In an earlier post, I tried to show that arguments leveled against the nomination of Jim Haynes by two retired Navy JAGs — Admirals Hutson and Guter — were flawed to the point of incoherence. I think it’s also worth noting that Hutson served on the National Veterans for Kerry Steering Committee and was a plaintiff, along with the ACLU, in a suit against Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld alleging human rights abuses. Nothing wrong there, but it’s difficult to see why Republican Senators should give much weight to Hutson’s opinion of Haynes’ fitness for the judiciary. Guter (the one who apparently is afraid that as a court of appeals judge Haynes won’t assess the wisdom of the policy choices of his “superiors”) is a long-time friend of Hutson, whom he succeeded as the Navy JAG. (Hat-tip to reader Kevin O’Brien).
Meanwhile, reader Woody Woodruff offers this recollection of Haynes:
As the Chief, Litigation Division, OTJAG, and a colonel in the Army JAGC, I worked with Jim Haynes on several very important issues while he was Army General Counsel. I found him to be bright, humble, hard-working, thoughtful, personable, and dedicated. He went to great lengths to make sure things were not only “legal” but “right.” He was not one to play fast and loose with the law to craft a program to satisfy the political leadership. This is all the more impresive when one considers that at the time (1990-1992), Jim Haynes was probably the youngest General Counsel the Army ever had. I must admit that I was somewhat skeptical of his abilities due to his young age and limited experience at the time. The more I dealt with him the more impressed I became. My skepticism quickly turned to respect and admiration. He was a great Army General Counsel. While I have had very little contact with him over the last decade, and none of it dealing with official business, I agree with both Bill Suter and Mike Marchand that Jim Haynes served our nation remarkably well during difficult times and deserves to have his nomination fairly considered by the entire Senate.
JOHN adds: What’s really sad about this is that all we, and Jim Haynes’ other supporters, want is for his nomination to be brought before the Senate for a vote. If someone can bring forward a good reason why he shouldn’t be confirmed, let’s hear it in open and honest debate. And let’s give Haynes’ supporters a chance to respond. Jim Haynes is a dedicated public servant of extraordinary ability and integrity. For his nomination to be derailed for rank political reasons, without an opportunity for a fair debate and an up or down vote, is disgusting.
Lindsey Graham: I’m talking to you. You have blocked Haynes’ nomination from going forward in the Judiciary Committee. You are probably a Power Line reader, and if you’re not, your staff is. You are doing a dishonorable thing here, carrying water for John McCain, who, for his own political reasons, doesn’t want to take responsibility for subverting Jim Haynes’ career. You should take a more honorable course. And all of our readers in South Carolina should immediately, and repeatedly, fire off messages to Sen. Graham requesting that he serve his constituents by giving the President’s nominee a fair hearing and an up or down vote in the Senate. It’s the least he can do for a fine public servant.