Senate Democrats are being urged by the hard left to sink the confirmation of Fifth Circuit nominee Leslie Southwick for absurd reasons. The Judiciary Committee is slow rolling all Bush circuit court nominees in an unprecedented shut down of the process which has never occured in the seventh year of a presidency, and only recently in the eighth year of a presidency. GOP Leader McConnell has threatened to bring the Senate to a halt ifSouthwicj is sunk, insisting on roll call votes, the full use of 30 hours of debate on every matter that does get cloture etc.
If the Dems do block Southwick, it seems hard to imagine McConnell following through on his threat and yet allowing a huge immigration package desperately wanted by Ted Kennedy to sail through. The GOP Leader can’t want to develop the reputation for making threats and then retracting them, especially after his first few months in the job have won him the admiration of Republicans hungry for a tougher approach in the Senate.
Watch the aftermath of the Southwick —when it occurs— vote very carefully. Certainly the Senate Republicans should get a deal on circuit court judges, especially Peter Keisler, before agreeing to even a new and vastly improved immigration bill. Why a path to citizenship for millions when a half dozen Bush nominees can’t get a path to a floor vote? The base of the Republican Party is already dismayed with the D.C. GOP, but rolling over on the judges while getting rolled on immigration is going to make a bad situation much, much worse. Ed Whelan has more on Judge Southwick here.