The CFJ Spoke Too Soon

The Committee for Justice was practically giddy at the announcement that the White House intended to tap Fred Fielding to replace failed Supreme Court hopeful Harriet Miers as White House Counsel.  

The administration’s decision to bring in Fielding, the CFJ claimed, signals to Senate Democrats that “there’s no point in obstructing constitutionalist nominees in hopes of getting ones that are less objectionable to the Left,” which is exactly what the Right wants to hear because they love nothing more than fighting over the issue.

Unfortunately for CFJ, just hours after they issued their press release came news that three of the Bush administration’s most recent and controversial nominees are asking that their nominations be withdrawn:

In a concession to the Senate’s new Democratic majority, four of President Bush’s appeals court appointees have asked to have their nominations withdrawn, Republican officials said Tuesday.

These officials said that William Haynes, William Myers and Terrence Boyle had all decided to abandon their quest for confirmation. Another nominee, Michael Wallace, let it be known last month that he, too, had asked Bush to withdraw his nomination.

According to press reports, despite these withdrawals President Bush “also intends to appoint 33 other judicial nominees” – and that is just what he has done. Of course, he can “intend to appoint” anyone he wants … but they aren’t going to get appointed until the Senate confirms them. 

Given the president’s record of needlessly provoking battles over this issue, perhaps the CFJ can take some solace in the hope that that he will continue his tradition of provoking confrontation, thus giving them the fight they so clearly desire.