February 23, 2016

"Senate consideration of a nominee under these circumstances is not fair to the president, to the nominee, or to the Senate itself."

"Where the nation should be treated to a consideration of constitutional philosophy, all it will get in such circumstances is partisan bickering and political posturing from both parties and from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue."

Said Joe Biden in June of the election year 1992, when he was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the President was the Republican George H.S. Bush.

I didn't need that quote to know that it's a partisan power struggle — wrapped up in legal mystification — and if the parties were reversed the Democratic Senators would be saying what the GOP Senators are saying and the Republican President would be saying what the Democratic President is saying.

But I think it can help some people focus on reality... even as I believe that current political interest is a far stronger force than the search for the truth.

ADDED: The NYT front page highlights the Biden remarks as a "potential disaster":



Notice how the Times assumes the reader is on Obama's side on this, as it fails to add "for Obama" or "for Democrats" to "potential disaster." The link goes to a forum titled "Battle for the Supreme Court: Our Insiders’ Guide," and with comments by various NYT reporters. Michael D. Shear says:
For President Obama, it is a potential disaster. He and his Democratic allies had been carefully executing a pressure campaign aimed at shaming Republicans for vowing to block consideration of a nominee to replace Justice Scalia, but the emergence of a 24-year-old video on Monday throws into doubt the effectiveness of that strategy.
Carl Hulse says "Democrats may have taken one on the chin over the old video of Mr. Biden," but once Obama comes out with an actual nominee, the subject will change. That seems like a concession that Democrats have lost on the abstract point that the Senate has a duty not to obstruct.

71 comments:

damikesc said...

I think it's best to not nominate at all. They won't be approved as is and the nominee doesn't warrant that.

Matthew Sablan said...

So, that makes: President, VP, minority leader and... anyone else? who when the shoe was on the other foot, was fine with not nominating people.

It's like they forget that the Internet and archives exist.

tim in vermont said...

Since powers not specifically given to the Federal Govt are left to the states or to the people, and the Constitution does not specifically provide a remedy. An election is the only solution, and anybody afraid of that should explain why.

The Drill SGT said...

Obama will nominate a sitting Appellate Judge and rub their previous confirmation vote for the nominee in the GOP's face.

As for the brokenness of the system, I see no way to repair it. Certainly not by telling the GOP to go back to the civil rules and allowing the Dems to use nuclear warfare.

tim maguire said...

It is the role of the president to nominate someone to fill Scalia's seat. Obama is the president. Therefore, it is Obama's role to nominate someone to fill that seat. Congress is not obligated to confirm whoever Obama nominates, but, as president, Obama is entitled to a certain amount of deference.

Republican senators are breaking faith with the American people when they say they will not even consider an Obama nomination.

I don't care who would say what if this or that shoe were on the other foot.

traditionalguy said...

Ok, but Biden is a good politician who could actually be the Dem's key to beat a Trump. Gee willikers, he can even out hug Kasich. So let's not give him too much Publicity.

tim in vermont said...

I don't care who would say what if this or that shoe were on the other foot

LOL, of course not. I am more of an Alinskyite in this, however.

Brando said...

Joe Biden was as wrong as McConnell is now. Where do you cut it off--January 1st of an election year? How about December 31st of the previous year? Or--since primaries really begin immediately after the preceding mid-term election--the day after the previous mid-term election?

The president can nominate a replacement for any opening at any time--period. The Senate can reject a nominee for any reason or no reason, period. This idea that they should all "hold out" because of an upcoming election is stupid. But then, we're talking Biden and McConnell here.

Jake said...

It's George H.W. Bush, not H.S.

Brando said...

"It is the role of the president to nominate someone to fill Scalia's seat. Obama is the president. Therefore, it is Obama's role to nominate someone to fill that seat. Congress is not obligated to confirm whoever Obama nominates, but, as president, Obama is entitled to a certain amount of deference.

Republican senators are breaking faith with the American people when they say they will not even consider an Obama nomination."

Pretty much--it's just stupid to say "don't even nominate anyone". It's like saying "I don't plan to be reasonable" rather than make the president look like the unreasonable one by picking a bad nominee.

Michael K said...

"Republican senators are breaking faith with the American people when they say they will not even consider an Obama nomination."

So, they should lie ?

McConnell knows he is in trouble with the base and let he had to reassure them that the GOPe was not going to fold.

If he had said nothing, the stampede to Trump would have accelerated.

Curious George said...

"But I think it can help some people focus on reality... even as I believe that current political interest is a far stronger force than the search for the truth."

Current? It's always been that way.

rhhardin said...

Within minutes of Scalia dying, Scalia-hater Dick Cavett messaged his friend Don Imus "Subject: There Go da Judge."

I like that.

Brando said...

"So, they should lie ?"

They don't have to even lie--they can say "bring it on, let's see who you nominate". Obviously, Obama is not going to nominate anyone they can approve, so they vote the nominee down. It's the same result, but procedurally it is entirely fair because then the onus is on Obama to find someone they could approve. This should be the case whether it is an election year or not.

Could Obama (maybe by accident) nominate someone acceptable to the GOP Senators? Well, if he did that, then good--they got the replacement they wanted.

It's not dishonest because in this case they're acting in good faith, and it is the president who is giving them bad nominees.

David Begley said...

Biden's quote can't be repeated enough. Will that clip ever be played on MSNBC? Joe is - after all - the Vice President.

Hagar said...

Anybody give a thought to the poor sucker who would have to be drafted to sit there and take it in this dogfight?

dbp said...

Obama payed no political price for attempting to filibuster Alito, but Republicans will not be so fortunate. If a nomination comes to a vote, there are plenty of Republican squishes who will vote for her, so the only way to prevent confirmation would be by filibuster.

Or McConnell can take ALL the heat by just not scheduling hearings. He is old and toward the end of his career--this is like trading a pawn for a queen in chess.

traditionalguy said...

Obama will probably nominate Trump's sister and then watch the Levin Wing go absolutely nuts over her Liberal Record until Cruz finally burns himself to death in protest in front of the Supreme Court Building. Or maybe not.

Brando said...

"Anybody give a thought to the poor sucker who would have to be drafted to sit there and take it in this dogfight?"

Anyone nominated can refuse the nomination.

Mingus Jerry said...

Give a nominee a vote at the same time you announce your intention to add three justices to the Court if a Republican wins the Presidency and they retain the Senate.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mingus Jerry said...

Call it the FDR plan.

Larry J said...

tim maguire said...
It is the role of the president to nominate someone to fill Scalia's seat. Obama is the president. Therefore, it is Obama's role to nominate someone to fill that seat. Congress is not obligated to confirm whoever Obama nominates, but, as president, Obama is entitled to a certain amount of deference.

Republican senators are breaking faith with the American people when they say they will not even consider an Obama nomination.

I don't care who would say what if this or that shoe were on the other foot.


Of course you don't care. That was then, this is now. Or, to paraphrase Chuck Schumer, "Don't do as I said then, do as I say now." Screw you, Chuck. You, Biden, and Obama set the standards. Maybe it's time you get held to them for a change.

The Republicans don't owe Obama's choice any more deference than what Democrats paid to former Republican presidential nominees. Obama does have the responsibility to nominate a replacement. The Senate has the responsibility to "advise and consent" (or not) on any such nomination.

tim in vermont said...

The president can nominate a replacement for any opening at any time--period. The Senate can reject a nominee for any reason or no reason, period. This idea that they should all "hold out" because of an upcoming election is stupid. But then, we're talking Biden and McConnell here.

Well rejecting a nominee just because its an election year is either rejecting them either for "no reason" or for "a reason" which is one of the set of "any reason." So I think by your logic the Republicans are on pretty safe ground no matter how you slice it.

n.n said...

The Constitution was chic before it became gauche.

Party like it's 2008, 2009, 2010, ...

Brando said...

"Well rejecting a nominee just because its an election year is either rejecting them either for "no reason" or for "a reason" which is one of the set of "any reason." So I think by your logic the Republicans are on pretty safe ground no matter how you slice it."

To me there's a difference between rejecting a particular nominee and rejecting the concept of any nominee. The former is reasonable and the latter is not.

Let Obama pick someone--put the onus on him--and strike them down if he does what you predict and picks someone you cannot approve.

Jeff said...

Biden's quote can't be repeated enough. Will that clip ever be played on MSNBC? Joe is - after all - the Vice President.

And let's not forget that the Vice President is also President of the Senate. Clearly they should follow his example, no?

Brando said...

Of course, there is a third way--tell Obama you will approve who he picks if he convinces Ginsburg to retire now, and nominates someone of the GOP's choosing for that extra slot. Arguably this preserves the Court's balance. Of course, I don't see him going along with this or Ginsburg. But if you throw enough ideas out there, it's him who gets to be intransigent.

Bob Boyd said...

Why was Biden talking so much about a hypothetical vacancy?

Also, I think it's George H. W. Bush, not H.S.

Tank said...

Matthew Sablan said...

So, that makes: President, VP, minority leader and... anyone else? who when the shoe was on the other foot, was fine with not nominating people.

It's like they forget that the Internet and archives exist.


We don't remember anything. I am reminded of this every day in my law practice where I see that the 3% and 5% down mortgages are back in force. Gee, didn't that go poorly a couple a years ago?

================================

Incidentally, Zero does not need to nominate anyone. In fact, there is no requirement that we have nine justices. It could be eight, or seven, or twelve. See: Constitution of the United States of America.

tim in vermont said...

Let Obama pick someone--put the onus on him--and strike them down if he does what you predict and picks someone you cannot approve

Is somebody preventing Obama from nominating somebody? He should, and he should take it to the election as an issue!

Brando said...

"Is somebody preventing Obama from nominating somebody? He should, and he should take it to the election as an issue!"

No one's preventing him, and I'm sure he'll nominate someone, just as I'm sure that nomination will go nowhere. I'm just talking about McConnell's unnecessary statement and how now his supporters have to bring up past hypocrisy from Democrats to try and support this ridiculous notion that presidents should refrain from making key appointments during election years.

Hagar said...

We have seen the picture of Obama with "a folder full of nominees" to occupy him this last weekend.
There is a thought that he will nominate a person he expects to be rejected so that the Democrats can use the nomination for a campaign issue, and that perhaps the thing to do is to refuse the bait, vote this person in, and look to restore the court balance with the next opening or two, that will surely come along in the next presidential term..

tim in vermont said...

If McConnell doesn't draw a hard line on this, he is just playing into Trump's hand. You write as if there was no insurgency going on in the Republican Party.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It's an opportunity for Republicans to prove they are better than the Democrats.

mtrobertslaw said...

Where is it written that the president "is entitled to a certain amount of deference" by the Senate in his Supreme Court nominations?

The better argument is that when you have a president who has decided to rule by Executive Order, the Senate owes "a certain amount" of skepticism towards his judicial nominations.

Sebastian said...

@MS: "It's like they forget that the Internet and archives exist." No. They just don't care. It's BS all the way down. In the technical, philosophical sense.

In an ideal world, conservatives would act conservatively, conserving the tradition of advising and consenting as if SCOTUS is just a neutral umpire. But in the real world Progs have created, conservatives should their exercise active liberty to judge the living Constitution to mean whatever the hell we want it to mean and treat any judicial battle as politics by other means.

Brando said...

"There is a thought that he will nominate a person he expects to be rejected so that the Democrats can use the nomination for a campaign issue, and that perhaps the thing to do is to refuse the bait, vote this person in, and look to restore the court balance with the next opening or two, that will surely come along in the next presidential term.."

Who has this thought? They'd be nuts to let another Sotomayor in. If he tries to nominate one, make that the campaign issue. It works both ways.

"Where is it written that the president "is entitled to a certain amount of deference" by the Senate in his Supreme Court nominations?"

I don't know where that's written, but it's not in the Constitution. And there's reason to be skeptical of a guy who tried to abuse the recess appointment power.

Jason said...

No reason to think the Senate is under any obligation to vote on any nominee whatsoever. And this is entirely on the precedents established by Democrats. Not just once, but several times. They had Miguel Estrada hanging for two years, and still never gave the guy an up or down vote. Estrada finally said "to hell with this. I've got a law practice to run."

NOBODY on the Democrat side ever uttered a peep that this was at all improper.

Congress is not subordinate to the President. They are co-equal branches. Congress can make any decision they want for any reason they want... And if they believe that the President has such a disregard and contempt for the rule of law (and Obama had given them trainloads of ammunition on that score) then they have a responsibility to shut down any nominees by that president.

There is a check and balance even on this: the Senate faces midterm elections in two years. If the people think the Senate is wrong, they can elect new Senators, either this November or in two years from then.

Two years wasn't too long for Democrats to hold up Estrada's confirmation. So to hell with them.

bbkingfish said...

Are there any legal scholars posting on this site?

If so, would he happen to know whether any specific circumstances might have prompted such extensive speculation on Biden's part? Politicians don't normally go so extensively on the record for no reason.

The article sort of vaguely suggests that his concern had to do mainly with the position of Earth relative to the Sun ("...it was late June..."), but Biden refers to "these circumstances," which suggests to me that other factors may have been involved.

As a purely political matter, however, I think Republicans should circle the wagons on this issue.

No matter how it is framed, their intransigence/selfless patriotism would be a great, dynamic backdrop for the GOP's campaign to sell Trump as the new exemplar of Republican values. He will be such a vote-getter.

It also will help them re-elect those GOP Senators in northern states who were elected in 2010. Honest, it will. I really mean it.

EDH said...

McConnell had to preemptively rule out entertaining any Obama nominee.

If he waited, then he'd be accused of myriad "-isms" when Obama nominated the minority de jure for maximum base-roiling divisiveness.

Better to be accused of partisanship.

Bob Boyd said...

@ bb kingfish

Biden was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee at the time.

According to the NYT:

"Mr. Biden’s remarks were part of a long speech about revising the Supreme Court confirmation process after a tumultuous five-year period that had featured three bitterly contested nominees: William H. Rehnquist in 1986, who received the most “no” votes of any justice until that time; Robert H. Bork, who was rejected by the Senate in 1987; and Clarence Thomas, whose bruising hearings culminated in a vote in 1991 in which he drew even more opposition than Chief Justice Rehnquist had."

Thorley Winston said...


Congress is not obligated to confirm whoever Obama nominates, but, as president, Obama is entitled to a certain amount of deference.

Agreed, President Obama is entitled to the same deference that Senator Obama gave to President Bush when it came to judicial nominees.

Thorley Winston said...

I think dbp is probably right about this. It could very well be that the only way to prevent Obama from making another appointment to the Supreme Court is to refuse to consider any nominee. McConnell, who I have to believe knows his caucus better than we do, may be taking one for the team.

readering said...

Biden made his statement after the conclusion of the 91-92 term, anticipating an end-of-term retirement (which never came). So his proposal would affect 1 term. McConnell made his proposal in the middle of the 14-15 term, so that the vacancy will extend to two Supreme Court terms. Biden was following the precedent of 1968 and the Fortas filibuster. McConnell should follow th precedent of 1988 and the Kennedy confirmation.

David Aitken said...

Obama could probably get someone confirmed in the next 30 days if that someone is Ted Cruz, Randy Barnett, Glenn Reynolds, or Alex Kozinski.

hombre said...

@McConnell: "Advise" Obama that the Senate might "consent" if the nominee is Miguel Estrada, Janice Rodgers Brown or Condi Rice.

Do it before he offers a nominee and the media onslaught begins.

elkh1 said...

Nothing about fairness to the American people who have to live in the Justice's shadow for the rest of his/her life.

hombre,
what planet do you live on? If McConnell had spine, we would not have unrestricted illegal immigrants, non-citizens voting, taxpayers funded baby-parts sellers, Obamacare, and all that crap... Get rid of McConnell if you are a Kentuckian(?) and are serious.

damikesc said...

Republican senators are breaking faith with the American people when they say they will not even consider an Obama nomination.

I don't care who would say what if this or that shoe were on the other foot.


Without MAD, how is anything done?

Republicans never tried to pull the crap with Dem judicial nominees that are pulled on Republican nominees. Yet the Dems kept doing it and getting progressively worse.

You can condemn both sides...but unilateral disarming in front of a well armed foe is a fool's errand.

The only possible way to put the cork back in the bottle at this point is to make it HURT the Dems. Get a Republican Senate and President, kill the filibuster, and just stack the court with the most conservative people you can find and pack the court.

Lessons need to be learned and being nice hasn't taught them to date.

Let Obama pick someone--put the onus on him--and strike them down if he does what you predict and picks someone you cannot approve.

Don't see how that works out differently. Shoot the nominee down and it's going to be "Well, they were never going to approve somebody with the election going on...". Since you'll get the heat, accept it and move on.

I just don't get why it's ONLY the Republicans who get the heat. Reid slandered Romney and the Kochs on the Senate floor and the press couldn't have given less of a shit.

JAORE said...

"It's an opportunity for Republicans to prove they are better than the Democrats."

After observing Harry Reid these past few years, Mitch has a LONG way to go before the NOT "better than the Democrats" becomes an issue.

jr565 said...

The president wanted to filibuster nominees, the VP wanted to block nominees even being nominated. The minority speaker had history of blocking nominees. The dems have no legs to stand on here.

Brando said...

"Don't see how that works out differently. Shoot the nominee down and it's going to be "Well, they were never going to approve somebody with the election going on...". Since you'll get the heat, accept it and move on."

It works differently because then you're giving the president an opportunity to pick someone acceptable, and he's the one who decides to play partisan hardball.

Of course, McConnell is in a tough spot because he does not have the faith of his party's right wing--they don't trust him so if he even says "let's see who you nominate" they're going to assume he'll get rolled over.

This also puts all the cards in for the battle to control the Senate this year. If they lose the Senate and White House, say goodbye to the filibuster and Clinton rams through any nominee she likes.

jr565 said...

The NYT doesn't even apparently read the New York Times. They are shocked, SHOCKED that Biden woudl say something so damaging. In 2005 here's what the Times said about filibustering Bush's nominees:

"Of all the hollow arguments Senate Republicans have made in their attempt to scrap the opposition’s right to have a say on President Bush’s judicial nominees, the one that’s most hypocritical insists that history is on their side in demanding a “simple up-or-down vote” on the Senate floor. Republicans and Democrats have used a variety of tactics, from filibuster threats to stealthy committee inaction on individual nominations, in blocking hundreds of presidential appointments across history, including about one in five Supreme Court nominees. This is all part of the Senate’s time-honored deliberative role and of its protection of minority rights, which Republican leaders would now desecrate in overreaching from their majority perch.

. . . .

Democrats have hardly been obstructionists in their constitutional role of giving advice and consent; they have confirmed more than 200 Bush nominees, while balking at a mere seven who should be blocked on the merits, not for partisan reasons. This is a worthy fight, and the filibuster is a necessary weapon, considering that these are lifetime appointments to the powerful appellate judiciary, just below the Supreme Court. In more than two centuries, only 11 federal judges have been impeached for abusive court behavior. Clearly, uninhibited Senate debate in the deliberative stage, with the minority’s voice preserved, is a crucial requirement."
They are the paper of record. They are making arguments on their editorial board. It doesn't even matter if they themselves made the arguments at one time or another.

jr565 said...

Brando wrote:
Joe Biden was as wrong as McConnell is now. Where do you cut it off--January 1st of an election year? How about December 31st of the previous year? Or--since primaries really begin immediately after the preceding mid-term election--the day after the previous mid-term election?

The president can nominate a replacement for any opening at any time--period. The Senate can reject a nominee for any reason or no reason, period. This idea that they should all "hold out" because of an upcoming election is stupid. But then, we're talking Biden and McConnell here.

But Biden, and Obama and Reid were not wrong. Since that's how they acted. Even if they are technically wrong, it didn't stop them from doing it and reaping the benefit. Live by your rules.

Will said...

This is what we get when we elected a Community Organizer. Every single damn thing is politicized and polarized.

The Supreme Court used to be less life and death back in the days before Wise Latinas used empathy to invent Rights out of thin air and change the meanings of Commerce and Marriage.

When the Supreme Court gets to control our lives don't whine when people play by keeps or use your very own words to point out how you would or did handle it.

Lawless Obama gets no deference here. Nominate away… Then waddle off like the lame duck you are and play golf while people get beheaded… Obama made this world now he can reap the results

The President, Vice President, Minority Leader and oily future Dem Senate Leader are all on record with how they would play it if they were Senators. That is good enough to me…. Next Case!

jr565 said...

Biden also says "if a judge resigns soon, or before end of summer. President Bush should consider FOLLOWNG THE PRACTICE OF A MAJORITY OF HIS PREDECESSORS AND NOT AND NOT NAME A NOMINEE"
Lets unpack that for a bit. Biden isn't just talking about filibustering. He's telling the president not to name a nominee. And not only that, he's saying the majority of his predecessors did not in fact name nominees. So, dems were under the impression that not nominating nominees in election year was common practice.
So I'll just echo Biden, our current VP and say "if a justice dies so soon before the election of the next president, President Obama, should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT name a nominee until after the november election is complete".

jr565 said...

So Biden is saying to presidents DON"T NOMINATE. Noted. Ok, mr obama, what do you think of what your VP said, when he was a senator.
He then goes on to talk about the Senate: " The senate too must consider how it would respond to a supreme court vacancy that would occur in the full throes of an election year". Hmm that's an interesting question Joe. Tell us what you think.
"It is my view that if the president goes the way of presidents filmore and Johnson and presses an election year nomination the senate Judiciary commitee should seriously consider NOT scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until AFTER the political campaing season is over." WHAT?!?
So then Obama is like Fillmore and Johnson? THat's bad, right Joe?
Obama, don't be like Fillmore and/or Johnson. it is our pragmatic political conclusion that you are a hypocrite.

Joe must be hiding in the White house right about now. If only he had a time machine and could go back and throttle himself before he uttered these words. Alas, for him, but yay for us.



jr565 said...

I think the people who work at C-SPAN are about to get audited.

jr565 said...

Biden also reiterated this position to the Washington Post in 1992:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1992/06/19/on-once-and-future-supreme-court-nominations/e725894a-99ed-4efa-bf22-180c4dfe1eea/

"If someone steps down, I would highly recommend the president not name someone, not send a name up,” Biden said. “If he {Bush} did send someone up, I would ask the Senate to seriously consider not having a hearing on that nominee.”

Can you imagine dropping a nominee, after the three or four or five decisions that are about to made by the Supreme Court, into that fight, into that cauldron in the middle of a presidential year?” Biden went on. “I believe there would be no bounds of propriety that would be honored by either side. . . . The environment within which such a hearing would be held would be so supercharged and so prone to be able to be distorted.”

“Whomever the nominee was, good, bad or indifferent,” he added, “would become a victim.”


Yes we can imagine it Joe. So, why is Obama so insistent on throwing a nominee into the meat grinder, when you say it will be completely partisan and a political decision. There Oh, because that's the kind of president Obama is? THere are certainly no bounds of propriety that he honors, that's for sure.

Jason said...

The President is not entitled to one iota of "deference" from Congress. Congress is the deliberative body, not the Executive branch. There is no minority advocacy in the executive branch, whereas in Congress it's baked into the cake.

The President should have some deference when it comes to executive branch appointments. The President retains responsibility and command authority over his cabinet level and senior military leaders and nominations for other executive branch positions that require Senate approval. It's his neck, politically, if they are incompetent or corrupt, so the President should get the benefit of the doubt and be allowed to staff his administration with the people he wants and trusts.

Judges are different. The President is not responsible for their bad decisions, once they are confirmed. Their tenure is for life, not just until the end of the term. We should insist that every judge is acceptable to both the Senate and the President alike. They should BOTH be willing to live with the nominee for him or her to be confirmed. Totally different animal from the Cabinet.

hombre said...

elkh1 (10:47): "hombre, what planet do you live on...?"

This purports to be a discussion, numbnuts. I'm not aware that comments are restricted based on your personal predilections about the political players. Besides, my suggestion is based on McConnell's cowardice. The people I suggested should take the "racist" "sexist" allegations out of play.

Capisce?

damikesc said...


The President should have some deference when it comes to executive branch appointments. The President retains responsibility and command authority over his cabinet level and senior military leaders and nominations for other executive branch positions that require Senate approval. It's his neck, politically, if they are incompetent or corrupt, so the President should get the benefit of the doubt and be allowed to staff his administration with the people he wants and trusts.


I'd have said yes historically, but this admin has shown that the AG should be a choice they give NO deference to the President's desire. An AG hack will insure obvious government crimes do not get punished.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

All politicians' statements have expiration dates. The Obama Admin's statements seem to expire awfully quickly and/or in awfully spectacular fashion, I've noticed.

Jason said...

Yes, the AG issue occurred to me while I was writing it that. I didn't want to go down that rabbit hole necessarily, but yes, Congress should absolutely have faith that any nominee for the AG position have sufficient backbone to maintain enough independence to enforce the rule of law even internally within the administration.

It's clear that Holder was a joke in this regard, at best. I've not seen anything from Lynch that's any different.

Bay Area Guy said...

The President should nominate Miguel Estrada --- then the Senate could advise and consent and all would be well;)

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Giggle.

The silly commenters who accuse the Dems of having double standards!

There's only ONE standard at play: "When the Dems do {whatever}, it's A-Okay! And conversely, when the Repubs do the same thing, it's bad-evil-heartless-racist-Islamophobic-greedy-sexist-homophobic-cruel-Nativist-bigoted-unAmerican."

(*) whichever term applies, and I'm sure I forgot a few.

Amanda said...

"-Strong majorities of voters- 58/35 in Ohio and 57/40 in Pennsylvania- think that the vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. What’s particularly noteworthy about those numbers- and concerning for Portman and Toomey- is how emphatic the support for approving a replacement is among independent voters. In Ohio they think a new Justice should be named this year 70/24 and in Pennsylvania it’s 60/37. Those independent voters are going to make the difference in these tight Senate races, and they have no tolerance for obstructionism on the vacancy.

-Voters are particularly angry about Senators taking the stance that they’re not going to approve anyone before even knowing who President Obama decides to put forward. By a 76/20 spread in Pennsylvania and a 74/18 one in Ohio, voters think the Senate should wait to see who is nominated to the Court before deciding whether or not to confirm that person. Toomey and Portman are out of line even with their own party base on that one- Republicans in Pennsylvania think 67/27 and in Ohio think 63/32 that the Senate should at least give President Obama’s choice a chance before deciding whether or not to confirm them."

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/02/toomey-portman-hurt-by-supreme-court-stance.html

Thorley Winston said...

Joe Biden was as wrong as McConnell is now. Where do you cut it off--January 1st of an election year? How about December 31st of the previous year?

I think a good rule of thumb would be: it should stop when the person putting forth a judicial nominee wasn’t trying to block them when they were a member of the United States Senate. Anything short of that would be allowing someone to reap the benefits of obstruction while not paying the price.


damikesc said...

Strong majorities of voters- 58/35 in Ohio and 57/40 in Pennsylvania- think that the vacant seat on the Supreme Court should be filled this year. What’s particularly noteworthy about those numbers- and concerning for Portman and Toomey- is how emphatic the support for approving a replacement is among independent voters. In Ohio they think a new Justice should be named this year 70/24 and in Pennsylvania it’s 60/37. Those independent voters are going to make the difference in these tight Senate races, and they have no tolerance for obstructionism on the vacancy.

Hold on to that hope there.

damikesc said...

It's clear that Holder was a joke in this regard, at best. I've not seen anything from Lynch that's any different.

They're Democrats. You'll never see a truly independent AG under a Dem ever again.

mikee said...

I voted in the last several elections specifically to get a Senate, and a House, that on every front should, could and would obstruct the efforts of the current administration.

Like Rush, "I hope Obama fails" has been my rallying cry since 2008, and my votes have been given to those who I expect, nay, demand, will cause Obama to fail.

Stopping the depredations of the president is exactly what I want the Senate to do.