Sen. Landrieu Admits to Blocking the Appointment of David Dugas

Published: Feb. 16, 2008 at 3:51 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2008 at 3:45 PM CST
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David Dugas
David Dugas

Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana now admits that she is blocking David Dugas' appointment to a federal judgeship in Baton Rouge. President Bush nominated Dugas last March. However, the U.S. Senate has yet to even hold a hearing to either confirm or deny that appointment. It appears Landrieu is basing her opinion on a case in which a federal judge praised Dugas.

Chances are U.S. Attorney David Dugas thought he would be sitting behind the bench by now. Here's why he's not... "Well, I am holding his nomination because he did not step forward and under some direction from some of our judges that had been reviewing these insurance cases; I think step up to really do the job that he could have done relating to this insurance issue," says Sen. Mary Landrieu.

It appears Landrieu based her opinion on the recent dismissal of a federal lawsuit in New Orleans in which Dugas helped with the investigation into post-Katrina insurance issues. Judge Peter Beer dismissed the suit because the same claim against insurance companies was made in a Mississippi court. In his ruling, Beer praised Dugas for his work.

This week, Republican Senator David Vitter unsuccessfully asked his colleagues to hold a hearing for Dugas, and had this to say about his Democratic counterpart's admission to stonewalling the appointment. "If she has any legitimate concerns about David's nomination, she should bring them forward at his nomination hearing, instead of slow-walking, and effectively blocking his nomination without ever allowing a hearing to take place," Vitter says.

If Dugas' appointment is delayed beyond November's elections, a new president could appoint someone else to sit on the bench. Dugas declined comment on this story. By the way, the lawsuit thrown out of the New Orleans court would NOT have put money into the pockets of Louisiana homeowners.

Reporter:  Avery Davidson, WAFB 9NEWS