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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Carl Tobias
The Senate confirmed Patricia Millett to the powerful federal appeals court in Washington, making her the first of President Obama's judicial picks to be approved since Democrats changed filibuster rules that potentially will usher in a new era of how nominees are confirmed.
Although President Obama supported Senate Democrats' argument Thursday that Republicans are treating his nominees unfairly, Mr. Obama was singing a different tune just two weeks ago while raising money from liberal supporters.
In an abrupt about-face, Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II announced Tuesday he's donating $18,000 to charity as reimbursement for gifts he received from a wealthy businessman — a gamble he hopes will put behind him a scandal that has weighed on his gubernatorial campaign.
Virginia's gubernatorial candidates attacked each other's ethics, experience and intentions Saturday during a first debate that was marked by several sharp — and personal — exchanges.
Democrats are trying to limit filibusters of executive branch nominees but specifically have said they aren't targeting, at least for now, filibusters of judicial nominees — the exact opposite of what Republicans contemplated in 2005.
Neither embezzlement charges against Virginia's former Executive Mansion chef nor ongoing federal and state investigations into Gov. Bob McDonnell's gift disclosures will be enough to weigh down the gubernatorial campaign of Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, political observers say.
There was a deceptive lull in the undeclared war between President Obama and Republicans over judicial nominations when the Senate confirmed the president's first nominee to the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
President Obama's record on nominating federal judges lags behind those of his predecessors, and nowhere is his failure more glaring than on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's major amendments to bills passed by the General Assembly this year are likely to survive a one-day veto session Wednesday in which lawmakers reconvene in Richmond to consider the governor's legislative changes, political analysts say.
A federal appeals court has ruled that Maryland can require concealed-carry handgun permit applicants to provide a "good and substantial reason" for wanting to carry a gun outside the home, leaving state officials feeling vindicated and Second Amendment advocates vowing to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling announced Tuesday he would not run for governor of Virginia, putting to rest months of speculation about whether he would pursue an independent bid in a lengthy statement that also warned of what he described as a sharply partisan turn in state politics.
A backlog of judicial vacancies at federal courts is straining the nation's justice system — delaying trials, increasing workloads for judges and posing a disincentive for talented lawyers from pursuing careers on the bench, legal analysts say.
President Obama's effort to reshape the federal judiciary will enter a new phase of open warfare with Republican lawmakers Wednesday when the Senate votes on whether to break the filibuster of Caitlin Halligan's nomination for a seat on the prestigious D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
President Obama already has sketched out a left-leaning legal agenda for his second term on issues such as gun control, climate change and gay rights, but he is falling far short in nominating the judges to help him uphold it.
In proposing sweeping gun regulations Wednesday, President Obama said there are limits to gun owners' constitutional rights when the health and safety of the public are threatened.
"In the short term, it should make it easier to secure floor votes to which [Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell] has slowly agreed," said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. "In the longer term, some observers are concerned that it could change the Senate as an institution by affording less protection for the minority's rights. The GOP has also threatened to apply the new rule to [Supreme Court] nominees if they win a Senate majority and the White House."
"The home-state senators will still have that leverage," he said.