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GOP judicial strategist shrugs off leaked audio: 'I've said that before'

Brian Beutler of TalkingPointsMemo has audio from an April 22 conference call conducted for RNC members and featuring Curt Levey, a Bush administration veteran who now leads the Committee for Justice.

"I urge everyone not to say that the confirmation of the nominee is inevitable," Levey tells activists on the call, "even if we think it is." At another point, he suggests that a court fight can serve "broader goals such as just distracting Obama from other items on his agenda ... the tougher the fight, the less capital and time and resources and floor time in the Senate there is to spend on immigration and climate change, etc."

Reached by phone, Levey brushed off the audio as a rehash of what he and other conservatives have already made clear.

"I've said that in public before," Levey said. "It's not a secret that I feel that. If I think we get political advantage from this, why wouldn't we get an advantage from a longer nomination process?"

Levey, who left the Bush administration to help the grass-roots effort to confirm Bush's nominees, is one of a particularly Washington class of political operators -- a lawyer who informs conservatives of nominees they should be concerned about (or, more often under Republican presidents, support) and helps reporters and other activists get quotes and coalition assistance for their work on the nominees.

By David Weigel  |  May 10, 2010; 1:47 PM ET
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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