The Hill reports that Republicans in the Senate are getting a little antsy because the White House is not nominating enough judges and the dawdling pace is completely undercutting their favorite tactic of complaining about Democratic obstructionism:
Senate Republicans are growing increasingly concerned that the White House is dragging its feet in nominating judges to the federal bench, with some saying that the lack of nominees could undermine election-year GOP arguments of Democratic obstructionism.
“It’s hard to make the argument because the Democrats have an easy out then,” said Chief Deputy Whip John Thune (R-S.D.), who defeated Democrat Tom Daschle in 2004 in part by invoking the “obstructionist” argument. “To the extent that the White House is not moving them along in the process, it certainly undermines our ability to make the case that we should be getting these judges through the process approved and on the bench.”
[W]hen asked whether the lack of nominees undermines GOP arguments on Democratic obstructionism, [Sen. John Cornyn] said: “In terms of gross numbers, that’s certainly the case. We need to get the nominees over there.”
Republicans want the White House to start sending up more nominees not so that they can get confirmed before the end of Bush’s final term, but so that they can complain about them not getting confirmed and use it to rally their base in the upcoming election.
As we’ve noted a few times before, the importance of confirming judges to the federal bench pales in comparison to the Republicans’ need and desire to publicly lambaste Democrats for failing to confirm them.