Thursday, July 15, 2004

A liberal's view of Bush's judicial nominees

This editorial restates the liberal word on Haynes, Pickering, Pryor, Owen, etc.

About Haynes, it says:

" Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes II is a career military lawyer with almost no courtroom experience that would qualify him for a lifetime seat on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Yet after Haynes supervised the preparation of a report advising that the President's Commander-in-Chief authority would trump the prohibition against torture, Bush nominated him for a coveted spot on the Fourth Circuit.

This "federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., is emerging as a cutting-edge testing ground for conservative legal theories that only a few years ago seemed radical and almost unthinkable to liberal legal analysts," Warren Richey wrote in the Christian Science Monitor two years ago. "Today, many of them are the law of the land. Instead of being overturned, these legal theories – involving limits to federal power and defendants' rights – are being embraced and upheld by a slim majority of conservative justices on the US Supreme Court," according to Richey. It's no surprise that John Ashcroft decided to file the cases against John Walker Lindh and Zacarias Moussaoui in the Virginia district court. Ashcroft knew he would get more favorable appellate treatment from the Fourth Circuit, widely heralded as the most conservative circuit in the country.

The revelations of Haynes' apologies for torture may not sit well when U.S. Senators, who must give their advice and consent to Bush's nominees, consider Haynes' nomination. Pictures and accounts of torture at Abu Ghraib prison, Guantánamo Bay and Afghanistan may have poisoned the well for William Haynes."

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