October 3rd, 2007at 07:45am Posted by Eli

The Leslie Southwick Saga continues:

While it appears increasingly likely that the Senate will punt a vote on the controversial appellate court nomination of Leslie Southwick until at least after the October recess, Republican leaders are still eyeing the possibility of a roll call this week and are igniting a wholesale lobbying campaign to try to come up with 60 votes to win his confirmation.

As part of the effort, a key group of GOP Senators and at least one Democrat will huddle today to talk strategy and gauge support for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hopeful. At the same time, Southwick himself has begun holding a series of private meetings with a handful of Democratic Senators whom the White House has targeted as possible swing votes.

“We are preparing for a vote this week based on the things [Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-Nev.] has said,” noted one senior Republican Senate aide. “We’re still working, but confident.”

Reid earlier had indicated he would hold a confirmation vote on the divisive nominee before the brief October recess, which begins Friday. But Democrats close to Reid said Monday the Majority Leader has no plans to add the nomination to the calendar unless and until GOP Senators ask for it.

“From everything we can see, Republican Senators are still trying to shore up their votes,” said a high-level Democratic Senate staffer. “The fact is, the Republicans aren’t pressing for a vote. They need more time and we understand they are looking for more time to work on improving their vote total.”

Republicans acknowledge they still are trying to corral the votes they need to avert a filibuster and install Southwick, a former Mississippi appeals court judge, to a lifetime appointment on the New Orleans-based federal bench. But GOP sources also pointed out Monday that Reid, as the Majority Leader, controls the calendar and ultimately will decide when votes are cast.

So let me get this straight: Reid’s Cunning Plan is to… give the Republicans all the time they want to pull together the votes to break the filibuster and get yet another crazy wingnut appointed to a lifetime term on the federal bench?

The Democratic leadership must be either incredibly stupid, or so incredibly smart that I am simply unable to grasp the myriad subtle nuances of their complex, yet brilliant strategy.

I’m pretty sure it’s the stupid.

(h/t Stoller)

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Judiciary,Politics,Republicans

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