Mini McCain

Some conservatives have suspected that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R.-S.C.) was a self-promoting poseur ever since he voted against Article II of impeachment against President Clinton in 1998. That article would have impeached Clinton for repeated perjuries in his deposition in the sexual harassment suit brought by Paula Jones. Judge Susan Wright later held Clinton in contempt for that deposition, citing what she called “false, misleading and evasive answers that were designed to obstruct the judicial process.” Then-Rep. Graham, by contrast, sanctimoniously lectured House colleagues that Clinton’s perjuries were not impeachable.

Today, Graham is reportedly stalling the nomination of William “Jim” Haynes to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. Haynes, a Harvard Law School grad who serves as general counsel for the Defense Department, has twice received the American Bar Association’s highest rating. The Judiciary Committee originally approved his nomination in 2004, but it was not taken up on the floor before that Congress adjourned. President Bush re-nominated Haynes, but now the nomination has stalled in committee — reportedly because it lacks Graham’s support on a panel that has 10 Republicans and 8 Democrats. Graham’s mentor, Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.), openly opposes Haynes because Haynes was general counsel for the Defense Department when it was defending terrorist-detainee policies McCain and Graham thought were too tough. Ninety-one conservative leaders, including Paul Weyrich, David Keene, Brent Bozell, Connie Mackey and Jan Larue, wrote Graham last week asking him to let the nomination have “an up-or-down vote before the entire Senate.” Graham responded through National Journal‘s Congress Daily: “They are a group of people that organize around specific events. That doesn’t mean they represent conservatives.”

Let Sen. Graham know what you think he represents by calling: (202) 224-5972.