Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Lobbyist judges

I haven't followed judicial nominations that closely in the past. But I would've thought that to be nominated to a federal judgeship, some experience as a judge in the past would be useful. Experience as a lobbyist doesn't count. Which brings us to the case of William Myers.

Myers was one of the 10 judicial nominees that the Democrats filibustered in the past. Bush has now renominated him. Myers has never been a judge before, though he was a lobbyist for the mining industry and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association for most of the 1990s. His highest-ranking office connected to the legal system was as a lawyer for Bush's Interior department, where he fought to allow gold companies to engage in open-pit mining on sacred Native American land. (Open-pit mining is like strip mining, except that it's used when there's a layer of bedrock between the surface and the ore underneath. Since miners can't just strip off loose soil between the surface and the ore, they use explosives to blast the bedrock out of the way.)

I hear that Arlen Specter's strategy for reintroducing the filibustered Bush nominees is to start with the nominees that Democrats are most likely to accept, and then work down from there. If this is really the most moderate among Bush's rejected judicial nominees, Democrats were right to filibuster them last time and will be right to filibuster again.

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