Wednesday, May 22, 2002

The New York Times opines on yet another sterling Bush nominee, this one for a judicial post:

As a trial judge, Judge Smith has been reversed by the Third Circuit, the court he now seeks to join, more than 50 times. Too often it has been for wrongly dismissing the claims of workers and consumers. In one overturned ruling, he threw out an age discrimination case filed by a factory worker on timeliness grounds. Although the worker had made the 300-day deadline from the time he was dismissed, Judge Smith counted back from the day he had received a poor performance evaluation. In another case in which he was reversed, Judge Smith was too quick to throw out a suit by the parents of a 15-month-old child who choked to death on what the parents alleged was a dangerous toy.


Judge Smith's record also contains significant ethical lapses. One case that he presided over for a time, and issued orders in, involved a bank in which his wife was an officer and in which he and his wife had $100,000 or more in stock. Under federal law he had an obligation to recuse himself, since his impartiality "might reasonably be questioned."

The Times also cites an amazingly narrow view of the commerce clause, a stunningly broad view of the takings clause, and a broken promise to vacate membership in a discriminatory club.

Republicans are right --- Democrats should not emulate Republican bad habits by letting nominations like this linger in committee. They should be killed out of hand.


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