(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Friday, February 11, 2005

You will find, if you look through the archives of Ignatz I (before the hiatus), that I spent a lot of time talking about why I oppose the nomination of former Ala. Atty. Gen. Bill Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals. After that, of course, he got filibustered and got a "recess appointment" (though whether it was actually a constitutionally legitimate "recess" appointment is one of the big questions). The questions now are two: (1) whether the Supreme Court is going to agree to decide whether his temporary appointment was valid, and (2) whether the Republicans in the Senate will change the rules to do away with the filibuster in order to get him confirmed to a lifetime appointment.

I am not here to re-say all that I said about why I oppose his nomination; you can use that little search box above, look for "Pryor," and you'll find it all.

Instead, what I am here to say is that I find it disturbing that some of his supporters -- and even some Senators -- think it appropriate to say, "he ought to be confirmed because looky here, he hasn't been an extremist during the few months he's been putting out opinions by virtue of his temporary appointement." The reason that disturbs me, is that it highlights the whole reason that "recess" appointments to the federal judiciary are such a horrible idea and are (in my view) unconstitutional. Do you really like the idea of a judge sitting there deciding cases, while he knows in the back of his mind that whether he's confirmed to a lifetime appointment may depend on how he decides those cases? I don't like it, and it's contrary to the whole purpose and concept of lifetime appointments to the federal judiciary. Any Senator who takes this line does not really understand the concept of judicial independence.

posted by sam 6:11 AM 0 comments


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