The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Delayed Confirmation Not in the Interest of Justice

Posted by thelamp on July 14, 2006

Some choices in public life are easy. Some are difficult. None should take years to make. Three highly qualified federal appeals-court nominees have been waiting Senate confirmation for far too long – all of them between two and three years since their nomination.

CMC urges Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to schedule up-or-down votes on three federal appeals-court nominees: William Myers, who would serve on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Judge Terrence Boyle and Jim Haynes, nominated to serve on the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court.

“Nobody should have to wait as long as these men have waited for a confirmation vote,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity. “There are 18 pending appeals-court nominees awaiting a vote from the Senate – three of whom have been waiting more than a year for a confirmation vote. It’s time the Senate gave them the courtesy of either serving their country on the appeals bench or returning to their careers. They shouldn’t be left in limbo like this.

“I understand the Senate has other urgent priorities, but clearly they should consider any vacancy in the federal courts of the utmost importance, and act promptly on the President’s nominees.”

The nominees who have been waiting the longest for confirmation votes have distinguished records of public service:

  • William G. Myers III of Idaho is familiar to the Senate as the former Solicitor of the Interior, the highest-ranking legal officer in that Cabinet-level agency. He was confirmed for that job by unanimous consent in 2001. He’s also served as an assistant attorney general and as counsel in the federal Department of Energy and for former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson. He’s a nationally recognized expert in natural resources and public lands law and has been endorsed by public officials from across the political and ideological spectrum.
  • Jim Haynes of Virginia has been unanimously confirmed in the Senate twice before – as general counsel of the Department of the Army in 1990 and as general counsel of the Department of Defense in 2001. The American Bar Association has rated him “well qualified” twice, most recently last year. He has dedicated most of his career to public service, including active-duty military service in the 1980s. He’s also distinguished himself as an attorney in private practice for a prominent Washington firm, Jenner & Block.
  • Judge Terrence Boyle of North Carolina has more than two decades’ experience as a federal district judge. Nominated to serve by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate. Since then, he has handled more than 12,000 cases. Just 10 percent of them have been appealed for review – and of that number only about 120, or 1 percent, have been overturned. He also has been frequently designated to sit with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, participating in the decision of approximately 200 argued cases and writing more than 20 appellate opinions.

CMC urges Senator Frist to schedule floor votes for all 18 appeals-court nominees before Congress adjourns for the year, beginning with Myers, Haynes and Judge Boyle.


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