Many newspapers like to give their readers a full menu of commentary, often printing adjacent pro and con op-eds on a given topic.
Today the Las Vegas newspaper devoted its entire op-ed page to essentially a pro-pro stance.
The paper reprinted an op-ed by Sen. Harry Reid that first appeared Monday in The Washington Post as well as a column by Steve Sebelius taking an identical stance, fulminating over Republicans threatening to block any Obama nominee to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court.
They both attacked Sen. Mitch McConnell and all the Republican presidential candidates who said the replacement for Scalia should be named by whomever is elected president in November.
Sebelius fumed, “For the record, anyone in federal elected office who advises ignoring a presidential nomination or rejecting a nominee before that person’s name is even announced is simply unfit to hold office.”
Reid ranted, “Pursuing their radical strategy in a quixotic quest to deny the basic fact that the American people elected President Obama — twice — would rank among the most rash and reckless actions in the history of the Senate. And the consequences will reverberate for decades.”
The senator also claimed, “Until now, even through all the partisan battles of recent decades, the Senate’s constitutional duty to give a fair and timely hearing and a floor vote to the president’s Supreme Court nominees has remained inviolable. This Republican Senate would be the first in history to abdicate that vital duty.”
Pay no heed to his role in filibustering the nominations of both Samuel Alito and John Roberts for purely partisan reasons.
He also seems to have forgotten the speech by Chuck Schumer in 2007, late in George W. Bush’s second term, in which he said:
“For the rest of this President’s term and if there is another Republican elected with the same selection criteria let me say this: We should reverse the presumption of confirmation. The Supreme Court is dangerously out of balance. We cannot afford to see Justice Stevens replaced by another Roberts; or Justice Ginsburg by another Alito. Given the track record of this President and the experience of obfuscation at the hearings, with respect to the Supreme Court, at least: I will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a Supreme Court nominee except in extraordinary circumstances.”
Both of today’s op-eds pounded on the Senate’s constitutional duty to provide advice and consent for Supreme Court appointees. There is no criteria spelled out for refusing to consent.
In fact, both Reid and Obama — along with Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Schumer and Joe Biden — voted against confirming both Alito and Roberts as high court justices.
Both Obama and Reid stated of Roberts that he was not adequately committed to discrimination of the basis of race and gender — or was they euphemistically call it, affirmation action.
Reid said of memos written by Roberts, “But these memos lead one to question whether he truly appreciated the history of the civil rights struggle. He wrote about discrimination as an abstract concept, not as a flesh and blood reality for countless of his fellow citizens.”
Obama said of Roberts on the floor of the Senate, “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind Judge Roberts is qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. Moreover, he seems to have the comportment and the temperament that makes for a good judge. He is humble, he is personally decent, and he appears to be respectful of different points of view.”
But then he said he opposed Roberts because of his lack of agreement with him on matters of affirmative action:
“I want to take Judge Roberts at his word that he doesn’t like bullies and he sees the law and the court as a means of evening the playing field between the strong and the weak. But given the gravity of the position to which he will undoubtedly ascend and the gravity of the decisions in which he will undoubtedly participate during his tenure on the court, I ultimately have to give more weight to his deeds and the overarching political philosophy that he appears to have shared with those in power than to the assuring words that he provided me in our meeting.”
Of Justice Alito, Obama said he was eminently qualified for the job but he was supporting a filibuster of his nomination “because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know.”
Obama also said back then that “there are some who believe that the president, having won the election, should have the complete authority to appoint his nominee, and the Senate should only examine whether or not the justice is intellectually capable … I disagree with this view.”
How dare any Republican disagree with this view.
It is all about partisanship and rewriting the Constitution to fit their political solutions, not the least bit about constitutional duties.
Chuck Schumer in 2007:
Obama admits appointments are purely political:
He uses the everybody does it excuse.
The earlier statemetns by Obama, Reid, Clinton, Kerry,and Schumer, were for the news cycle for that day, nothing they said was for posterity. The recent statements made Reid, Schumer, and Obama, are puffery for today’s news cycle, it’s about advantage for today. The chance to replace Scalia, a staunch conservative voice with another Sotomayor, and Kagan,both non-entities, drives them to a sudden interest in the Constitution heretofore they have ignored. And, by the way, it was almost laughable that Obama, as a senator, judged Roberts and Alito, two actual learned practitioners of law.
Yes that was laughable. Unfortunately, I do not believe we will ever see another originalist appointed to the Court. The Democrats will filibuster and the Republicans will cave. I do not see any of the candidates, except Cruz, having the backbone to fight for or even propose a candidate that has a clear record of originalist application. I think all the other candidates will opt to propose someone who has a very light or no record (a Roberts or Kennedy) to avoid having any confrontation with the nomination. Cruz would be the only one likely to fight to get someone of Scalia’s caliber appointed.
Mr. Mitchell appears not to apprehend the difference between, on the one hand, voting against the confirmation of someone whom you believe would be a bad Supreme Court Justice and, on the other hand, refusing to give a vote to, hold confirmation hearings for, or even to consider in any way a President’s nominee — even before the nominee has been named.
Or, perhaps Mr. Mitchell does understand the difference, and has decided, notwithstanding his retirement, to join the spin brigade.
Either way, it is already apparent that the electorate is seeing through this little charade.
What goes around…comes around, 337 days and counting…
You mean the Democrats refused to put Roberts, Alito, Kennedy up for a vote and they were never confirmed as Supreme Court Justices?
I don’t think McConnell ever said he would not allow a vote. He just said a new justice should not be confirmed until the next president is seated.
“Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.”
This President’s total disregard for the Constitution disqualifies him in my mind to even submit a nominee. He has had his recess appointments overturned by a 9-0 ruling, and currently has another overreach case pending before the court now. This pending case should preclude him from nominating anyone to take Scalia’s vacancy. After all, the Court would be ruling directly on the President’s actions, so I see this as a conflict of interest to allow him to appointment a Justice to rule on this case. No hearings – nothing! Dead on arrival!
“Although McConnell’s office has since refused to elaborate, his comments were widely interpreted to mean no nominee would even be considered, let alone confirmed, while Obama was in office ….”
Things get widely interpreted a lot.
Barbara accurately states the current Republican position: the Republican Senate should refuse to even consider — let alone vote on — any nominee submitted by President Obama, because President Obama is not entitled to nominate anyone.
That is what you people really believe.
New York Times:
“Senate Republicans on Monday began to close ranks behind a vow by Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, to block consideration of any nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died over the weekend, for the remainder of President Obama’s term.”
Setting aside the hypocrisy of Reid, Schumer, Obama, Sebelius, et. alia, there is no constitutional mandate to have to hold any hearings or meetings to advise and consent. As the Dems are wont to say: “Elections have consequences”. And so they do. The Republicans control the Senate.
Yup. That is exactly what Republicans think. No one nominated by President Obama, or any other Democrat, should even be considered, let alone voted on, no matter how qualified.
We will see how the electorate responds to that.
You know, the Senate is in full recess right now. I suppose Barbara, “Bill” and Mr. Mitchell would have not problem if the President made a recess appointment to the Supreme Court this weekend.
“In back-channel conversations with senators and among senior party officials, Republicans are arguing that denying a hearing to Obama’s choice would allow them to better make the case that voters should have a say in the next Supreme Court justice — not members of the Senate and a lame-duck president.
“If Republicans held confirmation proceedings, several Republicans told CNN, that argument would be badly muddied. Moreover, they risk giving Obama’s choice an opportunity to detail his or her life story and legal qualifications, and they’d rather stop the nominee before giving the White House and Senate Democrats a chance to build momentum.”
That’s what Republicans want. No Supreme Court Justice for at least a year. No vote, no debate, no consideration, no hearings.
We will see what the voters think of that.
A moderate picked by a Liberal and confirmed by a body of Conservatives is better for our country than an extremist picked and confirmed by either party. Only extremists feel differently.
The Republican-controlled Senate decides whether it is in recess.
It has already declared itself in recess through Monday.
I think the President should recess appoint Eric Holder this weekend. You guys OK with that ?
First you need to get Obama to agree.
A shame. He should be bold and appoint Elizabeth Warren.
Yeah, cuz as we all know, a 1 billionth blood Cherokee is a totally cool reason to be promoted as a Native American by Harvard….
I think your other choice has a better chance….HA!
Nyp that would be a rash, irrational, republican move.
The president has outsmarted the republicans at every turn and I expect this one will be no different.
Course, when the “leaders of the other party are so dumb, being three steps ahead if them is easy enough but seriously, announcing that they will not even take up their Constitutional duties only 60 minutes after Scalia died?
Talk about guys that rode the short bus to work.
Elizzabeth Warren was never ” promoted as a Native American by Harvard…”
“The legitimacy of Warren’s claims to Native American heritage has certainly been challenged by many critics, and it is true that while Warren was at U. Penn. Law School she put herself on the “Minority Law Teacher” list as Native American) in the faculty directory of the Association of American Law Schools, and that Harvard Law School at one time promoted Warren as a Native American faculty member.”
Snopes, your peeps, nyp! (hoist by your own petard)
We are witnessing a structural weakness of our present form of government. It no longer functions and is in danger of collapse. Congress has been paralyzed for several years. Now, the Supreme Court is as well. The executive branch is overreaching and many voters support that. Obstructionism is now the primary strategy and is celebrated proudly by both parties, as if somehow, they will get something done eventually if they can just secure total control. Compromise is so dead, they probably aren’t even teaching it in the schools anymore. Our 4th branch of government is on life support. The fifth branch dominates the other four.
The Boomers have debilitated our nation. The Millenials will preside at the funeral.
“paralyzed” = Republicans stop automatically going along with Democrats because grass root conservatives are so pissed off at Republican (RINO) leadership.
BTW, McConnell will cave…as per usual…
Endgame: Get people so tired of the D.C. bullshit that they lose confidence in our political system and trade it for something far worse…
It’s put or shut up time for the timid Republicans in the Senate. Yesterday our junior Senator Heller went from…the President should send us his choice, to…Gov. Brian Sandoval would be a great choice for the President to make (since he was put forth by Harry Reid to be a federal judge) (nevermind his RINO bonafides – pro abortion, pro Obamacare health exchanges, crony capitalist tendencies (Tesla, Faraday), etc. or the fact that Heller was chosen by him to replace John Ensign, to now: “Heller rejoined other Republicans Wednesday in urging President Barack Obama not to nominate a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.” All of this in a 24 hour period. I suspect Heller’s phone has been ringing off the hook after his initial statement. I hope he got the message. This is where we conservatives will make our stand…the flag is planted in the ground, we will not retreat from this one…and any Senator who waffles or caves will pay a dear political price…
Yup – that’s the Republican position. No Obama nominee will even be considered, no matter how qualified.
1 billionth blood part Cherokee, promoted by Harvard, should be considered for the seat!
So sayeth nyp, so “shall” it be….if Patrick can find another sham plea!
Ah – “promoted” as in listed in a directory.
Harvard Law School at one time promoted Warren as a Native American faculty member
Nyp, sez…….not true!
So I had to do some checking and my memory is correct, Harvard reported her to the feds as a native american as part of the stats for EEOC hiring.
This was based on her statement to the University that she was descended from Cherokee ancestors.
During her election, she danced all around this bit of “misleading” information provided to a federal agency by an employer.
No, not a directory, she was listed as a minority, by Harvard, for EEOC purposes.
At the least, it was quite the stretch….on it’s face Harvard publicly promoted her as a native american.
From Time Magazine re: Why Sanders and Trump are so popular: “Like frogs on the stove, the establishments in both parties failed to notice that things were reaching the boiling point, what with the long and unpopular wars, the global unrest and the brutal recession that seemed to separate the fortunes of the rich from the larger fate of the nation.” and, “Donald and Bernie have more in common ideologically than either might care to admit. They rail against the elites who have gridlocked the government. In varying rhythms and very different keys, they blame bankers working in collusion with lobbyists, bad trade deals written in secret and a ruling class gone soft in the head on foreign policy, immigration and taxes.”
The nation is going to hell, the parties are to blame and most people know it.
Ah – “promoted” as in listed.
Promoted, as in lied to the feds and the public.