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Judicial Nominees "Stuck"

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Ben Pershing has this post in the WaPo's D.C. Wire blog.  The post focuses on D.C. District Court nominees, but the assessment of "an end-of-session Senate logjam" applies across the board.

A logjam at this point is a good thing, although it may cause a few months delay for some good nominees.  Qualified and uncontroversial nominees should be confirmed early in the 112th Congress.  With 47 Republican Senators, though, it should be possible to block the bad nominations, especially President Obama's appalling plan to move the out-in-left-field Ninth Circuit even further out of the judicial mainstream. See, e.g., here.

For better or worse, the Democrats established the practice of routinely filibustering nominees based on ideological disagreement during the Bush Administration. Republicans need not and should not unilaterally disarm and give the present Administration carte blanche to fill the courts with judicial activists.  The judiciary tilts toward left-wing activism in the best of circumstances, and to have an asymmetrical standard for confirmations tilting in the same direction would make a bad situation worse.

The safest course is to just keep judicial nominations entirely out of the lame duck session and take them up first thing in January.

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