September 26, 2014

"Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced...."

Said Ted Cruz.

46 comments:

Original Mike said...

In Harry Reid's Senate? You can bet the ranch.

But let's not get cocky and assume the Dems have lost the Senate. They have not.

Unknown said...

While wondering why Holder would step down now, I hadn't considered this.

Thorley Winston said...

Sounds like a question to ask every incumbent Senator running for reelection this Fall: will you commit to voting "no" on any nominees that are put up for confirmation during a lame duck session so that the newly elected Senate can make these decisions when Congress resumes in 2015?

Anonymous said...

Is Cruz suggesting that lame-duck sessions should be abolished altogether? If not, which things should possibly defeated senators be allowed to vote on, and how are those things different from Executive Branch appointees?

Scott M said...

Frankly, I don't know why we have a two month gap between election results and swearing in. Let Congress take a month off afterward and get the offices swapped out at that time. Why should someone just ousted by the electorate be allowed to vote for that electorate?

pm317 said...

Paul Zrimsek said...

----
Exactly!

Beldar said...

I understand Sen. Cruz' point. It's one that needs to be made to the public.

Being pedantic, though, I'd acknowledge that what Obama is doing, in the timing of this nomination, is the use of political power granted him by the Constitution and the election calendar. It's something Presidents have done since the very early days of the Republic.

It's only abusive because of this particular POTUS' political agenda, and then only from a political perspective that Sen. Cruz & I share.

MadisonMan said...

pm317: Exactly.

Unless new Senators are sworn in immediately (why can't they be?), what can you really do about this time lag?

The Drill SGT said...

a reminder of the vote on the last Bush AG, a retired Federal Judge:

In the end, Mukasey was confirmed as the nation's 81st attorney general by a 53-40 vote. Six Democrats and one independent joined Republicans in sealing his confirmation.

Brennan said...

Dude, confirmation hearings are going to start right before the election. This is going to be part of the Democrats base triggers. They're going to try to scare the female out of women voters between now and election day.

Joe said...

This is just silly. The senate can do whatever it is allowed to do by law. If Cruz or whomever doesn't like that, change the damn rules and/or the constitution.

(I actually would agree on getting rid of the lame duck session, but also think we should get rid of the recess appointment power.)

pm317 said...

Cruz is yet to impress me.. He does not seem all that smart. And, I am tired of both sides and want an honest broker from somewhere, anywhere -- no more incompetent politicians.

The Drill SGT said...

FYI

some Black Muslim in Oklahoma just cut some woman's head off...

http://kfor.com/2014/09/25/reports-police-respond-to-possible-shooting-near-moore-grocery-store/

iowan2 said...

Cruz is smart, so why does he bring this up? It is constitutional. End of discussion. As a republican, I would most certainly take advantage of my parties control of a lame duck senate majority to get my appointees. My bet is President Cruz would do the same.

A side note. Reid has went to simple majority for judicial appointees. Does the constitution require 2/3 majority for cabinet level appointees?

RecChief said...

I like Senator Cruz's ability to cut through the bullshit

Drago said...

Original Mike: "But let's not get cocky and assume the Dems have lost the Senate. They have not."

Spot on.

In fact, I'm betting the Rep's find a way to hand a cakewalk election to the dems, only to find that 2016 is even less hospital for Rep chances.

Just look at Roberts in Kansas.

Sheesh.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Step 1. Win the seats, maybe the Senate

Step 2. Complain during the lame duck session that a confirmation vote shouldn't be held, work to convince the public of same

Step 3. Deal with a confirmation vote you don't like by using it in your next campaigns, including for Pres.

Don't get ahead of yourself, there, buddy.

Anonymous said...

Why is Cruz bringing this up?? Sure it is constitutional for the lame-ducks to pass legislation. It is also constitutional for Cruz (or any other politician) to spin it the way he wishes. All he is doing is trying to pump up the pressure on the Democrats. It's called 'battlefield preparation' by some. I prefer to think of it as 'selling' or 'advocating' for one's political philosophy.
I am glad that Obama was such an ineffectual and lazy advocate of his Weltanschauung... had he not eschewed the effort to be a real leader we might have been saddled with even more onerous programs and legislation.
Germany has both a Federal Chancellor (Bundeskanzler) and a Federal President (Bundespraesident). The titles are impressive and, to Americans, confusing...we tend to think the president is the top of the political food chain. But the former wields the power while the latter is just a figurehead who attends supermarket openings and hands out awards at wurst-eating contests. You know, like Jarret and Obama.
Thank God our president is incompetent.

damikesc said...

Is Cruz suggesting that lame-duck sessions should be abolished altogether?

I wish they were...but then it gives the WH the option for recess appointments.

I'd support ending lame duck sessions and limiting recess appointments until the start of the next Congress, where they will have to be approved.

John Lynch said...

Huh? Where is the Constitution does it say that Congress must adjourn after election day?

If the new Congress doesn't begin until January, that means the old Congress is still working. Otherwise, why doesn't the 20th Amendment say that the old Congress is done in November?

Cruz is wrong, and when the shoe is on the other foot he'll do the opposite.

Drago said...

Livermoron: " But the former wields the power while the latter is just a figurehead who attends supermarket openings and hands out awards at wurst-eating contests. You know, like Jarret and Obama."

Nice.

Have we ever discussed the extent to which Jarrett is driving policy while obama acts as figurehead?

Though I wouldn't want to fall into the trap of not attributing sufficient malice to obama a la the lefties continued efforts to portray Bush as a figure head to Cheney/et al.

tim maguire said...

The president has a right to pick his own staff (it's part of what voters consider when they elect him), senators should support the president's choice unless they have specific, legitimate reasons for not doing so. Yes, I know the Democrats have politicized the process since at least the Robert Bork hearings, but thus far, the Republicans have been mostly true to their responsibilities and I'd rather they stay that way.

mccullough said...

Why not wait too see if Republicans actually retake the Senate?

Then propose a constitutional amendment to bar a lame duck Senate from confirming any appointments.

And, for Chris'sakes, don't use "countenance" when speaking.

Rusty said...

Bank on it.
If Pol Pot were nominated, all the Democrat Senators would vote him in

Drago said...

Rusty: "Bank on it.
If Pol Pot were nominated, all the Democrat Senators would vote him in"

If Pol Pot were nominated as a democrat (what else?) all his victims in mass graves would have voted for him.

At least once.

SteveR said...

Ted Cruz has no reason to be quiet. He's calling out the move for what it is, and the reaction to his statement, says a lot about where we are.

I'm not the least bit surprised or confused by what's going to happen.

Mark said...

On the bright side, if the Mighty Ducks abuse the recess badly enough, maybe we'll actually amend the Constitution to address the issue.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sure, Cruz is being political here. But, it is red meat to his base. Holder is despised by the right, at a level far higher than his boss. I suspect it will take a generation to fix what he intentionally did to the DoJ. The question is going to be whether or not the Dems can protect the department from being cleaned up for another two years. And whether we can get an AG that represents law and order for the American public, or Barack Obama and prominent Democrats.

So, yes, I think that it is battlefield prep, though I have less faith that the Republicans can retake the Senate and oust Dirty Harry Reid than I did a month or two ago.

EMD said...

Cruz is wrong, as all administrations and Senates have had to play by these rules for quite awhile.

Dan Hossley said...

Cruz is a smart guy but he's a blowhard. He needs to tidy up his act.

Revenant said...

While I expect Obama's choice of replacement to be just as much of a crook as Holder was, Cruz is full of crap. There's nothing even slightly inappropriate about lame-duck Senators voting to confirm an appointee.

Revenant said...

The question is going to be whether or not the Dems can protect the department from being cleaned up for another two years.

There's not really any question there. The answer is "yes". The AG will be appointed by Obama and will answer to him once confirmed. The worse the Republicans could conceivably do is refuse to confirm anybody, in which case the acting AG -- also a partisan Democrat -- will run the place instead.

The real question is whether it will be possible for a NON-Democrat to clean up the DoJ and other departments. They are so dominated by career Democrats at this point that it is hard to imagine anything short of mass firings having an impact.

DanTheMan said...

I'm with the lefties on this one... Cruz is all wet. The rules were known well in advance.

Alex said...

Ted Cruz - silent on Bush's abuse of power from 2001-2009.

Drago said...

Alex said...
Ted Cruz - silent on Bush's abuse of power from 2001-2009

Wasn't Cruz first elected in 2012?

Lucien said...

It just hit me that if Obama nominates Roger Goodell to replace Holder, he'll gain support from 99% of all football fans.

And because Goodell believes in punishing people twice for the same offense, he'll be all for having the Justice Department bring federal civil rights cases against people who have been acquitted (or just not given a long enough sentence) by state courts.

So it's win/win.

Brando said...

Weak--those are the current rules, to change them would require completely eliminating the lame duck period. It sucks when the losers ram things through, but that's how it goes. Someday the shoe will be on the other foot.

If Obama picks someone bad enough, maybe there'll be grounds for impeachment. Otherwise, just two years left of this.

Michael K said...

"Frankly, I don't know why we have a two month gap between election results and swearing in."

Because, until now, we had relatively honorable Senators. No more. Harry Reid is in charge.

ELC said...

How about a federal constitutional amendment that automatically adjourns both the House and the Senate sine die on the day before the general election?

Revenant said...

"Frankly, I don't know why we have a two month gap between election results and swearing in."

Because, until now, we had relatively honorable Senators. No more. Harry Reid is in charge.

I don't think anyone can honestly look at the history at the US Senate and say, with a straight face, that we've had "relatively honorable Senators" as a general rule.

Anyway, the reason for a two-month gap between the election and the new Congress is to give the votes time to be counted and challenged, and to give the newly-elected Congresscritters time to relocate to Washington and prepare for the job.

John Lynch said...

Other democracies don't have a gap between the election and the new government. The House of Commons changes the next day.

Kirk Parker said...

John Lynch,

"Other democracies don't have a gap between the election and the new government. The House of Commons changes the next day."

Ever looked at a map? I hear Google has some pretty good ones online.

Kirk Parker said...

Or, to quote (from memory) Bill Bryson from Notes from a Small Island:

The difference between Britain and America is that Americans think 100 years is a long time, whereas Briton think 100 miles is a long distance."

Brando said...

Reeve ants right about that--even in today's age we can't swear in new congresses the day after the election. Louisiana usually has a runoff in December anyway, the newly elected need time to transition, and sometimes results are contested. One could argue that it's wrong for lame duck congresses to vote on anything, but it's a bad idea to outlaw that because there could always be an emergency requiring immediate voting.

The GOP ought to concentrate on actually winning--they fell short in the last two cycles and it's not a sure thing now. This could be moot if they don't take the Senate.

Skyler said...

As much as I like Ted Cruz, this is an absurd statement.

Unknown said...

Skyler, it's not absurd. It's a point with a certain amount of attractiveness and that's about half of democratic politics, making statements that push the other guy into doing something disadvantageous. If public shaming of this sort, and you can certainly see the point, can lead to a delay in the process until a Republican Senate, God willing, is in control, good on him.