Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on Monday accused the GOP of attempting to impose a judicial litmus test on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, arguing that Republicans demand justices who will guarantee the results they want.Kagans nomination has not sparked the kind of partisanship that has characterized previous Supreme Court fights. Still, Leahy used his Monday floor speech to attack Republican opponents of Kagans nomination.They do not want an independent judiciary. They demand justices who will guarantee the results they want. That is their ideological litmus test. As they level complaints against Elena Kagan, the real basis of that discontent will be that the nominee will not guarantee a desired litigation outcome, Leahy charged.Leahy called on Republicans to not use a philosophical test to determine whether they will support Kagans installment on the high court, arguing that it is important that justices remain independent.I think it is important that judicial nominees understand that, as judges, they are not members of any administration, but judicial officers. The courts are not wholly owned subsidiaries of any political party, and our judges should not be political partisans, Leahy said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.