proves that he doesn’t know what’s going on, even in his own profession. The politicization of the nominating and confirmation of federal judges is in direct proportion to the politicization of the court system by sitting judges. If judges, in their decisions, adhered strictly to the letter of the Constitution and any applicable statutes and always chose to err on the side of liberty (affirming the people’s right not to be interfered with, rather than government’s desire for control), then politics would be irrelevant, as any competent lawyer appointed to the bench would give the same general ruling, in the same circumstances.

    As it is, probably half the presently serving judges tend to ignore, or distort the common law, the Constitution and the statutes in order to justify a decision in line with their personal political preferences, rather than the law. While this situation is allowed to continue, of judges reshaping the law to conform to their personal ideology, a nominee’s political beliefs are the most important factor in deciding for, or against confirmation.

    Since impeachment and removal of incompetent, political-hack judges is pretty much impossible (impeachment in the House and trial in the Senate are a long, slow, politically driven process and any judge that can get the support of thirty-four Senators will stay), the Constitution needs to be amended to give us some sort of recourse. There should be some mechanism to nullify their really horrible decisions and either a more practical way to remove bad judges, or limited terms, periodic reconfirmation, or some other method to keep these people from writing their own law (and knowing they are untouchable)for 20, 30, or 40 years.

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