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Who are these people?

As we know, there are vacancies in the US Attorney’s offices in the Southern and Western district offices in Texas, which will be filled by Presidential appointment. Normally, when the President is of one party and both of a given state’s Senators are of the other party, “the primary role in recommending candidates for district court judgeships is assumed by officials in the state who are of the President’s party.” That’s from a report last year by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. Except that as Steve Benen noted, Texas’ Republican Senators have refused to honor this practice, and instead have insisted on sending to Obama candidates who have been screened by the committee he and Hutchison have always used for making nominations — a committee he admits is “heavily stacked with Republican lawyers.” Because, you know, it’s different when Democrats are in charge.

Well, as Todd Gillman reports, they have made one small concession:

Hutchison and Cornyn refused to cede control, though they did concede it was time to retool the screening panel – adding more Democrats and trial lawyers. They also promised to identify members, to let the public assess the panel’s caliber and balance.

Late Friday, Hutchison’s office finally provided a membership list. It’s hard to assess how the membership has changed, since they never provided a list of prior members. We do know that chairman Daniel Hedges of Houston is a holdover. We know that the previous vice chair, Colleen McHugh, is off the committee.

And, thanks to a 2001 Texas Lawyer report, flagged for me Sunday by a well-informed reader (thanks, well-informed reader!), we can report today that of 35 screeners back then, 12 serve on the new committee.

Beyond that, you’ll have to judge for yourself if Texas’ senators lived up to their promises.

I’ve reproduced the list beneath the fold. Two things stand out to me. One is that of the 31 names listed, two (2) are women. Who knew there were so few women in the state of Texas capable of offering a judgment about the qualities of a US Attorney candidate? I’m thinking that if Cornyn and KBH had such a hard time coming up with the names of women to serve on their committee, their committee may have an equally hard time coming up with the names of women as potential USAs. According to the State Bar of Texas Department of Research and Analysis, as of Dec. 31, 2006, 31 percent of the 71,470 in-state Bar members are female. But only seven percent of the Cornyn/KBH screening committee are. That ain’t right.

And two, one of the people on this list is Andy Taylor. Yes, that Andy Taylor. All I can say is that if any other member of this list is half the dishonest partisan hack Taylor is, then the whole thing should be thrown out. To borrow from William F. Buckley, I’d sooner have the candidate names be selected by the first 31 people in the Houston phone book. If that’s their idea of making this list more representative, they’re crazy.

Finally, as with Gillman, I don’t know the party affiliation of most of these people. If you can point it out for any of them, please do so. Thanks.

* denotes they were on the committee in 2001

  • * Daniel K. Hedges, Esq. Houston Porter & Hedges, LLP
  • * Linda L. Addison, Esq. Houston Fullbright & Jaworski LLP
  • * R. Gordon Appleman, Esq. Fort Worth Thompson & Knight LLP
  • * Hector De Leon, Esq. Austin De Leon, Boggins & Icenogle, P.C.
  • * Marshall Doke, Jr., Esq. Dallas Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP
  • Charles Eskridge III Houston Susman Godfrey LLP
  • The Honorable Derek C. Flournoy Lufkin
  • * David C. Garza, Esq. Brownsville Garza & Garza
  • The Honorable James Ho Dallas Solicitor General of Texas
  • Gaylord T. Hughey, Jr. Esq. Tyler
  • Bill Jones Austin Vinson & Elkins LLP
  • * Dee J. Kelly, Esq. Fort Worth Kelly, Hart & Hallman
  • * Vidal G. Martinez, Esq. Houston Franklin, Cardwell, Jones
  • Knox D. Nunnally Houston Vinson & Elkins LLP
  • David Prichard, Esq. San Antonio Prichard, Hawkins, McFarland & Young LLP
  • Andy Taylor, Esq. Houston Andy Taylor & Associates, P.C.
  • Jaime Esparza El Paso District Attorney, 34th Judicial District
  • Stephen Susman Houston Susman Godfrey
  • Manny Vela Harlingen
  • Victor Vital Dallas Baker Botts, LLP
  • John Beckworth Houston Watt Beckworth Thompson & Henneman, L.L.P.
  • George Bramblett Dallas Haynes Boone
  • Paul Coggins Dallas Fish & Richardson P.C.
  • J.A. “Tony” Canales Corpus Christi Canales & Simonson, P.C.
  • * Larry E. Temple, Esq. Austin
  • * Rice M. Tilley, Jr., Esq. Fort Worth Haynes and Boone, LLP
  • Michael J. Truncale Beaumont Orgain, Bell & Tucker, LLP
  • Tullos Wells San Antonio Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
  • * Elizabeth D. Whitaker, Esq. Dallas Bracewell & Giuliani LLP
  • * Ronald G. Woods, Esq. Houston
  • Raul Gonzalez Austin former Texas Supreme Court Justice

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6 Comments

  1. Jeff N. says:

    George Bramblett and former Justice Raul Gonzalez are Democrats.

  2. Baby Snooks says:

    “George Bramblett and former Justice Raul Gonzalez are Democrats.”

    Sometimes the little (D) means absolutely nothing. Interesting that there is no real community representation on this committee other than attorneys from the community. Which in itself pretty much sums up the priorities of the committee. Self-serving and self-protective of the special interests that the attorneys serve. Not the public interest.

    No doubt the candidate who receives the committee’s “seal of approval” has give his or her “seal of approval” to the list of “sacred cows” that they will never, never, ever prosecute. And of course that includes all the heavy-hitter contributors to the Republican Party.

    No doubt the Batson Report in the Enron matter was summarily deposited in the waste basket. Along with quite a few other reports and complaints although no doubt letters were occasionally sent to complainants and victims that the US Attorney’s Office considered it a civil matter rather than a criminal matter.

    Hutchison and Cornyn of course reflect the motto of the Texas Republican Party. “Corrupt and Proud of It.”

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