ORDER FOR NOMINATIONS TO
REMAIN IN STATUS QUO
Mr. FRIST. As in executive session, I
ask unanimous consent all nominations
received by the Senate during the
first session of the 109th Congress remain
in status quo following the sine
die adjournment of the first session
under the provisions of rule XXXI,
paragraph 6, of the Standing Rules of
the Senate, with the following exception:
Calendar No. 436, Brett
Kavanaugh, PN203, and a list of nominations
from the armed services that
are at the desk.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without
objection it is so ordered.
I have focused a lot on Brett Kavanaugh, and not because I know him, because I don’t. I have never met the man or spoken with him. Rather, he’s a nominee to the second most important court in the United States, the D.C. Circuit, and has been since 2003. He’s also a superb lawyer by all accounts, and a five-plus year veteran of this White House. Further, no nominee deserves to be left twisting in the wind this way, and especially not when the vacancy to which he or she has been nominated is so crucial. Here’s a World column I wrote on the matter in early December. Here’s another from June. Here’s the most recent of many exchanges I have had on the nomination with Arizona’s Jon Kyl on December 7:
HH: Let’s go back to judges, Senator Kyl. Why has Brett Kavanaugh been hung up? And why is Terrence Boyle not gotten a vote? I mean, I just can’t understand it.
JK: Well, first of all, they’re conservatives, and Patrick Leahy, whose the ranking Democrat, has tried very hard to keep more conservative nominees, especially for circuit courts, from being considered. The chairman, Arlen Specter, has had his hands full with a lot of other things. I think also that the Gang of 14 took a little steam out of the circuit court nominations process, and frankly, the administration has been so focused on the three Supreme Court nominees, that they haven’t pressed hard, either. So it’s a combination of circumstances, but we’ve got to get those two up for a vote, as you’ve pointed out.
HH: You know, when I went back, I read Senator Specter’s op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, when he was lobbying you and your colleagues to become the chair of Judiciary, and he promised 30/30/30 day process. Obviously, Kavanaugh was nominated in 2003. Boyle, I think in 2001.
HH: Does Senator Specter feel any obligation towards the promises he made?
JK: Well, you’ll have to ask him that, which I will be doing, of course. But I’m going to assume that it is been the pressed of all of the other business, including the Supreme Court business, and that he still fully intends to move forward with alacrity as soon as Alito is confirmed on the 20th of January.
In another interview, a different senator speculated that we should ask Senator Clinton why Brett Kavanaugh had not been given a hearing, much less a Committee or floor vote —raising the possibility that Hillary has placed a secret “hold” on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
Before beginning his distinguished service in the Bush White House, Kavanaugh was a Deputy to Independent Counsel and now Dean of Pepperdine Law School Ken Starr. The speculation is that the “hold” on Kavanaugh is pay back from New York’s junior senator.
A “hold” is different from a “blue slip,” the latter being the means by which a home state senator can play the White Whitch with a judicial nominee and put them on ice indefinitely. “Holds” are truly the least democratic of the many undemocratic features of the Senate, and when exercised as part of a personal vendetta, a repulsive practice. If it is Hillary punishing a fine man for the sins of her husband, that’s a big story.
Turn to the Washington Post, and try and find a story on this obstructionism. Then try Google News and the name Brett Kavanaugh. Almost nothing there as well.
Everything connected to Hillary, a potential presidential candidate and a major celebrity even if she declined the race, is a big story. An example of her political vindictiveness against those whom she perceived as her enemies would be a huge story. It is a story easily investigated, and leaks about secret Senate “holds” should be a lot easier to investigate –and much less dangerous to the country’s security– than stories on the surveillance of al Qaeda abroad communicating with their agents in America.
If Hillary has chosen to play The White Witch with Kavanaugh and freeze him forever, that’s a story the public deserves to be told, especially in this the year of her re-election campaign. Instead the Post is busy slagging independent but brave correspondents roaming the Iraq-Syrian border with the Marines. (No response yet from the Post to the mountain of criticism it has received from its drive-by on Bill Roggio’s reputation.)
This is part of the deep hard left bias in the MSM. Yes, the MSM distorts both intentionally and via herd mentality what it covers and how it covers it. But it also resolutely refuses to follow interesting and important stories that would injure one of its favorites. John Kerry’s “Christmas-eve-not-in-Cambodia” fable comes to mind, as does his magic hat. It is protection coverage, and Hillary may be receiving it in the Kavanaugh matter.
I hope the president quickly renominates Kavanaugh (or even recess appoints him, though I am uncertain whether such an appointment can be made for a nominee who has been “returned.”) There is a controversy over the D.C. Circuit and whether it ought ot have 11 0r 12 judges, but the president can certainly get another one or two D,C, Circuit Court nominees up to the Senate along with Kavanaugh early in the new year. Litigants before this crucial court should not be deprived a full compliment of judges because of Democratic obstructionism.
And Majority Leader Bill frist should begin a new Senate tradition of describing in detail all “holds,” beginning with the one on Kavanaugh if that is in fact the reason for his icing. The Majority Leader can hardly energize primary voters with a record of having accomodated Hillary’s vendettas or even simple Democratic obstructionism.
And Chairman Specter made promises a year ago which have been breached with regards to Kavanaugh, and he should be asked if this bothers him.
The Gang of 14 Republicans who broke the effort to reform the judicial nomination process in the spring, led by Senator McCain, should also be asked if Kavanaugh was a secret part of their “deal.”
In short, although the hearings on Judge Alito’s nomination to the SCOTUS will dominate news in January, there are other stories with other sources and angles that MSM should examine and fully report on.
But because such reporting could cast Hillary in a bad light, don’t expect anything soon from an increasingly partisan and obviously, rabidly anti-Bush MSM.
New media, though, is another story.