(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Thursday, May 01, 2003

With so much of my blogging and writing energy having been devoted to Bill Pryor's nomination to the 11th Circuit, I don't have the inclination to say much about the other current aspects of the confirmation wars, from Justice Owen (I discussed my opposition to her nomination months ago) to broad proposals to "reform" the process. You can get plenty of info about all of this, by reading the nice folks in the links column. But I can't resist: (a) a recommendation that you read Prof. Balkin's post here; and (b) pointing out that Juan Non-Volokh's response errs (among other ways) in offering, as one of the most notable examples of Democratic "obstruction" of Reagan nominees, the defeat of now-Senator Jeff Sessions's nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. Sessions's nomination was defeated in 1986 -- not, as one might think from the context of Non-Volokh's post, in 1987 or 1988 in a Democratic effort to keep the seat open in hopes of a Democratic Presidential victory in 1988. And more importantly, to describe the defeat of Sessions's nomination as ideological or political "obstruction" with a negative connotation is absurd to anyone who remembers, or has read the transcript of, the Senate hearing on his nomination. I recommend it to Non-Volokh, and to anyone else; it will knock your socks off.

posted by sam 7:34 AM 0 comments


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