State Treasurer Richard Mourdock says his opponent in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate incumbent Richard Lugar, takes the wrong stance on appointing judicial nominees.
Speaking at a candidate forum in Indianapolis Monday, Mourdock criticized Lugar’s votes to approve President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Mourdock says their ideological positions will contribute to expanding government at a time when Mourdock says it must be drastically reduced.
Lugar did not attend the forum. Indianapolis attorney Asheesh Agarwal spoke in his place. Agarwal says the traditional role of the U.S. Senate is to give deference to the President’s choices.
“If we move towards more of a partisan, ideological model, then some of that credibility that the Supreme Court has and the lower courts have, you know, will be lost,” he says.
But Mourdock says simply giving deference to the President’s choices makes the “advice and consent” role of the U.S. Senate nothing more than a rubber stamp.
“I think if that standard is held consistently, that advice and consent means real argument and not simple deference, then I think we would have ended up with a judge who would have been more to the middle than where either Elena Kagan or Sonia Sotomayor originated,” Mourdock says.
Agarwal says Lugar’s position and stature in the Senate will also help presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appoint better judges should vacancies occur.