Could Senate Dems be so dense as to abandon the “Gang of 14” deal?
Here is Senator Kyl’s “scorecard” on judicial nominees. The White House must get nominees up to the Hill for the circuit vacancies inexplicably left open:
Vacancies without Presidential Nominations
(awaiting nominee) 3rd Cir. (judicial emergency) Vacant since 1/31/06
(awaiting nominee) 3rd Cir. (judicial emergency) Vacant since 7/9/05
(awaiting nominee) 4th Cir. (judicial emergency) Vacant since 8/31/00
(awaiting nominee) 6th Cir. (judicial emergency) Vacant since 1/1/00
(awaiting nominee) 6th Cir. (judicial emergency) Vacant since 1/25/06
(awaiting nominee) 10th Cir. Vacant since 10/16/05
(awaiting nominee) 10th Cir. Vacant since 1/16/06
(awaiting nominee) D.C. Cir. Vacant since 11/3/05
(awaiting nominee) D.C. Cir. Vacant since 9/29/05
(awaiting nominee) Federal Circuit Vacant since 2/1/06
Further, these should be nominees the president is prepared to appoint via his recess power if not acted on in a timely fashion. If the nominee is sent up before Memorial Day, they ought to be able to have hearings in late summer or early fall, but additional delays will put them over into 2007.
This is the biggest failing of the Bush White House, but perhaps it can be remedied quickly (beginning with the D.C. Circuit.)
Chairman Specter wants a hearing on the NSA program and other presidential assertions of executive branch authority, which is fine and exactly as the Constitution intended the Congress to act. Any fair assembling of legal scholars will provide a robust defense of the NSA program as it exists as well as of other presidential powers.
But it is the Chairman’s duty as well to get the president’s nominees their hearings and committee votes, and in this regard, the Judiciary Committee has been failing badly since the end of the Alito hearings.