Conservatives Vent to White House About Judicial Nominees

After months of growing frustration with the White House and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist about President Bush’s judicial nominees, conservatives plan to air their concerns at a private meeting this afternoon with White House Counsel Harriet Miers.

About a dozen influential conservative leaders were invited to the White House to share their feelings about long-stalled appellate court nominees Brett Kavanaugh and Terrence Boyle — the two nominees who are under attack from Democrats and their liberal allies.

“There is tremendous frustration with the lack of leadership from the White House and Frist on these nominees, which will be clearly expressed today in the Miers meeting,” said one conservative involved in today’s White House meeting.

The first signs of displeasure arose nearly two weeks ago after Frist’s aides outlined plans to have Kavanaugh confirmed before the Senate’s Memorial Day recess. Conservatives wondered why Frist had passed over Boyle and William Myers, who were already approved by the Judiciary Committee, in favor of Kavanaugh, who was still awaiting a committee vote.

Last week’s decision by Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter to hold a second hearing for Kavanaugh — after Frist’s aides said Specter wasn’t inclined to do so — made matters worse.

Conservatives will hold a private conference call at 10 a.m. to prepare for this afternoon’s meeting.

More to come…

UPDATE — 10:12 a.m.: In less than an hour, a second conference call — this one featuring a larger number of conservatives from organizations across the country — will also touch on the growing frustrations with the White House. It is being organized by former Frist aide Manuel Miranda, who now runs the Third Branch Conference.

A copy of the agenda, obtained by HUMAN EVENTS, suggests that Republicans — from the White House to Frist to other senators facing re-election — are throwing away a golden opportunity. Not only is the GOP failing to seize a winning political opportunity for this fall’s elections, but the White House is not making strides to fill the courts with conservative judges as it did during Bush’s first term.