(Page 2 of 2)
“Note that the Thurmond statement, which was not a rule, was made in September; note that it was in a July of a later year that the chairman said the so-called rule should not apply yet, and probably not at all; but now he himself invokes the non-existent rule not as late as September of an election year, nor as late as July, but as early as June. He invokes the rule in order to avoid confirming more appellate nominees than the three right now in the pipeline, which would make a grand total of six for the whole year. Yet even when Sen. Thurmond made his statement, the Senate approved 14 appellate nominees not just in the whole calendar year, but 14 after June.
“In short, my friend the committee chairman is misapplying a non-existent rule earlier than it was reputed to apply and to block far more nominees than it was reputed to block.
(PAUSE FOR BREATH AND A SWALLOW OF WATER)
“Now, Mr. Chairman, I must mention, in sadness, the sense of frustration and, frankly, betrayal we on this side feel about the current situation. The fact is that the majority leader gave us assurances at the beginning of this Congress that the Senate would approve at least as many appellate nominees as had been approved for other presidents in the final years of their terms. That assurance is not being met.
“In April, the majority leader gave us assurances that we would move on three appellate nominees between then and Memorial Day. That assurance STILL has not been met. The Leader explains that he tried to move three nominees but that we objected. The fact is that one of the nominees for whom he claims credit had not even been nominated when we made the agreement with each other, and therefore clearly wasn’t covered by the agreement, and furthermore her paperwork was not even forwarded to us in a timely fashion — and, furthermore, she is NOT a nominee chosen by this president, but a Democratic nominee chosen by former President Clinton, whom this president agreed to forward to us in a good-faith effort not to replace our obligations to consider his other nominees, but to provide an olive branch in order to make it easier to move other nominees forward.
“Observers might be forgiven for calling it disingenuous to claim credit for a nominee who our colloquy at the time made clear was not part of the original agreement, and who is not a choice of this president constitutionally endowed with the responsibility of choosing nominees, and who had not been provided adequate time for review, in place of nominees whose records are sterling and whose conduct has been uncontroversial who have waited as much as 700 days for the courtesy the leader wanted his own nominee afforded within six weeks.
“I would remind the leader that this is the third time our president has, against his clear desires, nominated a Clinton judicial selection in order to create good will, only to have his generous gesture thrown back in his face with the other party’s refusal, for no good reasons, to give fair hearings to the president’s other nominees.
“So, in the end, we are faced with promises made and promises repeatedly unkept, with standards cited and the standards repeatedly ignored. We were promised 15 appellate judges overall and are on track for just eight or nine. We were promised the confirmation of three existing nominees by Memorial Day and were given only one. We were told that home-state support would be a key determinant, but it hasn’t been. We were told that judicial vacancies were disabling to the system, but the vacancies haven’t been filled. We were told that the Thurmond Rule should not preclude nominees being considered after July, if ever, yet the rule is being used to preclude nominees as early as June. We were told that views on Catholic doctrine were not relevant to our discussions, yet views on Catholicism have now been cited as a reason to oppose a nominee. We have been told that the ABA is important, except apparently when it isn’t.
“Mr. Chairman, all of this goes against every tradition of the Senate. It destroys comity. It begs for the very retaliation that it will surely receive if allowed to continue. Most of all, it poisons the well on other issues about which we owe the American people better service, while terribly serving the public interest in maintaining adequately filled courts of justice. These are important derelictions of duty, Mr. Chairman, and they must not be allowed to stand.
“I thank the gentleman for his time.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online