August 7, 2010

Nominated vs. appointed

Those are not interchangeable terms. While it may be politically* significant that Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker was originally nominated by President Reagan in 1987 and that the nomination was stalled by liberals reportedly concerned about Atty. Walker's alleged anti-gay stances, the judge was appointed by George H.W. Bush.

Appointment requires the advice and consent of the Senate. Not including his Supreme Court choices, Obama currently has 48 Article III judiciary nominations floundering in Congress, nearly three-fifths of his total nominees.** Whether this says more about the nominees' qualifications, or Obama's expectations of them, or the gratuitous obstructionism of Senate Republicans is open to some debate.

(You may safely count your humble correspondent as in alignment with the advocates for the latter suggested set of propositions.)

Reagan also nominated Douglas Ginsburg, but that's as far as it got. (Too bad that Justice Ginsburg never got to write Gonzales v. Raich.)

Finally, it's of little avail for the latest generation of liberals to now remind The Base*** of Judge Walker's conservative Republican bona fides. For one thing, judges evolve as judges and for another, those reminders are summarily dismissed with a wave of the "RINO" hand.

* As well as ironically.
** Source.
*** Noun form, but I guess in some cases the adjective too.

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