Upcoming Senate confirmation hearings
Many of the Obama administration appointments do require Senate review. Even though Democrats will have a strong majority in the Senate beginning in January, should Republicans roll over on every nomination, or ask the nominee pertinent questions concerning past statements and policies?
I have not had too much time to keep up-to-date on stuff during the last week, but others are staying on the case. One such appointment that does require Senate approval is Eric Holder, nominated for attorney general.
Many know Holder was a critical White House player for Marc Rich during his bid for a pardon by President Clinton, and Jennifer Rubin over at CommentaryMagazine.com wraps up the questions that should be asked. There are other good questions, but unfortunately some do not have the tabloid feel.
Jim Geraghty at NRO’s The Campaign Spot asks a few more. Here are a couple of Geraghty’s questions – there are four more.
After a 1998 hearing on federal hate crimes statutes, you filed a written response to questions to Sen. Arlen Specter asking whether you had encountered any cases in which state authorities had, for inappropriate reasons, decide not to pursue the prosecution of a hate crime. You listed three cases where state authorities failed to bring charges. However, under all three federal prosecutions, the defendants were acquitted. Now, ten years later, do you have any specific instances where the states have failed to prosecute hate crimes? If there are no examples, does this not call into question the need for federal legislation?
You wrote after September 11 an op-ed in the Washington Post, decrying the threat of “firearms purchased in this country falls into the hands of a terrorist.” How many members of al-Qaeda have purchased a firearm in the United States? How many individuals have been convicted of supplying arms to terrorists through purchases at gun shows? Does it trouble you that of the two examples you cited in that op-ed, one was acquitted of charges of charges of attempting to supply arms to terrorists? Do you feel any regret that in the aftermath of two terrifying terror attacks — one involving boxcutters and hijacked planes, the other involving anthrax — your first instinct was to make it harder for Americans to purchase a gun?
Maybe these questions are not as hot as their position on abortion, who they met at a cocktail party, what contractor fixed their pool, or body hair on a can of Coke… but they should be asked.