Well, it looks like Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are up to their old tricks again. In an attempt to draw attention to the “unfair” treatment they claim President Bush’s pending judicial nominees have received, GOP committee members boycotted yesterday’s markup session. We can only assume that this is a last ditch effort to raise public outrage for their cause – particularly considering the meager exposure spurred by their press conference earlier this week.
Congressional Quarterly reported that the only Republican to attend yesterday’s meeting was Ranking Member Arlen Specter (R-PA) – who ironically enough only appeared so that he could explain why he and his colleagues would not be appearing. The senior senator from Pennsylvania informed Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) that the other committee Republicans decided to skip the meeting because of the “absence of any judges on the calendar.” Because there’s certainly nothing else of importance that the committee could be working on?
Sen. Leahy was quick to point out to his colleague that more judges have been confirmed this Congress than in the 109th, when Republicans controlled the Senate. We would also add that, while Senate Republicans (see Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY)) would like to pretend that the Thurmond Rule (yes, we referenced Wikipedia) doesn’t exist, no circuit court nominees were confirmed after July in 1996, 2000 or 2004 – all years, by the way, when Republicans controlled the Senate. A selective memory sure is helpful when you’re trying to justify an otherwise unjustifiable argument!