Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

The Senatorial Plot Thickens on Judges


Earlier today Republican Senators Arlen Specter and Mitch McConnell exposed the Democrats’s latest bait and switch on judges.  Two weeks ago Majority Leader Harry Reid committed himself — and Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy — to move on judges by Memorial Day.  Reid said that he and
Leahy “would do everything we can do to approve three circuit court judges by Memorial Day…Who knows, we may even get lucky and move more than that.”

Naive observers might think that Reid’s and Leahy’s promise to move three judges had to do with, well, a quantity of judges between two and four.  But not according to the Democrats’ new math.  Senator Leahy now says that if two Michigan nominees he favors are not confirmed by May 23, perhaps no one will be.  “If the White House slow walks [their] paperwork, we probably won’t” make the Memorial Day deadline.

McConnell and Specter have called the Democratic leadership out.  “The clock is ticking,” they wrote to Reid and Leahy today.  “It has been two weeks since your commitment to do ‘everything’ you could” to confirm three nominees by the upcoming holiday recess.  Yet in that time the Committee has scheduled only one hearing.  “More troubling still is the fact that [Leahy] strongly indicated last week that the Committee may refuse to honor the commitment, not because it is impossible for it to do so, but because the Chairman’s preferred queue of nominees will not be ready in time…”.

I will post the Democrats’ next move as soon as news of it is received.


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