The incoherence of the gang of 14

Byron York:

Please try to reconcile, if you can, the following statements:

• The nomination of Henry Saad to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals represents an “extraordinary circumstance” and will be filibustered by Democrats.

• The nomination of Priscilla Owen to the 5th Circuit does not represent an “extraordinary circumstance” and will not be filibustered.

• The nomination of William Myers to the 9th Circuit represents an “extraordinary circumstance” and will be filibustered.

• The nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the D.C. Circuit does not represent an “extraordinary circumstance” and will not be filibustered.

• The nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the D.C. Circuit might represent an “extraordinary circumstance” and might be filibustered.

• The nomination of William Pryor to the 11th Circuit does not represent an “extraordinary circumstance” and will not be filibustered.

• The nomination of William Haynes to the 4th Circuit might represent an “extraordinary circumstance” and might be filibustered.

If you have been trying to come up with a logical pattern in those statements, forget it. There isn’t one. The fact is that the deal reached by the “Gang of 14” to avert Republican use of the nuclear/constitutional/Byrd option has revealed the arbitrariness and incoherence of the judicial confirmation process.

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The standards by which judicial nominees are evaluated in the confirmation process are so arbitrary and so inconsistent that they simply cannot be taken seriously. That has never been more clear than in the filibuster compromise.

And when that deal was done, and the 14 signatories divvied up the contested nominees on the basis of no standards whatsoever, they asked the White House to be more attentive to their views on the issue of judicial nominations.

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Let’s say that President Bush — whose signature was nowhere to be found in the agreement — did consult those senators. What would he learn?

That some nominees are OK, and others are not, because of — well, because of what?

This is incoherent because it is a compromise on people not legislation. People ultimately cannot compromise who they are, legislation can be compromised to meet varrying concerns. To say that those who will be denied a vote on their nomination are extroidinary and do not derserve a vote is an abomination and betrayel of fairness for some unexplainable reason.

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