Out of the corner of my eye I've been watching this growing dispute over whether and which 'documents' about Judge Roberts the White House will turn over to the senate as part of his confirmation hearings. And quite apart from the particular documents in question, I'm wondering what the argument is, precisely, for the White House having access to any more information in the process of nominating Roberts than the Senate should have in confirming him.
It seems like a basic point of logic. Why should the senate's call be, by definition, less well-informed than the president's?
In national security appointments, there may be some genuine separation of powers issues at stake. For instance, when Condi Rice was promoted from National Security Advisor to Secretary of State. But as long as the information relates to Roberts personal finances, work history and so on, clearly none of those issues are involved.
I know it may seem like I'm being willfully dense or naive. But what's wrong with the standard of: If the White House got to see it, why not the senate?