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Inside the Newsroom

Boyle denied, infuriating conservatives

Boyle’s nomination was again returned to the President because it did not receive unanimous consent to stay pending in the Senate over the long recess. President Bush will have to renominate Boyle, as he did on Sept. 5, to keep his confirmation chances alive.

The Senate Judiciary Committee today failed to vote on Boyle’s nomination, passing up its last chance to move him out of committee before the Senate adjourns for the November election. The lack of action on Boyle and other appellate nominees has infuriated conservatives. The next chance for Boyle would be during a “lame duck” session of Congress after the election.

Inside the Newsroom

Federal courts to use “conflict-checking” software

The Judicial Conference of the United States approved a new policy requiring “all federal courts to use conflict-checking computer software to identify cases in which judges may have a financial conflict of interest and should disqualify themselves.” This was prompted by “recent reports” that “several judges may have participated in matters in which they had a financial interest,” according to a memo sent to all federal judges in August.

Inside the Newsroom

Leahy and Kennedy condemn Boyle renomination

President Bush formally renominates Terrence Boyle to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, following through on his Aug. 30 announcement. Senators Leahy and Kennedy both issue statements condemning the renomination of Boyle, citing his conflicts of interest.

Sep 5, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Senate Republicans push for Boyle

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the next several weeks that the Senate is in session are critical for Boyle. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute said of Senate Republicans: “This may be their last bite at the apple for nominations like Boyle’s. But it sure seems to me this is not likely to go forward without a big controversy.” The paper’s Barbara Barrett also reports that, behind the scenes, Boyle’s former clerks have made more than 30 trips to Washington to push his nomination. One former clerk said, “I think we’re on the cusp of getting him a vote.” According to the paper, the White House wants to see Boyle confirmed immediately and “is expected to be bending ears in the Senate.” And Sen. Elizabeth Dole says she works on Boyle’s case “each and every day,” adding that she sees “growing and considerable support” among the Gang of 14 moderates. Dole said, “Certainly I would hope we would be able to get a vote in September.”

Sep 4, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Specter speaks on Fox News about Boyle

On Fox News Sunday, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter addressed the Boyle nomination: “Well, I think it does have big problems. When you have a judge who has ruled on cases where there was stock of his own involved, yeah. He has given an explanation, that they were minor, that they were oversights, but there are a number of them. But let’s consider that. Again, it’s a matter of an evaluation and a matter of judgment, but I think that Judge Boyle ought to have an up or down vote in the Senate. Chances are, candidly, Chris, he’ll be filibustered, but so far as I’m concerned, as chairman, I’m going to move them right along one at a time and let the full Senate make its judgment.”

Sep 3, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Boyle acknowledges errors on financial disclosures

Judge Boyle acknowledged errors on two of his financial disclosure reports, for which his accountant takes the blame, according to public documents received by CIR. In a June 19th letter to the financial disclosure committee of the federal judiciary, Boyle wrote: “It has recently come to my attention that there was an incorrect inclusion of a reference to ‘Quintiles stock’ in my 2001 and 2002 financial disclosure reports.” Boyle presided over a case involving Quintiles in 2001 while reporting stock holdings in the company. But in defending himself against conflict of interest charges, he has denied owning Quintiles stock during that time, contradicting his own financial filings. In explaining the apparent errors, Boyle enclosed a May 30th letter from his accountant, Raymond W. Edwards of RSM McGladrey, Inc. Edwards wrote that despite not remembering or keeping complete notes of the exact situation, Boyle clearly “did not actually own those shares during either of those years.” Edwards attributes the mistake on the 2001 report to a “learning curve” and a confusing entry in a previous report. Edwards says his office reported Boyle’s sale of the stock on June 30, 2002 because by then the accountants had probably realized Boyle did not own the stock and therefore used an arbitrary date to wipe it from the records. Edwards concluded: “It is clear to me that the mistake on both reports was mine.” Multiple examples of Boyle’s conflicts of interest are shown here, with supporting documents here and here.

Aug 7, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Conservatives launch radio campaign in support of Boyle

Before adjourning after midnight for its August recess, the Senate sent the nominations of Judge Boyle and four other controversial judicial nominees back to the President. Bush will have to renominate them or drop them. If the President renominates Boyle when the Senate reconvenes in September, Boyle will still need a Senate floor vote for confirmation. This latest development is a result of a Senate technicality that during long recesses, all nominations must be returned to the President unless there is unanimous consent that they stay pending in the Senate. Though the President can easily just renominate his picks, sending them back to him signals opposition and forces the President to reaffirm his support or reconsider.

Also, frustrated by the lack of Senate action on Boyle and other controversial nominees, a conservative coalition vows to launch an “August Radio Campaign on Judges” to pressure the Republican leadership.

Aug 3, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

Roll Call reports on Senate nomination battle

Roll Call’s Erin P. Billings reports that “Senate Republicans, facing a major political battle and a tight legislative calendar, said last week that there’s little chance they can move any of the remaining controversial judicial nominations before the November elections. Both GOP Senators and aides said the four weeks remaining on the pre-election schedule provides them with little opportunity to engage in a potentially brutal floor fight over a polarizing court nominee. The ideal time, they said, would be to consider a nomination now, before the Senate recesses for August and before the campaign season heats up. But that window is all but shut.” The Senate recess is scheduled to begin Aug. 4, ending the day after Labor Day. Billings writes that Boyle “arguably is the most inflammatory appointment” pending now. A spokeswoman for Majority Leader Frist told Roll Call that Frist hopes to move on one of the nominees before November. But, Roll Call reported, “GOP Senate sources said it is perhaps more likely that the nominations would get their day in a post-election lame-duck session. If Republicans lose seats to the Democrats on Nov. 7, they may want to try to use those remaining weeks to try to push one or more of those hopefuls through, recognizing that the task will be much more difficult in January.”

Jul 31, 2006
Inside the Newsroom

American Bar Association lowers Boyle rating

The American Bar Association lowers its rating for Judge Boyle. The ABA committee that rates judicial nominees revoked its unanimous “well qualified” rating. A majority of the ABA committee now rates Boyle “qualified,” while a minority still calls him well qualified, with one abstention.

Jul 17, 2006
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