The media report on the Senate sending back nominations to the White House on Christmas Eve, including two controversial nominees to the U.S. District Court bench, Louis Butler of Wisconsin and Edward Chen of California. (Highlighted first, blogwise, at Point of Law here.)
- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "Butler's judicial nomination sent back to Obama"
- Wisconsin State Journal, "Kohl to keep pushing Butler as U.S. judge after nomination turned back"
- San Francisco Chronicle, "Senate GOP opposes S.F. judicial nominee"
The absence of a White House defense of the nominees in these stories is interesting. One would have expected at least a perfunctory restatement of their candidates' qualifications, but either inexperience or holiday vacation meant no one was available to say, "These are great nominees and the Senate should confirm them." The silence invited such posts as from lefty blogs like FireDogLake, "Will Obama Fold (yet again) on Judicial Appointments due to GOP Opposition?"
UPDATE: And The Indianpolis Star on the returned nomination of Dawn Johnsen to head Justice's Department of Legal Counsel, "IU law professor's federal nomination is on hold."