As part of our big, new redesign of the Alliance for Justice website, the Justice Watch blog has moved. To be sure you're getting all the latest news about the fight for a fairer America, visit us at www.afj.org/blog

Wednesday, June 7, 2006

WSJ Says Bye to Boyle and Hello to Haynes

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) editorial board, a long-time cheerleader for the Bush administration's most controversial judicial nominees, tells us what everyone has known for weeks: Terrence Boyle's nomination is in trouble. Interestingly, however, they appear to raise the white flag. Why? Is it concern about Judge Boyle's reversals? His record in civil rights cases? Maybe the ethical problems he's got? Please. It's all about politics. While they airily dismiss as illegitimate all of the concerns that Judge Boyle's nomination raises, they suggest that a nominee who has competence, civil rights and ethics issues might be bad for Republicans come November.

So the WSJ Board proposes changing things up a bit. They're now getting behind the renewed efforts of right-wing activists to push the controversial nomination of Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes. In a shocking twist, the editorial downplays Mr. Haynes's involvement in the development of the Pentagon's use of "'coercive' interrogation techniques" on military detainees. Then, employing some hard ball tactics, the piece warns Senators Graham and McCain--two Republicans concerned by the Haynes nomination--not to oppose Mr. Haynes, noting in particular the potential impact on McCain's presidential aspirations:

It's hard to see how opposing Mr. Haynes would achieve anything except win the senators some fleeting praise in the establishment media. It wouldn't impress GOP primary voters in Mr. Graham's home state of South Carolina, an important Presidential primary state in 2008 and home to many Haynes supporters. In defeating Mr. Haynes, Mr. McCain would mainly be validating those critics who want to punish anyone associated with the war in Iraq. Is this how a President McCain would treat his appointees who come under political fire for offering honest counsel?

We like to think that maybe Senators Graham and McCain think that the detainee policies that came out of the Pentagon are reprehensible and decidedly un-American, and that advancing such policies, as Mr. Haynes did, is simply unbefitting a life-appointed federal judge. You know -- that pesky "commitment-to-the-rule-of-law" thing. But maybe that's just us.

In any event, it seems like this is "turn on your ally" week when it comes to judicial nominations. First the advocacy campaign targeted at Senator Graham and now this shot at Senator McCain. We can't wait to see what's next.

No comments: