Thursday, April 23, 2009

IN Touch: Double Standard

My seventh post on The Indianapolis Star's IN Touch blog is now online. I'm going to keep re-posting those entries here (at least until someone from the Star asks me to stop). Go ahead and visit the post on the IN Touch site as posts there tend to receive a fair number of comments and getting involved in the discussion can be fun (or frustrating). And for the record, I did not choose the title (it is the second time that the Star has chosen "Double Standard" for the title of one of my posts [see Double Bailout Standard]); my choice for a title was "Hypocrisy in filibustering judicial nominations" but I guess that wasn't quite punchy enough. The Star also added paragraph breaks where I hadn't. Oh, well.

President Barack Obama has nominated Judge David Hamilton of the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite receiving the endorsements of Sens. Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar, Judge Hamilton's nomination hearings have been delayed by Republicans.

Now, Sen. Inhofe, R-Okla., says he will filibuster the nomination because of Judge Hamilton's ruling in the Statehouse prayer case. However, Inhofe has previously opposed the use of filibusters against presidential judicial appointments. In 2005, he called the compromise allowing the use of filibusters in extraordinary situations a "travesty."

More importantly, in 2003, Inhofe made the following statement about Democratic plans to filibuster one of President George Bush's judicial nominees: "If successful, their effort will amount to a de facto amendment to the Constitution. This outrageous grab for power by the Senate minority is wrong and contrary to our oath to support and defend the Constitution."

So, just to be sure that I understand correctly, it was an unconstitutional "outrageous power grab" by Democrats to filibuster a judicial nominee but it is perfectly acceptable for a Republican senator to filibuster a Democratic judicial nominee.

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