Et tu Russ?

News & Politics

That the Judiciary Committee endorsed John Roberts' nomination -- and therefore assured his ascent to the Supreme Court -- is disappointing but hardly a surprise. No, it's Russ Feingold's vote that breaks my heart:

"I think countless progressives across the country are going to be so disappointed when they find this out," said Ralph G. Neas, president of People For the American Way, one of the groups leading the opposition to Roberts. "It's so contrary to the image we have of Russell Feingold."
Neas called Feingold's vote "the major disappointment and the major surprise" for the group. "I was expecting him to be one of the leaders to block the nomination of John Roberts," Neas said. "As someone who has supported Russ Feingold with our political action committee, we are totally bewildered. He abandoned us." [LINK]
This is hardly a first for Feingold who also voted to approve John Ashcroft as Attorney General, though at the time he claimed presidents have greater latitude with their own staff than Supreme Court nominees. Here's the excuse he offered this time:
One day, he said (in his Judiciary Committe speech), a Democratic president might nominate a "Democratic John Roberts" - someone, as Feingold described it, with outstanding qualifications and a progressive paper trail. "When that day comes, and it will, that will be the test for this committee and the Senate," he said.
The other two turncoats on committee were Herb Kohl of Wisconsin and, of course, Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

The White House made the right noises, but I'm guessing the quote below is probably a better indication of the Republican response:
But Leonard Leo of the conservative Federalist Society said the fact that only three of eight committee Democrats supported Roberts was evidence of partisanship. "We're supposed to think the Democrats are being magnanimous? Give me a break," Leo said. [LINK via Raymond Nesbitt]
Well, as long as they're grateful.

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