Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Advisor Says Obama Would Consider Changes To Judicial Nominations Process
Senior Barack Obama advisor and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said today the presumptive Democratic nominee would “consider a lot of options” for addressing the partisan nature of judicial nominations in recent years if he is elected president.
Daschle, who famously lost his South Dakota seat in 2004 in part due to his role in obstructing President Bush’s judicial nominees, stressed that the problems that have arisen during the current administration has been caused largely by the lack of “good communication and consultation” on the part of the White House.
He noted that President Bill Clinton regularly consulted with senior Republican senators, such as then Minority Leader Sen. Bob Dole, of Kansas, and senior judiciary committee member Sen. Orrin Hatch, of Utah, when choosing nominees.
“When Bill Clinton was president he did a lot of outreach and communicating,” Daschle, a co-chair of Obama's campaign, said at a briefing for reporters this morning in Washington.
He added that the Bush administration “rarely consulted – they just demanded.”
Daschle conceded, however, that improvements could be made in the nomination process in general.
He noted, for example, that in the past many more nominees, both for the judiciary and executive branch positions, were not considered political at all.
Daschle declined to comment on whether Obama would endorse suggestions that each state should have a bipartisan commission that would make recommendations to the president.
It’s a proposal that the American Bar Association endorsed at its annual meeting earlier this week.