From the AP:
"In a concession to the Senate's new Democratic majority, President Bush won't rename four controversial federal appeals court nominees whose confirmations were blocked last year, Republican officials said Tuesday.
William Haynes, William G. Myers III and Michael Wallace all asked to have their appointments withdrawn, these officials said. Judge Terrence Boyle was informed of the White House's decision, according to an ally.
Haynes is the Pentagon's top lawyer, and was an architect of the Bush's now-abandoned policy toward treatment of detainees in the war on terror. He had been tapped for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."
Oh deary me, I am so very very sad that I won't have to write any more posts about how unbelievable it is that anyone is even thinking of putting William Haynes on the federal bench! Great big tears of
joy sorrow are streaming down my face, streaking the black silk mourning-cloak I have put on for the occasion, and moistening the shards of what was once my heart so that they glisten in the moonlight. Woe is me!
Consider what creativity and imagination our federal judiciary has lost. William Haynes, who has graduated from a law school and has therefore presumably heard of the separation of powers. But did he let a minor detail like that cramp his creativity? No. Instead, he wrote this (pdf):
"In light of the President's complete authority over the conduct of war, without a clear statement othkvise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the President's ultimate authority in these areas."
"In order to respect the President's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign, I8 U.S.C. g2340A (the prohibition against torture) as well as any other potentially applicable statute must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Comander-in-Chief authority."
Thus do great souls shake off the shackles of convention! Thus do they show their disdain for the rabble and its weakminded sklavenmoral! To think that such a great artist, willing to make the Constitution over in his own image and place his own stamp on all our laws -- a maker, not a mere interpreter -- is lost to us forever: it's enough to make a girl clutch her pearls to her bosom and reach for her smelling-salts.
But the worst blow of all is this: never again will I have occasion to cite Haynes' brief in Center for Biological Diversity v. Pirie. (This wondrous case seems to have disappeared; it is described here.) Here's how I described Haynes' arguments the last time I brought this up:
"In this amazing brief, Haynes argued that bombing a nesting site for migratory birds would benefit birdwatchers, since "bird watchers get more enjoyment spotting a rare bird than they do spotting a common one." Moreover, he added, the birds would benefit as well, since using their nests as a bombing range would minimize "human intrusion". The judge's comment on this novel line of argument: "there is absolutely no support in the law for the view that environmentalists should get enjoyment out of the destruction of natural resources because that destruction makes the remaining resources more scarce and therefore more valuable. The Court hopes that the federal government will refrain from making or adopting such frivolous arguments in the future." (pp. 27-8)"
How many people would have the imagination, the reckless joie de vivre, to argue that bombing birds benefits them by minimizing "human intrusion"? And what am i going to do for laughs when I don't have William Haynes to kick around any more?
I think I'll have to take to my bed and sink into a decline. Wake me up if Janice Rogers Brown decides to retire.