January 22, 2005

IF THEY'RE THAT BAD THEY WON'T BE CONFIRMED, RIGHT?:

Courting Disaster: Bush judicial nominees could shake the foundations of environmental law (Glenn Scherer, 20 Jan 2005, Grist)

William G. Myers III is George W. Bush's choice for a lifetime position on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court's jurisdiction covers three-quarters of all federal lands, in nine Western states where contentious battles rage over energy, mining, timber, and grazing.

Unlike most judicial nominees, Myers has never been a judge. Instead, his qualifications include decades as a paid lobbyist and lawyer to the coal and cattle industries. In his recent position as the Bush Interior Department's chief attorney, Myers tried to give away valuable federal lands to a mining company and imperiled Native American sacred sites. "His nomination is the epitome of the anti-environmental tilt of so many of President Bush's nominees," says Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.).

Democrats aggressively blocked Myers' appointment with a filibuster in 2004. So when his nomination lapsed at the end of this past congressional session, many legal experts assumed it was dead, along with the nominations of nine other judicial candidates that were blocked by Senate Democrats for their extremist ideology, industry ties, and/or ethical problems. But on Dec. 23, while Americans were distracted by the holidays, the president gave his corporate backers (especially those in the energy and mining industries) a Christmas present: He announced his intent to renominate seven of the filibustered candidates, including Myers. (The other three were given the option of being renominated, but withdrew themselves from consideration.)

"Renomination on this scope and scale of so many judges who the Senate has refused to confirm has never happened before," says Glenn Sugameli, senior legislative counsel for Earthjustice, a nonprofit public-interest law firm. Noting that Congress has already confirmed 204 of Bush's appointees, Sugameli asserts, "President Bush is trying to convert the Senate into a rubber stamp that will confirm 100 percent of his judicial nominees. That is what is really at stake here."


Rubber stamp? He just wants them to get up or down votes. Hardly a radical notion.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2005 6:37 AM
Comments

Sugameli is an idiot. The Senate has not voted down a single one of the judges in question. The Donks have insured that the Senate would not have the chance.

If the Donks remain in thrall to these radical groups, they will go the way the British Conservative Party is going.

Posted by: Morrie at January 22, 2005 6:03 PM

its one thing to worry about constitutional interpretation, its quite another to worry about statutes that Congress can amend.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at January 23, 2005 1:28 AM
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