Are Bush's Judicial Nominations Doomed?

With the newly Democratic-controlled Senate, four of President Bush's terrible judicial picks may finally get axed for good, according to Neil Lewis in Sunday's New York Times.

There is a strong consensus that the four most conservative of Mr. Bush’s nominations to the federal appeals courts are doomed. Republicans and Democrats say the four have no chance of confirmation in the next several weeks of the lame-duck Congressional session or in the final two years of Mr. Bush’s term.

They are:

  • William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon’s chief lawyer who was responsible for the much-criticized military interrogation policies;
  • William G. Myers III, a longtime lobbyist for the mining and ranching industries and a critic of environmental regulations;
  • Terrence W. Boyle, a district court judge in North Carolina; and
  • Michael B. Wallace of Mississippi, a lawyer who was rated unqualified for the court by the American Bar Association.

As to Bush's options at this point:

“Those guys in the White House have governed unilaterally for six years,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as is customary among Congressional staff. “It’s been their way or no way, show no quarter.”

“Does he pivot and become like he was as Texas governor and work with both sides of the aisle,” the official said, “or does he send up these guys again and set us up for hard votes and call the Democrats obstructionist?”

As to the Democrats' strategy:

In the last two years of a presidency, Professor Yalof said, “The priority for the party not in control of the White House is not so much in stopping candidates based on their ideologies, but keeping as many vacancies open as possible on the theory that the next president may be someone of your party and will be able to fill those slots.”

If the Democrats follow that model, he said, they will be following the playbook of the Republicans, who blocked most of Mr. Clinton’s appeals court nominees in his last two years in office.

Whatever it takes to block them, Dems should do it. Here's why on Haynes, Boyle, Meyers and Wallace.

< 2008 Contenders | Can Chuck Schumer Be Trusted? >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Those 4 are toast (none / 0) (#1)
    by Cugel on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 02:39:16 AM EST
    it's the next ones we have to worry about.

    Bush will still try to jam through his right-wing ideologues and he will try and do it by picking off a few conservative democrats who are abortion opponents and then try and roll the Democratic leadership.

    The key will be keeping unaceeptable nominees bottled up in the judiciary committee. Don't let them come to a vote and screw the Republican complaining!

    Let them make an issue out of "Democratic obstructionists." Voters don't want a rubber-stamp, and the ones who are screaming the loudest about Bush's nominees are all Republicans anyway. Who cares what they think?

    They just want to destroy all our freedoms because of their authoritarian mindset. Trying to reach some sort of "consensus" is just pointless. They ought to block every damn Bush nominee from here on out, unless he takes their advice and nominates some moderates (he won't, the base would go ballistic).

    So it's just total war for the next two years and we need to win.

    You forgot at least one more, equally odious (none / 0) (#2)
    by scribe on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 07:14:04 AM EST
    Peter Kiesler.  He was the lead counsel arguing Hamdan for the Admin., following stints representing major telecoms and, apparently, being deeply involved in crafting the warrantless wiretapping programs while working for the Admin, working on getting his former client(s) to go along.

    And, remember, he got his nomination to the D.C. Circuit about two weeks after he lost Hamdan, right about the same time Lt. Commander Swift, representing Hamdan, got his second pass-over and therewith, his walking papers.  And the admin tried (and partly succeeded in) getting Specter to fast-track his nomination - there were hearings on him before Labor Day.

    He's young, a true believer, and committed to Bushism.  He should be rejected.

    Judicial Nominees (none / 0) (#3)
    by TenDem on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 08:19:07 AM EST
    "He should be rejected."  If Bush nominates, the nominee should be rejected.  His record picking nominees speaks for itself.

    doomed or not, here they come again (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Wed Nov 15, 2006 at 05:03:23 PM EST
    Per the Committeee for Justice Blog, and elsewhere, Bushie sent back the following nominations today, 11/15:  

    Terrence W. Boyle, of North Carolina, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, vice J. Dickson Phillips, Jr., retired.

    Most frequently reversed, renominated again, like he has been every session with a Repug president since 1990, alleged to have held (or bought) stock in companies in cases before him.

    William James Haynes II, of Virginia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit, vice H. Emory Widener, Jr., retiring.

    Currently General Counsel at Department of Defense, responsible for torture policy, responsible for trying to neuter all services' JAG Corps, loyal lackey of Rumsfeld.

    Michael Brunson Wallace, of Mississippi, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Fifth Circuit, vice Charles W. Pickering, Sr., retired.

    Unqualified, suspected of racist tendencies (if not explicitly proven)

    William Gerry Myers III, of Idaho, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, vice Thomas G. Nelson, retired.

    Radical right-winger on environmental issues, lobbyist for timber and mining interests.

    Norman Randy Smith, of Idaho, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit, vice Stephen S. Trott, retired.

    Not much, if at all, different from the other Idaho guy.

    Peter D. Keisler, of Maryland, to be United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, vice John G. Roberts, elevated.

    He just signed this brief (44 page .pdf)on behalf of the government, whose first two point headings are:
    I.  The Military Commissions Act Eliminates District Jurisdiction over Petitioner's claim
    II.  The MCA does not violate the suspension clauise because petitioners have no constitutional rights and because the MCA and DTA provide an unprecedented level of judicial review for the claims of the enemy aliens held at Guantanamo.
    And, that filing (along with others with his name or fingerprints on them) led to this article, among others.

    I talked about this bag of protoplasm before, above.

    Yeah, it's just an election result, to quote Tony Snowjob.

    But Leahy has something to say. (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Wed Nov 15, 2006 at 05:05:21 PM EST
    Reminding us that, with the Preznit, it's all stay the course, all the time.