Bush re­sub­mits 6 for judge­ships; Schumer calls move ‘slap in face’

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Stephen Di­nan and Charles Hurt

The White House on Nov. 15 re­sub­mit­ted six con­tentious ju­di­cial nom­i­nees to the Se­nate in what Repub­li­cans said was a sig­nal Pres­i­dent Bush will fight over judges even un­der Demo­cratic con­trol, and Democrats said proves the pres­i­dent al­ready has for­saken bi­par­ti­san­ship.

In ad­di­tion to the six re­sub­mis­sions — needed be­cause the nom­i­nees had been au­to­mat­i­cally re­turned to the White House dur­ing the Oc­to­ber re­cess — Mr. Bush also sent over four new nom­i­nees.

The White House said the nomi- na­tions are “a log­i­cal step” meant to keep the con­fir­ma­tion process on track.

“Th­ese renom­i­na­tions sim­ply re­store the nom­i­nees to the po­si­tion they were in prior to the [Oc­to­ber] re­cess, when the nom­i­nees were pend­ing in the Se­nate and await­ing fair con­sid­er­a­tion of an up-or-down vote,” said Emily Law­rimore, a White House spokes­woman.

But sev­eral of those nom­i­nees would have a dif­fi­cult time gain­ing a ma­jor­i­tyvote,and­with­lit­tle­timeleft in this year’s ses­sion and with Democrats about to take con­trol next year, noth­ing is likely to hap­pen.

“There is zero, zip, zilch chance of any of th­ese judges mak­ing it through the Se­nate killing fields in the wan­ing days,” said one Repub­li­can aide, who has watched the nom­i­nees sit­u­a­tion but asked not to be iden­ti­fied. “With­out a plan for suc­cess­ful con­fir­ma­tion from the White House, the only point is to fly the flag as the ju­di­cial-con­fir­ma­tion ship slips be­neath the waves. Bur­ble, gur­gle.”

All nom­i­nees ex­pire at the end of thisyear,andDemocrats­said­withso lit­tle time left, Mr. Bush’s move provesheis­playin­ga­parti­sangame ratherthantry­ing­towork­with­them.

“Democrats have asked the pres­i­dent to be bi­par­ti­san, but this is a clear slap in the face at our re­quest,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Demo­crat and a point man for his party on ju­di­cial nom­i­nees.

But Sean Rush­ton, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Com­mit­tee for Jus­tice, a con­ser­va­tive group that ad­vo­cates for judges, said Democrats forced the is­sue by deny­ing Mr. Bush the usual cour­tesy of car­ry­ing the judges over the re­cess. That is why Mr. Bush had to re­sub­mit the six con­tentious ones.

“It’sab­ul­ly­ing­tac­tic­totry­topaint the pres­i­dent into back­ing off from th­ese nom­i­nees,” he said.

The six re­sub­mis­sions are Ter­rence W. Boyle and William James Haynes II to the U.S. 4th Cir­cuit CourtofAp­peals,PeterD.Keislerto the U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals for the Dis­trict of Columbia, William Ger­ryMy­er­sIIIandNor­manRandy Smith­tothe9thCir­cui­tandMichael Brun­son Wal­lace to the 5th Cir­cuit.

The­newnom­i­neesareJamesEd­wardRo­gan­totheU.S.Distric­tCourt fortheCen­tralDistrictofCal­i­for­nia, Ben­jamin Hale Settle to the Dis­trict Court for the West­ern Dis­trict of Wash­ing­ton and Mar­garet A. Ryan andS­cot­tWal­laceS­tuck­y­totheCourt of Ap­peals for the Armed Forces.

It is a curious end to a year that be­gan with the con­fir­ma­tion of Jus­tice Samuel A. Al­ito Jr. to the Supreme Court. But since then, con­fir­ma­tions have dropped off. One key sen­a­tor ear­lier this year blamed the White House for not send­ing up new nom­i­nees fast enough, though Mr. Rush­ton said the Se­nate lead­er­ship failed to push the pend­ing nom­i­nees.

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