This transcript from Brit Hume’s Wednesday night interview with law professor Jonathan Turley confirm how dishonest the Democrats are being when it comes to explaining their efforts to deny an up-or-down vote on ten of the president’s judicial nominees. The Democrats claim that these nominees are extremists, outside the “conservative mainstream,” as Senator Schumer has said. However, Hume asked Turley, who is a moderate to liberal, to assess the four most prominent judges being blocked.
With respect to Janice Brown, Turley was “a little bit mystified as to why [she] has attracted so much criticism.” He does not consider her an extremist, and he commended her for rooting her decision in a philosophy of the law.
Next up was William Pryor. Turley knows Pryor personally from their days as appeals court law clerks, though they are not friends. Turley’s view — “I think he’s gotten a raw deal, quite frankly.” Turley explained that (as we have pointed out), though Pryor is conservative he ignores his own views when necessary to follow the law. Maybe the Democrats have become so addicted to the unprincipled rulings of their favorite liberal judges that they cannot give credit to principled conservative jurists.
As to Priscilla Owen, Turley stated, “My view is that she was interpreting things like the parental notification law in a way that was plausible. I don’t agree with it. But she’s not some wild-eyed extremist.”
Last up was Terrence Boyle, who has served for years as a United States district judge. Turley does not consider Boyle an extremist, but he noted that Boyle is often reversed by his appeals court (which is conservative) for “plain error.” In other words, the Democrats stated reason for opposing Boyle lacks merit, but there may be a case that he’s simply not a good judge. The Democrats should make that case and then let the Senate vote.
Turley was back on Fox last night to discuss the other six stalled nominees. The transcript isn’t up yet, but it was basically more of the same. Turley thought that two of the six (Haynes and Myers)arguably had taken extreme positions in their capacity as Bush administration lawyers. As to the other four (Neilson, Saad, McKeague, and Griffin), Turley could not even get Democratic staffers to give him a basis for finding them to be extremists, and Turley knew of none. His view was that the Dems have no substantive arguments against these four, and that they are being blocked by the two Democratic Senators from Michigan as some form of retribution.
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