Although the outgoing Senate Judiciary Committee chair Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) said that he would not move their nominations during the lame-duck session, President Bush has re-submitted six controversial judicial nominees. As one source told The Washington Times, their chances for confirmation can be boiled down to “burble, gurgle”:
“There is zero, zip, zilch chance of any of these judges making it through the Senate killing fields in the waning days,” said one Republican aide, who has watched the nominees situation but asked not to be identified. “Without a plan for successful confirmation from the White House, the only point is to fly the flag as the judicial-confirmation ship slips beneath the waves. Burble, gurgle.”
(Either that or the source was drunk.) This apparently symbolic gesture, coming on the heels of the president’s post-thumping call for bipartisanship, could be taken as a “sop to the right,” in the words of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York). Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice and an advisor to the Bush administration on judicial nominations, is taking it that way: “The president’s sending the message that he’s not going to deviate one iota from his judicial philosophy, which is that he’s going to send up nominees who don’t legislate from the bench,” he said. And Focus on the Family Action is urging its supporters to encourage Bush.
As PFAW legal director Elliot Mincberg told the Post, this is a “disturbing sign,” but “even more important will be what he does in January. If he takes the same tack in January, then he signals that he wants confrontation.”