Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rendell blinks on judicial nominees

More evidence that Gov. Ed Rendell is a lame duck.

His long-running feud with Senate Republicans over four vacancies on state appeals court may soon be resolved (and not to Rendell's liking).

The Senate rejected the four nominees last week. Senate leaders said the four lawyers from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia offered no diversity in either race, gender or geography. In other words, the Senate Republicans were tired of seeing middle-aged white guys sitting on Pennsylvania's highest courts.

Rendell announced today he won't renominate the four candidates rejected by the Senate to fill temporary openings on the state appellate courts, according to The Associated Press.

Instead, the governor will submit names of new candidates to the Senate sometime next week, the AP says.

Rendell also would not say whether the new candidates will include any minorities, as the Legislative Black Caucus has requested, but said he would not sacrifice quality for diversity, the wire service reports.

A two-thirds majority vote in the Senate is necessary to confirm a judicial nominee. Republicans control the state Senate by a 29-21 margin, although three GOP members voted with the 21 Democrats last week on the original Rendell nominees.

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