Miguel Estrada has bowed out:
Bush had been pushing the Senate to approve Estrada for a place on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. Senate Republicans have failed seven times to get a vote on the confirmation, which Democrats continued to block.
“The time has come to return my full attention to the practice of law, and to regain the ability to make long-term plans for my family,” Estrada wrote in a letter delivered to the president on Thursday and obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
As John Hudock observes,
The Dems have managed to effectively block the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the Federal Appeals Court. So I guess with this success, it will now require an effective 60 Senate votes for ‘Advise and consent’, although I’m sure the Dems will scream bloody murder when the Republicans use it for the first time on one of their nominees.
Sadly, we’ve seen quite a spate of bad precedents from both parties of late: Changing political party affiliation only months after getting elected, changing the entire balance of power in the Senate; swapping candidates chosen in the primaries for more appealing candidates at the last minute; trying to redraw congressional districts in mid-cycle; trying to recall a non-criminal governor only months after his re-election–and probably other examples I’m forgetting–are all within the letter but not the spirit of the rules by which the game has been played for decades. Such strategies not only erode the civility of the process, making it much more bitter and divisive than necessary, but threaten to undermine its legitimacy.