Having one or even two Justices like Scalia and Thomas [on the Supreme Court] might be legitimate because it provides the Court with a particular view of constitutional jurisprudence. But having four or five or nine Justices like them would skew the Court, veering it far from the core values most Americans believe in.Interestingly, Eugene Volokh testified at that hearing. Volokh:
The chief point I’d like to make today is that the Supreme Court’s recent jurisprudence, including the views of the Court’s more conservative members, has been firmly within the mainstream of American constitutional thought. One may agree or disagree with this jurisprudence, but one has to acknowledge that it’s entirely mainstream.It's a great window into the Dems' strategy as formulated by Schumer. Be prepared to hear this argument against any Bush nominee: he or she is just not in the judicial "mainstream." That's fine. As I said, partisanship is an acceptable political strategy, though not without its risks.
But look, too, for the kind of subtle smearing Hentoff takes apart here. Schumer's attempt to pin the crypto-racist label on anyone outside the "mainstream" (as Schumer sees it) is the quieter, more sinister part of the strategy. That's the part that risks the backlash.