(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Friday, March 28, 2003

tradition, and judicial nominations
I've got a fun challenge for everybody who has been complaining that Senate Democrats, in filibustering the Estrada nomination, are violating a long-standing traditional understanding as to how judicial nominations battles are supposed to be fought:

Can you point to any instance during our history as a nation -- prior to President Bush's dogged efforts to put Owen and Pickering on the appellate bench -- in which a Circuit Court nominee who was rejected by the Senate's duly constituted Judiciary Committee, has been re-nominated and given a second bite at the apple after the Senate's composition changed? Senator Leahy says he doesn't think there's any precedent for it. I asked the Senate's historical office, by email, and they said they didn't know of any precedent for such a play. Do any of you? Do you therefore withdraw your support for Owen and Pickering, if you were supporting them?

Thanks to Howard Bashman for the link to Senator Leahy's statement, and also to his other statement about Senator Hatch's flagrant breach of Senate rules as to some other nominations. (Oh, and by the way -- don't try to justify the unprecedented renomination of Owen and Pickering by saying that it was retaliation for the (not really) "unprecedented" filibuster. The calendar won't let you win that argument.)

posted by sam 6:49 AM 0 comments


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