Just Say No to the President's Judicial Nominees

TalkLeft predicted here that the president's poor choices to fill judicial vacancies would not be confirmed during the current lame duck Senate session. This editorial reminds us why the nominees don't deserve confirmation:

The four most controversial nominees that President Bush resubmitted are ideological in the extreme. William Myers III, a longtime lobbyist for mining and timber interests, would no doubt use his position on the San Francisco-based United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to gut environmental laws. William Haynes II, who helped develop the administration’s torture and “enemy combatant” policies as the top lawyer for the Pentagon, could be counted on to undermine both civil liberties and reasonable limits on executive power.

Terrence Boyle, a district court judge in North Carolina and a former aide to Senator Jesse Helms, has a long record of insensitivity to victims of race and disability discrimination. He would be able to pull the law in the wrong direction in these areas if he became an appeals court judge. Michael Wallace, a former lawyer for Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, has a bad civil rights record, including arguing in favor of letting Bob Jones University, which discriminated on the basis of race, keep its tax-exempt status.

A fifth nominee is slated to fill a vacancy in the D.C. Circuit. Oddly, the Senate saw no reason to fill that vacancy during the Clinton administration, supposedly because the Circuit didn't need its full complement of judges. The Circuit's workload has actually decreased since then, but so long as a Republican president is in office, Republican senators now think the position should be filled. Maybe they're right, but there's obviously no urgency. A couple of years from now might be a good time to think about confirming a new judge for that Circuit.

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    The most dangerous is the one everyone overlooks (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by scribe on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:47:33 PM EST
    I can't believe how many times I've commented on this, and yet it seems no one - no f'g one - has managed to pick up on this.

    The most dangerous nominee in this bunch is not Haynes or Boyle or Wallace or Myers.  They have extensive public records which will prevent them from ever going any higher.

    The most dangerous nominee in this bunch is Keisler.

    I explained why here, and here, and probably elsewhere, too.  IF I've commented on this once, I've commented on it twenty times.

    Peter Keisler has been at the heart of the Admin's torture policy, warrantless wiretapping, and who knows what else.

    He argued Hamdan last year, lost, and got nominated to the D.C. Circuit two weeks later (it's unlikely coincidental that was about the same time as Lt.Cdr. Swift, his adversary, was passed over).

    After that, the Admin got Specter to fast-track the nomination, so much so that there were committee hearings on him before Labor Day (i.e., less than six weeks).

    After that, he played a part in drafting and ramming through the Torture Act.  Remember, as a judge on the D.C. Circuit, he'd have a part in reviewing decisions involving just that Act.

    The other day, he signed the brief for the government, in which he argued that "Detainees have no rights, so dismiss these cases". I linked that in the first of my linked comments, above.  That brief was filed in the D.C. Circuit, too.

    He's 40-something and made a pile of money epresenting telecoms (and others), so he won't have to leave the bench to pay his kids college(like Luttig did).

    This is the next Alito.  OK?

    Get a clue.

    Of this bunch, he's the most dangerous to your rights.  He needs to be rejected.

    more on keisler (none / 0) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 03:38:32 PM EST
    More background on Keisler from the National Employment Lawyers Association here (.pdf):
    After reviewing Mr. Keisler's background and legal experience, we believe he is not qualified to be appointed to the federal bench.
    ...the strongest indicator of his judicial philosophy is his long association, involvement and leadership in the conservative legal movement.
    In November 2003, as an Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Keisler told a Senate committee that more rights for whistleblowers could jeopardize national security. Among other things, he said that whistleblowers should check with higher-ups before giving freewheeling testimony to Congress. According to Mr. Keisler, "The prudent thing would be for them to go back and find out whether that's appropriate." His argument directly contradicts the whistleblower provisions of several federal statutes. If his position is indicative of his commitment to employee rights, then American workers are in trouble.
    Based on his lack of judicial experience and the lack of any scholarly writing that can illuminate his judicial philosophy, combined with his strong and close connections to radical conservative activism, NELA believes that Mr. Keisler would be in the mold of conservative activists who have never been friendly to employee rights.

    I was going to comment, but turned it into a diary (none / 0) (#7)
    by scribe on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 05:50:15 PM EST
    I saw that.. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 05:57:32 PM EST
    Good one, too. I just quickly scanned it and will read it thoroughly after work.

    Just another sign that bush, calling... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Bill Arnett on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:22:36 PM EST
    ...for "non-partisanship" was purely a sham for public digestion and nothing more.

    They will wail and moan that all the judges must be given an up or down vote for all nominees (except Harriet Myers), but at least the phony bluster about changing the rules to forbid filibustering is now DOA, as rethugs will soon be the minority and will themselves want to filibuster from time to time.

    bush is simply genetically incapable of taking sound advice or criticism of any kind as his messianic complex dominates his view.

    Scribe... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 02:56:19 PM EST
    I was passed over twice before I retired.  Why was Swift passed over the first and second times?  They were over a year and two years prior to the third promotion board.  The promotion board had met before the case had convened anyway.  I tell ya, the Navy could use a person like you who is up on the promotion rules.  You ought to join up.  

    Coyote (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 03:18:55 PM EST
    I have no idea what you are talking about.  I only mentioned Swift because he won, and got fired, while Keisler lost, and got nominated for a lifetime judgeship, all within the same two weeks.

    The point you dodge is the one I'm making - Keisler is the most dangerous nominee in the whole bunch and must be stopped.


    Kid me?? (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 07:12:48 AM EST
    .....I only mentioned Swift....

    Aw, come on Scribe. You kid your friends and I'll kid mine, but let's don't kid each other.


    Swift was fired before he won. T (none / 0) (#11)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 08:07:56 AM EST
    That is what I am trying to explain.  

    You are misinformed. He was passed... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Bill Arnett on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 11:24:08 AM EST
    ...over "about two weeks after the decision" according to ThinkProgress who reported on it here.

    beep, beep! ;>)


    turnabout (none / 0) (#6)
    by roger on Fri Nov 17, 2006 at 05:17:02 PM EST
    The Dems should do exactly what the Repubs did under Clinton.

    Confirm no one, if at all possible