President Barack Obama today re-nominated, as expected, the vast majority of judicial nominees who were not confirmed at the end of 2010. But exactly one previous nominee is not among them: Judge Robert Chatigny for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
The lack of another nomination makes Chatigny the first of Obama's judicial picks to fail to win confirmation, though others, such as Goodwin Liu for the 9th Circuit, may be filibustered.
Chatigny faced heated Republican opposition because of his involvement, as a federal district judge, in a state capital case. A threat he made about a lawyer's law license had prompted an ethics inquiry, though a panel of three other federal judges cleared Chatigny.
It is good to see capital cases getting the attention they warrant in the judicial confirmation process. These cases have a particularly strong effect in exposing the tendency of judges and wannabe judges to substitute their policy preferences for the laws duly enacted through the democratic process.