Good news: President Bush said yesterday that when the Senate reconvenes, he will renominate twelve judges on whose nominations the Democrats blocked votes in the last session.
Democrats professed surprise and disappointment at the President’s lack of “bipartisanship.” Well, I can see why they’re surprised. I mean, the President’s history, when confronted with opposition, has generally been to give up, throw in the towel, and change his policy, right? Heh heh.
As the New York Times notes, the most significant reaction came from Arlen Specter:
“It has been my hope that we might be able to approach this whole issue with some cooler perspective,” he said in an interview. “I would have preferred to have some time in the 109th Congress to improve the climate to avoid judicial gridlock and future filibusters.”
Mr. Specter, who said he had been talking to both Republicans and Democrats in order to improve the chances for compromise, said it might now be “difficult to change the atmosphere with the submission of these names.” But he said the president was, in any case, entitled to do as he had done and that as chairman he would “play the cards that are dealt,” in trying to get Mr. Bush’s nominees confirmed.
We would prefer it if Specter would stop critiquing the President’s nominations and get about the business of securing their confirmation, as he has promised to do.
DEACON adds: One of those renominated is Judge Terrence Boyle. Little attention has been paid to the blockage of Boyle’s nomination to the Fourth Circuit, though it seems egregrious. Boyle (before whom I once had a case) has been a federal district judge for 20 years and is, in fact, the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He frequently has sat by designation on the Fourth Circuit and has written more than 20 opinions for that court — the one on which the Democrats say he is unfit to serve. You can find out more about his record here.
Boyle was nominated in 2001 but he’s actually been waiting much longer for a vote. Near the end of his term, the first President Bush nominated Boyle to the Fourth Circuit. Jesse Helms stongly supported Boyle, but was set for major surgery. My understanding is that before the surgery, Joseph Biden, then head of the Judiciary Committee, promised Helms that the committee would move Boyle’s nomination to the floor, but he failed to keep his word, and Boyle never got a vote.
During the past three and half years, Boyle faced the opposition of his home state Senator. You may remember the guy, a boyish looking liberal trial lawyer, name of Edwards. With Edwards gone and replaced by a conservative Republican, maybe Boyle will finally get a vote.