[sigh] Another Fifth Circuit Judge Is Approved
Late last week, the Senate confirmed Judge Jennifer Elrod to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Houston Chronicle reported.
Before she was approved by a voice vote, Senator Cardin (D-MD) raised objections to her confirmation:
No one is entitled to a circuit court judgeship. In the vast majority of cases, these courts are the final law of the land for the States in their circuit when it comes to interpreting complex Federal statutes and our Constitution. These judges have lifetime appointments and are second only to the Supreme Court Justices in terms of their power and authority. . . .
You would think, for an appellate court judge, you would want a nominee to have appellate court experience. She does not have it. You would think, for a Federal appellate court judge, you would want someone who has experience in our Federal courts. She doesn't have that. You would think, for a Federal appellate court judge, you would want someone who has experience in criminal law. She doesn't have that.
You would expect, for someone who is going to be a nominee confirmed for the appellate court, that we would be able to evaluate her ability to express herself through opinions. We don't have that. You would expect, for an appellate court judge, we would have her speeches or articles that would explain some of her philosophy on life. We don't have that. You would expect, for an appellate court judge, you would have some other way of being able to evaluate her approach to interpreting the Constitution of the United States.
She will be confirmed to sit on the court that will do more interpretation of our Constitution than any other court; that is, the appellate court because so few cases get to the Supreme Court of the United States. And she doesn't have that either.
One of Elrod's main claims to fame is having issued a restraining order, later overturned, enjoining an exposé by local news station KTRK (Houston) about conservative evangelical preacher Benny Hinn.
Think of judges like Elrod as President Bush's legacy to future generations ... if they survive that long.