Will Bush choose more-moderate jurists or do battle with the Senate? (Neil A. Lewis, 11/11/06, The New York Times)

Ronald Klain, a former Democratic chief counsel for the Judiciary Committee and the White House counsel in charge of judicial nominations for President Clinton, said Bush and the Republicans face a decision with important implications.

“The Bush administration has played the game of judicial selection very hard and very far to the right for the past six years,” Klain said. “They have to make a fundamental decision now as to how they want to deal with this. Do they move to the center or stay true to the right?”

A senior Democratic strategist in the Senate said his party was eager to see which direction Bush chose on judicial nominations.

“Those guys in the White House have governed unilaterally for six years,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“Does he pivot and become like he was as Texas governor and work with both sides of the aisle,” the official said, “or does he send up these guys again and set us up for hard votes and call the Democrats obstructionist?”

The administration has had a no-lose situation in naming staunch conservatives to the bench: The choices either would be confirmed or their defeat would provide a strong campaign issue.

By nominating more black, Hispanic and Asian conservatives to bench slots the President can keep that advantage. In particular, naming them to open Supreme Court slots is a political winner either way.



  1. AWW says:

    The next 2 years we will find out who the real W is. Does he move to the center to appeas the MSM
    and Dems to get some legacy going or does he continue to stay on the right on taxes, judges, etc. per
    his principals?

    OJ is right – there are enough conservative women, hispanic, african american judges where W can
    appease the right and continue to put the Dems in a box. In fact he and the Senate should have done
    more of that before the ’06 election.

  2. Lou Gots says:

    I am disgusted and ashamed to read words of quota gamesmanship. Do you know what that sounds like? Do we care about the color of the nominee’s skin or the content of his or hewr character?

  3. Bob says:

    Lou: Neither. The word you are looking for is “Confirmable”.

    That does not mean liberals or even moderates. It just means sending
    conservatives up that have a chance to be confirmed.

    Don’t be shocked like this is a new thing. Ethnic and religious backgrounds
    have been used for 175 years in US politics. One used to balance a ticket with
    one Irishman, one Italian, one Pole etc. Now women, Asians, Latinos are the
    balance. Nothing wrong with that at all.

  4. erp says:

    Lou’s right. If we play their game, we’re no better.

  5. Orrin says:

    The assumption that color excludes considerations of character is why they vote against the GOP.

  6. Orrin says:

    Want Scalia and Alito off the bench since they were picked solely for their ethnicity?

  7. Raoul Ortega says:

    I can’t wait to see the Miers screechers reactions when they realize what a Leahy controlled Judiciary Commmittee means. And now the Dems won’t even have to filibuster. If the Dems are smart, they’ll have quick committe hearings and them bring ’em all to a floor vote and “51” ’em.

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