President Bush yesterday nominated Richmond lawyer E. Duncan Getchell Jr. for a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
But minutes after the announcement, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports, Sen. Jim Webb issued a statement blasting the choice.
He and Republican Sen. John Warner, in a bipartisan effort, had submitted five names to Bush for the court. Getchell was not on their list, although he had been backed by Warner and then-Sen. George Allen last year.
“Despite our good-faith, bipartisan effort to accommodate the president, the recommendations that Sen. Warner and I made have been ignored,” Webb fumed.
Warner was a little more restrained, noting simply, “I steadfastly remain committed to the recommendations stated in my joint letter with Senator Webb to the president.”
Getchell, if confirmed, would take the seat of retiring Judge H. Emory Widener Jr. But given the fact that the Democrats control the Senate and the judge-making machinery and the Senate tradition that a nomination won’t move forward over the objections of a member, you can bet the seat may remain open just a little bit longer.
Bush also tapped Steve A. Matthews of South Carolina for another seat on the court.