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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 

What Is in Leahy's Head

Both Confirm Them and How Appealing have links to Senator Pat Leahy's recent statement as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Let's play "selective quoting for humorous effect," one of my favorite text-based games. The set up...
I know some on the other side of the aisle have tried to raise a scare since I, again, became Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. They rant as if the sky is falling and we would not proceed on any judicial nominations. We have proceeded promptly and efficiently.
Followed by...
I have also urged the President to nominate men and women to the federal bench who reflect the diversity of America.
And now the punchline...
And out of the 875 seats on the federal judiciary, there are only five active Asian-Pacific American judges on the federal bench, less than 1 percent of all federal judges. President Bush has nominated only 2 Asian-Pacific American candidates, neither to a seat on a federal circuit court. With outstanding lawyers like Dean Harold Koh of Yale, Professor Goodwin Liu of Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California at Berkeley, or attorneys Karen Narasaki, John Yang and Debra Yang, it is not as if there is a dearth of qualified candidates who would be universally endorsed.
Asking George W Bush to nominate Harold Koh and Goodwin Liu to the judiciary is like asking Bill Clinton to nominate Robert Bork and Michael Luttig. It's laughable. It's absurd. It's just a stupid thing to say. While I must give Koh his due for his career accomplishments, I have no fondness for the man. His treatment of Justice Scalia during a Yale Law event was pretty low. Oh, but I'm sure that the White House has him high on the "to nominate" list, Senator Leahy. Sure.

I join in the chorus of my friends over at Confirm Them... Leahy wants Asian Americans on the federal bench, then Bush should nominate Viet Dinh to the Fourth Circuit. "Hey, you asked for it..."

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