According to an article in Congressional Quarterly, the Senate Judiciary Committee appears ready to weaken a long-held standard for judicial nominees that automatically disqualified them from consideration if they had used marijuana in the past.
Republicans are making the change as they are pushing to put President Donald Trump’s nominees on the federal bench.
“A standard which was imposed on Democratic presidents with a vengeance is now going to be changed for this president,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate minority whip.
According to Durbin, there is a discussion underway about the standard, which sunk potential nominations of two Illinois lawyers who used marijuana after they were licensed to practice. One had been nominated by President Obama and the other by President Clinton.
“We’ve had a conversation about it among the members and it troubles me greatly,” Durbin told CQ. “The Republicans were adamant that they were not going to change the standard. Now they’re suggesting it’s going to be changed.”
That’s not to say that Democrats oppose a change. Durbin previously has said the standard is unfair and unwise because it keeps off the bench otherwise qualified nominees who made a mistake. An FBI background report asks judicial nominees to disclose whether they have used marijuana or other illegal drugs after the age of 18.
But it's just another example of the double standard now being practiced by Republicans in Congress at the behest of Trump. If President Obama had nominated a potential judge who had been found to have used pot in college, let's say, Obama would have been pilloried by the Republicans, called a toke-head and worse.
But suddenly now, it's OK because those nominations were submitted by Trump.
On the other hand, the change could simply reflect the changing views about marijuana that have resulted in some states legalizing it for recreational use. If so, that's a good thing, but I don't think that's what's involved. Not when you're talking about holier than thou, right wing nutcases who oppose the use of pot -- even though they, themselves, may regularly get plastered on booze.