The Right Judges?

By Corn, David | The Nation, February 20, 1995 | Go to article overview

The Right Judges?


Corn, David, The Nation


As President Clinton initiated his delicate dance with Congressional Republicans, he quietly indicated to G.O.P.ers that he would not challenge them on a major front: judicial nominations. The signal came when the administration hoisted the white flag on two federal court appointments. Both were Californians recommended by Senator Barbara Boxer. Both were yanked after Boxer spoke to Senator Orrin Hatch, new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Hatch said the pair--Judith McConnell and Samuel Paz--were goners as far as Republicans were concerned. The White House asked Boxer to propose replacements. The bottom line: Hatch has a veto on federal bench appointments. Generally, Presidents get their way on district and circuit court nominees. But Hatch merely has to threaten a skirmish to force Clinton to turn tail.

In an all-too-familiar scenario, the White House did not exert itself for nominees deemed liberal. Paz was once president of the A.C.L.U. of Southern California. His real offense in G.O.P. eyes is representing victims of police brutality. In fact, he procured the largest jury award ever for such a case. (His client, mistaken for someone else by a police officer, was shot and paralyzed from the waist down and eventually accepted a $5.5 million settlement. Several police organizations and The Washington Times howled against Paz's nomination. He would have been one of the first Mexican-Americans to serve on the federal bench in California. Now he's toast. Partly responsible is Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a member of the Judiciary Committee. She might have moved Paz's nomination last year--while the Senate was still Democratic--but chose not to, fearful that Michael Huffington would exploit Paz in one more negative ad against her.

The case of McConnell, a superior court judge in San Diego, is more disheartening. Several years ago, she awarded custody of 16-year-old Brian Batey to the male partner of his deceased father instead of the boy's mother, a Pentecostal Christian. Beverly LaHaye, the president of Concerned Women for America, accused McConnell of practicing "religious bigotry" and being biased against "a natural parent." The Washington Times assailed the judge for preferring a "homosexual lover" to a " fundamentalist Christian." But earlier in the custody dispute, when Brian's father was alive, Betty Batey (the "natural parent" kidnapped the boy and had to be tracked down by the F.B.I. in a hunt that took nearly two years. During the 1987 custody hearings, the child requested that he be placed with his father's lover instead of Mom the Kidnapper.

McConnell's nomination was supported by Peter Nunez, a Reagan-appointed U.S. Attorney in San Diego, and Malcolm Lucas, the conservative Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. She was named Trial Judge of the Year by San Diego lawyers in 1991. Yet the Administration and Boxer permitted Hatch and the right to blackball her--without a hearing in which she could have defended her ruling.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Right Judges?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.