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October 25, 2007

Bush Nominee Southwick Confirmed

I meant to blog this when it happened, but the fires and the Beauchamp thing distracted me. Judge Leslie Southwick, President Bush's nominee for the Fifth Circuit, was finally confirmed yesterday by the Senate.

As usual, Southwick's extensive credentials did not keep Democrats from trying to keep his confirmation stuck in committee. This time, though, we had some unusual help: Senator Diane Feinstein. She crossed over and voted with the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee to send the vote to the Senate floor.

In the Senate, Democrats Daniel Akaka of Hawaii, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Feinstein again voted with Republicans and Independent Joe Lieberman to confirm Southwick. It should be noted that many of these folks (but not Feinstein) were part of the now-expired "Gang of 14" compromise.

My question: why would Feinstein break ranks for a Mississippi judge aimed at the Fifth Circuit? She had previously announced that after meeting with Southwick, she was convinced of his qualifications and that he wasn't racist (the charge made by the obstructionist Democrats). Is that all it took?

Feinstein has impressed me in the past on the question of judicial nominations. I don't remember whether it was Alito or Roberts' Judicial Committee hearing, but she was the lone Democrat not to parrot Biden's insults and histrionics.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:45 PM

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