Jump to content

The next Supreme Court justice...


Leon Troutsky
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'll also say I think it's all pissing in the wind, because it looks like Hillary Clinton is going to steal win the Democratic nomination (superdelegates FTW!), and it looks more and more like Trump is going to win the Republican nomination.

So if they block President Obama's nominee, they'll simply have to deal with Hillary Clinton's nominee.  A fantastic argument could be made that they'd be better off confirming Srinivasan or another moderate.  So I'm not saying it's a politically wise thing to do, only that it is hardly this groundbreaking, unprecedented obstructionism you pretend it to be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 275
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

Democrats have long had a litmus test for SC justices on abortion.  Is it out of order for the Republicans to approve any pro choice nominee?

Abortion is an important issue that forms the foundation for a lot of their political beliefs.  Basing a yes or no vote on that issue would be fine.  But we're not talking about how senators will vote on the confirmation bill.  Republicans are saying that they won't even let it get that far because they want their president to fill that vacancy, and they want to let the vacancy sit for an entire year (or more) to get that chance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Also, to clarify, even if the Democrats had done this in the past it would still be a very bad idea.  In fact, if they had done this in the past, then Republicans would have a stronger justification for it now, demonstrating the exact point that I've made many times about why this is such a bad idea.  

Again, you want to make this about parties and personalities - "well, they're both just as bad so whatever Republicans do is justified because I want them to dish it back to the Democrats for perceived slights in the past."  

I'm trying to point out how this could further damage the functioning of government at the federal level.  Like the filibuster, I don't care which party is abusing it.  It's a bad idea on it's own merits, and the supposed slights of Democrats against Harriet Myers and Robert Bork don't make it a good idea.

I've been pointing it out for 30 years while Democrats do, as I said, whatever the **** they want.  At this point, I simply want everyone playing by the same rules.  I've given up on Democrats playing fair with Supreme Court nominees, so it's time for Republicans to play unfair.  It's as simple as that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

I'll also say I think it's all pissing in the wind, because it looks like Hillary Clinton is going to steal win the Democratic nomination (superdelegates FTW!), and it looks more and more like Trump is going to win the Republican nomination.

So if they block President Obama's nominee, they'll simply have to deal with Hillary Clinton's nominee.  A fantastic argument could be made that they'd be better off confirming Srinivasan or another moderate.  So I'm not saying it's a politically wise thing to do, only that it is hardly this groundbreaking, unprecedented obstructionism you pretend it to be.

Again, when have Democrats (or Republicans) in the past done this?  You point to filibusters.  You point to Harriet Myers.  You point to Robert Bork.  But you can't show where Democrats have refused to offer a hearing, let alone a vote, on a Republican nominee for the sole basis of stalling until the next president gets elected.  Unprecedented means that it's not happened before, and this has not happened before.

And it is obstructionism.  I think we agree on that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

I've been pointing it out for 30 years while Democrats do, as I said, whatever the **** they want.  At this point, I simply want everyone playing by the same rules.  I've given up on Democrats playing fair with Supreme Court nominees, so it's time for Republicans to play unfair.  It's as simple as that.

Yep, as I said, anything Republicans do is justified because of perceived slights by Democrats in the past.  For you, this is about party and personality.  The actual damage to the system that could result from this (compared to the slights you perceive from the past) isn't even a consideration.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Yep, as I said, anything Republicans do is justified because of perceived slights by Democrats in the past.  For you, this is about party and personality.  The actual damage to the system that could result from this (compared to the slights you perceive from the past) isn't even a consideration.

 

Wrong.  This is about parity, not party.  When one side plays by one set of rules, a wide open set that allows them to block nominees without recourse, and the other side is constrained by proper decorum and common decency, then the side with the illicit set of rules always wins.

I doubt you would favor such a scenario if Republicans had been doing this for 30 years and then cried foul when Democrats tried it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Again, when have Democrats (or Republicans) in the past done this?  You point to filibusters.  You point to Harriet Myers.  You point to Robert Bork.  But you can't show where Democrats have refused to offer a hearing, let alone a vote, on a Republican nominee for the sole basis of stalling until the next president gets elected.  Unprecedented means that it's not happened before, and this has not happened before.

And it is obstructionism.  I think we agree on that.

What is "this?"

You seem to think that if Democrats never tried to block a nomination for a Supreme Court justice in an election year when the sitting justice died on a Saturday and it was February (but certainly not June, because that would be just hunky dory), they have never done anything remotely close to this.

I provided you video evidence of the sitting Vice President saying the exact same thing and your argument is "well he changed his mind and asked for a moderate, and besides, that was in JUNE, not FEBRUARY."

So yeah, "this" has not happened before, if by "this" you mean this exact scenario.  But "this" has happened multiple times if by "this" you mean Democrats being utter obstructionists to try to block conservatives from reaching the Supreme Court.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

What is "this?"

You seem to think that if Democrats never tried to block a nomination for a Supreme Court justice in an election year when the sitting justice died on a Saturday and it was February (but certainly not June, because that would be just hunky dory), they have never done anything remotely close to this.

I provided you video evidence of the sitting Vice President saying the exact same thing and your argument is "well he changed his mind and asked for a moderate, and besides, that was in JUNE, not FEBRUARY."

So yeah, "this" has not happened before, if by "this" you mean this exact scenario.  But "this" has happened multiple times if by "this" you mean Democrats being utter obstructionists to try to block conservatives from reaching the Supreme Court.

First, Biden clarified three days later.  I didn't say he "changed his mind", I said that you are ignoring the full context of his comments back in 1992.  And you want to say that his comments - taken in isolation from his other comments just days later - is exactly equivalent to what we're seeing today.

Second, Democrats DID have the opportunity to do this with Anthony Kennedy.  They didn't.  In fact, they voted unanimously for him.  So the only historical precedent you have where this was available, the Democrats did the opposite of what you claimed.  This "exact scenario" has happened before.  It's just that the Democrats' actions don't fit your narrative.

Because, again, you want to make this about party and ignore the very real damage it can cause to the judiciary and the nominating system in the future.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

First, Biden clarified three days later.  I didn't say he "changed his mind", I said that you are ignoring the full context of his comments back in 1992.  And you want to say that his comments - taken in isolation from his other comments just days later - is exactly equivalent to what we're seeing today.

Second, Democrats DID have the opportunity to do this with Anthony Kennedy.  They didn't.  In fact, they voted unanimously for him.  So the only historical precedent you have where this was available, the Democrats did the opposite of what you claimed.  This "exact scenario" has happened before.  It's just that the Democrats' actions don't fit your narrative.

Because, again, you want to make this about party and ignore the very real damage it can cause to the judiciary and the nominating system in the future.  

"Clarified" is cute, but he CLEARLY backed way off of the prior position, which was that the President should nominate NO ONE during an election year.  Your distinctions suffer from an utter dearth of any differences.

As for Kennedy, he was the third nominee for the post, as I've stated previously.  They blocked the first one on wholly partisan grounds.  Is there a rule that the third time is the charm?  Cool. If Republicans block Obama's first nominee, and he has time to nominate a second one, we'll see if the second one ever smoked weed.  If he did, he can withdraw and then we'll have an apples-to-apples comparison.  But they should at least get their one free Borking if you want to use Kennedy as an example of Democrats' willingness to confirm Republican nominees who weren't nominated in an election year, but who ended up being confirmed less than 2 months into one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

First, Biden clarified three days later.  I didn't say he "changed his mind", I said that you are ignoring the full context of his comments back in 1992.  And you want to say that his comments - taken in isolation from his other comments just days later - is exactly equivalent to what we're seeing today.

Second, Democrats DID have the opportunity to do this with Anthony Kennedy.  They didn't.  In fact, they voted unanimously for him.  So the only historical precedent you have where this was available, the Democrats did the opposite of what you claimed.  This "exact scenario" has happened before.  It's just that the Democrats' actions don't fit your narrative.

Because, again, you want to make this about party and ignore the very real damage it can cause to the judiciary and the nominating system in the future.  

You are doing it again.  07-minister.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

I think it's funny that you say I want to make it all about party, but you're the one who can't even say any of the Democrats' prior obstructionism was wrong.  It was always "different" when they did it.

See the many, many posts where I have criticized Democrats for using the filibuster to block legislation and nominations.  Also see the thread that I made right after the 2014 election where I hoped that Republicans would finally end the filibuster because of the inevitable abuse of it by Democrats.

This isn't about party for me.  I'm concerned that we're nearing a situation where the federal system of government becomes entirely broken and unable to function.  That's a dangerous situation, not least of which because it is a major reason why presidential democracies like ours break down.  My concerns are entirely about the damage these things are doing - and are likely to do if Republicans get their way - to the system.  

You, on the other hand, have openly said that Republicans are justified in whatever they do because you don't like things that Democrats have done in the past (whether those slights were real or perceived).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

"Clarified" is cute, but he CLEARLY backed way off of the prior position, which was that the President should nominate NO ONE during an election year.  Your distinctions suffer from an utter dearth of any differences.

As for Kennedy, he was the third nominee for the post, as I've stated previously.  They blocked the first one on wholly partisan grounds.  Is there a rule that the third time is the charm?  Cool. If Republicans block Obama's first nominee, and he has time to nominate a second one, we'll see if the second one ever smoked weed.  If he did, he can withdraw and then we'll have an apples-to-apples comparison.  But they should at least get their one free Borking if you want to use Kennedy as an example of Democrats' willingness to confirm Republican nominees who weren't nominated in an election year, but who ended up being confirmed less than 2 months into one.

The Democrats could have delayed or blocked Kennedy's confirmation that year.  Instead, they voted unanimously to confirm him in February 1988.  That's the only instance we have in modern history that is equivalent.  And what the Democrats did is precisely opposite of what you said they have done in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

See the many, many posts where I have criticized Democrats for using the filibuster to block legislation and nominations.  Also see the thread that I made right after the 2014 election where I hoped that Republicans would finally end the filibuster because of the inevitable abuse of it by Democrats.

This isn't about party for me.  I'm concerned that we're nearing a situation where the federal system of government becomes entirely broken and unable to function.  That's a dangerous situation, not least of which because it is a major reason why presidential democracies like ours break down.  My concerns are entirely about the damage these things are doing - and are likely to do if Republicans get their way - to the system.  

You, on the other hand, have openly said that Republicans are justified in whatever they do because you don't like things that Democrats have done in the past (whether those slights were real or perceived).

The system has been broken for 30 years.  Welcome to the party.  I said Republicans are justified in playing by the exact same rules the Democrats have played by for those 30 years.  You have told us all how the Democrats did some stuff, but it was ever so different and totally not as bad as what the Republicans are doing.

But it's all about party for me.  Right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Leon Troutsky said:

The Democrats could have delayed or blocked Kennedy's confirmation that year.  Instead, they voted unanimously to confirm him in February 1988.  That's the only instance we have in modern history that is equivalent.  And what the Democrats did is precisely opposite of what you said they have done in the past.

And if we totally ignore the fact that several months prior, they ran out a highly qualified nominee over partisan political issues, you're exactly right.

But I can't tell if we're making such fine distinctions or not.  It seems to depend on who's doing what, best I can tell.  When a Democrat says the exact same thing Republicans did, it's totally different because it occurred 4 months later when Biden did it and he totally didn't really mean it because he changed his mind "clarified" his position a few days later.  But when the Democrats voted to appoint Kennedy, it's not relevant to talk about about why Kennedy's nomination came to a vote in an election year to start with.  

Because yeah, I guess the Democrats really did sail Kennedy's nomination through.  And if you ignore the fact that they used partisan politics to block the guy Reagan appointed before him, then that's sure as shootin' exactly what the Republicans ought to do.  

Without, of course, Borking anyone first.  Because that would be wrong, and the Democrats would NEVER do such a thing.

Behind_curtain.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of which is to say, you claim it isn't about party for you, but you sure do go to great lengths to defend/ignore what the Democrats have done in the past, and which brought us to this point in time.  It isn't like the Republicans dropped out of the sky and said "gee whiz, after years and years of the Senate totally not ever blocking Supreme Court appointments, we think it's high time somebody did it!"

You say you abhor obstructionism. But you have no problem defending it or pretending it was different when your party did it for the last 30 years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Leon Troutsky said:

Again, when have Democrats (or Republicans) in the past done this?  You point to filibusters.  You point to Harriet Myers.  You point to Robert Bork.  But you can't show where Democrats have refused to offer a hearing, let alone a vote, on a Republican nominee for the sole basis of stalling until the next president gets elected.  Unprecedented means that it's not happened before, and this has not happened before.

And it is obstructionism.  I think we agree on that.

That moment when your argument goes up in flames  https://youtu.be/cZlzhULrJC0

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tom-blumer/2016/02/22/joe-biden-1992-do-not-name-supreme-court-nominee-until-after-election?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=marketing&utm_campaign=b-biden-1992

Edited by dirtyhairy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, JDaveG said:

I think it's funny that you say I want to make it all about party, but you're the one who can't even say any of the Democrats' prior obstructionism was wrong.  It was always "different" when they did it.

You make these sweeping claims that are flatly contradicted by posts that I made in this very thread.  

On 2/15/2016 at 7:30 AM, Leon Troutsky said:

I don't doubt that either, as I said in a previous post.  It's a case of the out party continuing to push the limits of obstruction.  Whichever party is doing it, this is a very different claim than what's been done in the past and one that has pretty serious implications.  

 

 

On 2/15/2016 at 8:07 AM, Leon Troutsky said:

You're right about the ongoing politicization of the judicial process, and both sides are responsible for that.  That's why I said this is about the out party pushing the boundaries of obstructionism.  

But this is different in the sense that a general rule is being put out there that no president can ever replace a SC justice during an election year.  As I pointed out, that blocks off at least 25% of the president's term in office and perhaps 50% of it.  It's a very bad idea.

I hope that you're right that Republicans will consider a qualified, non-ideologically extreme candidate.  But all the things we're hearing now - including Grassley's threat to not even allow a hearing - is that they will block any nominee regardless of who it is.  

I've been saying for years that Democrats have abused the filibuster, just as Republicans have done.  But somehow all of those posts get ignored when you want to make grand claims about how I won't criticize Democrats for obstructionist tactics.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, JDaveG said:

All of which is to say, you claim it isn't about party for you, but you sure do go to great lengths to defend/ignore what the Democrats have done in the past, and which brought us to this point in time.  It isn't like the Republicans dropped out of the sky and said "gee whiz, after years and years of the Senate totally not ever blocking Supreme Court appointments, we think it's high time somebody did it!"

You say you abhor obstructionism. But you have no problem defending it or pretending it was different when your party did it for the last 30 years.

 

Show me a single post where I defended Democrats filibustering judicial nominees.  Show me a single post where I defended Democrats using these kinds of parliamentary tactics in other contexts.  Again, you make these sweeping claims that are factually untrue so you can continue articulating a narrative that is not based on fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, JDaveG said:

Try this -- can you tell us which Republican Supreme Court nominees the Democrats blocked or tried to block, but shouldn't have?  Let's start by seeing what the rules are regarding your own party's actions.

Actually, I'll answer that but I want YOUR rules for this first.

You are supporting the GOP decision to block any and all Obama nominations regardless of who it is.  You say this is "out of the Democratic playbook" and that Republicans are just "dishing it back".  You want to ignore the serious damage this can do to the nomination process and the judiciary itself.

Okay, so when does this mythical rule that no president can appoint anybody to the Supreme Court begin?  Republicans say "during an election year" so that the public can weigh in.  Do you support future Senates blocking all nominations during the fourth years of the presidency, as well as the eighth year?  Do you support future Senates blocking all nominations during the midterm elections, where the composition of the Senate is at stake?  That would mean that no president can replace a Supreme Court vacancy for half of his term in office.  Do you support that as a matter of future policy?

Now, to your question.  Filibustering Alito was ridiculous and (note that I said this earlier in the thread, which you conveniently ignored) set a dangerous precedent.  I will say for probably the fifth or sixth time in this thread - filibustering any judicial nominee is wrong.  Filibustering legislation is wrong, in my view.  

As I also said in this thread (you really need to start over and read through this thing again) - Obama and others who did that are rank hypocrites now.  

As far as "blocking or trying to block" nominees, depends on the criteria.  Harriett Myers was blocked because she lacked the qualifications for the job.  Robert Bork was blocked because of concerns about ideological extremity...and also his connection to the Nixon administration.  The former was another precedent set by Democrats...they created ideology as a criteria for voting on Supreme Court justices.  I don't have a problem with that per se, but there you go.  The nominee after Bork withdrew because of a scandal involving marijuana use.  Democratic opposition to Clarence Thomas was the result of accusations of sexual harassment.  I'm not sure what's wrong with those, other than believing that ideology is an inappropriate consideration when voting on a nominee.

Regarding Alito, Democrats could have blocked his nomination.  Just less than half of them voted against cloture, allowing a vote and his eventual nomination.  So Democrats did not block Alito, even though some Democrats filibustered (which was wrong...I'll say that yet again).  

Also, your sweeping generalization in many posts in this thread about how "Democrats do whatever the **** they want" and how Republicans are supposedly showing "proper decorum" and respect is factually false.  80-90% of Republicans voted against the last two Obama nominees.  They didn't "roll over" for those nominees.  They just lacked the votes to block them.  That's how voting works.  Had they held the majority, they would have blocked those nominations and demanded more moderate justices.  So this fake notion that Republicans are ever so deferential and allow Democratic nominees while Democrats block any and all is factually false.  

So to sum up and to answer your question directly...the only nominees that were actually blocked by Democrats were done on "legitimate" grounds if you consider ideology legitimate.  The other nominees received hearings and votes, and only once did some Democrats try to block via a filibuster.  But over 20 Democrats broke with the filibuster and invoked cloture, so you can't say that "Democrats do whatever the **** they want" because they didn't actually block the nomination when they could have.  The others...Democrats voted en masse based on ideological objections to the nominees, exactly the same as Republicans did with both Sotomayor and Kagan.  

In none of those instances, however, did Democrats claim they would reject any nominee before one was named.  In none of those instances did Democrats refuse to hold confirmation hearings.  In none of those cases did Democrats refuse to allow a vote on the nominee.  And in one of the cases where they could have run out the clock - 1988 - they didn't and voted unanimously for Reagan's nominee in February of an election year.

But yeah, all of that is just exactly precisely identical to what Republicans are proposing now.  False equivalency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, JDaveG said:

I'll also say I think it's all pissing in the wind, because it looks like Hillary Clinton is going to steal win the Democratic nomination (superdelegates FTW!), and it looks more and more like Trump is going to win the Republican nomination.

So if they block President Obama's nominee, they'll simply have to deal with Hillary Clinton's nominee.  A fantastic argument could be made that they'd be better off confirming Srinivasan or another moderate.  So I'm not saying it's a politically wise thing to do, only that it is hardly this groundbreaking, unprecedented obstructionism you pretend it to be.

This is the calculus they're doing right now. They'll delay and then if, come June, it's readily apparent that Hillary is going to win the presidency, they'll probably confirm whomever Obama nominates, assuming that person is at least somewhat centrist.

Of course, it's a dangerous game.  If they wait too long, it's possible they could influence Senate races negatively, lose the White House and the Senate, and in the next term (or two) see two or more liberal democratic nominees reach the bench.  Pan willing.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The fact the GOP isn't even willing to go through the documented and constitutional process of vetting and voting on ANY Obama appointee is ridiculous obstructionism that goes directly against the constitution.

It's one thing to Vet Obama's appointee's and be highly critical of them and actually have a vote on them it's a completely different thing to try and remove Obama's constitutional right to appoint someone to a vacant seat. Dems have never boycotted a sitting president and refuse to even allow them to appoint a candidate so all this false equivalency BS can stop right now.

The GOP has shown time and time again they only follow the letter of the constitution when it suits them, when it doesn't they throw it out the window and make crap up on the fly to spin things to their favor.

Obama is the sitting publicly elected President with almost a year left and has every right to at least go through the process of appointing a replacement for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. That's it, it's in black and white their is nothing left to argue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, MAD597 said:

The fact the GOP isn't even willing to go through the documented and constitutional process of vetting and voting on ANY Obama appointee is ridiculous obstructionism that goes directly against the constitution.

It's one thing to Vet Obama's appointee's and be highly critical of them and actually have a vote on them it's a completely different thing to try and remove Obama's constitutional right to appoint someone to a vacant seat. Dems have never boycotted a sitting president and refuse to even allow them to appoint a candidate so all this false equivalency BS can stop right now.

The GOP has shown time and time again they only follow the letter of the constitution when it suits them, when it doesn't they throw it out the window and make crap up on the fly to spin things to their favor.

Obama is the sitting publicly elected President with almost a year left and has every right to at least go through the process of appointing a replacement for a vacant seat on the Supreme Court. That's it, it's in black and white their is nothing left to argue.

To be fair, what they're doing is not unconstitutional.  The Constitution gives the Senate the power of "advice and consent", and  so they are free to delay consideration if they want.  What they're proposing doesn't violate any part of the Constitution.  

It is a serious violation of informal rules and procedures, in my view.  It is setting an unwritten precedent that escalates the pattern of polarization over judicial appointments that has occurred (and is the fault of both parties) over the past 30 years or so.  But it's not unconstitutional.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Leon Troutsky said:

To be fair, what they're doing is not unconstitutional.  The Constitution gives the Senate the power of "advice and consent", and  so they are free to delay consideration if they want.  What they're proposing doesn't violate any part of the Constitution.  

It is a serious violation of informal rules and procedures, in my view.  It is setting an unwritten precedent that escalates the pattern of polarization over judicial appointments that has occurred (and is the fault of both parties) over the past 30 years or so.  But it's not unconstitutional.

Na they are violating it, advice and consent means we at least have hearings/Votes/interviews with nominee's and they at least acknowledge the defined process for this type of situation. They can advise and consent or not to the appointee's.

What they want is to just shut the entire thing down and are flat out denying Obama's right to even appoint someone. Obama has the constitutional right and responsibility to appoint someone and have them go through the vetting process.

The GOP does not even want to show the country how petty they would be vetting a good candidate that Obama would bring fourth so they are taking their ball and going home. 

It's ridiculous and I hope they all get voted out of office for not doing their jobs. If they want to deny every person Obama appoints that is fine and within their rights but they better actually go through the process in a transparent way and make a real case as to why they refuse an appointee.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...