February 13, 2003


Keep Talking About Miguel Estrada (NY Times, February 13, 2003)
The Bush administration is missing the point in the Senate battle over Miguel Estrada, its controversial nominee to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Democrats who have vowed to filibuster the nomination are not engaging in "shameful politics," as the president has put it, nor are they anti-Latino, as Republicans have cynically charged. They are insisting that the White House respect the Senate's role in confirming judicial nominees.

The Bush administration has shown no interest in working with Senate Democrats to select nominees who could be approved by consensus, and has dug in its heels on its most controversial choices.

This is completely disingenuous. If there were no consensus in favor of Mr. Estrada the Democrats could just let the vote go to the floor. They're filibustering because he'd be confirmed with a majority of at least 55 and probably closer to 60 votes. The Constitution nowhere suggests that a supermajority should be required for judicial appointments, which does make this a political matter rather than a dispute about the Senate's role in judiciary appointments. Of course there's nothing wrong with playing politics, nor even with trying to stop a nominee because of his ethnicity, so long as you're willing to pay a political price for it. Talk away... Posted by Orrin Judd at February 13, 2003 9:34 AM

I don't follow these things closely, but weren't the same arguments more or less used against Souter, that he was a stealth candidate with not much of a record?

Where was the Times on that? I forget

Posted by: Harry at February 13, 2003 12:56 PM

They'd have opposed him I'm sure.

Posted by: oj at February 13, 2003 12:59 PM