The Schumer Standard

 ‘I Will Do Everything In My Power To Prevent’ More Bush Nominees From Joining The Supreme Court


SCHUMER: ‘We Should Reverse The Presumption Of Confirmation’

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), JULY 2007: “[F]or the rest of this President’s term and if there is another Republican elected with the same selection criteria let me say this: We should reverse the presumption of confirmation.  The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance.  We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts; or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito. Given the track record of this President and the experience of obfuscation at the hearings, with respect to the Supreme Court, at least:  I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee EXCEPT in extraordinary circumstances.” (Sen. Schumer, Speech To The American Constitution Society, 7/27/2007; Video Here)


SCHUMER: ‘I Am Pained That I Didn’t Do More To Try To Block Justice Alito’

25 Democrats, including Sens. Obama, Clinton, Reid, Leahy, and Schumer Voted To Filibuster Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr. (Alito Nomination - Cloture, CQ Vote #1: Motion Passed 72-25: R 53-0; D 19-24; I 0-1, 1/30/06)

  • SCHUMER: “[E]very day, I am pained that I didn’t do more to try to block Justice Alito. Every two years, I look back and take stock of my greatest failings and regrets in the past Congress. Without question, my greatest regret in the 109th Congress was not doing more to block Alito.(Sen. Schumer, Speech To The American Constitution Society, 7/27/2007)


SCHUMER: ‘This Is A Nominee Who Could Shift The Balance Of The Court, And Thus The Laws Of The Nation, For Decades To Come’

SCHUMER: “This is a nominee who could shift the balance of the court, and thus the laws of the nation, for decades to come. . . [K]nowing his judicial philosophy, knowing his ideology are going to be extremely important particularly in light of the fact that this is a swing vote. . . I'd say this is a more serious decision than the vote on Judge Roberts, because [retiring Justice] Sandra Day O'Connor is such a swing vote.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 10/31/2005)

  • SCHUMER: “I've always said that a good Supreme Court would have one Scalia and one Brennan but not five of either.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 10/31/2005)

SCHUMER: ‘Ideology Matters’

SCHUMER: “Ideology matters.  It stands to reason that a conservative lawyer who has represented the most conservative Administrations and taken the most conservative positions as a lawyer is likely to be a very conservative jurist.” (Sen. Schumer, Speech To The American Constitution Society, 7/27/2007)

SCHUMER: [W]hat lessons should we learn from the Roberts and Alito experience? Lesson One is that confirmation commitments made at Senate hearings, and the Senate hearings themselves, are often meaningless.” (Sen. Schumer, Speech To The American Constitution Society, 7/27/2007)


Related Issues: Judicial Nominations, Supreme Court, Senate Democrats