Leahy [yesterday] tried to blame Republicans for failing to get [Miguel Estrada] confirmed when they had a majority -- and then tried to blame Estrada himself, for not answering questions because he may have been "distracted" by a high-paying job offer.
??? Did I hear that right?
Estrada had (and has) a high-paying job, at Gibson Dunn, which he was willing to leave to go on the federal bench. And, regardless, Estrada answered questions every bit as thoroughly as John Roberts, who was confirmed to the DC Circuit--despite his not turning over the same DOJ documents the Judiciary Committee wanted from Estrada.
Estrada was blocked by Democrats for one reason -- the same reason they blocked Bush's other minority and women nominees: They knew he would be on the short list for the Supreme Court if confirmed. And they knew it's a lot easier to block a nominee at the appeals court level, when no one is paying as much attention as the do to the Supreme Court. (Republicans are seeing that now with Sotomayor.) It was a deliberate, thought-through strategy.
Revisiting the Estrada nomination