November 14, 2006

Shaping the judiciary.

While we strongly disagree that the President’s ability to shape the judiciary is “over,” it is true that getting principled constitutionalists confirmed will take greater effort. With Democrats striving to redefine themselves as centrist on issues related to the judiciary, and a new crop of moderate Democrats such as Tester, Casey, Webb, and McCaskill added to 14 or so red state/Gang of 14 Democrats already in the Senate, liberal hardliners can be overcome. Doing so will require continued commitment from the White House in putting forth solid nominees, and a rebirth of aggressiveness from Senate Republicans – especially Judiciary Committee members – to publicly push for timely hearings and votes on delayed nominees and to take it to the country when they do not occur. As shown in 2002 with Charles Pickering and in 2004 with Miguel Estrada, Priscilla Owen, and other blocked nominees, Republicans win by pushing hard on judges.

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