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Democratic senators attending Timothy Flanigan’s confirmation hearing July 25 were eager to remind the nominee for the Justice Department post of deputy attorney general of remarks he made previously regarding the confirmation of federal judges. “In evaluating judicial nominees, the Senate has often been stymied by its inability to obtain evidence of a nominee’s judicial philosophy. . . . I would reverse the presumption and place the burden squarely on the judicial nominee to prove that he or she has a well-thought-out judicial philosophy,” Flanigan stated in 1997 testimony before a Senate panel. Several senators quoted the remark back to him, referring to the upcoming confirmation of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts Jr. “I hope you’re not going to recant,” joked Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). Flanigan, currently a senior lawyer at Tyco International, quipped right back: “John Roberts will not suffer under that analysis.” During the roughly 90-minute session, Flanigan was also grilled on issues related to the war on terror, his views on congressional oversight, and his business relationship with former Greenberg Traurig lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff, who is now the subject of several ongoing criminal probes, represented Tyco under Flanigan’s watch. Flanigan, who served as deputy White House counsel from 2001 to 2002, is expected to be confirmed. � Vanessa Blum

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