Sunday, May 15, 2005

I couldn't agree more Bruce and Michael:
WHERE WAS James Dobson when 60 of President Bill Clinton's judicial nominees were on hold in the 1990s? Did they, too, deserve an up or down vote? Or is that a privilege reserved solely for Republican nominees?

Dobson is wrong in many ways. He claims that the nominees aren't extreme. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales accused Priscilla Owen of trying to implement "an unconscionable act of judicial activism" when they were both justices on the Texas Supreme Court. Her work on the bench was deemed poor by 47 percent of the Houston Bar Association.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown of California has referred to a Supreme Court ruling in favor of minimum wage laws as ''the triumph of our own socialist revolution." When nominated to the California Supreme Court, Brown was rated unqualified by three-fourths of the California State Bar's Commission on Judicial Nominees.

Dobson claims that ''never in the history of the Senate has a federal judge nominee with obvious majority support in the Senate been held hostage to a filibuster." What of Judge Richard A. Paez, whom Bill Frist, Senate majority leader, voted to filibuster?

Dobson is right about one thing. The Republicans' nuclear option isn't really about Senate rules, traditions, or the reputations of the nominees. It's all about the Republicans getting and keeping power.

Chestnut Hill

I APPRECIATED seeing James C. Dobson's May 11 op-ed article opposite your editorial, ''A plot against the Senate." This highlighted both the Republicans' hypocrisy on the issue and their willingness to tell untruths while not strictly lying.

President Bush has gotten a higher percentage of judges approved than any president in recent history -- and in a timely fashion. Word-parsing Republicans like Dobson claim that court nominees have never been held up in committee by the filibuster. They ignore the scores of Clinton nominees, mostly non-controversial moderates, whom the Republicans denied up-or-down votes by preventing them from even coming up in committee. Where was Dobson's indignation then?


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