Lawyer Asks Bush to Revoke His Nomination to the Bench

Associated Press
Wednesday, December 27, 2006

JACKSON, Miss., Dec. 26 -- A Mississippi lawyer asked President Bush to withdraw his nomination to an appellate court, saying that he does not believe that the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee considers him a consensus nominee.

The lawyer, Michael B. Wallace, 54, of Jackson, said Tuesday that he made the request in a letter sent to the White House last week.

Wallace wrote that he thinks a majority of the Senate would consent to his nomination. But he said incoming Judiciary Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) "made it clear two weeks ago that he intends to permit vacancies to be filled only with 'consensus nominees' " and that Leahy has indicated that he doesn't consider Wallace to be such a nominee.

In February, Bush nominated Wallace, a former aide to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), to fill the seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit vacated more than a year ago by Judge Charles Pickering Sr., also a Mississippian. The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit hears cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

In November, Wallace's name was among six judicial nominations that Bush resubmitted to the Senate.

Wallace drew opposition from Democrats, civil rights groups and the American Bar Association, which for the first time in almost a quarter-century unanimously rated a judicial nominee "unqualified."

Wallace said various special interests and their supporters on the committee had made up their minds before he was allowed to testify or respond to criticism.

Lott said in a statement that he was disappointed that "petty partisanship" would keep Wallace off the court.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company