Think the recent nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit face some nasty partisan rancor in the Senate confirmation process? Check out the most recently released audio recordings of Richard Nixon's strategy on judicial selection.
The 1973 recordings from the White House and Camp David, about 340 hours long, contain the kind of salty, profane and anti-Semitic language that has punctuated previously released Nixon tapes, according to NBC News.
Nixon discusses future judicial nominations during a July 12, 1973 conversation with chief of staff Al Haig, according to the five reporters who reviewed the tapes. Nixon insisted on finding "meanest right-wing" nominees and says, "No Jews. Is that clear? We've got enough Jews. Now if you find some Jew that I think is great, put him on there."
That sort of attitude might be relegated to history, but politics are still very much alive in the nomination and confirmation process, specifically now with President Barack Obama's three simultaneous nominees to the D.C. Circuit.
A confirmation hearing for the first of those nominees to move through the process, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner Patricia Millett, turned into a sort of open discussion of the long-running feud when it comes to judicial appointments.
"You find yourself in the midst of a broader battle. And a battle on issues many of which are unconnected to your professional background qualifications, but issues sadly that have consumed the D.C. Circuit for decades," Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said during the July hearing.
"There is a lot of political games when it comes to judicial nominations, both sides have decried the political games," Cruz said during the committee hearing. "But unfortunately the D.C. Circuit has been a battleground on both sides, for the politicization of judicial nominations."