Friday, May 24, 2013
By RALPH I. LANCASTER JR.
Having paid close attention to the nomination of Bill Kayatta to fill an important vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals, I write to assure you that our senators have been working extremely hard to secure a vote on the nomination (Our View, "U.S. Senate should vote on judicial nomination," July 18).
Sen. Collins, for example, has tirelessly and at no benefit to herself lobbied other Republicans around the country, marshalling the facts showing that the so-called Thurmond Rule should not apply to a nominee who has such strong, bi-partisan support.
To her credit, she has not sought publicity for these efforts. As longtime advocates of a non-partisan, superb judiciary, our senators were recently cited in the press in Oklahoma and elsewhere as an example for other Republicans to follow in securing votes on consensus nominees.
The fact that our dedicated senators have not yet prevailed in turning around their caucus in an election year provides no basis for criticizing their efforts or clout.
Rather, it underscores how daunting the partisan bickering is in our capitol, where one struggles to get a vote scheduled even on a nominee who has unequalled credentials, a top-tier ABA evaluation, a national reputation reflected by his U.S Supreme Court appointment as a Special Master, and a favorable, bi-partisan endorsement from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Ralph I. Lancaster Jr. is a counsel attorney with the Pierce Atwood law firm in Portland.