Whitehouse Plays Politics with His State
The Providence Journal editorial board is dead on in its criticism of Sheldon Whitehouse for furthering delays of judicial appointments in Rhode Island:
Two important local federal judgeships on the U.S. District Court in Providence and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (a seat long held by a Rhode Islander) have gone unfilled for 10 months.
That’s already an unfortunate delay. But Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D.-R.I.) argued recently that it’s too late for the Bush administration to make these appointments. That means the vacancies would have to wait until well after a new president gets sworn in — in 2009!
“There has been zero meaningful discussion between the White House and the Senate on these appointments,” he complained.
Such a stand, unfortunately, puts politics ahead of justice.
Former Appeals Court Judge Bruce Selya, a Reagan appointee who left full-time service 10 months ago to create one of the vacancies, made some good points about this political brinksmanship.
“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,” he said.