Diary

Federal Judges: Issues Matter—Not Numbers

“Forget about the numbers.  Talk about the issues.” That’s the message that should be delivered to Senate Republicans on judges.  Next week when the Senate convenes, Senator Leahy will parade out a new set of numbers about how Republicans are blocking the judicial nominees of President Obama.  The Republicans will counter with a figure demonstrating that President Obama’s nominees, in fact, have been process faster than those of President Bush.  At the end of the day, no one cares.  Republicans should forget about the numbers and talk about the issues.  The issues are what people care about.

For instance, the Democrats stalled a number of President Bush’s nominees, including the following:

Miguel Estrada: They told him conservative Hispanics need not apply.

Priscilla Owen: Anyone who does not support a 14 year old having an abortion without parental notification should not apply.

Bill Pryor: Any Catholic who agrees with the Pope that abortion is wrong, should not apply.

Janice Rogers Brown: African American females are not allowed to be conservative.  They are certainly not allowed to believe that the social security system is bankrupt.

So far, the Republicans have delayed or voted in substantial numbers against the following nominees of President Obama:

David Hamilton: You are forbidden from praying to Jesus Christ, but encouraged to pray to Allah.

Andre Davis: Is so soft on crime that he threw out the confession of a man who shot himself and then called the police for help.

Louis Butler: The people of Wisconsin have rejected him twice as a judge, because they do not like his judicial philosophy.

Edward Chen: “Judges have to make determinations that draw not so much upon legal acumen, but on an understanding of people and of human experiences.”  To hell with the law is the only way to paraphrase this statement.

The American people do not need to hear that after 100 days Louis Butler or Edward Chen were confirmed.  They need to hear that Butler and Chen will never be confirmed.  They need to know the judicial philosophy of these people, not how many days they have been pending.  Let Patrick Leahy play the numbers game if he chooses, but make him defend supporting someone who believes that praying to Allah is fine, but not Jesus Christ.  No Democrat was willing to say they opposed Priscilla Owen because she believes if a minor could not get an aspirin in school without consent, she should not an abortion without notification.

Pretty soon, the numbers will catch up on Republicans, as they always do on both parties, and then they will have to lose their fear of talking about the issues.  Let’s hope it is not too late to beat the radical nominees Obama is planning to send forward.  It’s not about the numbers.  It’s about the issues.