Greater Egret

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bombs away

"The majority in the Senate is prepared to restore the Senate's traditions and precedence to ensure that regardless of party, any president's judicial nominees, after full and fair debate, receive a simple up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. It's time to move away from ... advise and obstruct and get back to advise and consent." Mitch McConnell 2005

The pissing match over the filibuster was a laughable study of hypocrisy on both sides. Flip back to 2005 and the roles are completely reversed. However I have to go with the dems on this one. It is a President's prerogative to fill executive offices, including justices.

The reality is that the 2nd district Court of Appeals is the second most important court in our land. There is a reason that the Republicans made such a strident stand in blocking the three nominees. Their insistence on not filling the vacancies because of weak caseload is laughable. They understandably do not want to alter the court's ideological balance which now stands four to four. They do not want a court that decides so many constitutional issues to tilt left. But that is what a President gets to do when he wins an election.

Republicans promise hell to pay when the roles get reversed, which history tells us is eventually bound to happen in our divided country. But defenders of the nuclear option say that things couldn't get any worse than they are at present.

A pessimist will tell you to be careful when you say something like that, things can always get worse. But it is hard to imagine a scenario where things could be as bad as they are now, with the minority power having such a power to stop any movement or progress in its tracks.

Advise and consent is one thing, the Republicans have overplayed their hand and if Obama is smart he will pack as many vacancies as possible before the next election. We are engaged in a major game of tit for tat as the distance between red and blue grows ever wider.

1 comment:

Sanoguy said...

One of the issues that really pushed the Dems to change the filibuster rule is the Reps resistance to Obama filling the open spots on the DC circuit. That particular court for decades has had 11 judges. They now have 3 openings. Obama nominated three Judges to fill the open spots and the Reps accused him of trying to "pack" the court.

Packing the court goes back to the days in the 30s when FDR tried to increase the number of Supreme Court judges. Of course, FDR would make the appointments. That was court packing. What Obama has tried to do is fill the vacant positions.

The Reps have forgotten that elections have consequences. The Dems may find that out after the elections in 2014 and 16. More to come to this story, I am sure!