WASHINGTON (BP)–Four of President Bush’s appeals court nominees are no longer in confirmation battles.
Terrence Boyle, William Haynes, William Myers and Michael Wallace were not among a list of judicial nominees named Jan. 9 by President Bush. Haynes, Myers and Wallace asked the president to withdraw their nominations, but Boyle did not, according to McClatchy Newspapers.
The development was a victory for Senate Democrats and their allies who have opposed numerous judicial nominees in both of Bush’s administrations. Liberals have criticized and worked to block nominees they perceived as too conservative, especially on issues such as abortion and homosexual rights.
Boyle was first nominated by the president to the Fourth Circuit in 2001. Haynes, also a Fourth Circuit selection, and Myers, a Ninth Circuit choice, were both originally nominated in 2003. Bush nominated Wallace last year.
Previously, two other appellate nominees asked that their nominations be revoked: Miguel Estrada and Carolyn Kuhl.
The Democrats, while in the minority, have used filibusters, parliamentary maneuvers that prevent votes if successful, to block some of Bush’s appellate nominees. Last summer, they constructed an additional hurdle in the confirmation process. They declined to abide by the normally routine practice of agreeing to allow nominees to remain active through the August recess.
As a result, Bush resubmitted appeals court nominees to the Senate before it reconvened in September. He did so again in November after the election. None of the embattled quartet, however, ever made it to the floor for a confirmation vote.
On Jan. 9, the White House announced six renominations: Thomas Hardiman to the Third Circuit, Peter Keisler to the District of Columbia Circuit, Raymond Kethledge to the Sixth Circuit, Debra Livingston to the Second Circuit, Stephen Murphy to the Sixth Circuit and Randy Smith to the Ninth Circuit. Bush also made a first-time nomination: Leslie Southwick to the Fifth Circuit.
Boyle told McClatchy Newspapers he was not surprised by Bush’s decision not to renominate him.
“I watched the election returns,” he said. “How could you not be confirmed with a 10-vote majority and expect to be confirmed when you’re in the minority?”