Now that the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the Appeals Court has died by a single vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee, what next? Democrats would not let the judge have a vote in the full Senate, in which he had bipartisan support.
President Bush can knuckle under and nominate liberal judges in order to win Senate confirmation. That would be a huge mistake. Instead, the President should keep nominating conservative justices and if Judiciary Committee Democrats keep rejecting them, he should make a campaign issue out of it and ask that the people send him enough Republicans to be able to staff the understaffed federal judiciary. How can we try terror suspects if we don't have enough judges? And we are woefully short of them, including on some courts where emergencies have been declared.
The president will find no greater domestic issue than judges. He can use his high popularity to convince the public he needs reinforcements this November. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.