Why Are These Guys Getting Held Up?
Juan Non-Volokh has some thoughts, but one of my classmates (keeping its identity anonymous) has some criticisms of them.
First, Juan Non Volokh's thoughts (in part, but you can read the whole thing here)
Whether their concerns are legitimate grounds for a filibuster -- or whether Republican Senators' obstruction of Clinton's nominees was any worse or less justified than Democratic obstruction of the first Bush's nominees -- is a debate for another day. Here I merely seek to correct the record as to why Senate Democrats are filibustering some of President Bush's nominees, and to make clear that those filibustered to date are not the "most ideologically extreme" of Bush's nominees.
Next, my classmate's crticisms of this argument:
This article conflates two issues and turns them into one. As Schumer's guy said at the panel yesterday [my note - ACS had a panel yesterday with 9th Cir. Judge Reinhardt, Prof. Mike Rappaport (fellow federalist), and Jeff Berman, Chief Counsel to Sen. Charles Schumer] of the ten judges being held up, _four_ . . . are in response to what was done during the Clinton administration. The other six, however, are being held up for something specific -- or, more accurately, a combination of specific things -- in their records.
Also, the phrase "ideologically extreme" really oversimplifies the issue (although, I admit, I'm confident Dems have used this phrase for marketing purposes). The reason I say this is because, of the 200+ judges who've been nominated, the politics of the vast majority are very similar, differing only on the margins. What distinguishes each of these particular judges of course varies by individual judge, but each of them has some combination of plus factors -- not only Owen's ideology, but her willingness to commit an "unconscionable act of judicial activism" to carry out that ideology, even if plainly in contravention of the law; not only Prior's ideology, but the personal attacks he has launched on the Supreme Court and its members, in particular Justice Souter (before attacking Justice Kennedy became oh so trendy); etc.
I am not sure what I think on this point as of yet....maybe I'll put some thoughts in on this later.