Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Logjam Over Judicial Nominees

Hugh Hewitt has an excellent piece over at the Weekly Standard regarding Senate Republicans and the coming judicial nomination show down with Democrat filibusters:

N RECENT DAYS I interviewed Nan Aron, president of the Alliance for Justice, and Ralph Neas, executive director of People for the American Way. Together these two are the architects of the policy of unyielding obstruction by Democrats of George Bush's judicial nominees. It is difficult to overstate their influence on the Democratic caucus: They are widely considered to be the hands steering Democratic policy on judges.

Both blew the usual rhetorical smoke about how well President Bush is doing with his judicial nominations--Bush has by far the lowest approval rate to the appeals court for modern times for a president three months into his second term. And both used the same talking points on all the blocked nominees, including the risible assertion that Democrats had no idea Bill Pryor was a Roman Catholic until Senator Hatch asked him. The transcripts provide a summary of the threadbare case against the blockaded judges, and far from a persuasive one.

But they also provide much more: A clear warning to the GOP that the stakes in the coming showdown over the filibuster include the Supreme Court. Here's Nan Aron:

Hewitt: Do you expect Democrats to filibuster Supreme Court nominees as well, Nan Aron?

Aron: You know, that's a fairly good question because if President Bush did what President Clinton did and share names with prospective candidates to get the Democrats's consent as Clinton did, if Bush did that, his nominees would sail through.

Hewitt: A lot of names are out there.

For example, Fourth Circuit Court Judge Mike Luttig. Would you oppose, and urge a filibuster of Mike Luttig?

Aron: Absolutely, but you see, if this president were to sit down with the Democrats, I assume, I don't know for sure, but I assume that they would say "Mr. President, this guy shouldn't be elevated. His views are just too outside the constitutional mainstream for us." If he were to do that and come up with someone else that met the requirements of the Democrats, the person would sail through.

Hewitt: Would you oppose Judge Mike McConnell if he were nominated and urge a filibuster?

Aron: Yes, we would.

Hewitt: Do you oppose, and urge a filibuster for John Roberts?

Aron: Yes, we would.

Hewitt: In essence, people--three judges I've just named. Three, if you go down a long list of judges who have already confirmed by the United States Senate. If Alliance for Justice--Ralph said the same thing by the way last week that he'd have opposed the same three judges. If the radicals are in charge of the Democrats, don't we need to break this down because, in essence, unless they nominate someone you like, you'll urge a filibuster and overturn majority rule?

Aron: You know, you just named three individuals but can't be the only three people who come to mind. There are dozens and dozens of others.....

Read the rest here.

Obstructionism may work for the LEFT for a while but as a matter of policy rings hollow. The President and Senator Frist should force the issue and require a vote on the President's nominees.

Update # 1

Senator John McCain of Arizona and FORMER (and I do mean FORMER) tonight on HardBall (MSNBC) with Chris Matthews said that he would vote against the Republican Senate Caucus and the "nuclear option" which changes the U.S. Senate filibuster rules - disallows the filibuster for nominations to the federal judiciary by the President.

This sell out is one of a series by McCain over the past decade.

Is it time for McCain to leave the Republican Party?

Read more over at Captain's Quarters here.

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