During the past few weeks, we have covered the confirmation battle over MIchael McConnell, President Bush’s distinguished nominee to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The next confirmation struggle will be over the excellent hispanic lawyer, Miguel Estrada, who has been nominated to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Byron York presents a useful if somewhat depressing analysis of the Estrada situation. However, the title of York’s article — “A Battle Over Nothing” — mischaracterizes the stakes. Estrada is a conservative, even if there is no paper trail to prove it, and he is being opposed solely for being a conservative. So the issue is whether a Republican President can successfully nominate highly qualified conservatives to the federal bench. And before too long, the issue is likely to be whether a Democratic President can successfully nominate highly qualified liberals.
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