The AP reports that the Democrats led by Senator Reid’s (D-NV) rejected the Senate Majority Leader’s proposed compromise on Mr. Estrada a full 35 minutes after you read about it here. Reid reportedly stated: "Until he supplies the memorandum from the solicitor’s office, it is not going to change the position of the people on this side of the aisle."
The Democrats in the Senate have complained that Mr. Estrada was not forthcoming enough in answering questions. He has now answered all their questions, made himself available for private meetings and more written questions, and opened himself up for something too cruel for most mortal men to imagine--another hearing before the gauntlet that is the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Democrats still cling to the claim that Mr. Estrada hasn’t "filled out his application," for the judiciary, but this argument will only satisfy those who don’t know the facts, or who have the deliberative functions of Paul Begala.
This leaves them with one argument, which Reid reiterated today: turn over the memos. This is ludicrous. They are asking for them precisely because they know that the Justice Department should not turn them over--after all, every living Solicitor General has told them this. Second, they can find out whether these memos displayed bias as they fear by talking to Mr. Estrada’s previous employers--several of whom are Democrats. And finally, the Democrats know as well as anyone that these kinds of memos show about as much political "leg" as a Saudi Arabian fashion show. Quite simply, unless you twist and distort them (which seems to be the American way), the memos are almost certainly bland statements on what the law is and what arguments should be made in light of the government’s position on the questions (which would have been dictated to Mr. Estrada). But you see, they don’t want to see the memos--they want the release of the memos to be an issue. Similarly, they didn’t want Mr. Estrada to answer more questions (as demonstrated by the almost complete lack of follow-up written questions)--they wanted to make an issue of supposedly unanswered questions. Why, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think that the Democrats were just making up excuses to keep a qualified Hispanic off the bench.