The claim that David Hamilton, President Obama’s first judicial nominee, is a “moderate” does not constitute the only howler in the New York Times article on Hamilton’s selection. Times-man Neil Lewis also tells us:
By naming judges one at a time, Mr. Obama is taking a markedly different approach from former President George W. Bush, who held a ceremony on May 9, 2001, in the Rose Garden to present his first 11 choices for appeals court seats. The ceremony provided a political air to the nominations, most of which went to prominent conservatives.
But at the ceremony, Bush reached out to Democrats by including liberal Democrats among his nominees for court of appeals positions. One of them, Roger Gregory, had been nominated by President Clinton but had not been confirmed. He became the first African-American ever to serve on the Fourth Circuit.
So the ceremony was “political” only in the sense that it was a bi-partisan gesture. Is it less “political” if President Obama selects “moderates” like David Hamilton one after the other with no ceremony? Only in the chronically deceitful pages of a partisan left-wing organ like the New York Times.
UPDATE: Ed Whelan reminds us that at the time President Bush held his “political” ceremony nominating mostly “prominent conservatives,” Senate Democrats expressed satisfaction. According to an AP report from back then, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said he was “pleased that the White House has chosen to work with us on the first group of nominations.” Daschle also noted that some Democrats already had turned in positive reviews of some of the nominees. Patrick Leahy, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee attended the the White House announcement and said, “had I not been encouraged, I would not have been here today.”
As Wendy Long puts it: “When President Obama renominates a few Bush holdover appointees, such as Peter Keisler to the D.C. Circuit and Rod Rosenstein and Robert Conrad to the 4th Circuit, we can begin to assess whether President Obama has even met — to say nothing of exceeded — President Bush’s level of bipartisanship in judicial nominations.”