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Thursday, June 09, 2005

If an overdose of ironic disingenuousness could be fatal ...

... then Senate Assistant Minority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) would have fallen dead today on the floor of the United States Senate.

I know this is true because I just heard Sen. Durbin arguing against the confirmation of Eleventh Circuit judicial nominee Bill Pryor in large part on grounds that Judge Pryor (about whom I blogged at length in February 2004) shows insufficient respect for, and can't be trusted to follow, prior precedent of the federal appellate courts. As part of his speech, Sen. Durbin asserted that he and Sen. Kennedy both believe that Judge Pryor's temporary recess appointment was unconstitutional.

And I know this is true because I've also read Evans v. Stephens, 387 F.3d 1220, 1227 (11th Cir. 2004) (en banc), cert. denied, 125 S. Ct. 1640 (2005) [at page 16 of this .pdf file]:

We are not persuaded the President exceeded his constitutional authority in a way that causes Judge Pryor's judicial appointment to be invalid. We conclude that Judge Pryor may sit with this Court lawfully and act with all the powers of a United States Circuit Judge during his term of office.

Accord, United States v. Woodley, 751 F.2d 1008, 1012 (9th Cir. 1985) (en banc); United States v. Allocco, 305 F.2d 704, 709-15 (2d Cir. 1962).

So who doesn't respect precedent? And who's misrepresenting and distorting federal constitutional law to advance a blatantly partisan agenda?


UPDATE (Thu Jun 9 @ 12:50pm): And now I'm listening to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pillory Judge Pryor for being the lone state attorney general to file an amicus brief challenging the constitutionality of the federal Violence Against Women Act. Oh, horrors! Judge Pryor must be in favor of wife-beating, suggests Sen. Schumer.

Except that the Supreme Court indeed held that act to be unconstitutional. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000). Bill Pryor was arguing against federal intrusion into criminal law matters traditionally the province of state governments — in other words, he was doing exactly the job that a state attorney general is ethically and duty-bound to do on behalf of his client (here, the State of Alabama) — and he was correct in his reading of the law, according to the Supreme Court.

So again, I ask: Who's distorting and disrespecting federal precedents to promote a partisan agenda?


UPDATE (Thu Jun 9 @ 1:30pm): And now Teddy himself — about 90 seconds after insisting that Bill Pryor has no respect for previous federal judicial precedents — says that Dubya's recess appointment of Judge Pryor was "in all likelihood, an unconstitutional use of the recess appointment power." Why am I not surprised?

At 2:00pm: Now — after a half-hour of demagoguery and distortion of Bill Pryor's record — Teddy's blaming Dubya for tying up the Senate with controversial judicial nominees when the Senate should be doing other business. "Take pity on me, Your Honor, I'm an orphan!" cries the parenticidal boy. Oh, what a day for irony.

At: 3:25pm: 53-45 final vote to confirm Judge Pryor. Congratulations, sir!

Posted by Beldar at 12:01 PM in Law (2006 & earlier), Politics (2006 & earlier) | Permalink


Other weblog posts, if any, whose authors have linked to If an overdose of ironic disingenuousness could be fatal ... and sent a trackback ping are listed here:

» Judicial Judgment from On the Wright

Tracked on Jun 9, 2005 2:18:44 PM

» The Senate Democrats.... from Media Lies

Tracked on Jun 9, 2005 5:43:57 PM


(1) linn made the following comment | Jun 9, 2005 2:57:37 PM | Permalink

Oh the irony, "If you would just nominate the judges we (Democrats) want, then we wouldn't have to spend all this time talking about these extremist judges, and we could do the job we're supposed to be doing." (It's the Republicans fault you see.)

No Senator, if the Democrats weren't being obstructionists we wouldn't have to spend all this time talking about judicial nominees.

(2) Eric Wright made the following comment | Jun 9, 2005 3:28:18 PM | Permalink

Oh the irony indeed. These Senate Democrats are getting more and more silly every day. If it weren't so funny I would almost be outraged.

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