Specter Asks Obama to Renominate Bush’s Court Picks

Posted January 29, 2009 at 3:24pm

Senate Judiciary ranking member Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) is calling on President Barack Obama to renominate a handful of former President George W. Bush’s circuit court nominees, arguing that the candidates had support from Democrats and Republicans. In a Jan. 27 letter, Specter argues that Obama should renominate three of Bush’s nominees: Peter Keisler to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Glen Conrad to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals and Paul Diamond to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals. Specter notes that Bush renominated one of former President Bill Clinton’s stalled judicial nominees. If Obama acted similarly, he would be sending a clear signal that he wants to handle the federal judiciary on a bipartisan basis. “I write to respectfully suggest that, as a sign of bipartisanship, you renominate some of President George W. Bush’s circuit court nominees,” Specter wrote. “All three nominees were rated ‘well qualified’ by the nonpartisan American Bar Association and would be excellent candidates for renomination.” The letter was sent the day before the Judiciary Committee, generally a hotbed for partisan political fights, voted in favor of Obama’s nomination of Eric Holder to be attorney general.