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Friday, June 10, 2005
Under the Radar: It’s 5-0 (For Those Keeping Score at Home)
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 11:06 am

While I did hear passing reference to the fact that, along with Pryor, two other of Bush’s Appeals Court nominees were confirmed this week, both to the 6th Circuit, it seemed to be a largely ignored fact. Certainly the general significance of those confirmations seem not to have been overly discussed, although I will grant I haven’t examined the coverage in a comprehensive fashion.

Here are some details via theDetroit Free Press: Senate confirms Griffin, McKeague to 6th Circuit Court of Appeals

The Senate confirmed Richard Griffin and David McKeague of Michigan to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, ending a nomination process that was mired in a lengthy fight over President Bush’s judicial appointments.

Griffin, a Michigan Court of Appeals judge from Traverse City, and McKeague, a U.S. District Court judge from East Lansing, won approval to the Cincinnati-based court without any opposition.

So, for those inclined to keep “score”: the compromise from the “Gang of 14″ earlier in the month has now netted 5 confirmations. This fact should blunt the cries of the not-so-chillin’ that, in fact, the compromise did not represent “defeat” for the majority at the hands of a small cabal of traitorous Republicans. Indeed, if anyone wants to gripe about defeat at this point, it should be the minority.

Both McKeague and Griffin have been waiting a while:

McKeague had been awaiting confirmation since late 2001, while Griffin’s nomination had been stalled since mid-2002. They were renominated by Bush on Feb. 14

Their confirmation underscores a few points that I have been making. First, clearly the three that were the focus of the compromise, Pryor, Owen and Brown, were perhaps the most controversial on the list. As such, the GOP should be pleased with the compromise, which was a victory for them, as these were the hardest to get through the process in the first place. Of the nominees still waiting, only Myers and Saad have been considered especially controversial-and are probably the only ones left who might be blocked.

Second, the fact that McKeague and Griffin were unanimously approved indicates that the Democrats were not engaging in principled obstruction of only “extreme” nominees to the Appeals Court, but rather a broad-based strategy of obstruction aimed at simply curtailing the President’s ability to name Appeals Court nominees.

The whole reason I was in favor of the “nuclear option” in the first place was that I was of the opinion that it was the only response that existed for stoppping what I considered to e a serious abuse of the rules by the minority. The threat worked, and to this point, the results have been what should be happening: debate on the nominees, followed by a vote. I will point out something else I have repeatedly discussed during this process: the closeness of the vote on Pryor, Owen and Brown indicate that if the minority had engaged in actual debate, rather than obstruction, then they might well have been able to convince a handful of Republicans to defect, which would have led to the defeat of one or more of these nominees.

Further, the reason why I was not upset that the “nuclear option” being shelved is that I am wholly of the opinion that the Senate has now reverted to appropriate modes of behavior. And I would be of that opinion even if some of these nominees are rejected, because if a majority of the Senate can be persuaded that a nominee ought to be rejected, then that is fully legitimate.

Filed under: Courts/the Judiciary | |Send TrackBack linked with The Coalition was Right
Cadillac Tight linked with Principles
The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » Carnival of The Chillin’ linked with [...] te up on a NYTime piece on the newly confirmed Judge Brown UPDATE: More from Poliblog on the hidden significance of the recent string of confirmations Navland is rumbling on today’s three ju [...]


  1. Principles

    I’ve been back and forth with a couple of my readers and friends over the past 6 weeks on whether or not the Democrat’s opposition to the president’s judicial nominees was principled. I’ve maintained that it was not. Dr. Steven…

    Trackback by Cadillac Tight — Friday, June 10, 2005 @ 11:58 am

  2. you might find this interesting.

    Comment by AJStrata — Friday, June 10, 2005 @ 12:08 pm

  3. […] te up on a NYTime piece on the newly confirmed Judge Brown UPDATE: More from Poliblog on the hidden significance of the recent string of confirmations Navland is rumbling on today’s three ju […]

    Pingback by The Strata-Sphere » Blog Archive » Carnival of The Chillin’ — Friday, June 10, 2005 @ 2:11 pm

  4. The Coalition was Right

    As a proud charter member of the Coalition of the Chillin’ - i.e., conservatives who supported the filibuster deal (or at least didn’t think the world ended when it was signed) - I’m pleased to see that we were right.

    Trackback by — Friday, June 10, 2005 @ 2:58 pm

  5. actually, I think the filibuster deal won’t be truly found to be successful or not unti one of the Supremes retires.

    Comment by bryan — Saturday, June 11, 2005 @ 6:07 pm

  6. Judges McKeague and Griffin were being blocked solely because they come from Michigan, and the husband of a cousin of Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) had been voted down when President Clinton nominated him. In revenge, Sen. Levin had been blocking all judges from Michigan from getting to the Appeals Court. Part of the compromise was an agreement to stop that. (In fairness, one reason why he started threatening filibusters is that Sen. Hatch stopped the previous Senate practice of allowing senators to “blue slip” nominees from their state.)

    Comment by John Thacker — Monday, June 13, 2005 @ 11:19 am

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