Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tomorrow Is Such A Long Time



Oh Indiana federal district judge David Hamilton, you have been waiting eight months for confirmation to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. You have been endorsed by Indiana's senior Senator Richard Lugar and the Federalist Society of Indiana yet you are about to be filibustered.

President Obama and Senator Reid need to get off their arse, as the NYT editorialized Monday:
As of Nov. 4, he had nominated just 26 appellate and district court judges, and only four of them had been confirmed. Even considering that selecting Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court and getting her confirmed took time, the administration’s pace has been disappointing.

On the confirmation side, the fault lies with the Senate. Obama nominees who have been reported out of the Judiciary Committee have waited months for a vote from the full Senate, far longer than is necessary.

Senate Republicans have been doing their best to drag things out. In March, every Republican senator signed an outrageous letter to the White House warning that they would filibuster any nominee from their home states if they did not approve the choice in advance. That was a dizzying reversal. In the Bush years, Senate Republicans professed to be so upset about Democrats’ filibustering that their majority leader threatened the “nuclear option,” which would have eliminated the use of filibusters for all judicial nominations.

Senate Democrats used the filibuster very selectively against Bush nominees who were true extremists. The real outrage was who was approved. Jay Bybee, the author of the infamous legal memorandums justifying the use of torture, is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.

The Democrats also allowed J. Leon Holmes to be confirmed to the federal bench in Arkansas. He had made a number of offensive statements about women, African-Americans and gay people. In 1997, he wrote that in marriage, “the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man.”

Republican senators, by contrast, are unreasonably opposing good nominees who are well within the legal mainstream. A current example is David Hamilton, a distinguished federal district court judge in Indiana who has been nominated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. Judge Hamilton has decidedly moderate legal views and strong centrist credentials, including the enthusiastic endorsement of Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican. Judge Hamilton in no way resembles extreme Bush nominees that Democrats opposed.

Apparently, however, Judge Hamilton, like Justice Alito before him, thinks judges should employ the dreaded "empathy" bomb:
Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, today told reporters that he plans on filibustering David Hamilton, President Obama's nominee to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. “I intend not to support going forward on the Hamilton vote,” Sessions said. “Unlike Justice Sotomayor, when asked to discuss the empathy standard he has embraced it.”
Senator Sessions, you are a tool and hypocrite of the highest order. May you never need the empathy you seek to purge from our judges.

If today was not an endless highway,
If tonight was not a crooked trail,
If tomorrow wasn't such a long time,
Then lonesome would mean nothing to you at all.
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin',
Yes, and if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin',
Only if she was lyin' by me,
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

I can't see my reflection in the waters,
I can't speak the sounds that show no pain,
I can't hear the echo of my footsteps,
Or can't remember the sound of my own name.
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin',
Yes, and if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin',
Only if she was lyin' by me,
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

There's beauty in the silver, singin' river,
There's beauty in the sunrise in the sky,
But none of these and nothing else can touch the beauty
That I remember in my true love's eyes.
Yes, and only if my own true love was waitin',
Yes, and if I could hear her heart a-softly poundin',
Only if she was lyin' by me,
Then I'd lie in my bed once again.

47 comments:

  1. Hadn't heard of this. Disgraceful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good post.

    I too have had problems with some of the comments J. Leon Holmes has made over the years.

    I absolutely hate the confirmation part of the legal process. Ug!

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