President Bush's False Start on Judicial Nominees

The White House Counsel’s office notified me today that the President will not be renominating some of his more controversial judicial nominees.

President Bush has made the right decision in not resubmitting these controversial and problematic nominees who failed to win confirmation from a Republican-controlled Senate.

It is unfortunate that we have lost many months of valuable time on these earlier false starts, time the Senate could have spent making progress on filling vacancies with qualified consensus nominees. There are several outstanding judicial emergencies that I and other Democratic senators have been working with Republicans to fill since last year. Regrettably, we have been unable to make progress because of opposition from some on the other side of the aisle. I hope to expeditiously address some of these emergency vacancies in the Judiciary Committee.

This new Congress presents an opportunity for a fresh start on judicial nominations, one that emphasizes qualifications and bipartisan consensus over political game-playing. The President’s decision not to push ahead with these controversial nominees, as he has done in the past, is a welcome beginning. I look forward to the President working with both Democratic and Republican Senators on filling judicial vacancies by consensus with qualified nominees.