Patterico's Pontifications


Gang of 14 Deal Still Doing Damage

Filed under: General,Judiciary — Patterico @ 6:08 am

You folks who still think that the Gang of 14 deal was a good idea, think again.

Yes, we got Justices Roberts and Alito in. But they would have been voted in, Gang of 14 or no.

Meanwhile, we have a disaster brewing on judicial nominees in the important Circuit Courts of Appeals. The latest victim is Brett Kavanaugh.

Yesterday, Arlen Specter caved and announced that there will be a second hearing for Kavanaugh. Why? Because lying Chuck Schumer convinced Specter that there was a chance he would vote for Kavanaugh if there were a second hearing. Then Schumer marched out to the TV cameras and denounced Kavanaugh as a “partisan warrior” — a characterization that, Kathryn Lopez notes, is straight out of PFAW talking points on Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is an extraordinarily qualified nominee, but he will never get the votes of Democrats like Clinton and Schumer because he was on Ken Starr’s team during the impeachment proceedings for Bill Clinton. A second hearing does nothing but allow them to build a case against Kavanaugh by asking him impossible questions and demanding privileged documents.

It’s payback time. And Specter is going along with it — thanks to the Gang of 14. Here’s Ed Whelan, from the above link:

Although it’s tempting to blame Specter for this delay, a committee staffer tells me that Senators Graham and DeWine—members of the Gang of 14—worked hard to persuade Specter that another hearing would ensure that Democrat members of the Gang of 14 wouldn’t support a filibuster. We’ll see. In any event, it’s far from clear that, absent a second hearing, those Democratic senators would have supported a filibuster—and there would have been a lot of value in putting them to the test.

And the Democrats will stop at nothing to get their payback — including blatant lying about Kavanaugh’s record. The eternally clueless and/or mendacious Harry Reid says that Kavanaugh’s experience “is nonexistent, basically,” adding: “I’m not sure he’s ever been in a courtroom.” Ed Whelan counters with the truth:

Kavanaugh, now 41, has a remarkable breadth of experience that few judicial nominees could match. Among other things, he has been a Supreme Court clerk (to Justice Kennedy), has devoted more than ten years to federal-government service, has served in a senior position in the executive branch, has been a partner in a major national law firm, and has argued cases in the Supreme Court and court of appeals.

Why is Reid allowed to say anything about judicial nominations? He embarrasses himself time and time again.

Things aren’t looking good on other fronts. Via Confirm Them comes a link to a summary of the current situation, prepared by (staffers for) Senator Jon Kyl. The situation is bad. And it’s not getting any better.

There is no guarantee that Republicans will have as many Senators in late 2006 as we have today. I personally believe it will be a bloodbath on Election Night 2006. We might not even control the Senate when it’s all over.

The time to strike is now. Unfortunately, the Gang of 14 deal makes that difficult, because the threat of a filibuster continues to loom over qualified candidates like Kavanaugh.

Once again, thank you very much, John McCain.

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