On April 15, Democrat Senate Majority leader Harry Reid promised Senate Republicans the body would confirm at least 3 judicial nominees by the Memorial Day recess.
Well, recess officially began a few minutes ago, and Reid has officially lied. Since April only 1 nominee has been voted on, G. Steven Agee to the 4th Circuit, 96-0.
Yesterday came news that may be it for the year. According to CQ Politics:
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee signaled Thursday that the window for action this year on appellate court nominees is beginning to close….
Citing what Democrats see as Senate custom on election year confirmations, Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, said, “We may be too far into the Thurmond rule to move forward”….
Ten circuit nominees are awaiting action by the committee….
Leahy was referring to what Democrats cite as an informal custom, named after former committee Chairman Strom Thurmond… whereby no judicial nominees are confirmed in the latter part of a presidential election year without the consent of both sides. Republicans argue that there is no such custom.
Our side continues to sabre-rattle, which is way beyond tiring. I think part of the reason Americans don’t like Republicans anymore is because they don’t respect Republicans anymore. They view them as wimps who don’t stand up to obvious bullies. Reported Committee for Justice today:
This week brought two more reminders of the importance of the judges issue to GOP voters:
“When it comes to how they will vote in November, Republican voters say that the type of Supreme Court Justices a candidate would appoint is more important than the War in Iraq.” – Rasmussen Reports
“Item No.1 on the list of complaints from … conservative leaders is Mr. Bush’s failure to compel the Senate to vote on the federal judges he has nominated.” – Gerald Seib, Wall Street Journal
The Rasmussen survey also found that “by a 69% to 20% margin, voters [of all stripes] believe that judges should interpret the law as it is written,” and that only 11% of voters trust judges over voters or elected officials “to decide important decisions facing the country.” These findings help to explain why the judges issue has worked to Republicans’ advantage over the last decade. CA Supreme Court, are you listening?
In truth, the responsibility for “compelling” Senate Democrats to allow up-or-down votes on the President’s judicial nominees lies primarily with GOP senators. And they undoubtedly have the Rasmussen survey results in the back of their minds as they consider their reaction to Majority Leader Reid’s broken promise to confirm three appeals court nominees before the Memorial Day recess, as well as Reid’s sure-to-be-broken earlier promises to meet the historical average (17) for appeals court confirmations in a president’s final two years. With just a couple of months left in the confirmation window, Reid is less than halfway to meeting that average.