June 15, 2006

Playing Games with Judges

Jeffrey Lord has an outstanding op-ed in today’s Philly Inquirer about the stalled (for three years) nomination of William “Jim” Haynes. This time the nomination has apparently been stalled by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (S.C.) because of criticisms of Haynes from some in the military community concerning policies on terrorist detainees.

Lord makes several good points in the article:

1) Whether you agree with Graham’s opinion or not, it remains true that Senators should not abuse the judicial confirmation process and give every nominee a fair vote.

2) Politicians themselves rely on rules when they are elected to office. As Lord points out, “If Graham were informed today that his next election were moved up from 2008 to next week, he would correctly cry foul. Yet he shows not the slightest concern over letting a judicial nominee cool his heels for three years.”

3) The broken judicial confirmation system is not just a problem for Bush, but for any future President whether s/he is a Democrat or a Republican. “After senatorial abuse of the process reaching back to the Reagan administration, what makes any Democrat think things will change if the next president’s name is Clinton, Kerry or Feingold?” asks Lord.

4) Senator Arlen Specter’s proposed reforms need to be resurrected and passed in order to fix the present partisan mess over judicial nominations the Judiciary Committee and the Senate now find themselves in.

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