SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

HAYNES & PRYOR TO RE-ENTER THE RING. Be sure to catch Byron York’s article “The GOP’S New Plan." York reflects upon President’s decision to send two of his filibustered nominees--Charles Haynes and Judge William Pryor--back to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearings. He analyzes the President’s decision as serving to bolster moderate Republican sentiment--which remains skeptical of any decision to pursue the “constitutional option” and challenge the existing Senate Rules concerning filibusters.

Haynes and Judge Pryor can expect another round of abuse from Senator Leahy and Teddy Kennedy--but they can also use the hearings to further vindicate themselves from the baseless attacks made upon their respective characters by Teddy and the rest. A number of Democrats abused Judge Gonzales with bogus claims about the authorization prisoner abuse in the War on Terror, and we can expect the same sorts of claims to be made about Haynes.

Concerning Judge Pryor, The Birmingham News and The Mobile Register both have very good things to say about their fellow Alabamian.

The B-ham News rightly reminds its audience of then-AG Pryor’s politically unpopular (but legally appropriate) prosecution of Judge Roy Moore over the 10 Commandments and goes on to remark how Judge Pryor’s careful work on the 11th Circuit (through his temporary recess appointment) is entirely in line with how he has operated throughout his career. The paper goes on to say:

…even people who have found themselves opposite Pryor can agree he is a conscientious public official who respects and follows the law - even when he disagrees with it.

At the very least, Pryor is entitled to a vote of the full Senate. And if they look at Pryor's record objectively, senators will gladly confirm him as a federal appeals judge.

The Mobile Register gives an even lengthier treatment of Judge Pryor’s recent work on the 11th Circuit, stating at one point:

In reading closely the nine decisions written by Judge Pryor in the past year, one can see that in each decision, he followed such a step-by-step analysis. His opinions are models of clarity, even-handedness, logic and careful, accurate parsings of language and precedent.

The moderate Republican vote is crucial on this issue, and the kinder, gentler approach will hopefully serve to galvanize the party. It should also give new Senate Minority leader Harry Reid a chance to show whether or not he is willing to treat the President's nominees fairly or if he will choose to continue down the path of obstructionism.

Hopefully, Haynes, Judge Pryor and the other nominees will finally be able to receive the vote on the Senate floor that they have long been awaiting. As York concludes his article:

Pryor and Haynes will be the guinea pigs in the new Republican experiment. They were chosen carefully; both are candidates who, given the situation that exists in the Senate, will be difficult for Democrats not to filibuster. Pryor's statements on abortion alone virtually guarantee continued Democratic opposition, while Haynes seems destined to be portrayed as Mr. Abu Ghraib. If that is the case, and especially if Democratic attacks on them are strident, then Republicans feel they will be able to build the base from which to launch an attempt to break through the Democratic filibusters.

Or so they hope.


And so I hope.

On a different but related note, Orin Kerr has an interesting post at Volokh Conspiracy about possible replacements for Chief Justice Rehnquist. Interesting reading.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

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