Gone are the days when Republicans talked tough about ending judicial filibusters. President Bush first nominated Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Henry Saad to the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit in November 2001. Ever since then, Saad’s nomination has been filibustered by Senate Democrats, with Senators Debbie Stabenow (D.-Mich.) and Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) leading the way.
Saad told the Associated Press last week that he stepped aside in the hope that someone else might be confirmed to the 6th Circuit by the Senate before the mid-term elections begin closing the window for the confirmation of Bush appellate court nominees. "If something’s going to happen before the midterm elections," he said, "it seemed to me the timing was appropriate and it seemed to me also that my nomination was not going to move forward."
There was no final fight for Saad from the White House. No fight from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.). No talk of triggering the nuclear option. No complaint from the Gang of 14.