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Separation of Powers

The Bush administration continues to undermine the system of checks and balances, again with the willing acquiescence of the institutions that offer the supposed check. Reuters is reporting Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's "Fox News Sunday" comments on Arlen Specter:

A Republican senator who has questioned whether an abortion opponent could win approval to the U.S. Supreme Court must agree to back President Bush's nominees if he is to head the committee acting on those nominations, the Senate's Republican leader said.

Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, in line to become chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has yet to make a persuasive case that he should head the panel, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said on "Fox News Sunday."

The committee's actions in considering nominees for anticipated vacancies during Bush's second term will help shape the court's balance of power.

"I would expect Chairman Specter ... if it's Chairman Specter ... to have a strong predisposition to supporting that nominee sent over by President Bush," Frist said.
Has there ever been a Senate Majority Leader less protective of Senate powers and prerogatives? The Constitutional Advise and Consent clause is more than just a request that Senators sign on the dotted line.

As we are seeing with the CIA and DoJ, this is what happens when the President elevates loyalists over qualified, independent voices. Unlike the agencies, though, the Senate is not supposed to serve the White House.

Update, 6:50 PM EST: The AP has a more complete update on the status of the Specter situation.


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