On Harry Reid and His Priorities

November 18, 2010

I was just “captivated” on the elevator TV monitor by a story that Harry Reid is promising to bring the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to a vote before the end of the lame-duck session of Congress. I thought back to last Monday, when I witnessed the swearing-in of the Hon. Jane Stranch as a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. A federal Circuit Court is the second highest court in the land and is the last court to hear 99% of the appeals in this country.

Judge Stranch had been nominated by President Obama early last fall. She was voted out of committee, that is, approved for a floor vote, around Thanksgiving. It then took Harry Reid an entire year to bring Judge Stranch’s nomination to the Senate floor for a final confirmation vote.

I don’t get it. Our country is being ravaged by a radical right wing that is beholden to big business, and big business is beholden to profit, no matter who gets ripped off, no matter how many people it lays off, and no matter who it defrauds. A key component to the right wing’s ability to accomplish its objectives is the judiciary, the composition of which has been masterfully crafted by a series of Republican presidents, beginning with Ronald Reagan and ending most recently with George W. Bush.

Judge Stranch offered an opportunity for Harry Reid to advance putting balance and reason onto a very significant court of law, yet even though she was backed by Tennessee’s two Republican Senators, he delayed her confirmation longer than any judge who is ever been appointed to the federal bench in the history of the United States. Don’t get me wrong. I favor repealing the DADT, but now, when Democrats have a last gasp opportunity to vote as a majority on issues that affect all of us? I just don’t understand Harry Reid or his priorities.

Ken Wexler is the founding partner of Wexler Wallace, a leading firm in complex class action and multidistrict litigation.

Photo Credit: Ryan J. Reilly

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