Let there be no doubt, Bush still has tremendous potential to foul things up (and make lots of people dead). But Little Lord Pontchartrain just cried uncle:
In a concession to the Senate’s new Democratic majority, President Bush won’t rename four controversial federal appeals court nominees whose confirmations were blocked last year, Republican officials said Thursday.
William Haynes, William G. Myers III and Michael Wallace all asked to have their appointments withdrawn, these officials said. Judge Terrence Boyle was informed of the White House’s decision, according to an ally.
Haynes is the Pentagon’s top lawyer, and was an architect of the Bush’s now-abandoned policy toward treatment of detainees in the war on terror. He had been tapped for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Boyle is a federal judge in North Carolina, and his appointment to the 4th Circuit provoked opposition from Democrats who cited his rulings in civil rights and disability cases, as well as his higher-than-average reversal rate by higher courts.
Myers, nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sparked opposition from environmentalist organizations and their allies among Senate Democrats.
Wallace’s appointment to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals drew opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and the American Bar Association.
Sen. Patrick Leahy , D-VT., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has said only “consensus nominees” are likely to win confirmation under the new Democratic majority — a declaration that effectively doomed the chances for the four men whose appointments were left in limbo when the Senate adjourned last year for the elections.
Well, it’s start. Even if it really tastes like chicken.