Picking judges 

Picking judges

The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that when Republicans have the opportunity to appoint high government officials they appoint mad-dog Republicans, and when Democrats have the opportunity to appoint high government officials, they appoint  Republicans a little less mad. But not much less, usually.

The Democrats could use a new strategy. What they're doing is not good for their party, and worse for their country.

After reviewing a long list of applicants, Arkansas's two senators, ostensible Democrats, have sent President Obama a list of nine candidates for three open federal judgeships in Arkansas. One of these nominees was vetted especially closely; politics makes for strange vet fellows. Amy Russell of Little Rock, a federal court law clerk, is the wife of Bob Russell, who is chief of staff for Sen. Mark Pryor and who had a major role in selecting the nine nominees. Evidently, he liked the cut of his spouse's jib.

Others find Mrs. Russell's jib less attractive. She gave $1,000 to the Republican presidential candidate, one George W. Bush, in 2000, and while that's not quite a felony, it's surely a disqualification for a federal judgeship. Far too many Bush enablers are presiding over federal courts already. Mrs. Russell votes in Republican primaries, too. Did Americans elect Barack Obama because they wanted more of George Bush's justice?

Presumably, Senator Pryor is Mrs. Russell's patron. Though he solicits their contributions, Pryor is uncomfortable around real Democrats, preferring the company of renegades like Joe Lieberman, whom Pryor supported against a Democratic Senate candidate in Connecticut. Lieberman openly campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate last year. Perhaps Pryor allowed Lieberman to pick the judicial nominees from Arkansas. He seems more solicitous of his colleague than his constituents.

Republicans go about these things very differently. A couple of years ago, when the Bush administration fired a gang of Republican U.S. attorneys considered insufficiently partisan, Bush and Karl Rove replaced them with people distinguished by their eagerness to do dirty work for the party. In Little Rock, Bud Cummins had to make way for Tim Griffin, a former Republican National Committee operative who gained fame, of a sort, in a Republican effort to keep blacks and Hispanics from voting. Griffin is said to be considering a U.S. Senate race against Blanche Lincoln. He might get Pryor's endorsement.

After what happened in this country for eight years — the trumped-up war, the corruption, the environmental damage, the denial of minority rights, the destruction of the economy, the torture — we can't stand another Bush judge.



From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Bishop's first sentence might constitute the holy grail of sentence diagramming. Bishop, if you pass…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • The first commandment directly contradicts the first amendment.

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Arkyguy, try Numbers 31:17-18.


    • on July 21, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation