Like so many others here and elsewhere, I simply can’t understand why the pace of nominating and confirming federal appeals court judges has ground to a halt.
From a political standpoint, it simply doesn’t make any sense. At a time when conservatives are angry at the White House and Congress, pushing the ball forward on judicial nominations is a straightforward way for the President and Senate Republicans to begin to attempt to get things back on track—if that’s even possible.
Political watchers have seen over and over the potency of the judicial confirmation issue on the stump. Remember Tom Daschle? Ask Senator Thune about the importance of Democrat obstruction in his victory.
But the lack of effective leadership, both from the White House and in the Senate, means that too few nominations have been made and too few confirmations pushed through. It’s time for that to change.
Holding up judicial nominations makes no objective political sense. Even if you hold votes and lose some—and you shouldn’t—the risk is worth the reward, either by having more good judges on the bench or by reinvigorating a winning issue.