Of Federal Judges and Federal Candidates

1. According to Charles Bakst in Sunday’s Projo, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian is more interested in running for House or Senate at a future undisclosed date than he is in running for governor in 2010…

[Lincoln Chafee] says he’d welcome a gubernatorial bid by Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, a close ally. Avedisian, who says he has no plans to leave the party, says he’s focused now on a 2008 reelection. While not ruling out a try for governor later, he’s more interested in the House or Senate.
2. The Political Scene column from today’s Projo takes it as a given that Robert Flanders is out of the running for the vacant seat on the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and adds another name to the previously floated name of Robert Corrente
Political Scene has heard that the White House might be getting close to nominating people for those vacancies, which were created when former Chief U.S. District Judge Ernest C. Torres and former Circuit Judge Bruce M. Selya left full-time service and assumed senior status about 10 months ago.
Those seen as front-runners for the 1st Circuit seat include U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente and District Court Judge William E. Smith. Those seen as front-runners for the District Court judgeship include Corrente and U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond, son of former Republican Gov. Lincoln C. Almond.
However, as some of us have feared, Senate Democrats, via Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, are indicating that they may not approve any new judicial appointments made by the Bush administration…
Whitehouse, a former U.S. Attorney and Rhode Island attorney general, spoke at the Roger Williams University School of Law last week, and afterward he was asked if the Bush administration had reached the point at which it’s too late to make those appointments.
“I think we’ve reached it, particularly based on the process we’ve gone through so far,” Whitehouse replied. “There has been zero meaningful discussion between the White House and the Senate on these appointments.”
Judge Selya is not impressed by Senator Whitehouse’s characteristic hyper-partisanship, when the subject is judicial appointments…
When reached on Friday, Selya said, “I’m really very disappointed in the senator’s remarks. This is not a political game. The courts and the country and the state need these judges, and the question ought to be not who makes these nominations but the quality of the nominees.”
Selya, who was appointed by former President Ronald Reagan, said, “If this president or any future president nominates a first-class person, then that man or woman deserves to be considered on the merits and not held up because someone is waiting for some kind of political accommodation to be made.”
It looks as if a fitting slogan, on many levels, for Senator Whitehouse’s next re-election campaign will be “Qualifications no! Partisanship yes!”.

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James
James
13 years ago

“Qualifications no”
“Partisanship yes”
Lincoln Almond Jr is a Fed.Judge

brassband
brassband
13 years ago

Actually, LDA is a U.S. Magistrate-Judge, which is a step down from a District Judge and does not have life tenure.
In other states with more D.J. seats, the promotion from Magistrate to District Judge is fairly common.
Politically, though, there is no pay-back in such a promotion because it is the Judges who get to fill the M-J’s seat, not the sitting Senator . . . unless there’s a deal in the works.
And, oh yeah, anybody else get a chuckle out of “Mr. Separation of Powers” Sen. Whitehouse and his apparent desire to play a role in the appointment of a U.S. Judge, supposedly an executive prerogative? I know that Senators traditionally deal the cards on these slots, but back in his A.G. days Sheldon expressed horror at the idea of anyone in the legislative branch intruding into the executive’s appointment function . . .

Bill
Bill
13 years ago

For those who may not have experience with the U.S. Attorney’s office in RI, it is extremely partisan and follows to the letter Ronald Reagan’s 13th commandment (thou shall not do or say anything adverse to a fellow Republican). While I have no respect for Sheldon Whitehouse, I would nevertheless appoint him to the federal judiciary light years sooner than I ever would Corrente.

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“And, oh yeah, anybody else get a chuckle out of “Mr. Separation of Powers” Sen. Whitehouse and his apparent desire to play a role in the appointment of a U.S. Judge, supposedly an executive prerogative?”
Yes, there’s advise and consent (or advise and refuse) and then there’s hanging out a “no one need apply” sign. That kind of crosses the line into the executive, doesn’t it?

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