The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

April 3, 2013

Obama Pushes Republicans to Drop Hurdles to Judicial Nominations

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

Partisans also are fighting over the judicial balance of power in individual appeals circuits, Gerhardt said. One reason appointments to the D.C. Circuit are so contentious is that Republicans now have an edge of just a single vote on the court, with four justices appointed by Republican presidents and three appointed by Clinton.

There's also an element of payback at work, Wheeler said.

"Republicans don't think Bush's nominees were treated fairly," Wheeler said. "The Democrats would say that Bush was nominating a fair number of fairly radical people."

The expanding field of combat is damaging the federal judiciary by discouraging candidates, particularly attorneys who give up taking on new clients during the confirmation process with no certainty of the outcome, Wheeler said.

"If you're among the best and brightest in the legal profession, why should you subject yourself to a long and drawn- out process of this sort?" he said. "If you're in private practice, you have a lot to lose."

Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society, a self-described conservative legal group, said the potential for elevation to the Supreme Court is "probably one element" in Republican senators' opposition to some appeals court nominees. Still, "no U.S. senator has ever said to me point-blank, 'I am going to oppose this nominee because he might be on the Supreme Court,' " said Leo, who was an outside adviser to Bush on judicial nominations.

Leo said as far back as Ronald Reagan's presidency Democrats gave heightened scrutiny at confirmation hearings to appeals court nominees who were likely Supreme Court candidates.

"Going after Supreme Court prospects is nothing new," he said. "The weaponry that's brought on the field is what's changed, and that's the filibuster, and that goes back to what the Democrats deployed with Estrada and others."

Text Only
Politics
  • With 1 week to go, Sanford subject of attacks

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford can’t seem to escape attacks on the extramarital affair that derailed his political career, which he hopes to revive in a special congressional election that is now a week away.

    May 1, 2013

  • Bombing shifts Mass. Senate race before primaries

    BOSTON — Even before the explosions, polling suggested that Massachusetts voters weren’t excited about the looming special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

    April 28, 2013

  • In a first, black voter turnout rate passes whites

    WASHINGTON — America’s blacks voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time, reflecting a deeply polarized presidential election in which blacks strongly supported Barack Obama while many whites stayed home.

    April 28, 2013

  • Senate Democrats put off vote on Labor nominee

    WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats have delayed a confirmation vote on Labor Secretary-nominee Thomas Perez after Republicans threatened to use a separate hearing to criticize his handling of a whistleblower case.

    April 24, 2013

  • Sen. Baucus' decision to retire sets stage for majorlegislative changes

     Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., one of the most influential congressional figures of his era, announced his intention Tuesday to retire, a move that could produce sweeping changes in the political and legislative landscape over the next two years.

    April 24, 2013

  • Senate friendship born of tragedy beat partisanship

    These days, most dispatches from Washington focus on petty partisanship, posturing, impasses and a political culture that rewards confrontation.

    April 22, 2013

  • Rubio rising

    If Marco Rubio helps pass comprehensive immigration reform, he will have accomplished more as a senator than Barack Obama did.

    April 22, 2013

  • Gun Bill's Failure May Help Immigration Legislation

    WASHINGTON — Here's an odd political reality: The collapse of the gun bill in the Senate last week may well make the passage of immigration reform legislation slightly easier.

    April 21, 2013

  • Senate Planning Vote on Internet Sales Tax

    WASHINGTON — The days of tax-free online shopping could finally be numbered.

    April 21, 2013

  • Advocates of Immigration Reform Fight Back Against Push for Delay

    WASHINGTON — The Senate's leading supporters of overhauling the nation's immigration system sought Sunday to blunt a conservative effort to slow the pace of debate over their bill, saying the Boston Marathon bombings are a reason to move quickly to make changes.

    April 21, 2013

Featured Ads
Politics Video