Thursday, February 14, 2008
House Members Weigh In On Bradbury Nomination
Earlier today, Steven Bradbury, acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, testified before the House.
He defended his legal opinions on waterboarding, which has been reported elsewhere.
What the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties didn't address during the hearing is the status of Bradbury's nomination before the Senate.
Democrats are so reluctant to confirm him - and the White House equally reluctant to withdraw his name - that his nomination is in danger of holding up a whole slew of other nominations, including judgeships.
After today's hearing, I asked the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, whether Bradbury (pictured) should be confirmed.
"No," he said. "I don't think anybody should be confirmed who cannot say that waterboarding is torture."
Bradbury has also failed to provide Congress with copies of his opinions on the issue, Nadler added.
The ranking member of the committee, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., sees things a little differently.
Asked the same question, he responded that Bradbury has had a "distinguished career", and is "absolutely brilliant."
Warming to his theme, he suggested that "only those rooted in twisted partisanship" would not want to confirmation Bradbury.
Furthermore, if the Senate opts to hold up other nominees because of the dispute, that wouldn't help matters either, Franks said.
"I believe that the Senate not giving the president an up-and-down vote on these judicial nominees is proof that the liberal hierarchy in the Senate is more interested in politicizing the courts than protecting the constitution," he added.