Senate Holds Judiciary Hostage & Refuses to Consider Bush's Nominees
From Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, who has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee since 1977 and chaired the committee during the 104th-106th and the 108th Congresses:
[I]t does not take a partisan standard to see that that neither the Judiciary Committee nor the full Senate is doing its judicial-confirmation duty..
Democratic leaders are fond of saying that they will not treat President Bush’s nominees as the Republicans treated President Clinton’s nominees. Indeed, they are not. In the last ten months, for example, the Judiciary Committee has held a hearing on just three appeals-court nominees. During the same period under President Clinton, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing on 11 nominees..
The picture is the same when we look past the Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor. Under Presidents Clinton, Bush 41, and Reagan, the opposition-controlled Senate confirmed an average of 75 district-court and 17 appeals-court nominees during the president’s final two years in office. So far in the 110th Congress, we have confirmed 31 district-court and just six appeals-court nominees for President Bush. Simply meeting the historical average will require confirming 44 district-court and nine appeals-court nominees in the next several months. If anyone believes that will happen, I have some ocean-front property in Utah’s desert I would like to sell him..