Yesterday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) noted that President Bush plans to renominate several of his rejected judicial nominees:
In the days following the election, the President spoke about becoming a uniter and working with Congress in a bipartisan way. Regrettably, it appears he will not be keeping that promise. I understand the President intends to renominate a number of controversial nominees. That unfortunate decision evidences that he intends to stay the partisan course when it comes to judicial nominations.
Bush has criticized lawmakers for their “partisanship” and called on them to give all his nominees an up-or-down vote. But 31 judicial nominees have been approved this year, nearly double the total number of judges (17) confirmed in the 1996 congressional session, when Republicans controlled the Senate.
Renominating failed nominees won’t get more judges on the bench in the 110th Congress. Current Judiciary chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) has called on Bush to nominate more moderate judges. As Leahy notes, Bush needs to “change course and honor [his] pledge by working with us to confirm consensus nominees.”