The Corner

“Reaching Out”

With all this talk about whether Bush should “reach out” to Democrats on various issues, such as judicial nominations, it is important to remember what happen when Bush first took office in 2001. Among Bush’s first 12 judicial nominations were two Clinton nominees who the Republican Senate had failed to confirm (including one who was deliberately blocked). This was an unprecedented act of comity by the President, particularly given that the GOP retained control of the Senate at the time and many GOP Senators opposed the move. How did the Democrats respond? By poking the President in the eye and bitterly opposing many of these initial nominees, including Justice Priscilla Owen, Miguel Estrada, Terence Boyle, and others. The President tried playing nice on judges, and it got him nowhere. After this election, why should he try this again?

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.

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