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Bench Memos

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Re: Analyzing the Griffith Roll-Call Vote



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Beldar suggests that genuine concern over Thomas Griffith’s failure to keep his law license active might explain the votes of “moderate” Democrats against his nomination. As for the liberal votes for him:

Their votes were cynically political, a recognition that the Griffith fight was a loser for their side; and as such, solely to reduce the public perception of monolithic Democratic opposition to Dubya’s judicial nominees, they threw their votes to the “aye” side without regard to Mr. Griffith’s individual merits and problems.
A partial alternative explanation for the bizarre vote pattern might be that the liberal Democrats who voted for Griffith may have come to know him and respect him during his time as Senate legal counsel (1995-1999), whereas the moderates (with the exception of Byrd, and possibly a short overlap for Bayh) arrived in the Senate after Griffith had left.


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