Calmes: Clarence Thomas’ Jan. 6 conflicts of interest are showing again
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of the Supreme Court’s first major case over President Bush’s nominations, Chief Justice John Roberts told the nation’s reporters that the court’s conservative majority had done its part to ensure that the nominees will not be able to win confirmation.
But the Roberts court has consistently given the White House free rein on nominations, a practice that has allowed President Obama to fill at least 15 of his nominees with people whom he personally has endorsed, from Sonia Sotomayor to Elena Kagan to Elena Kagan.
And a new list of these nominees that the White House released on Monday night confirms that the Roberts court has in fact made the problem worse.
Among those who gained confirmation were Samuel Alito to the court’s powerful 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and John Williams for the court’s 2nd Circuit Court. Both will be confirmed quickly, with the 2nd Circuit having been spared the most intense scrutiny since Samuel Alito’s confirmation.
President Obama also nominated a long list of judges to federal courts in the Western District of Washington and the Southern District of New York. And while he did so, the White House apparently did not even bother to review these nominees before they took their oaths of office.
“I will make an informed decision and act on that basis when I take office, which is when President Obama will take office,” said Thomas “I hope to have a new justice by then,” said Chief Justice Roberts to the American public.
But the White House’s handling of these nominations has sent the chief justice into a state of mind that is very different to the one that he had just expressed.
And it is a state of mind that is very clear when the White House released its full list of nominees, as well as their respective confirmation hearings, with the help of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Not only did the White House fail to look at much of this list as it came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the White House failed to even release the