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.


Anonymous said...

Of course the American Bar Association would LOVE to have panels advising (read: selecting) judicial nominees. The panels would of course be made up of lawyers from... the American Bar Association.

The Constitution, however, gives the President the power to nominate judges, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Sure, the Senate can obstruct judicial nominees, but then, like Senator Daschle, they may have to live with the consequences when they are portrayed as obstructionist.

Anonymous said...

Is there any doubt that President Bush's judicial nominee selections were largely or entirely based on the same criteria his underlings applied to U.S. Attorney positions and DOJ staff attorneys?

Anonymous said...

It is tough to credit the Clinton method. No matter how much he "consulted" the Republicans, they still managed to interfere at alarming rates with his judicial nominees.