Friday, November 17, 2006

Cornyn Stays the Course on Judicial Nominees

The Senate is gearing up for another bitter fight over judicial nominees, in response to the latest list of judges submitted by President Bush for consideration during the Senate's lame duck session. In what has been described as a "sop" to the president's conservative base, Bush has renominated six judges previously blocked by Democrats on the Senate Judiciary committee as being too conservative for the federal bench.
The White House on Wednesday submitted Terrence Boyle of North Carolina and William James Haynes II of Virginia to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.; Michael Brunson Wallace of Mississippi to the 5th Circuit in New Orleans; Peter Keisler of Maryland to the District of Columbia Circuit; and William Gerry Myers III and Norman Randy Smith, both of Idaho, for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.Everyone except Keisler has generated intense opposition from Democrats.Under Senate rules the nominations must be resubmitted after Congress takes an extended break, as was the case this year for the 2006 election.
Why would the president choose to resubmit judges who couldn't reach the floor before the elections? Because he's a uniter, not a divider, meaning after the thumpin' Republicans just took at the polls, he's trying to shore up support among his conservative base by uniting them with tired rhetoric about activist judges. Apparently, that old cunard still works for some.
"I think if the president is concerned about his legacy, he will continue to nominate the judges he promised in his campaign speeches in 2000 and 2004," said Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for Focus on Family Action, a Christian group started by James Dobson. "If those nominees are obstructed, I think the American public needs to see the Democrats in action."
Prominent among the list being submitted is Michael Wallace, who is nominated for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which hears cases from Texas.

Wallace, a Biloxi attorney and former aide to conservative Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., received a rare "unqualified" rating from the American Bar Association.

To be fair, based on the president's previous choices in public servants, the Bush administration obviously considers the whole issue of competency to be a bit overrated. I'm sure Judge Wallace would do a "heck of a job."

Senator John Cornyn, who really should take a look at his poll numbers before taking too much comfort in Kay Bailey's win, had this to say regarding the latest round of nominations.

"It is my hope that with the election behind us, the Senate could move forward in a bipartisan manner," said Texas Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It seems, however, that despite their bipartisan rhetoric on election night, some of my Democrat colleagues seem intent on continuing their record of obstruction when it comes to the president's nominees."

So Cornyn, who felt that the public had sent a clear "message of change" with the midterm elections, intends to apply that lesson by.....refusing to budge an inch. Apparently, "stay the course" doesn't just apply to Bush's failed Iraq policies. Blogger James B. Shearer dryly notes a silver lining in the judicial debate.
"Well if you like pointless demonstrations of “resolve” this is good news. At least unlike Bush’s Iraq policy it won’t get people killed."

1 comment:

PDiddie said...

It's time to say goodnight, John.