President Bush has finally been forced to capitulate when it comes to the judiciary, after igniting a firestorm by announcing he would stand by the nominations of three conservative judges that had been blocked by Democrats. Bush conceded on Tuesday, announcing that all three nominees had withdrawn from the process.
New York Times:
The White House announced that the three candidates, all conservatives, had themselves asked for their names to be withdrawn. But the announcement was widely taken to mean that the president had decided that renominating them would be a needlessly provocative act, one that would anger Democrats without sufficient political payoff from conservatives for sticking by the nominees.
Days after the November election gave the Democrats power in Congress, Mr. Bush pledged to renominate the three. His words set off denunciations from Democrats that he had not taken any lessons from the recent election and that he was not, as he had claimed, prepared to engage them in a bipartisan manner.
Democrats were able to block the confirmations of the three—William J. Haynes II, William Myers III and Terrence Boyle—in the last Congress. With the Democrats now in control of the Senate, the three men’s chances to be confirmed were reduced further.
After today’s announcement, some Democrats expressed appreciation for the decision.
“It’s the first whiff of conciliation we’ve had on the issue of judges,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat and Senate Judiciary Committee member who has been vocal in his complaints that Mr. Bush has sought confrontation and not compromise on the issue of judges.