Pushing for Confirmation without Nominees
Roll Call reports that the White House is making a big push to confirm more judges to the bench:
The lobbying effort has been kicked into high gear, sources said, because President Bush knows that his chances for confirming key nominees diminishes as the November election nears and cooperation between the parties slips. The specter of Democratic control in the 110th Congress — while still a long shot — also looms large. This is all well an good, but it’s hard for the administration and its allies to make much of a push when the administration fails to put forward nominees. Unless the White House gets serious about putting more names forward, and soon, few are likely to be confirmed to the appellate bench.
The White House fears the longer a nominee awaits action, the greater the likelihood that additional Senate holds could arise and the greater the chance that a candidate will grow impatient and withdraw. It also becomes more difficult for the administration to weigh in on urgent legislation, because when senior positions are vacant, it’s hard to provide a trusted administration voice to offer testimony or cajole lawmakers.