The Republican SCOTUS Blockade Is ‘Not Acceptable’

Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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54 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    OMG OMG OMG it’s a crisis!

    Where were they for the last crisis? Where were these guys when the US was torturing folks?

    Wow an ex senator and vp candidate and a rich fat cat insist that the country will go to hell in a hand basket. Yawn. The only salient point is that if the repubs pull this now, the dems will and will extend the envelop, when the sides are reversed. Hasn’t that been the way it’s been going for decades?


  2. Art Deco says:

    The Supreme Court can function passably with fewer justices. The Court, in contradistinction to any other federal court, controls the dimensions of its caseload. The Republic will be uninjured if they elect to rule on 3.6% of the cases filed rather than 4%.Report

  3. Art Deco says:

    Jon Huntsman, the former Governor of Utah, and Joseph Lieberman, a former U.S. Senator for Connecticut, are the Co-Chairs of No Labels.

    You mean they’re making a public point of vacuity? Do tell…Report

  4. David M says:

    The nonchalance over this unprecedented action by the GOP seems to make an incorrect assumption that this action will occur in isolation. Unfortunately, it is likely to mean that no nomination from the opposition party can ever be confirmed, and there’s also no reason it won’t spread to other federal courts.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to David M says:

      it is likely to mean that no nomination from the opposition party can ever be confirmed, and there’s also no reason it won’t spread to other federal courts.

      Isn’t that already the case with Obama’s lower court appointments? I seem to recall that as of a few years ago only something like 60% of them had been filled?

      Also, I wonder what role the Bush admin’s very intentional attempt to appoint conservative religious judges plays in the current manifestation of Both Sides Do It rhetoric, given that the only Side currently leaning over the obstructionist gunwales is the GOP.Report

      • David M in reply to Stillwater says:

        Yes, the GOP has definitely slowed down there as well. The last 2 years of Bush’s term, when the Democrats controlled the Senate, they confirmed 10 justices to the appeals courts and over 50 to the district courts. The current number for the last 2 years of Obama’s term are 2 appeals and 14 district.

        Norms are there for a reason, and breaking them like this is not good for the country.Report

        • Mike Schilling in reply to David M says:

          But don’t take David’s word for that. Listen to Chief Justice Rehnquist:

          “The Senate is surely under no obligation to confirm any particular nominee, but after the necessary time for inquiry it should vote him up or down. In the latter case, the president can send up another nominee.”

          “Some current nominees have been waiting a considerable time for a Senate Judiciary Committee vote or a final floor vote,” Rehnquist said. “The Senate confirmed only 17 judges in 1996 and 36 in 1997, well under the 101 judges it confirmed in 1994.”

          BSDI is always thrown up as a smokescreen, but it’s only one party that continually pulls this crap.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to David M says:

          Norms are there for a reason, and breaking them like this is not good for the country.

          Waal, get in your maginificent time machine and get your tuchus back to 1937 and clue ’em all in.Report

    • Art Deco in reply to David M says:

      You mean ‘unprecedented actions’ (you know, like :”Landmark decisions” ) are bad things? Do tell…Report

  5. What struck me about this was the phrase “both sides”. Apparently, naming the party that has adamantly refused to do its job would count as a micro-aggression.Report

    • Christopher Carr in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Yeah, what?

      Nevertheless, the fact that both of these guys are ex-somethings leads me to conclude that partisanship is even more of a problem than I had previously thought.Report

    • It’s not they’re job to do anything at all to assist BO, the fancies of partisan Democrats notwithstanding.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Art Deco says:

        Confirming a Supreme Court justice is not “assisting” the President. They’re not doing him a solid. It is part of a well-functioning government. They may not be duty-bound to do so insofar as there are direct, tangible consequences for not. But their willful refusal is both unprecedented and damaging to our country on a number of levels, creating real consequences they will hopefully be called to answer for.Report

        • Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

          Unprecedented? If the speaker had kept his mouth shut on his plan, delayed hearings for several months, maybe held one, and let the time run out, it would have been “business as usual”. the only real difference I see is someone actually said “we’re not doing jack on any of his nominees”.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Damon says:

            Sure. But they didn’t do that. They said that Obama shouldn’t even nominate and that they wouldn’t even hold hearings. What is the longest a seat has been vacant? If they follow through on their plan and his seat is vacant 11+ months, would that not be unprecedented?Report

            • Damon in reply to Kazzy says:

              Meh, Congress hasn’t been doing it’s job for decades. I no longer call every new development “unprecedented”. How many decades does “unprecedented” need to go to “SOP”?Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

          Confirming a Supreme Court justice is not “assisting” the President.

          Let go of my leg, Kazzy.Report

        • notme in reply to Kazzy says:

          But their willful refusal is both unprecedented and damaging to our country on a number of levels, creating real consequences they will hopefully be called to answer for.

          How is this “damaging” and on what levels? What are the “real consequences?” The Dems said the same thing about a gov’t shutdown but the world didn’t end when the gov’t shut down. Sounds more like fear mongering to me.Report

      • Michelle in reply to Art Deco says:

        Oh please, AD. This latest GOP nonsense is all about giving Obama the finger and nothing else.Report

        • Art Deco in reply to Michelle says:

          The notion that he deserves better is fanciful.

          That aside, the two parties have a standing dispute over the role of the court, and the role the court seizes is determined by its composition.

          The Republicans are not obligated to roll over and play dead to please the opposition, or to hold pro-forma hearings to meet your pro-forma objections.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Art Deco says:

            “The notion that he deserves better is fanciful.”

            You saying it over and over doesn’t make it true. Demonstrate why Obama, the twice elected President of these United States, deserves no better than a middle finger.Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Kazzy says:

              Sorry, he gets the middle finger. If he wants better, he’ll have to behave better.Report

            • Zac in reply to Kazzy says:

              Why, because Art doesn’t like him, of course. That’s the entire foundation around which Art’s alternate reality is built. Haven’t you figured that out yet?Report

              • Art Deco in reply to Zac says:

                Some of us have figured out that whatever subjective impressions and tastes can do, they do not put you in an ‘alternate reality’.

                Contemplating just how it was that Douglas Shulman should think to tell a congressional committee that his curiously extensive meeting schedule at the White House was a function of such things as ‘the Easter Egg Roll” implicates more than subjective impressions. Sadly, that’s the reality we live in.

                BO’s burned too many bridges in his time in office to salvage anything with the other 50% of the electorate. The best he can do is retire to Honolulu, get a job selling real estate, and figure that if he’s quiet people will forget how repellent he was and figure that the alignments of this nation’s history professors being what they are, it’ll take 90 years before they slice him to pieces.Report

          • Don Zeko in reply to Art Deco says:

            Suppose the GOP had voted to double the size of the court in 2005 and then confirmed 9 more Federalist society-approved justices. Would that have been illegitimate? If not, why not?Report

            • Art Deco in reply to Don Zeko says:

              Perfectly in keeping with the delegated powers of Congress. Legitimate.

              For some time, people have appreciated the value of appellate courts as referees. You and I both know that, push comes to shove, they aren’t, even if partisan Democrats and faux-libertarians from Michigan wish to maintain they reliably are as artifice comes in handy now and again. In point of fact, there really is not anything short of ordering drone strikes on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s house which would be illegitimate in any sense of the word. That’s the house you live in. If you wanted to live in a different one, you should’a built it. Tootles.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    You gotta admit, No Labels is pretty much the worst.Report

  7. North says:

    Well whether it’s unacceptable is up to the voters and the electorate it seems. It’s certainly both legal and constitutional.Report

  8. pillsy says:

    Hmm, if I can think of a less convincing pair of spokesmen for… any issue involving partisan politics, in the US, it’s gotta be Lieberman and Huntsman.Report

  9. Slade the Leveller says:

    Ruh roh! Looks like Scotto’s conservative fear of the unseen may be something after all. I swear, American politics can be so short sighted sometimes.

    • Damon in reply to Slade the Leveller says:

      Meh, the article has “provisional” all over it. As the writer writes, “although 4-4 decisions mean an issue remains open and could return to the court in short order.”

      Time to panic!Report