When the Democrats mumble about how important it is to confirm judges, just remember that during the Bush years they stalled judicial nominees for years. They had a special enmity for minority conservative judges. Judge Miguel Estrada was successfully blocked for 2 years because they feared that he might end up on the Supreme Court. The ugly liberal attacks helped lead to his wife's suicide.
And yes, they blocked him because he was conservative and Latino.
One Nov. 7, 2001, memo from staff to Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., suggested that the "groups" would help stall the nomination of Miguel Estrada (search), a Bush nominee to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The memo called him "dangerous," in part because he "has a minimal paper trail, he is Latino and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment."
And then there was Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a sharecropper's daughter.
Brown was even scarier because she was a conservative. Democrats stalled her nomination for two years. And Obama was on board with blocking the highly qualified African-American judge for purely political reasons.
"I feel compelled to rise on this issue to express, in the strongest terms, my opposition to the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the DC Circuit," Obama said.
"Justice Brown has shown she is not simply a judge with very strong political views, she is a political activist who happens to be a judge," he ranted. "The only thing that seems to be consistent about her overarching judicial philosophy in an unyielding belief in an unfettered free market."
Obama fumed that the judge viewed "the New Deal, which helped save our country and get it back on its feet after the Great Depression, was a triumph of our very own "Socialist revolution." She has equated altruism with communism. She equates even the most modest efforts to level life's playing field with somehow inhibiting our liberty."
Back then, Obama had no problem blocking a judicial nomination of a qualified African-American judge for purely political reasons. A process that went on for two years.
Now Obama acts as if Republicans should be expected to reject his tactics. He's a hypocrite and he's wrong. As usual.