The nomination of Michigan’s Henry Saad to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hanging by a thread as the controversy over President Bush’s picks for the federal bench enters a potentially decisive week. No matter where he ends up, Saad, 56, has been on one long, strange trip, reports the Detroit Free Press. Although not one of Bush’s most contentious judicial nominations — that role has been reserved for Priscilla Owen of Texas and Janice Rogers Brown of California — Saad is easily the most longstanding. He was first picked for the federal bench by Former President George Bush in 1992, then by George W. Bush in 2001, 2003 and again this year.
Most of that time since 2001 has been spent waiting to see whether his nomination would be approved or scuttled in negotiations, on issues mostly unrelated to Saad, among the White House, Senate Republicans and Michigan’s two Democratic U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. Saad is the only one of the previously filibustered nominees to have almost scuttled his own hopes by mistakenly sending a scathing e-mail about another Michigan judicial nominee. Two weeks ago, he was again briefly in the news when Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid cited “a problem” in Saad’s FBI background file.