Since the inception of Power Line, we have covered the judicial nomination wars or, more bluntly, the shameless obstruction by Senate Democrats of well-qualified conservative nominees for appellate court positions. This piece links to several other such posts.
One of the questions we’ve pondered is whether Senate Democrats can be made to pay for their obstructionist conduct, especially their successful and unprecedented filibusters that have prevented a number of nominees from even getting a vote. At first, we were skeptical. Our view changed when it became clear that there would be five open Senate seats in the South this year.
In today’s Opinion Journal, Boyden Gray, a leading and extremely well-connected conservative attorney in Washingtion, argues that Republicans can indeed use the judicial nomination wars to “close the deal with swing voters–independents, Southern and Midwestern moderates, blue-collar households, Catholics and Hispanics” and to fire up the party base. Gray argues that “in tossup states, certainly for Senate races, revulsion at Democratic obstruction can tip the vote in the GOP’s favor–as in 2002, when the strategy of raising the judiciary clearly succeeded” as shown by polling data from Georgia, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri.
If, this time, the issue makes a difference only in South Dakota, that will be good enough for me.
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