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Lame Duck Judicial Confirmations

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It looks like the Senate may move to confirm a batch of judicial nominations with bipartisan agreement.  Goodwin Liu and Robert Chatigny are not in the batch.  I am told by informed sources that there is no time left in the session to invoke cloture to break a Republican filibuster on these two.

Liu, nominated to the Ninth Circuit, attacked the nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.  He claimed that Alito was "out of mainstream" and focused particularly on the capital cases.  It was a bizarre charge, given that Alito had actually voted for the murderer in 40% of the cases.  A person who thinks that 40% in favor of the murderer is an "out of the mainstream" pro-prosecution record must think that the correct decision is to vote for the murderer nearly every time.  Indeed, a close reading of the paper Liu wrote in his opposition to Alito indicates that Liu thinks that the correct resolution of every point discussed in the paper was in favor of the murderer.  A judge like that is the absolute last thing we need on a court that is already far too murderer-friendly.  See CJLF letter here.

Robert Chatigny is infamous for his mishandling of the case of Connecticut death row "volunteer" Michael Ross.  He threatened Ross's attorney with bar discipline for arguing in favor of allowing Ross to call off his appeal, even though the rules of professional ethics require lawyers to respect the client's right to decide the goals of representation.  Judge Chatigny also believes that sadism is not only a mitigating circumstance, but a powerful one.  See Robert Blecker's comment here

Speaking of time in the Senate, Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-Vermont) has been burning it up talking for seven hours (so far) against the tax cut compromise. Melissa Bell has this post on the WaPo site.  Burn it up, Bernie.  The more time you consume, the less time there is for Harry Reid to do damage while he still has a heavy majority.

Update:  Abby Phillip at Politico has this post on the negotiations.

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Bernie is actually the more principled and less dangerous Senator from Vermont.

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