[JURIST] US Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) [official website] said Tuesday that a filibuster [Senate backgrounder] is possible for two of President Bush's nominees to federal appeals courts, White House aide Brett Kavanaugh [White House backgrounder] and federal judge Terrence Boyle [US DOJ backgrounder]. Kavanaugh has been nominated to serve on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and Boyle has been nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Kavanaugh was nominated in 2003 and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee [official website] have called for additional hearings to determine the extent to which Kavanaugh was involved in setting administration policies on interrogation of detainees and the NSA's domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. Democrats also want to determine whether Kavanaugh played a role in Bush's relationship with former Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive], who has been convicted on corruption charges.
Reid says Kavanaugh's negatives "pale in comparison" to Boyle's, who has been accused of allegedly making personal gains from his role on the bench. Boyle allegedly presided over cases during which he should have recused himself, including a case where he is reported to have bought stock in General Electric midway through presiding over a pension lawsuit against the company. A White House spokeswoman said Tuesday that Boyle "never intentionally participated in any matter in which he should have recused himself." AP has more.