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The Supreme Court vacancy, a minefield for Republicans

 
 
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 08:18 am
This is a thread about the political battle that is already unfolding over the Supreme Court vacancy. The Republicans are already shooting themselves in the foot.

1) To announce the day of Scalia's death that they will not confirm any Obama appointment no matter who he nominates is very bad optics. McConnell et al did it to calm their right wing base, but it shoots any other argument they made against a specific nominee out of the water.

2) The Democrats have the Constitution on their side. It is the Constitutional duty of President Obama to nominate someone for the next justice. It is the Constitution duty of the Senate to consider this nominee, to deliberate and the give them a fair hearing.

3) If the Supreme Court is deadlocked 4-4, the lower courts win. This helps the Obama administration in several important cases this year. I think that the climate regulations will certainly come to pass.

4) If the Democrats win the next election, the Republicans could well end up with a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate. The Republicans would have already spent all of their political capital and would have no ability to block an even more liberal justice.

This might be one of the interesting cases where Democratic politicians will fight tooth and nail to win this battle while secretly hoping they lose. Most polls favor the Democratic nominee... and if the democratic lose the confirmation but win the election, they will be in a great position to confirm a very liberal justice.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 26 • Views: 17,492 • Replies: 374

 
Brandon9000
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 09:25 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
1) To announce the day of Scalia's death that they will not confirm any Obama appointment no matter who he nominates is very bad optics. McConnell et al did it to calm their right wing base, but it shoots any other argument they made against a specific nominee out of the water.

It doesn't shoot anything out of the water. The Democrats would certainly do the same under reversed conditions. It is now the task of the Republican party to block any nomination by the president unless the person nominated is acceptable to conservatives, which seems unlikely.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 10:02 am
@maxdancona,
I gave a brief of the same thing on another thread. I hope the lower court ruling on the anti- Gerrymandering stay will stick and be given a national importance

Obama's big coup was his actively filling ll those Fed District court justices despite the stonewalling in the first 3 years
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  5  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 10:12 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
The Democrats would certainly do the same under reversed conditions.


I don't believe this is true.

The idea of rejecting a sitting President's role in selecting the next Justice is so ridiculous, and such a bald political move, that I would reject it... and I believe that most Democrats would do the same.

What the Republicans are announcing to the world that they plan to do, to subvert the Constitution, is so clearly wrong... that they will pay it politically.
farmerman
 
  5  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 10:23 am
@maxdancona,
actually it was McConnell who did the real shocking announcing, so he could keep his word and then take the heat later. On Dec 31 2016 He might even step down to "be with his family"
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 10:30 am
@farmerman,
I think McConnell made a serious political blunder in an attempt to placate his angry base. He might have been able to drag out the confirmation process 11 months anyway... but you don't announce your plan to subvert the Constitutional process publicly.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 10:52 am
After they have time to assess the situation, I think the Republicans might be more reasonable. Their best deal would be possible before the elections, because Obama is more amenable to compromise than Sanders.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 11:14 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
The Democrats would certainly do the same under reversed conditions.


I don't believe this is true.

The idea of rejecting a sitting President's role in selecting the next Justice is so ridiculous, and such a bald political move, that I would reject it... and I believe that most Democrats would do the same.

What the Republicans are announcing to the world that they plan to do, to subvert the Constitution, is so clearly wrong... that they will pay it politically.


The Constitution specifies that the Senate advises and consents. It is absolutely the right of the President to nominate his choice, but rejecting the choice as unsuitable is hardly subversion of the Constitution. You seem to be saying that the Senate must approve nominations, which is untrue.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 11:17 am
I am surprised nobody brought this up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bork_Supreme_Court_nomination
Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell was considered a moderate, often referred to as a "swing vote" in close decisions. Even before his expected retirement on June 27, 1987, Senate Democrats had asked liberal leaders to form a "solid phalanx" to oppose whomever President Ronald Reagan nominated to replace Powell, assuming that it would tilt the court rightward. Democrats warned Reagan there would be a fight over the nomination if Bork were to be the nominee.[1]

Reagan nominated Bork for the seat on July 1, 1987. Bork had long been interested in the position; in 1973, President Nixon promised him the next seat on the Supreme Court following Bork's compliance in the controversial Saturday Night Massacre. Nixon was unable to carry out the promise before his resignation. [2]

Within 45 minutes of Bork's nomination to the Court, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) took to the Senate floor with a strong condemnation of Bork in a nationally televised speech, declaring,

Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens.[3]

On July 5th, NAACP executive director Benjamin Hooks described their position on the Bork nomination: "We will fight it all the way - until hell freezes over, and then we'll skate across on the ice."[4] A brief was prepared for Joe Biden, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the Biden Report. Bork later said in his book The Tempting of America that the report "so thoroughly misrepresented a plain record that it easily qualifies as world class in the category of scurrility".[5] TV ads produced by People For the American Way and narrated by Gregory Peck attacked Bork as an extremist, and Kennedy's speech successfully fueled widespread public skepticism of Bork's nomination. The rapid response of Kennedy's "Robert Bork's America" speech stunned the Reagan White House; though conservatives considered Kennedy's accusations slanderous,[6] the attacks went unanswered for two and a half months.[7]

A hotly contested United States Senate debate over Bork's nomination ensued, partly fueled by strong opposition by civil and women's rights groups concerned with Bork's stated desire to roll back civil rights decisions of the Warren and Burger courts, and his opposition to the right of the Federal government to impose standards of voting fairness upon the states. Bork is one of only three Supreme Court nominees to ever be opposed by the ACLU.[8] Bork was also criticized for being an "advocate of disproportionate powers for the executive branch of Government, almost executive supremacy",[9] as demonstrated by his role in the Saturday Night Massacre.

During debate over his nomination, Bork's video rental history was leaked to the press, which led to the enactment of the 1988 Video Privacy Protection Act. His video rental history was unremarkable, and included such harmless titles as A Day at the Races, Ruthless People, and The Man Who Knew Too Much. The list of rentals was originally printed by Washington D.C.'s City Paper.[10]

To pro-choice legal groups, Bork's originalist views and his belief that the Constitution does not contain a general "right to privacy" were viewed as a clear signal that, should he be named to the Supreme Court, he would vote to reverse the Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. These groups also claimed that Bork's second marriage to a former Roman Catholic nun would allow her to influence his decisions on the abortion issue. Accordingly, a large number of left-wing groups mobilized to press for Bork's rejection, and his confirmation hearings became an intensely partisan battle. Bork himself became a Catholic in 2003, and his replacement (Justice Kennedy) was a Catholic, as well as 4 of the next 6 Justices to join the court. Bork was faulted for his bluntness before the committee, including his criticism of the reasoning underlying Roe v. Wade. Simultaneously, however, his supporters expressed frustration that some of Bork's most controversial and conservative views, including those on the scope of the First Amendment and the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as expressed in his writings and past opinions, had been suddenly moderated for his testimony before the Committee.[11]

As Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Joe Biden presided over Bork's hearing.[12] Biden stated his opposition to Bork soon after the nomination, reversing an approval in an interview of a hypothetical Bork nomination he had made the previous year and angering conservatives who thought he could not conduct the hearings dispassionately.[13] At the close of the hearings, Biden won praise for conducting the proceedings fairly and with good humor and courage, as his 1988 presidential campaign collapsed in the middle of the hearings.[13][14] Rejecting some of the arguments that other Bork opponents were making,[12] Biden framed his discussion around the belief that the Constitution provides rights to liberty and privacy that extend beyond those explicitly enumerated in the text, and that Bork's strong originalism was ideologically incompatible with that view.[14]

Confirmation vote[edit]
On October 6, Bork's nomination was rejected in the committee by a 9–5 vote.[14] Since a committee rejection made a rejection by the full (Democratic) Senate extremely likely, Bork was widely expected to concede defeat and withdraw his name from a floor consideration.[11] However, three days later, Bork announced his belief that

There should be a full debate and a final Senate decision. In deciding on this course, I harbor no illusions. But a crucial principle is at stake. That principle is the way we select the men and women who guard the liberties of all the American people. That should not be done through public campaigns of distortion. If I withdraw now, that campaign would be seen as a success, and it would be mounted against future nominees. For the sake of the Federal judiciary and the American people, that must not happen. The deliberative process must be restored.[15]

Faced with certain defeat, Bork's political support fell silent; Bork would even express disappointment with Reagan's tepid continued endorsement. On October 23, 1987, the Senate rejected Bork's confirmation, with 42 Senators voting in favor and 58 voting against. Senators David Boren (D-OK) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC) voted in favor, with Senators John Chafee (R-RI), Bob Packwood (R-OR), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Robert Stafford (R-VT), John Warner (R-VA) and Lowell P. Weicker, Jr. (R-CT) all voting nay. The vacant seat on the court to which Bork was nominated eventually went to Judge Anthony Kennedy.
rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 11:29 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
This might be one of the interesting cases where Democratic politicians will fight tooth and nail to win this battle while secretly hoping they lose. Most polls favor the Democratic nominee... and if the democratic lose the confirmation but win the election, they will be in a great position to confirm a very liberal justice.

I mostly agree with your analysis. Betting is strongly in favor of a Democratic win (https://electionbettingodds.com) and I suspect most members of congress already know this even if they are unwilling to admit it.

My guess is that President Obama will nominate a mostly moderate, slightly liberal justice and see if it goes through. Congress will diddle around with the nomination/process as the election cycle continues, but as the field narrows and it becomes clear that the betting odds are correct, they will be forced to accept Obama's nominee or find themselves in exactly the position you describe.
maxdancona
 
  5  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 11:38 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:

It is absolutely the right of the President to nominate his choice, but rejecting the choice as unsuitable is hardly subversion of the Constitution.


The Republicans have declared the process dead before it has even started. If they rejected Obama's nominee after a fair hearing... that is one thing.

They are publicly declaring that they will not let the President fulfill his Constitutional duty (and that they will not fulfill their duty to advice and consent). The process hasn't even started yet, and they are already publicly declaring they will subvert it.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 11:40 am
@rosborne979,
Or Obama could nominate a very well qualified, but not so moderate, liberal judge.

That is what I would do. Screw them! Let the Republicans deal with the mess they are making for themselves.

Let's break out the list of well-qualified Black married lesbians.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  4  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 12:23 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon, I like how they turned Scalia, one of their own, into a political football before his dead body had a chance to finish shitting and farting. these are your people, slick.
Brandon9000
 
  0  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 12:34 pm
@blueveinedthrobber,
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Brandon, I like how they turned Scalia, one of their own, into a political football before his dead body had a chance to finish shitting and farting. these are your people, slick.

Certainly no more than the Democrats did. Both sides have commented on the obvious. I have even seen liberals react with undisguised glee in a way that anyone would agree is in poor taste. The point is very simple. It is not in the interests of conservatives to cooperate in any way, shape, or form with replacing Scalia with a liberal.
Brandon9000
 
  -1  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 12:38 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:

It is absolutely the right of the President to nominate his choice, but rejecting the choice as unsuitable is hardly subversion of the Constitution.


The Republicans have declared the process dead before it has even started. If they rejected Obama's nominee after a fair hearing... that is one thing.

They are publicly declaring that they will not let the President fulfill his Constitutional duty (and that they will not fulfill their duty to advice and consent). The process hasn't even started yet, and they are already publicly declaring they will subvert it.


I believe that most of them would approve a nomination whom they didn't reject on a political basis. It is not surprising that many liberals will try to maximize the advantage and many conservatives to minimize the damage. The Republicans should consider any nominee, but once that is done, withholding consent from a particular nominee isn't subverting the Constitution.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 12:39 pm
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
The point is very simple. It is not in the interests of conservatives to cooperate in any way, shape, or form with replacing Scalia with a liberal.


And it is also not in their interests to block Obama's qualified nominee. That's what's so great about this.

They are screwed either way!
blueveinedthrobber
 
  2  
Reply Sun 14 Feb, 2016 01:19 pm
@Brandon9000,
Yes plain old ordinary inappropriate citizens like me acted gleeful...but then again, we're not politicians and presidential candidates who are supposed to be concerned about the country no matter our personal beliefs like the ass clowns representing the teabilly/gop party
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2016 05:29 am
@blueveinedthrobber,
blueveinedthrobber wrote:
Yes plain old ordinary inappropriate citizens like me acted gleeful...but then again, we're not politicians and presidential candidates who are supposed to be concerned about the country no matter our personal beliefs like the ass clowns representing the teabilly/gop party

Reacting with glee to a political opponent's death is not a good quality in anyone.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2016 05:58 am
Politically speaking, I am more than glad he is gone. The GW Bush of judges. His personal self, I have no clue, as I never read up on personal gossip, if I can help it. His absence has to be a plus for the nation, as a whole.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Feb, 2016 06:14 am
@blueveinedthrobber,
Quote:
plain old ordinary inappropriate citizens like me
I think Joe Walsh could make song outta that. We dont wish anyone suffer , but sometimes nature throws us a bone that must be recognized for what it is, an opportunity.
0 Replies
 
 

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