Monday, April 18, 2005

Is Anything Really Wrong with The Bush Judicial Nominees, Anyway? And Is A Deal in The Works?

First off, here are links to today's Socal Bloggers' Alliance posts on this issue:
Okie on The Lam
Sheep's Crib (best aggregation of all Alliance posts is here)
Holy Coast

Now to today's hedgehoggery:

This L.A. Times op-ed, "The Not So Dirty Dozen," will surely be splashed all over the Internet today. In it, Professor Jonathan Turley of the George Washington University Law School examines each of the stalled Bush nominees. His conclusion: "For nine of the Republican nominees, Democratic opposition looks as principled as a drive-by shooting. In fairness, the remaining three nominees raise legitimate concerns." (Emphasis added.)

Turley is no conservative and has shown, over the years, intellectual honesty and integrity, and he does so once again here. He suggests a compromise, whereby the Democrats allow those nine nominees to get a vote, and the president withdraws the remaining three. It will be interesting to see if this idea gets any traction. Compromises like that happen all the time in Washington.

And yet, and yet . . . for President Bush to horse-trade with the Democrats in this way would seem to legitimize their extra-Constitutional and unprecedented broad use of the filibuster to oppose judicial nominees. I have not seen a convincing argument yet as to why all twelve nominess should not get a vote.

UPDATE: Paul Mirengoff of Power Line comment on the three that Turley suggests be withdrawn:

I'm not persuaded by Turley as to these three. He criticizes Haynes and Myers
for "extremist" positions they took in memoranda written in their capacity as
Bush administration officials. Without exploring the merits of their positions
(which Turley doesn't do either), it strikes me as odd to argue that positions
taken in conjunction with a popularly elected administration are outside of the
conservative mainstream. As to Owen, Turley relies on the fact that Alberto
Gonzales criticized one of her opinions when they were both judges on the Texas
State Supreme Court. This doesn't seem like the basis for a filibuster. Judges
disagree about cases all the time, and sometimes express their disagreement in
pointed language. Gonzales clearly considers her qualified, on balance, for a
position on the court of appeals.

UPDATE: I have gleaned the following from various sources: Nebraska Senator Nelson told The Hill newspaper that some of his Democratic colleagues "have had some discomfort" with the filibuster. He is negotiating a possible compromise with Senator Trent Lott, chairman of the Rules Committee, in which any judicial nominee not acted on by the Judiciary Committee would automatically be sent to the floor after a certain period of time. A floor vote would then be mandated within a fixed period. Unnamed Republicans have apparently said such an arrangement would be an acceptable way to avoid a dramatic clash over the so-called "nuclear option."

UPDATE 2: Welcome, Hugh Hewitt readers! Other Hedgehog posts on this subject are here and here.

UPDATE 3: The entire SoCal Bloggers' Alliance can be found here:

21st Century Reformation
Cheat Seeking Missles
Classically Educated
Dawn's Early Light
Hedgehog Blog
Holy Coast
Mere Orthodoxy
Mind 'n Media
Okie On The Lam
Proverbs Daily
Sheep's Crib
The Scriptorium
Voice of the Victims


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"extra-Constitutional"? You may want to keep that one out of your legal briefs.  

Posted by Anonymous

Monday, April 18, 2005 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you talking about, Anonymous? For those who have been following this debate, that is a much-used term. In context it means imposing requirments for Senate action that are not set forth in the Constitution-- like getting 60 votes to confirm a judicial nominee.  

Posted by The Hedgehog

Monday, April 18, 2005 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one judge I bothered looking into, Priscilla Owen, is just a bad judge. See here . I've checked out the opinions, and common dreams is reading them correctly. She's just a bad judge. 

Posted by jpe

Monday, April 18, 2005 6:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JPE: Keep this in mind, from the site you link to:

"Since the Coalition's founding in 1973, our purpose has been to safeguard the ability of women to make reproductive decisions according to their beliefs and conscience, without governmental interference or imposition or religious tests. The nomination of Justice Owen is inconsistent with this purpose."

It's a pro-abortion pressure group that has existed since Roe v. Wade was handed down. Maybe you share their views. If you do, and you rely on them for information, it's no surprise you think she's "just a bad judge." She is one of the three that Turley criticized, out of twelve blocked by the Democrats. Interesting that you chose her to be the one you would "bother" to check out. Looks like you intended to validate your hypothesis. Honestly, the degree of flabby thinking that clearly intelligent people like you are bringing to this debate is astounding. 

Posted by The Hedgehog

Monday, April 18, 2005 9:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If any of these nominated judges are "bad judges", it ought to be relatively easy for Democrats in the Senate to lay out a logical, factual basis for denying their elevation to the appeals courts. Lay out the facts and, to paraphrase Justice Scalia, pesuade your fellow Senators to vote against a given nominee. The lack of such an informed debate on the merits of the nominees is a powerful indicator of utter lack of such a principled argument. 

Posted by Eric

Tuesday, April 19, 2005 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really don't understand the big deal from either side of the aisle. There are no gaping vacancies on the court anyway. Why does Bush have to get these judges through and why do Democrats rail so much against it?

I do have to side with the Democrats on this a little bit, though. Even moderate Republicans seem to rubberstamping what Bush does or who he nominates even if it is stark contrast with traditional conservatism. I believe the Bolton nomination will be crucial in deciding whether Republicans with stand with their party or for the merits of their own individual beliefs.

I understand the want to stop these nominations, but I think the Dems are barking up the wrong tree with filibusters. 

Posted by theprisoner6

Thursday, April 21, 2005 9:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eric said: "Why does Bush have to get these judges through and why do Democrats rail so much against it?"

Because the Republicans are only 3 seats away from controlling every federal appellate court in the country except the 9th in CA.

I can't beleieve anyone would not have a problem with a slight majority deciding the nearly 1/2 of the rest of the country doesn't get represented because "they lost". 

Posted by Tom

Saturday, May 21, 2005 6:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

f u stupid bum 

Posted by Anonymous

Thursday, September 22, 2005 11:15:00 AM  

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