Last week, I told you that Senate Republicans were gearing up for a fight over President Bush's stalled judicial nominations, which are being bottled up in the Judiciary Committee by the liberal majority. Today, the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call reports that Senate Republican leaders are increasingly frustrated by the committee's stalling tactics and plan to make an issue of the treatment of Judge Leslie Southwick.
As it turns out, Southwick is President Bush's third nominee to fill a vacancy on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that has been open since 1999! Democrats blocked the first two nominees - Charles Pickering and Mike Wallace - and now they are holding up Southwick, too.
According to Roll Call, Republicans may effectively shut down the Senate unless there is an agreement to give Southwick a vote before the August recess. One Republican leadership aide commented, "We can either prevent really bad legislation from passing or we can get a well-qualified judge. One of those two things will likely happen." We will keep you posted!
(Gary Bauer, End of Day, July 16, 2007)