Just Asking....

By Marc Ambinder

Did the White House really think that, just by announcing their intention to avoid the judicial confirmation wars of the past two decades, that they'd bypass politics entirely? Well, not really. I think the White House just got lucky; they found an open appeals court seat and a goodly-and-centrist jurist to fill it -- and they've decided to make it their exemplar of future appointments.  (Note, in the White House press release, the endorsement of Sen. Dick Lugar, which hearkens back to the tradition of giving Senators a say in these matters.) The left likes Judge David Hamilton and the right is trying to dredge up something to object to, which says more about the stakeholders in these battles than anything else.  Hamilton seems like a stand-up guy with unpredictable legal tendencies which makes him suspect in the eyes of the right, in particular. I would wager that, if President Bush had nominated Hamilton, the left would find a lot to object to.  Make no mistake, though... Obama will appoint plenty of liberals to the courts; after all, he ran on appointing liberals to the courts. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/03/just-asking/1579/