October 17, 2016

Did John McCain just say that a GOP Senate will refuse to confirm a Supreme Court nominee for an entire Hillary Clinton presidential term??!

He said:
"I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up. I promise you. This is where we need the majority and Pat Toomey is probably as articulate and effective on the floor of the Senate as anyone I have encountered."
Here's the later clarification from a McCain spokesperson:
"Senator McCain believes you can only judge people by their record and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees.... That being said, Senator McCain will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications as he has done throughout his career."
So I guess the point is that a GOP Senate will demand a nonliberal nominee. If Hillary Clinton responds properly to that pressure and nominates someone with a record that demonstrates nonliberalism, the GOP Senators will vote for that person. 

59 comments:

Diogenes of Sinope said...

They should, but the Republicans don't have the balls.

Michael K said...

McCain is probably blowing smoke.

Fandor said...

McCain, although I agree every nominee of a Hillary Clinton administration sould be challenged and BORKED, if vacancies come up on the Supreme Court, is a horse's ass. John McCain's time has come and gone. I voted for him in 2008, although he was a poor candidate and the only exciting part of his campaign was the introduction to the national stage was Sarah Palin (she added the octane to an otherwise flat race for the White House) McCain needs to man up and support Trump. If he wants to help his country and protect it from the Clinton criminal enterprise "for our children and grandchildren", and insure we won't go onto the scrapheap of history, becoming a quid pro quo for crony capitalism in the pursuit of power for Bill and Hill, then McCain's final act on stage is to support the Republican candidate and stop being a weasel for the status quo. I, for one, like my heroes who DON"T SURRENDER and put the country first over political party.

AReasonableMan said...

This strategy, when taken to its logical conclusion, would result in Democrats refusing to allow any Republican president's nominations to the Supreme Court in retaliation. The court would literally die off, thereby eliminating one branch of government. In one sense this is a conservative's dream - the elimination of an arm of government.

cubanbob said...

ARM after Bork and what was done to Thomas the Republicans owe no deference to the Democrats.
A split court is better than a left court. The Senate has no duty to confirm an appointment. And if Trump were to win and the Republicans were to lose the Senate the left would do exactly what McCain said.

320Busdriver said...

When are people going to wake up and realize that one sure way to restore a working legislative branch, one that is not entirely career pols, is to establish congressional term limits?

This ruling class has had its day and puts their re election above all else.

Rockport Conservative said...

Speaking of "old fools" I think you just quoted one. This man should have retired years ago.

garage mahal said...

Why would any opposing party confirm the other party's nominees? I don't get that.

Clayton Hennesey said...

If Hillary wins, she'll enjoy living in a bigger house for four years. That's about it.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

So I guess the point is that a GOP Senate will demand a nonliberal nominee.

Right, they'll demand that and then they'll vote for the actual liberal nominees. To whom will this be a surprise?

rehajm said...

Now that's the meaning of gridlock!

Bob Boyd said...

I stopped listening after he said, "I promise..."

lemondog said...

...is to establish congressional term limits?

Amen

GWash said...

i don't agree with McCain on much but i would not denigrate his service both militarily and as a public servant by calling him a fool.. there are plenty of fools to go around in congress including jeff sessions, reps king and gohmert to name just a few... then there are the chicken hawks of the neo cons, always ready to send your kids in harms way..
many on this blog don't get the idea of working together for a common goal (in this case to govern a nation).. to state that i would never vote for the opposing party's nominees is pretty short sighted and if you are a history buff or tea party member, not what the founders intended in spirit or principle... and if you think of term limits as an option, just think of yourself in congress considering some of the more esoteric issues of the nation.. for instance what do you know about banking regulation/deregulation or nuclear waste disposal... it ain't easy... there are many ways to ensure fresh blood in congress and arbitrary term limit solution is not one of the better ones to my mind...

Matt said...

This is somewhere south of f*cked up if true. I really hope we have not reached a level of partisanship that completely fails to do ANYTHING in a bipartisan fashion. They wonder why the American people hate government. When they refuse to work at all with each other because of childish partisan bickering then we perhaps need to rethink our government. I wasn't thrilled with GW Bush's Supreme picks but if you win the White House you do have a right to some choices. We have survived just fine with conservative justices as we have with liberal justices. Time for congress to grow up.

The Cracker Emcee said...

"This strategy, when taken to its logical conclusion, would result in Democrats refusing to allow any Republican president's nominations to the Supreme Court in retaliation"

Which, if in the majority, they would almost certainly do these days.

The key to keeping Hillary in rein will be to show her no deference. She's a crook and a slime bag. Treat her accordingly.

George Ferko said...

Didn't HRC vow to have litmus tests for her SCOTUS nominees?

mccullough said...

Get the Court back down to 5 justices through attrition.

Michael The Magnificent said...

McCain is probably blowing smoke.

Probably?

The asshole would form a "Gang of X" with his old pal Feingold and team up with Hillary to eliminate the 1st Amendment. None of the three want anyone but the press to be able to speak of them prior to an election.

GWash said...

and your point about litmus tests is?... everyone who nominates a person to a position has a 'litmus' test... you were probably hired by your boss with a litmus test... what's wrong with that?... the task is to nominate someone who will be 'approved' by a majority... this is one of the purposes of an election.. if you get elected you get to nominate and or appoint people..

320Busdriver said...

The founders never envisioned a permanent ruling class like we have now. It was normal to (serve) and return to whatever life you had before. When campaigning becomes more important than doing the peoples work, and it has, then term limits are the best way to prevent the outsized advantage of incubency and career politicians.

Most proposals for term limits allow for as many as 3 or 4 house terms and 2 or three senate terms. Another proposal has the term limits only becoming effective when new reps/sen take over from incumbents. This is plenty of time for a person to understand the issues and actually do the work, especially if fundraising is not taking up so much time. I would point to WI Senator Ron Johnson as someone who went to Washington and got to work immediately, rapidly ascending to important committee and chairmanships.

I would add that as it stands more than 1/2 of the laws that are passed through the senate are by unanimous consent. Most of these bills are not even read by the Senators and are passed as is as long as no one Senator calls to object. That is hardly what I would call doing the peoples work.

rcocean said...

Oh good grief. How stupid do you have to be to think McCain is serious?

McCain is running for re-election and he just stabbed trump in the back. He HAS to talk tough on Judges.

But his entire 30 year record shows exactly the OPPOSITE. He was a member of the "Gang of 8". He supported Ginsberg, Breyer, Kagan, and the "Wise Latina".

Next, you'll be posting about McCain wants border security because said "Just build the dang fence".

viator said...

John McCain and the rest of the old Republican ladies in the Senate will roll over so fast to the Hillary/MSM onslaught they'll look like a rolling pin.

rcocean said...

If you think McCain, Mitch, and the whole bunch of RINO Senate losers are going to suddenly - after 8 years of rolling over - oppose President Hillary -

You are fool.

Michael K said...

"one that is not entirely career pols, is to establish congressional term limits?"

The trouble with this idea is that it puts the staffers, who are permanent DC residents, in control. Every new Congressperson takes a couple of years to figure out the system.

It would be better to take away the need for constant fund raising.

Bob Loblaw said...

This strategy, when taken to its logical conclusion, would result in Democrats refusing to allow any Republican president's nominations to the Supreme Court in retaliation.

That's pretty much what happened to Reagan, who ended up nominating justices far less conservative than he would have given a conservative Senate.

Sauce for the goose. I'm sure there are judges Hillary can get through the Senate.

George Ferko said...

GWash said, "and your point about litmus tests is?... everyone who nominates a person to a position has a 'litmus' test..."

Reagan was sharply criticized for supposedly having a litmus test on abortion. If so, both O'Connor and Kennedy must have broken their words.

But more to the point as to what's wrong with a litmus test, it turns an already implicitly political branch into an explicitly political branch. It means the case is decided before briefing, before oral argument. It's all a charade That's been going on for years, of course. The best example I can think of are Brennan and Marshall's dissents in every death penalty case.

Was I hired by DOJ with someone with a litmus test? Sure, but the litmus test by Paul Charlton was to always follow Brady; it wasn't to decide a case with your mind already made up as to the outcome. Poor analogy, GWash.

320Busdriver said...

Now may be a good time to revisit:

The Democratic leadership, fearful that momentum for Obamacare was fading as it continued to poll poorly, decided to rush a bill through the Senate before Christmas 2009. On November 18, Majority Leader Harry Reid merged two separate pending bills into a bill to be voted on by the Senate…. To meet the self-imposed Christmas deadline, Reid provided only six days for debate [on the final version of the bill]. The Senate bill passed on a strict party line vote, 60-39.

Few people, including Senators and their staffs, had time to read the whole 2,700 page bill, much less note any possible weaknesses, flaws, or ambiguities. Reid and other Senate Democrats weren’t terribly worried about this. The bill was set to go to the House, then back to the Senate, then to “reconciliation” between the House and the Senate versions, and then to the president for his signature. Everyone thought there would be plenty of opportunities to make changes.

But a major impediment arose soon after the Senate bill passed. Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy had died that past summer, and the January special election to replace him was won by Republican Scott Brown, who ran as a strong opponent of Obamacare. This deprived the Democrats of their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, and meant that the Senate would not be able to pass a revised bill. The only way to pass Obamacare at this point was to have the House vote on identical legislation to the Senate bill, while engaging in legally dubious procedural maneuvering. And that’s what the Democrats did.

The House passed the Senate bill as is, and then also passed a separate reconciliation bill with minor changes, eliminating some of the law’s most egregious flaws but leaving the rest intact….

Congress ultimately passed a Senate bill that nobody wanted, and, indeed, that likely no one had read in its entirety when the Senate passed it, and that certainly no one fully understood. Senator Max Baucus, one of Obamacare’s chief architects, not only acknowledged not reading the bill, but opined that it would have been a “waste of time” to do so, because only experts could understand it….

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/06/25/lets-recall-why-the-affordable-care-act-is-so-messed-up/?utm_term=.0588259a24d5

rcocean said...

The Headline at CNN is:

"McCain Doesn't know if Trump would be better on SCOTUS then Hillary"

That's just what I thought. So here's how it went:

Press: You've refused to support Trump, but won't a Hillary SCOTUS be very liberal?

McCain: No, we don't need him, because the Republican Senate will block Hillary's liberal nominees. (take that Trump)

Press: What?!

McCain: Sorry, I meant to say that I will support any reasonable nominee

Press: We still like you then.

McCain: I love you too.

rcocean said...

I still morons on this thread are imagining the Republican Senators will stop the Liberal judges just like the Kennedy, Shumer, and Reid stopped the Republican ones.

Damn that Dumb.

iowan2 said...

McCain is the problem not solution. IF Republicans would act as a cohesive unit on core issues, Trump would not be a comma in history. But they cant, or wont. Republicans have the house and the senate and the budget is out of control. Republicans fight against Ted Cruz. I have never heard a single case of Cruz going against the Republican Party Platform. To decifer that bit of fact, understand the establishment Republicans have no desire to accomplish they goals they espouse.

Fritz said...

Althouse appears not to understand how the simple word "can" differs from "will" or "did".

Birkel said...

Chuck strongly supported John McCain.

Enough said.

jfrancis said...

Elections have consequences. If the American people choose to have a Democrat as president for 12 straight years, they are doing so partly with the expectation that Democratic presidents will nominate liberal justices. If they wanted conservative justices, they'd elect a Republican. Seems pretty simple to me. This and all the "rigged election" paranoia is turning the GOP into the Sore Loserman party.

320Busdriver said...

Michael K said


The trouble with this idea is that it puts the staffers, who are permanent DC residents, in control.

"It was unusual for Domenici to publicly acknowledge the open secret about the extent to which committee staff run the show in Congress. Domenici and most other appropriators delegate their decision-making authority to staff members who often cultivate cozy relationships with special-interest groups they hope to one day work for, earning salaries of 300,000 to 500,000 or more"

"None of those staff members were elected. They had zero constitutional authority."

Tom A. Coburn
The Debt Bomb

Roughcoat said...

I don't believe him. Nor do I believe that his fellow GOP Senators will block a Democratic president's SC nominee.

Original Mike said...

ARM said..."This strategy, when taken to its logical conclusion, would result in Democrats refusing to allow any Republican president's nominations to the Supreme Court in retaliation."

You mean like Harry Reid dumping the filibuster rules for judges?

cubanbob said...

jfrancis said...
Elections have consequences. If the American people choose to have a Democrat as president for 12 straight years, they are doing so partly with the expectation that Democratic presidents will nominate liberal justices. If they wanted conservative justices, they'd elect a Republican. Seems pretty simple to me. This and all the "rigged election" paranoia is turning the GOP into the Sore Loserman party."

No. Just as the president won his or her's election each member of congress won theirs.

PB said...

I kind of like 8 on the bench. It's certainly calmed things down a bit.

coupe said...

Short sighted. If Clinton gets elected, the Republican Senate will be the minority party in 2019. McCain is like a Brainiac. The poor senile bastard.

RV Martinez said...

It might have been easier to support Trump. But the Senator's profound sense of Honor prevented him for supported Trump. Was it under this the same Honor code, that he used on the despicable treatment of his wife, upon his return from Vietnam.
This from the Daily Mail on June 8, 2008:
"McCain will present himself as a selfless, principled war hero whose campaign represents not so much a battle for the presidency of the United States, but a crusade to rescue the nation’s tarnished reputation... And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children. But there is another Mrs McCain... She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children. The first Mrs. McCain had been disfigured in a car accident... you can imagine the rest.

Achilles said...

"Did John McCain just say that a GOP Senate will refuse to confirm a Supreme Court nominee for an entire Hillary Clinton presidential term??!"

Nobody believes him. Every 6 years he pretends to listen to the people of Arizona. He is an american hero. He is a terrible senator.

Earnest Prole said...

The Constitution gives the Senate absolute veto power over the President’s Supreme Court nominees, for any reason it chooses (or none at all). That said, it's ludicrous to believe that McCain (of all Republican Senators) will suddenly morph (at age 80) into The Defender of Conservative Jurisprudence, as anyone familiar with his record knows.

Indio Bailbonds said...

Good post. All I can say is that this man should get retirement now. Its the high time.
Ashley Ross
Indio Bail Bonds
Bail bondsman
Coachella

gadfly said...

Since we have had less than nine SCOTUS Justices at times in the past, who says we need that many now? Perhaps the resignation of a liberal member who insists on making the Supremes into lawmakers instead of a law arbiters could give rise to a seven-member court.

Hell, if the smart one gets elected, the court membership could rise to 15 in order to get big sister Trump on the court. Too bad his Uncle John died!

Yancey Ward said...

Only a complete fool would believe what McCain is reported to have said about the justices. I am guessing, if Clinton wins, Garland will be fast-tracked in the lame duck session, though I think it possible that Obama would withdraw the nomination if Clinton wins.

gadfly said...

@garage mahal said...
Why would any opposing party confirm the other party's nominees? I don't get that.

Hi garage! We have been missing you.

Brando said...

The Republicans were idiots for showing their hand about Garland--just say you'll be happy to consider whomever Obama (and later Hillary) put up, and if, as expected, those nominees are trouble, shoot them down. Saying you won't even consider some unnamed person because of who the president is just sends the message to swing voters "we are hopelessly partisan and can't do our jobs".

But then, no one ever accused them of being the smart party. McCain should be beclowning himself in a retirement home, not the Senate.

machine said...

typical goper..if they don't win they sabotage.

patriots schmatriots...

Chuck said...

The Althouse blog used to feature about 75% smart commenters. Then the 2016 Republican primaries came along, and it fell to about 20%. And with the nomination of Trump it fell further to about 10%. Now, with Trump in full flower, the number of dumb comments (Yay, Trump! Kill the GOP Establishment!) is nearly uniform across all pages. Althouse = Limbaugh.

So first, for all of the moronic ("moronic" is a perfectly fair adjective in this case) claims that GOP majorities in the House and Senate have done nothing to block the Obama agenda; here again is the link I've posted previously, to Charles C. W. Cooke in the National Review on that subject:

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/435078/

As for running Republican candidates "better" than someone like John McCain, we know how that has worked out. I can think of three hard-line anti-establishment Tea Party populists who narrowly won primaries. Todd Akin, Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle are their names.

But of course that is not to suggest that there should never be any challengers to Republican establishment figures. I can think of two great challengers who would probably have qualified as "Tea Party" figures when they began their Senate candidacies, and who have been great in the Senate; Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. And it isn't just about winning at all costs. I very much liked Richard Mourdock's challenge to Dick Lugar in Indiana. The country would have been better served if Mourdock had won the general. I just don't like stupid.

So go ahead, Trumpkins. You have already handed the White House to Democrats with the nomination of Trump. If you want Mrs. Clinton to have a Democratic Senate as well, vote against people like Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson and John McCain. A Democratic Senate with Chuck Schumer as majority leader; a Bernie Sanders chairing the Budget Committee, and a Pat Leahy, a Dick Durbin or even a Sheldon Whitehouse chairing the Judiciary Committee.

Of all of the Trump-related disasters, that is the worst.


mtrobertslaw said...

Sounds like a good idea to me. Any judge nominated by Hillary will bring a biological view of the constitution to the table. That is, he will see the constitution as a living and evolving document. Of course, this notion is nothing but a subterfuge to allow an unelected progressive to interpret the constitution anyway he wants to. The only restraint on his interpretation is that it must reflect the new times we live in and the new policies proposed to deal with the these "new times".

Birkel said...

Aw, Chuck. You still cannot see that the GOP has sold a bill of goods to its voters.

As if the name calling didn't give it away, you just aren't very bright, now are you?

readering said...

Wallace says he will spend 15 minute segment tomorrow on Supreme Court. Clinton's holed up prepping. Trump continues with his rallies, no prep. Should be interesting. Maybe he'll talk some more on the bills and investigations from his Court regarding Clinton. Plus Scalia, Scalia.

Chuck said...

Yancey Ward said...
Only a complete fool would believe what McCain is reported to have said about the justices. I am guessing, if Clinton wins, Garland will be fast-tracked in the lame duck session, though I think it possible that Obama would withdraw the nomination if Clinton wins.


After Mrs. Clinton wins (as I now expect) and Republicans hang on to a bare majority in the Senate (as I also expect), the quick confirmation of Merrick Garland will be the best outcome Republicans could hope for. And no, I don't think his nomination will be withdrawn. If Democrats had decided to swing for the fences on that one, Garland would have already withdrawn. And there is the enormous Obama ego to account for.

Garland is going to be confirmed on a vote of about 55-45. In December.

Chuck said...

btw: Look at all of the mainstream media freakout headlines for this story. The headlines are all saying that McCain threatened a "block" of Clinton nominees.

In fact, McCain never used the word "block."

Martin said...

Well, fine. The President nominates, the Senate confirms, or not.

Over the last 100 years, Progressives have succeeded in giving us a court that legislates from the bench, so I will not pretend to be aghast if people start treating these as political appointments.

They will all do whatever they will do, and unfortunately legal chops will count for far less than politics on both sides, but that is the world we now live in.

Brando said...

"Garland is going to be confirmed on a vote of about 55-45. In December."

If that does happen, it may be the best outcome of a bad situation. Garland's in his 60s, so likely won't have a 40+ year career on the Court (like say Kagan and Sotomayor) and there's at least a possibility he won't be as bad as Sotomayor (Sotomayor makes Kagan and Breyer look good).

Still, the balance on the Court is going left. And also as important, the Dems may have another 4 to 8 years to appoint judges at all lower levels, shifting the entire judiciary. By 2020 or 2024, there will be very few pre-Obama judges in office.

Kirk Parker said...

320Busdriver,

Indeed, one of my reforms is this:

1) No senator or representative shall cast a vote for a bill that he/she did not read in its entirety (excepting only budget bills, see 3).

2) No vote, other than for a budget bill (see 3) shall be taken in either house without the vote being preceded by an oral reading of the entire bill; and only those members who are present for the entire reading; but a quorum shall consist of every seat that is actually filled.

3) A "Budget bill" as referred to in 1) and 2) shall consist only, and entirely, of appropiation amounts; and a top-level summary of those amounts accurately totalling the entire bill shall be provided and used in 1) and 2) in lieu of the entire bill.

4) Any senator or representative who is found to have cast a vote for a bill without fulfilling the requirements of 1) and 2) shall be immediately removed from office, and be permanently barred from holding any office in the United States government, and shall repay any part of their current year's salary to the US Treasury.



Michael K,

I have great respect for you and your opinions, but in this case I think you are wrong.

Every new congressperson needs to have the attitude toward their staff: "FOAD. *I* am the one elected to represent my constituents; you are merely my staff and serve at my pleasure--and, by extension, at the pleasure of the voters in my district/state."

OGWiseman said...

Yeah, someone non-liberal, with a centrist record of jurisprudence, impeccable credentials, and a renowned legal mind. Hey, I heard Merrick Garland is available, he'd be perfect! That's him to a T. We should see if he's interested...oh, wait.