When Republicans on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are particularly distraught, and feel as if their caucus and grassroots allies really need a jolt, they have one fallback idea they always turn to feel better. It's not Iraq demagoguery, gay bashing, or tax cuts for millionaires — it's conservative judicial nominees.
The White House announced Wednesday that President Bush would revive the expired nominations of five controversial appeals court candidates. The move sets the stage for yet another election-year battle over the federal judiciary.
In reality, these nominations are rather pointless. The would-be judges' nominations had expired and Senate Dems blocked a motion that would keep them under consideration, prompting the White House to renew them. What's more, there are only a few weeks left before the Senate ends its session for the year, suggesting there will be precious little time for controversial judicial nominees.
So, why bother? Because, as the NYT reported, "the White House move cheered conservatives…. The battle over the judiciary was a big feature of the 2004 Congressional campaigns, and conservatives are eager to replay that fight."
Given the nominees' far-right records, there's no way Dems can sit back and let these nominees get lifetime positions on the federal bench.
-- Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report