President Bush has been sending the Senate new conservative judicial nominees who could become filibuster bait if the Democrats ever want to risk letting Republicans trigger the "nuclear option" to end judicial filibusters for good.
One such nominee is Michael Wallace, long-time counsel to the Mississippi Republican Party and close friend of Sen. Trent Lott. Wallace was named to succeed Charles Pickering on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
Asked by Human Events Political Editor John Gizzi last week whether he would still consider using the "nuclear option," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) said, "The nuclear option is still on the table so long as the filibuster is still on the shelf."
If the Wallace nomination doesn’t tempt Senate Democrats, President Bush may be pondering another appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that will. That would be Viet Dinh, the former assistant attorney general who authored the Patriot Act.