What they lack in originality they make up for in audacity. Once again, obstructionism is the name of the game as Senate liberals use the same tired playbook to block President Bush’s judicial nominees. They have their marching orders from the usual suspects — Moveon.org, the ACLU, the Human Rights Campaign, People for the American Way, yada, yada — and predictably, Senate liberals are dutifully obedient. Since taking control six months ago Democrats have approved a whopping three appellate court judges. They’re not just dragging their feet; they’ve firmly planted them.
Case in point: There’s absolutely no legitimate reason for anyone to oppose President Bush’s nomination of Judge Leslie Southwick to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In fact, the Senate has already unanimously confirmed Judge Southwick to his present position as a federal district judge. Not one senator — Democrat, Republican, liberal or conservative — voted against him. Since that time, nothing has changed relative to his suitability.
Senators Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) even gave their word of honor — for whatever that’s worth — to fellow committee member Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) that Southwick would be confirmed by Memorial Day. But that was before the liberal special interests weighed in. Reid and Leahy have now broken that promise and, along with other liberal senators, are shirking their constitutional duty to “advise and consent” by stubbornly blocking a fair up-or-down vote on Judge Southwick.
Unfortunately, Judge Southwick has become the target of a shameless and deceptive smear campaign by a handful of extremist left-wing special interest groups. Of course, those groups in no way represent mainstream America. They’re each challenging Judge Southwick’s nomination based upon their own narrow agenda as opposed to consideration for what’s in the best interest of the American people.
By all reasonable accounts, Judge Southwick is exceptionally well qualified and should be immediately confirmed. He has served our country with distinction and honor as an Iraq War veteran after requesting and receiving an age waiver explicitly so he could serve in a combat zone. That should make him a bona fide hero in anyone’s book. Furthermore, Judge Southwick is rated “unanimously well-qualified” by the American Bar Association.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).