Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sid Salter writes that Graves faces same "Beltway shuffle" as Pickering

Sid Salter writes about how the stalling on Justice James Graves reminds him of Charles Pickering's confirmation challenges.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has moved rather slowly on the Obama judicial appointments. Democrats have accused Senate Republicans of “obstructionism” over delays in the confirmation of Graves and other appointees.

It is unfortunate that Graves is being used as a political pawn in this process. But he is neither the first nor the last nominee likely to be caught in the “Beltway shuffle.”

Republicans are quick to point to similar treatment of former President George W. Bush’s nominees who got the stall treatment by Democrats. Mississippians Charles Pickering was famously victimized, as was Appeals Court Judge Leslie Southwick, who faced unfair opposition and partisan attacks, but finally was confirmed.

At least Graves does appear to be headed for a committee vote and confirmation. Pickering has to settle for a temporary recess appointment from Bush.

As it was with Pickering, there is no substantive debate either here in Mississippi or on Capitol Hill that Graves isn’t well qualified for the job. What is at issue for Graves — as it was for Pickering — is the perception of his politics.

Pickering was believed by Senate Democrats to be too conservative and that his political philosophies and religious faith might put him at odds with liberal Democrats on key issues. Graves is believed by Senate Republicans to be too liberal and that his political philosophies might put him at odds with conservative Republicans on key issues.

Hence, the “Beltway shuffle” and the tactics of delay and denial.

Graves deserves to be confirmed. Republican delays and denials of Graves’ nomination will do nothing to help conservative judges who were victimized during their own confirmation battles.

But particularly galling are complaints from Democratic Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., that Graves is a victim of Republican obstructionism. Few members of Congress practice that type of judicial obstructionism more often than has Sen. Leahy and more often than not against Mississippi judicial nominees.
You can read Salter's full column here: Judge Graves, like Pickering, caught in the "Beltway shuffle"