David recently posted a list of the JNC for the SD FL, who are charged with recommending a replacement for Judge Hurley now that he is going senior status:
Kendall Coffey (Chair) Georgina Angones Reginald Clyne Gonzalo R. Dorta AlI think the list is pretty solid, what do you all think?
Dotson Philip Frieden John Genovese Evelyn Greer Jillian Hasner Manny Kadre
Chuck Lichtman Richard Lydecker Tom Panza Luis Perez Danny Ponce David Prather Dennis Richard Justin Sayfie Chris Searcy Steve Zack.
Back when Bush was President, Senator Hatch had this to say about the judicial nominating process:
It seems to me that the only way to make sense of the advice and consent role that our Constitution's framers envisioned for the Senate is to begin with the assumption that the President's constitutional power to nominate should be given a fair amount of deference, and that we should defeat nominees only where problems of character or inability to follow the law are evident.Makes perfect sense to me.
In other words, the question of ideology in judicial confirmations is answered by the American people and the Constitution when the President is constitutionally elected. As Alexander Hamilton recorded for us, the Senate's task of advice and consent is to advise and to query on the judiciousness and character of nominees, not to challenge, by our naked power, the people's will in electing who shall nominate.
To do otherwise, it seems to me, is to risk making the federal courts an extension of this political body. This would threaten one of the cornerstones of this country's unique success – an independent judiciary.
We must accept that the balance in the judiciary will change over time as Presidents change, but much more slowly. For the Senate, to do otherwise is to ignore the Constitution's electoral process and to usurp the will of the American people. To attempt to bring balance to courts in any other way is to circumvent the Constitution yet again, without a single vote of support being cast by the American people.
Then why, as Washington Monthly notes, was Hatch a signatory to this letter to the President just signed by all 41 Republican Senators:
President Barack Obama should fill vacant spots on the federal bench with former President Bush’s judicial nominees to help avoid another huge fight over the judiciary, all 41 Senate Republicans said Monday.Oy. So where does that leave us here in South Florida?
In a letter to the White House, the Republican senators said Obama would “change the tone in Washington” if he were to renominate Bush nominees like Peter Keisler, Glen Conrad and Paul Diamond. And they requested that Obama respect the Senate’s constitutional role in reviewing judicial nominees by seeking their consultation about potential nominees from their respective states.
“Regretfully, if we are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our states, the Republican Conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee,” the letter warns. “And we will act to preserve this principle and the rights of our colleagues if it is not.”
In other words, Republicans are threatening a filibuster of judges if they're not happy.