The Wall Street Journal responds to the Southwick attacks, here are some excerpts:
Move over, Roe v. Wade. The latest liberal judicial litmus test is whether the nominee is willing to repudiate the phrase "homosexual lifestyle." Believe it or not, that's one of the two raps against Leslie Southwick, whose nomination for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
After more than five months of Democratic control, Ralph Neas, Nan Aron and other liberal activists are so desperate to prove their relevance that they will grasp at any allegation to put another trophy kill over their mantel. What happens to Judge Southwick's nomination may well preview the fate of other appeals-court nominees in the rest of President Bush's term.
....liberal critics, having scoured his 7,000-plus rulings on the Mississippi appeals bench, uncovered two allegedly hanging offenses. Both were about words that the judge himself never uttered but were contained in decisions he joined--one involving homosexuals, the other race....
The flimsy pretext for stopping Judge Southwick suggests that the judicial left has decided to browbeat Democrats into blocking nearly all Bush appellate nominees. They're hoping to retake the White House in 2008 and want everyone to forget that the current President still has 19 months in office. Only three Bush appointees have been approved this year, and there are currently five nominees for 13 vacancies. At this pace, the confirmation rate won't come close to the 15 appeals-court nominees approved by a GOP Senate during Bill Clinton's last two years.
Judiciary Democrats aren't saying how they'll vote today, but Republicans believe they have the votes to confirm if Judge Southwick's nomination gets to the Senate floor. If the judge loses--or if he's approved in committee and then denied an up-or-down vote on the floor--you'll know Ralph Neas is running the confirmation asylum.