Federal Appeals Court Judge Michael Luttig Resigns to Accept Boeing Offer

Posted Posted in Federal Judiciary, Politics

This undated photo provided by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shows Judge J. Michael Luttig. Judge Luttig, one of the country’s most prominent conservative jurists and once considered a likely Supreme Court nominee, has resigned from the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., to become senior vice president and general counsel for the Boeing Co. in Chicago.

Washington Post: J. Michael Luttig Resigns From Appeals Court

Appeals court Judge J. Michael Luttig, a leading conservative jurist and a short-list Bush administration candidate for the Supreme Court, announced today that he is resigning from the bench to serve as senior vice president and general counsel of the Boeing Co.

Judge Luttig’s resignation letter is here.

Congratulations to Judge Luttig. The chances of his appointment to SCOTUS would have been speculative and this corporate position looks attractive both financially and professionally.

And…..the Judge never has to face Slow Joe Biden again at a confirmation hearing…….

Now, that is PRICELESS!



Hot Air: Bombshell: Luttig resigns from Fourth Circuit

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Supreme Court Watch: O’Connor to Step Down?

Posted Posted in Federal Judiciary, Supreme Court

Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard speculates that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will step down next week.

Moroever,Kristol further speculates that President Bush will appoint Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, to replace her.

(1) There will be a Supreme Court resignation within the next week. But it will be Justice O’Connor, not Chief Justice Rehnquist. There are several tea-leaf-like suggestions that O’Connor may be stepping down, including the fact that she has apparently arranged to spend much more time in Arizona beginning this fall. There are also recent intimations that Chief Justice Rehnquist may not resign. This would be consistent with Justice O’Connor having confided her plan to step down to the chief a while ago. Rehnquist probably believes that it wouldn’t be good for the Court to have two resignations at once, so he would presumably stay on for as long as his health permits, and/or until after Justice O’Connor’s replacement is confirmed.

(2) President Bush will appoint Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to replace O’Connor. Bush certainly wants to put Gonzales on the Supreme Court. Presidents usually find a way to do what they want to do.

Flap handicaps this a definite possibility with no change in the Supreme Court’s Liberal vs. Conservative Balance.

Flap’s original handicap is here.

Priscilla Owen Sworn into Office

Posted Posted in Federal Judiciary, Politics

Texas Justice Priscilla Owen, the subject of a long and heated confirmation battle in the U.S. Senate, took the oath of office today for the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Owen, 50, won Senate confirmation last month after a four-year fight over President Bush’s push to place conservatives on the nation’s highest courts. She became the first of Bush’s long-blocked nominees to win approval under an agreement reached by centrists in the Senate.

“This has been a long road,” Owen said after her swearing-in ceremony at the Texas Supreme Court chamber, where she has been a justice for more than 10 years.

Owen was first nominated by Bush to the federal appeals court in May 2001. She continued to serve on Texas’ highest civil court while awaiting confirmation.


50; Oct. 4, 1954.

SCHOOLS: University of Texas 1972-73, B.A., Baylor University 1975; J.D., Baylor School of Law, 1977.

• Law clerk, Sheehy, Lovelace & Mayfield, 1976-77.
• Admitted to Texas Bar, 1978.
• Associate and partner, Andrews, Kurth, Campbell & Jones, 1978-94.
• Elected to the Texas Supreme Court, 1994.

• The official bio: From the U.S. Department of Justice
• A view from the right: From the Free Congress Foundation
• A view from the left: From the Independent Judi

Congratulations to Judge Owen and thanks for the perseverance!

Justice Priscilla Owen: A Wacko

Posted Posted in Federal Judiciary, Politics

Senator Harkin, Senator Kerry and Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua Sandanista fame.

Robert Novak in his June 4 Column: New Confirmation Trouble has this about Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa:

On the day before Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen was confirmed by the Senate as part of a negotiated compromise, Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin called her “wacko.”

Harkin, appearing on liberal Randi Rhodes’s national radio talk show, became animated as he said of Owen: “This is not a person to put on the bench for a lifetime appointment. This person is wacko! She’s wacko!”

On the same program, Harkin said Christian broadcasters are “sort of our home-grown Taliban.” He added: “They have a direct line to God. And if you don’t tune into their line, you’re obviously on Satan’s line.”

Captain Ed over at Captains Quarter’s has Harkin: Christian Broadcasters ‘Our Taliban’:

Thus goes the Democratic outreach to the Christian community. In fact, Harkin and Howard Dean have defined a new era in party-building for the Democrats, where any display of faith makes someone a “wacko”, and the equivalent of Islamic lunatics that beat men for flying kites and women for displaying their ankles. If Tom Harkin can’t tell the difference between James Dobson and Mullah Omar, then Iowans should check his corn to see what he’s been using for fertilizer.

Their fear and distaste for Christians borders on bigotry — and yet the media eats it up. Christians and other people of faith are increasingly repelled by this rhetoric, and hopefully will remember it when the Democrats claim at election time that they respect faith. If they did, they wouldn’t compare Christians to Islamofascist terrorists.

Biogtry against Christians is what Flap calls it.

Will this be the extraordinary circumstance exclusion for the next judicial appointee?

Justice Priscilla Owen

Bush to Nominate Dozens for Vacant Judgeships

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Federal Judiciary, Politics


The Wine Bet looks even better now:

Bush Poised to Nominate Dozens For Judgeships, GOP Insiders Say

The White House is preparing to send a raft of new judicial nominations to the Senate in the next few weeks, according to Republican strategists inside and outside the administration — a move that could challenge the durability of last week’s bipartisan filibuster deal and reignite the political warfare it was intended to halt.

The Bush administration has been vetting candidates for 30 more federal district and appeals court vacancies that have been left open for months while the Senate battled over previous nominations stalled by Democrats. Now that Democrats have agreed not to filibuster any new candidates except in “extraordinary circumstances,” Republicans are eager to test the proposition.

Great and test the resolve of the Gang of 7.

Will they support their President and Party?

Republicans feel this is a good moment to move forward with judicial nominations,” said Sean Rushton, executive director of the Committee for Justice, a group formed by C. Boyden Gray, who was White House counsel under President Bush’s father, to support the current president’s judicial appointments. “It’s time to move on and also to get past the Clinton period” when Democrats salted the federal judiciary with more liberal appointments.

Rushton said he expects “a large swath” of nominations in the next few weeks unless Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist or another Supreme Court justice decides to step down at the end of the term later this month, an event that would throw current plans out the window. Administration and congressional officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made, said they, too, expect a flurry of lower-court nominations within weeks. “There’s about 20 waiting in the wings,” a Senate Republican official said.

Flap handicaps two Supreme Court vacancies at the end of the term (end of June), so this flurry of nominations may be postponed.

Democrats called on Bush to abide by the Senate agreement’s provision, urging him “to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.”

“We do consult,” Bush said at his news conference this week. “Obviously, we consult on district judges and . . . we listen to their opinions on appellate judges — ‘their’ opinions being the opinions from the home state senators, as well as others.”

Yet Bush found the deal sufficiently hazy that he could not predict its effect. “Whether that agreement means that a [nominee] is going to get an up-or-down vote, I guess it was vague enough for people to interpret the agreement the way they want to interpret it,” he said. “I’ll put a best face on it, and that is that since they’re moving forward with Judge Owen, for example, and others, that ‘extraordinary circumstances’ means just that — really extraordinary.”

He paused. “I don’t know what that means,” he said to laughter. “I guess we’re about to find out when it comes to other appellate judges.”

And find out we will.

Paul, the Firstone winery is located in the Santa Ynez Valley, California

Senate Filibuster: Myers Confirmation on Chopping Block

Posted 3 CommentsPosted in Federal Judiciary, Politics

It looks like Flap, Patterico and Xrlq will win their wine bet:

This is what Flap wants Paul.

and Why?

It appears that former Interior Department Solicitor General William Myer’s nomination to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will be filibustered by Senate Democrats:

In that now-famous, or perhaps infamous, compromise deal by 14 U.S. senators hoping to end a quarrel over judicial filibusters, the name of former Interior Department Solicitor General William Myers (search) was excluded from an agreement not to filibuster.

For months, Republicans claimed to have the votes to confirm Myers to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals were it not for democratic filibusters. But now he remains in judicial limbo. Detractors say it is because he lacks the necessary Washington gravitas. The American Bar Association rated him “qualified,” but supporters say that’s too lukewarm.

Two-thirds of the judges on the 9th Circuit were appointed by Democratic presidents, one-third by Republicans. GOP sources in the Senate confirm they plan to call for a vote on Myers sometime this month.

Democrats are expected to filibuster, and key senators in that compromise deal confirm that a filibuster of Myers will not trigger the “nuclear” or “constitutional” option, meaning the nominee may not get an up-or-down vote.

But, this is not the first time nor the first nominee that has had their nomination blocked by Senate Democrats.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a former Interior Department official who once worked for mining and cattle interests from becoming a federal appeals judge, using the debate to criticize President Bush’s environmental record.

The Senate’s majority Republicans were unable to muster the 60 votes needed for the confirmation of William Myers for the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The final vote was 53-44, making Myers the seventh Bush judicial nominee to be stopped by Senate Democrats.

So, when will Bill Frist call him up?

Will the Gang of 7 (McCain, DeWine, Snowe, Warner, Graham, Collins Chafee who is not present) let him be blocked by filibuster? Or….

Will Frist and the President show some guts, enforce party discipline and invoke a change of Senate rules – THE NUCLEAR OPTION?