As this New York Times article shows, Senator Leahy and Senator Schumer purport to be outraged over President Bush’s resubmissions of the six judicial nominations that were returned to the President at the beginning of the pre-election recess. “A clear slap in the face,” Schumer exclaims.
The real story (as my comments in the article indicate) is that Senate Democrats took the extraordinary step, before the summer recess and again before the pre-election recess, of returning these nominations to the White House. Not once, I am informed, did Senate Republicans ever deny President Clinton the courtesy of holding nominations over during an intrasession recess (or even an intersession recess within a Congress). President Bush’s action merely restores, as much as possible, the status quo that should be in effect. (In fact, some nominees who were already on the Senate floor now will have to go through committee referral again.)
If Democrats were really serious about being cooperative, they would stop playing these silly games—and stop falsely accusing the President of the very sort of conduct they’re engaged in.