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Heat Rises Over Hamilton Nomination:

The CQ "Legal Beat" blog reports tensions are mounting between Senate Republicans and Democrats over judicial nominations. Senator Arlen Specter objects to the rapid pace with which Judiciary Committee Chair Pat Leahy is advancing the nomination of David Hamilton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Senator Specter has requested a second hearing, as he argues Senate Republicans did not have adequate opportunity to prepare for the Hamilton hearing held last week, some 15 days after he was nominated and under somewhat unusual circumstances. Further, as Specter notes, the Senate Judiciary Committee had multiple hearings for John Roberts' nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Hamilton to Get Second Hearing:
  2. Heat Rises Over Hamilton Nomination:
  3. Hurrying Hamilton?
MarkField (mail):
I think there's a typo on your post: "additional circumstances"?
4.8.2009 9:53pm
MarkField (mail):
And, of course, now I notice that there's also a typo on in my post.
4.8.2009 9:54pm
Lucius Cornelius:
I guess the Republicans should consider their options. If the majority is going to be forceful, perhaps they should consider filibusters.
4.8.2009 9:54pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:
How common is it for a judicial nominee to have a second hearing?
4.8.2009 10:15pm
Jonathan H. Adler (mail) (www):
MMNIR --

It's relatively rare, but it did happen with John Roberts when he was nominated to the D.C. Circuit. It's also rare to hold a hearing on a nomination quite so quickly and in the way Sen. Leahy held it.

Mark Field --

Thanks. Fixed. (Meant "unusual" not "additional".)

JHA
4.8.2009 10:38pm
My Middle Name Is Ralph:
Thanks JHA. Not sure what I think about this one. OTOH, I would never want to give an opposing attorney a second chance to depose my client just because he wasn't prepared enough the first time. OTOH, confirming a judge is not supposed to be an adversarial process between Senate Rs and Ds. I guess if I felt Specter's complaint had any merit, I'd be inclined to bring Hamilton back for a second hearing even though I suspect it will just be political grandstanding at the hearing.
4.9.2009 12:27am
Ben S. (mail):

And, of course, now I notice that there's also a typo on in my post.


Aw, you should have left it alone. It was better when I thought you intentionally put a typo in a post pointing out a typo. Its much funnier that way.
4.9.2009 2:02am
Oren:
I can't believe Reid isn't stepping in to restrain Leahy here. The Dems are going to need Specter down the line and it is just unimaginably un-collegial for him not to accede to this request without regards to the merits.
4.9.2009 8:10am
Cornellian (mail):
The nomination sure isn't generating much heat here - only 9 comments.
4.9.2009 10:27am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

I can't believe Reid isn't stepping in to restrain Leahy here. The Dems are going to need Specter down the line and it is just unimaginably un-collegial for him not to accede to this request without regards to the merits.

Indiana has one D and one R senator, and both approved the pick. (Obama's other two appeal court picks are from Maryland with two Ds). So assuming Franken gets seated, there are 60 votes to break a filibuster.

This nominee is currently a District judge while Roberts served in DOJ before he was nominated.
4.9.2009 10:37am
AJK:
I don't understand why Leahy would do this. Hamilton seems like a pretty non-controversial liberal candidate, and it's not like having a vacancy for another couple of months would be a big problem. It almost makes me wonder if there's something about him that he doesn't want to give Republicans a chance to find out about.
4.9.2009 10:42am
Stacked Deck (mail):

Indiana has one D and one R senator, and both approved the pick. (Obama's other two appeal court picks are from Maryland with two Ds). So assuming Franken gets seated, there are 60 votes to break a filibuster.

This nominee is currently a District judge while Roberts served in DOJ before he was nominated.

A couple of corrections: (1) I think that only one of the two CTA picks is from Maryland. The other is from New York, which also has two D senators; (2) The Senate now has 58 Ds and 41 Rs. If Franken wins, that will make 59-41, still one short of filibuster-proof.

Leahy is as arrogant, partisan, and hypocritical as any politician you'll find. While Bush's nominees were left to twist in the wind for months, and years (think Estrada, Boyle, Keisler), Leahy holds a hearing on this guy in a couple of weeks. While I know nothing about Judge Hamilton, and have no opinion on whether he ought to be confirmed, I do think he ought to be subject to the same practices that other nominees have faced for the last 8 years.
4.9.2009 11:15am
Stacked Deck (mail):

Indiana has one D and one R senator, and both approved the pick. (Obama's other two appeal court picks are from Maryland with two Ds). So assuming Franken gets seated, there are 60 votes to break a filibuster.

This nominee is currently a District judge while Roberts served in DOJ before he was nominated.

A couple of corrections: (1) I think that only one of the two CTA picks is from Maryland. The other is from New York, which also has two D senators; (2) The Senate now has 58 Ds and 41 Rs. If Franken wins, that will make 59-41, still one short of filibuster-proof.

Leahy is as arrogant, partisan, and hypocritical as any politician you'll find. While Bush's nominees were left to twist in the wind for months, and years (think Estrada, Boyle, Keisler), Leahy holds a hearing on this guy in a couple of weeks. While I know nothing about Judge Hamilton, and have no opinion on whether he ought to be confirmed, I do think he ought to be subject to the same practices that other nominees have faced for the last 8 years.
4.9.2009 11:15am
ruuffles (mail) (www):

(2) The Senate now has 58 Ds and 41 Rs. If Franken wins, that will make 59-41, still one short of filibuster-proof.

It would be something if Lugar, who praised the pick, turned around and voted against cloture, wouldn't it? My point is that so far it looks like the dems haven't abandoned the more stringent blue slip policy (approval of both home state senators).

think Estrada, Boyle, Keisler

Hamilton has been a judge since Clinton. Two of those three had no prior judical experience.
4.9.2009 11:30am
Oren:
ruuffles, my point was the Leahy should give Specter a few weeks irrespective of the merits. Even if you could convince me that it was a totally irrational request, I would still counsel doing so out of nothing more than basic collegiality.

Why don't we just call this a free one and move along.
4.9.2009 11:59am
Stacked Deck (mail):


think Estrada, Boyle, Keisler

Hamilton has been a judge since Clinton. Two of those three had no prior judical experience.

That may well be, but it was certainly not the case with Janice Brown or Priscilla Owen, both of whom had prior judicial experience, and, indeed prior appellate judicial experience, which, one might say, is more relevant to the circuit judgeships they were nominated for than Hamilton's district judgeship is. They weren't give hearings 2 weeks after nomination---or 2 months either.
4.9.2009 12:51pm
Oren:


That may well be, but it was certainly not the case with Janice Brown or Priscilla Owen, ... They weren't give hearings 2 weeks after nomination---or 2 months either.

Is Specter going to come out say that he's opposed to Hamilton on ideological grounds?
4.9.2009 1:11pm
KeithK (mail):

ruuffles, my point was the Leahy should give Specter a few weeks irrespective of the merits. Even if you could convince me that it was a totally irrational request, I would still counsel doing so out of nothing more than basic collegiality.


Seems to me that the rancor over judicial nominations has grown so strong that collegiality has been completely thrown out the window. Leahy feels emboldened by his parties recent electoral successes and wants to steamroll his colleagues on the other side of the aisle.
4.9.2009 1:18pm
Oren:
Keith, except for Lugar, who's not a nambly-pambly RINO like Specter.
4.9.2009 2:39pm
Thales (mail) (www):
"Keith, except for Lugar, who's not a nambly-pambly RINO like Specter." Wow, Specter is pro-choice (like the vast majority of Americans, educated Republicans and citizens of industrialized countries) and occasionally departed from orthodoxy on filibusters and giving Clinton's judicial nominees a hearing! Nambly-pambly Republican in Name Only!
4.9.2009 5:24pm
Oren:
Thales, you missed the point of my post entirely.
4.10.2009 10:43am

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