Top GOPer on Judiciary Shunned By Panel 23 Yrs Ago
by Jonathan Singer, Mon May 04, 2009 at 07:57:22 AM EDT
If this doesn't sum up the current status of the Republican party, I don't know what would: The Senate GOP has chosen as its top member on the Judiciary Committee a hard right conservative rejected by the panel -- then in the hands of the Republicans -- for a federal judgeship two decades ago on account of racially tinged remarks. Here's The Hill with the scoop.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) will take over the ranking member position on the Senate Judiciary Committee after striking a deal with his more senior colleagues over the weekend, sources confirm to The Hill.
The move is likely to please conservative organizations around Washington who are gearing up for a fight over the eventual nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter. The departure of Specter, who had long been one of the leading GOP voices on judicial appointees, had robbed the Republican conference of an obvious spokesman.
Here's the AP on Senator Jeff Sessions' previous go round with the Judiciary Committee.
Sessions would bring a unique perspective to the committee. Two decades ago, the Senate rejected his nomination as a U.S. district judge by President Ronald Reagan over allegations that his career as a lawyer and U.S. attorney in Alabama showed a pattern of being racially insensitive. Ironically, it was Specter who helped seal his defeat by joining with Democratic opposition.
Twenty three years ago, Senate Republicans believed that Sessions was too "racially insensitive" to serve as a federal judge -- but now they want him to be their leader in determining who should and should not be on the bench, including the Supreme Court? For a party trying to convince the nation that it hasn't veered off the far right fringe of our politics, out of the mainstream, this certainly appears to be an odd move.