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Fritz Feds

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Judge Holmes

Paul Greenberg has a good piece today on about the narrow confirmation of Judge Leon Holmes to federal district court in Arkansas. Here's the lede:

It was a close call when the U.S. Senate was finally, finally allowed to vote on Leon Holmes' nomination as a federal district judge here in Arkansas.

It's been almost 18 months-a year and a half-since the president made this nomination. If only Leon Holmes had been one of your mediocre nominees, he would have been a shoo-in. If only he'd been less of a scholar, advocate and just plain concerned citizen, there would have been no problem. Alas, he was an outstanding pick. And something there is in American politics that abhors quality, and sends your more cautious pols skittering away in the opposite direction.

Don't get me wrong: A little quality is just fine in a nominee before the U.S. Senate, but not too much. Then the nominee becomes, yes, controversial. The same goes for religion. It's just fine if the nominee has one, but not if he really believes all that stuff-or, even worse, acts on his beliefs. Especially when they concern a controversial issue, such as abortion.

Read the whole thing. The Holmes story is a prime example of how messed up the judicial confirmation process has become.


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