Posted: 5/3/2001 1:39:09 PM EDT
Sen. Chuck Schumer, our favorite anti-gun Senator is throwing a temper tantrum, a well-used tactic of the leaderless left.
A meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee dissolved in acrimony Thursday as Democrats walked out in a dispute over President Bush's nomination of federal judges. At issue was what are called "blue slips," which have traditionally been used by
senators from the home state of any nominee to scuttle nominations of judicial candidates they oppose. Democrats on the committee want
the objection of a single home-state senator to be sufficient to scuttle a nomination. Republican chairman Orrin Hatch, however, while
conceding that any single senator's opposition would be a factor in considering a nomination, resisted the Democratic proposal.
The meeting itself had been called to vote on the nominations of four Justice Department officials. Among them are solicitor general
designate Theodore Olson, and deputy attorney general designate Larry Thompson. The nominations are now in limbo because Democrats
left the meeting in the dispute over blue slips.
"I want you to understand how crazy this is," Hatch said after ranking minority member Patrick Leahy and other Democrats walked out.
"They want an absolute right to veto presidential nominations."
Leahy and the Democrats say they simply want to continue a policy that Hatch followed when dealing with Clinton-administration judicial
nominees. Hatch says he has, with very few exceptions, followed what he called a "Biden standard," after previous Democratic chairman
Joe Biden, which allowed nominations to go forward even if one home-state senator disagreed.
In one particularly sharp exchange, New York Democrat Charles Schumer demanded a greater role in the nomination process, prompting
Hatch to snap, "Do you want me to be chairman, or do you want me to be your puppet?"
Hatch said he expects the White House to send the names of about 15 judges, all candidates for circuit courts of appeal, to the committee
by the end of next week. As of now, the blue-slip situation remains unresolved, and the immediate fate of those nominations is unclear.
"Orrin, I'll tell you this frankly," Schumer said. "If we don't resolve this before we start [considering the nominations], we'll never
Schumer is a whiny, self-serving louse. What did you expect?