Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Bush Withdraws, Then Resubmits, Ninth Circuit Nomination
By a MetNews Staff Writer
President Bush yesterday withdrew N. Randy Smith’s nomination to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, then renominated Smith to the same court.
By pulling the Idaho jurist’s nomination of last Tuesday to succeed Judge Stephen Trott, then nominating him to the seat last filled by Judge Thomas G. Nelson, the president avoids Democrats’ primary objection to Smith’s confirmation.
Smith, a trial judge from Pocatello and former chairman of his state’s Republican Party, was nominated last year to succeed Trott, who took senior status at the end of 2004. The Judiciary Committee on Sept. 21 of last year voted 10-8 on a party-line vote to send the nomination of Smith to the full Senate.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Judiciary Committee, rallied Democratic opposition to the nomination, saying that since both Trott—who moved to Idaho after his appointment—and his predecessor were from California, Trott’s successor should come from this state as well.
Trott had been a state and federal prosecutor in Los Angeles, moved to Virginia after being appointed to a high-ranking position in the Justice Department, and relocated to Boise after then-President Reagan named him to the Ninth Circuit.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told The Associated Press the nomination was a compromise that met with Democrats’ approval.
Yesterday’s maneuver became possible when William G. Myers, a Boise attorney and former solicitor at the Interior Department, asked the president not to resubmit his nomination for the Nelson seat. Myers was originally nominated in May 2003 in anticipation of Nelson taking senior status, which he did in November of that year.
Democrats filibustered the nomination, and Myers was not among those Bush nominees whom Democrats agreed to allow a vote on as part of a compromise. Myers, who also worked as a lobbyist for cattle and mining interests, was criticized as anti-environment and as insensitive to the rights and interests of Native Americans.
Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company