Monday, September 10, 2007

Bush Court Nominees Going Nowhere

Who are Steve A. Matthews and E. Duncan Getchell, the two presidential nominees to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals?

Well, after Virginia Sens. John Warner (R) and Jim Webb (D) submitted a bipartisan list of five candidates to the president for consideration to the Court, Bush cavalierly skipped over their names and submitted two of his own.

That's right, rather than be guided by the list, Bush chose to "casually insult Virginia's two home-state senators [and] picked one candidate who Warner and Webb considered and rejected--and a second who appears to be of the view that what the law needs more of is Ruch Limbaugh." Slate writes:

Steve A. Matthews, the Bush pick for the 4th Circuit, announced last week,,,is an able lawyer, and the fact that he has logged no time at all as a judge should not necessarily count against him. But a brief glance at his résumé suggests that Matthews' strongest credentials for this federal appeals court seat include his role as former state chapter president of the Federalist Society, and ranking close behind that is his membership on the board of directors for the Landmark Legal Foundation.
The Landmark Legal Foundation is noted for great luminaries like Mark L. Levin, a man who penned a solemn book declaring that any person who differed from radio maharishi and OxyContin meister Rush Limbaugh was, well, a dirty hippie "who threatens America with imminent 'tyranny.'"

Landmark also had the discernment to nominate Limbaugh for a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Why with Limbaugh being "the foremost advocate for freedom and democracy in the world today," it's hard to believe he's been overlooked over the years.

Of E. Duncan Getchell, the Richmond attorney's name was deliberately left off the list by Webb and Warner. But no matter. Bush needed no counsel as decider-in-chief, which led to Webb firing off press releases to every name and person on his rolodex and e-mail list and creating a stir.

Despite our good-faith, bipartisan effort to accommodate the president, the recommendations that Sen. Warner and I made have been ignored," Webb added. "The White House cannot expect to complain about the confirmation of federal judges when they proceed to act in this manner."
Oh yea, the junior senator was boiling mad.

Both Warner and Webb had interviewed Getchell and found him wanting. Maybe it had something with Getchell's association with the conservative Federalist Society; or maybe it was Goober Allen's staunch support of him and then poor Allen's untimely political demise.

But bottom line, folks, Getchell and Matthews are going nowhere fast. As Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, "The Senate Judiciary Committee, under Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., doesn't move forward on a nomination if both home-state senators don't consent." And Warner is on the same page as Webb, publicly "standing by the[ir] joint recommendations...which did not include Getchell. "

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