[Ramesh Ponnuru 05/12 03:03 PM]
CBS, AP, and other outlets reported earlier this week that Starr had said that getting rid of the judicial filibuster would be a "radical, radical departure from our history and our traditions, and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government."
This seemed like a very odd thing for Starr to say, so I contacted him.
He forwarded to me an email he had sent to someone else who had asked about this matter:
"In the piece that I have now seen, and which I gather is being lavishly quoted, CBS employed two snippets. The 'radical departure' snippet was specifically addressed although this is not evidenced whatever from the clip to the practice of invoking judicial philosopy as a grounds for voting against a qualified nominee of integrity and experience. I said in sharp language that that practice was wrong. I contrasted the current practice . . . with what occurred during Ruth Ginsburg's nomination process, as numerous Republicans voted (rightly) to confirm a former ACLU staff lawyer. They disagreed with her positions as a lawyer, but they voted (again, rightly) to confirm her. Why? Because elections, like ideas, have consequences. . . . In the interview, I did indeed suggest, and have suggested elsewhere, that caution and prudence be exercised (Burkean that I am) in shifting/modifying rules (that's the second snippet), but I likewise made clear that the 'filibuster' represents an entirely new use (and misuse) of a venerable tradition. . . .
"[O]ur friends are way off base in assuming that the CBS snippets, as used, represent (a) my views, or (b) what I in fact said."