Right Sets Limits on Lieberman’s Power

The Right certainly has not been shy about voicing its opposition to the prospect of John McCain naming Joe Lieberman as his running mate.  But now some are taking a more conciliatory approach, announcing that Lieberman will be an acceptable VP pick … provided that he agrees to be nothing but a figurehead and helps the Right get some judges confirmed:

Some conservative activists, who abhor the idea of a Lieberman choice, are being pro-active. One is Curt Levey, who advocates for conservative judicial nominations. In an preemptive email sent Thursday, Levey said that if Lieberman is the choice, his group, the Committee for Justice, asks he make several pledges:

Republicans are concerned about Lieberman’s pro-choice stance and his weak record on judges. Since the abortion issue is almost entirely in the hands of the courts, Sen. Lieberman, if selected, could likely deflect much of the inevitable conservative criticism by making the following three pledges regarding judicial appointments:

1) he will play no role in picking judicial nominees in a McCain Administration,

2) he will not run for president in the future (and thus will never nominate judges himself),

3) he will caucus with Senate Republicans for the remainder of the year, allowing Republicans to demand a Senate reorganization like the one that followed Sen. Jeffords’ 2001 defection from the GOP. That would make Arlen Specter chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Mitch McConnell Majority Leader, likely resulting in the confirmation of four pending appeals court nominees to the all-important Fourth and D.C. Circuits. Senate Democrats would be unwilling to risk the fate of Tom Daschle by filibustering nominees so close to an election.