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The judge wars may be over, at least for this Congress. Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) held a hearing designed to vote out at least one — 4th Circuit nominee U.S. District Judge Terence Boyle — and possibly a couple more of the most controversial federal appellate nominees. But on a busy Sept. 14, just one Democrat, Illinois’ Richard Durbin, and six of the panel’s 10 Republicans showed up. “There’s no point in keeping six senators waiting around for others to arrive,” growled Specter as he loudly gaveled the session to a close after 15 minutes. Committee rules allow members to vote on whether a candidate’s nomination should go to the full Senate for a vote with just 10 of the 18 members present, which means Boyle’s could have been moved even if none of the committee’s eight Democrats were there. The panel will try again this week. As for the several police officers who came up from North Carolina and Virginia to oppose the Boyle vote, “we drove in and drove back,” says Jeff Fluck, the director of governmental affairs at the Southern States Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. “But I did manage to get a decent corned beef before I left.”
T.R. Goldman can be contacted at [email protected].

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