New Federal Judge Knows Confirmation Battle

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Just a few bangs of the gavel and a short promise to the nation--It took only minutes for Western District Court Judge David Mckeague to end a bid for a seat on the appeals court that took 3 years, 7 months.

He joked, "Thank God Sandra Day waited till after i got thru to announce her resignation."

It was a battle he can joke about now, but the politics he blames for holding up his nomination in the Senate were not always funny. He says he kept a list of the hurtful things people said during the process in an effort to keep it light, but it was nonetheless painful and embarrassing.

The "Alliance for Justice," for example, wrote, "In his decisions as a federal district court judge in Michigan, McKeague has shown hostility to civil rights plaintiffs, has narrowed federal protections for the environment, and ignored the separation of church and state."

Even if he wanted to, McKeague could never speak up in his own defense. He says the decisions he made on the bench, he could at least understand the attacks on, but he says the personal attacks are wrong for the system.

"This whole level of discourse is just low and it doesn't serve anybody well," he says.

He encouraged the crowd at the investitute ceremony to speak up if the discourse is low during Roberts nomination process. He says he's hopeful it won't be, but he's concerned nonetheless.

As for his service, Mckeague begins work with the 6th Circuit Court in Cincinatti come September. He's the first appointee in the courts 115 year history to hail from mid-Michigan.