Bench Memos

Stuart Taylor on Southwick Nomination

In his forthcoming column for the National Journal (which I will link to when it becomes available online), Stuart Taylor concludes that Judge Leslie Southwick, “who is a professionally well-qualified and personally admirable Bush nominee for the [Fifth Circuit], is the latest victim of a judicial confirmation process that has steadily become more degraded by partisan warfare in recent decades.”  Taylor condemns the “scurrilous allegations that Southwick is a bigot.”  Further, recognizing that Senate Democrats have become puppets of the Left, he notes that “the same Judiciary Committee Democrats who had voted to confirm Southwick last year” to a district judgeship “got cold feet” on his Fifth Circuit nomination only after the baseless “attacks by liberal interest groups” began.


Will the confirmation process “continue to become an ever-uglier ordeal”?  As Taylor puts it, “Senate Democrats’ treatment of Southwick will show whether they are so shortsighted as to provide their Republican adversaries with new precedents and excuses for a campaign to obstruct the next Democratic president’s liberal nominees, no matter how well qualified.”

Ed Whelan — Ed Whelan is a leading commentator on nominations to the Supreme Court and the lower courts and on issues of constitutional law.

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