This is excerpted from a Wall Street Journal post from November 15, 2003, along with my own comments.
Why the Dems borked Estrada…in their own words..
The following are staff strategy memos to various Democratic congressmen. They reflect the behind-the-scenes conversations that went on a few years ago when Dems ran the senate judiciary committee and were looking at the appointment of judges by the Bush administration.
November 6, 2001/To: Senator Dick Durbin“You are scheduled to meet with leaders of several civil rights organizations to discuss their serious concerns with the judicial nomination process. The leaders will likely include: Ralph Neas (People For the American Way), Kate Michelman (NARAL), Nan Aron (Alliance for Justice), Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights), Leslie Proll (NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund), Nancy Zirkin (American Association of University Women), Marcia Greenberger (National Women’s Law Center), and Judy Lichtman (National Partnership). . . .
“. . . The primary focus will be on identifying the most controversial and/or vulnerable judicial nominees. The groups would like to postpone action on these nominees until next year, when (presumably) the public will be more tolerant of partisan dissent.”
Me: Really…MORE tolerant of partisan dissent? Does anyone out there care about getting the best judges for the country and the people?????
November 7, 2001/To: Senator Durbin“The groups singled out three–Jeffrey Sutton (6th Circuit); Priscilla Owen (5th Circuit); and Caroline [sic] Kuhl (9th Circuit)–as a potential nominee for a contentious hearing early next year, with a [sic] eye to voting him or her down in Committee. They also identified Miguel Estrada (D.C. Circuit) as especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment.They want to hold Estrada off as long as possible.” (emphasis mine)
Me: Miguel Estrada was “especially dangerous” because yada, yada. But why was the fact he was Latino mentioned in connection with dangerous? I propose that they were scared, that being Latino perhaps gave him an edge for being seated and that Bush could appeal to the whole Latino population by the nomination. I believe that Dems made a stink about him because THEY wanted to be the first to nominate a Latino and thereby secure votes. They are always looking for votes to keep themselves in power. They are always seeking to throw a bone to some interest group. I guess it’s a sort of “strategy”.
But I’m equally sure that if Repubs said something like this….well, let’s just say…they wouldn’t hear the end of the uproar. The Dems seem to always scream the loudest about others doing the very same things they are doing or want to do. (That probably reveals their hearts.)
February 28, 2002/To: SENATOR [Kennedy]“Ralph Neas called to let us know that he had lunch with Andy Stern of SEIU. Andy wants to be helpful as we move forward on judges, and he has great contacts with Latino media outlets . . .” (emphasis mine)
Me: Ah, the SEIU, that union that has recently become so well known…as in the investigation into ACORN and all of its “friends”. And how “helpful” does Andy want to be? Just remember the Democrat party is the friend of the unions…witness the recent attempts by the current administration to reward the automakers union with a greater share of the spoils of Chrysler and GM than its legally contracted secured creditors. Do you smell a rotting rat?
April 17, 2002/To: SENATOR [Kennedy]“Elaine Jones of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund tried to call you today. . . . Elaine would like the Committee to hold off on any 6th Circuit nominees until the University of Michigan case regarding the constitutionality of affirmative action in higher education is decided by the en banc 6th Circuit. . . . The thinking is that the current 6th Circuit will sustain the affirmative action program, but if a new judge with conservative views is confirmed before the case is decided, that new judge will be able, under 6th Circuit rules, to review the case and vote on it.”
Me: Well, I think we will just do as Elaine says….do these congressmen listen to their own constituents? Or do they do the bidding of the special interest groups? You decide. I suppose if the interest groups were funding my re-election campaign, that is who I would be beholden to….NOT!
June 12, 2002/To: SENATOR (Kennedy)“…Ultimately, if [Chairman Pat] Leahy insists on having an August hearing, it appears that the groups are willing to let [Timothy] Tymkovich [10th Circuit] go through (the core of the coalition made that decision last night, but they are checking with the gay rights groups).”
Me: Well, it appears that the groups voted on their choice for judge. Oh, yeah, don’t leave out the gay rights groups…they have to weigh in. It appears they got their ok, too, btw.
These memos are priceless. Does anyone else feel like the odds are stacked against them?