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Rest in Peace: Antonin Scalia

A truly amazing American passed away last night. Antonin Scalia transformed judicial thought by breaking with tradition and introducing his philosophy of originalism. As much as I enjoyed disagreeing with some of his opinions, I could always recognize their author as a true intellectual heavyweight. While Scalia held many antiquated views regarding society and morality, he represented the views of many Americans. It is for this reason that I am proud that Ronald Reagan nominated him to the court 30 years ago. I am a firm believer in the strength of diversity and conservatism definitely deserved a juggernaut to represent their views. Losing Scalia will greatly impair the Supreme Court and he will be sorely missed.

Ultimately, the task of restoring function to the Judiciary will fall upon the other two branches of government. With ever longer life expectancies, it has been increasingly uncommon for Justices to die while serving on the court in recent decades. Retirement is much more common. Although Justices have taken care to not retire in the final year before before an election year, Scalia's passing could hardly have been anticipated.

The last time the Supreme Court had a vacancy less than a year before a presidential election was 28 years ago. Ronald Reagan was President at the time, and he nominated Anthony Kennedy, urging prompt cooperation from Congress:

I believe the mood and the time is now right for all Americans in this bicentennial year of the Constitution to join together in a bipartisan effort to fulfill our constitutional obligation of restoring the United States Supreme Court to full strength. By selecting Anthony M. Kennedy, a superbly qualified judge whose fitness for the high court has been remarked upon by leaders of the Senate in both parties, I have sought to insure the success of that effort. I look forward - and I know Judge Kennedy is looking forward - to prompt hearings conducted in the spirit of cooperation and bipartisanship. I'll do everything in my power as President to assist in that process.

Of course we all know how Congress responded to Reagan's plea. Despite being controlled by Democrats, the Senate unanimously confirmed Anthony Kennedy's appointment to the court. They voted scarcely 2.5 months after Reagan announced the nomination. At the time, nobody whined or complained. No one tried to delay and obstruct in order to let a potential President Dukakis nominate Powell's successor. I firmly believe that Republicans ought to follow the same precedent obeyed by democrats 28 years ago.

Unfortunately, some Republicans have already announced their intention to oppose Obama's nominee without even knowing his or her identity. Some have falsely claimed a longstanding precedent for delaying a nomination until after this year's election. The truth is that there is only one example of a vacancy remaining unfilled af the end of a President's term. This would be LBJ's failed nomination of Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice. However, Fortas was bogged by ethical concerns, which ultimately doomed his nomination. Rather than issue a blanket rejection of any of LBJ's nominees, the Senate did its duty to examine the nominated individual and evaluate him strictly upon his particular qualifications and attributes.

Going even further back, we have the example of Frank Murphy. Pierce Butler had died less than a year before the 1940 Presidential election and FDR nominated Murphy two months later. Not even two weeks had elapsed before Murphy was confirmed. In order to find the precedent advanced by so many Republican Senators, we need to reach all they way back to antebellum. In the 1840s, John Tyler faced legitimacy issues as he was the first man to ascend to the Presidency without winning a Presidential election. Rejected by his own fellow Whigs, he had no allies in Congress and two vacancies were left unfilled for over a year. Ultimately, the Senate confirmed Tyler's nominee in a lame-duck session while his successor filled the other vacancy.

Clearly, the precedent for dismissing Obama's nominee is not very strong. Ultimately, it would be a very unfortunate outcome if the Senate refuses to even evaluate the nominee on his or her deeds. This isn't to say that the Senate ought to merely rubber stamp whomever Obama nominates to the court. Senatorial advice & consent regarding the nomination is vital towards maintaining the system of checks & balances ingrained in the Constitution. Instead, I am merely advocating that Obama's nominee receive a fair hearing and a fair vote. Up or down, if a majority of Senators feel that Obama's choice is unqualified to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, then that is that. If Obama nominates a candidate as unqualified as Abe Fortas, then that nomination deserves to never be confirmed, even if it means Obama loses his chance to appoint Scalia's successor. Having said that, I am confident that Obama will nominate an exemplary person that really ought to be acceptable to at least 14 GOP Senators. Sri Srinivasan garnered unanimous support from the Senate in 2013 when he was confirmed to serve on the DC circuit court. It would definitely be awkward for those senators who ascended to his appointment three short years ago to justify the change in their minds.

Nevertheless, the next few months are definitely going to be interesting and will serve as a decent foil to the 2016 election drama. If things weren't so grave, it would be time to go buy some popcorn and relax. It will require much prayer to get through these trying times.

Posted by Warren Porter at February 13, 2016 11:23 PM
Comments
Comment #402533

Roosevelt’s game plan marches on in Obama’s presidency. Obama also gets to stack the Supreme Court to enforce his unconstitutional social programs against the will of the people.

3 out of 9. History repeats itself.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 8:18 AM
Comment #402534

McConnell, and other republicans in the senate have already said the nomination will be left to the next president. This will no doubt infuriate Obama and the democrats. He will no doubt make a recess appointment, which will be replaced by the next president, who ever that is. We cannot allow this man to do any more damage to our judicial system.

If a republican is elected he should nominate a justice that will uphold the constitution as Scalia did. If the they retain the senate, they should not allow the democrats to block the nomination, and if needed change the rule to not allow the democrats to filibuster the nomination as they surely would have done under Reid, if the republicans had tried to block either of Obamas nominees, and as he did on the other federal judicial appointments.

Posted by: dbs at February 14, 2016 9:00 AM
Comment #402536

I understand that it will upset conservatives to have Obama nominate someone to replace succeed such a beloved conservative icon, but the reality is that the Constitution obligates the President and Congress to fill vacancies on the high court. Acquiescing to this imperative would cost conservatives their majority for a short while, but please recognize that filibustering for 11 months would harm the Constitution permanently in ways that a short-term liberal majority cannot. Remember, the chances of Ginsberg staying alive until the end of the next President’s term is probably nil. If a Republican wins the Presidency, the conservative majority would be restored quite quickly.

If the they retain the senate, they should not allow the democrats to block the nomination, and if needed change the rule to not allow the democrats to filibuster the nomination as they surely would have done under Reid, if the republicans had tried to block either of Obamas nominees, and as he did on the other federal judicial appointments.

So, you are officially endorsing a double standard? Republicans are allowed to stonewall anyone Obama nominates, but that the nuclear option should be employed if Democrats wish to filibuster someone nominated by Obama’s successor? Now, that is truly craven.

He will no doubt make a recess appointment, which will be replaced by the next president, who ever that is.
I’m glad you bought up the issue of recess appointments. As you you are undoubtedly aware, the Supreme Court recently defined the President’s recess appointment power. It will be interesting to see if Republicans not only filibuster Obama’s nominee, but also continue to hold sham legislative sessions to block recess appointments. Notably, the Senate adjourned last Friday for the holiday weekend. We’ll wait and see if they conduct their promised pro forma session on Monday. Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 10:21 AM
Comment #402538

Keegan wasn’t filibustered. Neither was Sotomeyer. Why are you dropping this poison pill. If anyone should be criticized for attempting to hold off nominations Democratics take the cake when they attempted to lynch Clarence Thomas.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 10:47 AM
Comment #402539

Ultimately, Clarence Thomas’ nomination was confirmed. Obama’s nominee deserves the same consideration.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 10:55 AM
Comment #402540

Eight years ago, Democrats waited until June to halt the nomination process for judicial appointments. Republicans at the time cried foul. Obviously, hypocrisy is not foreign to the conservative thought process.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 12:26 PM
Comment #402541

What, pubic hair?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 12:26 PM
Comment #402542

Democratics did that for their own party’s benefit.
Have you ever seen a Democratic even consider a Conservative point of view?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 12:28 PM
Comment #402543

warren

“So, you are officially endorsing a double standard?”

How so ? Republicans didn’t block Sotomayer, or Kagen. If they had Reid would have used the rule change to ultimately bypass their filibuster anyway. He did it with all the other appointments so Obama could ram through his liberal judges.


“Republicans are allowed to stonewall anyone Obama nominates, but that the nuclear option should be employed if Democrats wish to filibuster someone nominated by Obama’s successor?”

It has already been employed by the democrats. It would have been employed to move his supreme court nominations had republicans refused to allow them through. You’re probably not old enough to remember this. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/19/robert-bork-former-supreme-court-nominee-dies.html


“Now, that is truly craven.”

No, that’s is what it will take to stop socialists from getting control of the supreme court. If the dems win in November it won’t matter anyway. They will finish their destruction of a once great “constitutional republic”.

Posted by: dbs at February 14, 2016 1:10 PM
Comment #402544

dbs,

“You’re probably not old enough to remember this.”

Yeah, well I am, and what part of this:

“When Bork was solicitor general in 1973, he fired Archibald Cox as a special prosecutor on the order of President Richard Nixon to help in the Watergate cover-up.”

made Bork especially qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice?

You people on the right have the confidence that makes everything just peachy when it’s your guy, because, oh BTW, you’re always right, and because you’re always right, you just can’t possibly be wrong.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 14, 2016 1:27 PM
Comment #402545

What was Clarence Thomas’s crime, Rocky Marks?

His treatment during his hearing was appalling!

Should we afford Obama’s nominee the same, Warren Porter?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 1:55 PM
Comment #402546

Robert Bork held the same beliefs as did Antonin Scalia. That was his crime against progressivism. He had no defense because he was white. He couldn’t get up in front of the cameras and say it was a “political lynching” like C. Thomas could. It was a political lynching none the less.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 2:01 PM
Comment #402547

Ultimately, it is the Senate’s job to provide advice and consent to Obama’s choice to replace Scalia. If a majority of Senators feel that Obama’s nominee is a poor choice for the Supreme Court in the same vein that Bork and Fortas were disqualified, then they have the power to reject the nominee. What isn’t right, is to declare carte blanche opposition to anyone simply because he or she was picked by Obama.

Two other things that should be considered by the GOP if they decide to give Obama the Tyler treatment:

1. From January 3 to January 20, 2017, Obama will be President of the United States and the 115th Congress will be in session. If Democrats capture the Senate this November, then they could ram Obama’s appointee through in those weeks.

2. With so many vulnerable Republicans in states that voted for Obama 4 years ago up for reelection, the GOP majority in the Senate looks quite tenuous. Not only that, but Obama remains quite popular in many of those states. Do these Senators really want to run against a man with 46%+ approval ratings? Do they really want to defend blocking an honorable appointee, someone like like Sri Srinivasan who clerked for Sandra Day O’Connor, a Reagan appointee? How will people in Illinois, Pennsylvania and elsewhere react to such obstruction? It was one thing when Republicans were blocking appellate justices that low-information voters have never heard of, it will be quite another to block such a prominent appointment.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 2:13 PM
Comment #402548

WW,

Bork and Thomas were given fair hearings. Obama’s appointee deserves the same. The Senate felt Bork was not suitable for the court and today’s Senate is free to reject Obama’s nominee if a majority of Senators feel the same way.

Likewise, serious questions were raised regarding Clarence Thomas’ relationship with Anita Hill. Nobody here knows if Clarence Thomas conduct with her was appropriate or not as there were only two witnesses. I think it was important for the Senate to try its best to ascertain whether or not Thomas was fit for the position. The fact that he was scrutinized on the issue of sexual harassment does not abrogate the fact that he was ultimately confirmed by a Democratic Senate.

As recently as the early 1990s, we had a court with 8/9 Justices appointed by Republicans. Clearly, there is no mandate for the court to be evenly balanced.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 2:31 PM
Comment #402549

Fun fact: Apparently, Scalia is the one who originally suggested that Elena Kagan be nominated to the Court.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 2:48 PM
Comment #402550

During the Nixon administration, the Attorney General and Assistant AG (Richardson and Ruckelshaus) refused to fire a special prosecutor investigating Nixon because it was “fundamentally wrong.” Bork was third in line for the job. He carried out the firing, and in exchange was offered a seat on the Supreme Court. In his posthumously published memoirs, Bork confessed to it. Nixon was unable to fulfill his end of the bargain, but Reagan carried it out for him.

As for the current SCOTUS opening…
Many have already pointed out that the Senate has a fundamental constitutional duty to fulfill their role. Waiting 340 days for another president is not reasonable.

WP,
Good point about the short span of overlap between the seating of the new Congress and the last weeks of the Obama administration. I understand the GOP will not like losing control of the SCOTUS- actually, they already have to some degree with a 4-4 balance favoring liberals- but I do not understand why Republicans believe that Democrats will respect their president’s choice, should that come to pass, if they refuse to respect Obama’s nomination this year. If refusing to pass a nominee for one year is acceptable, why shouldn’t the Democrats refuse a Republican nominee for four years?

Our political system breaks down when one side refuses to respect the outcome of an election.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2016 2:53 PM
Comment #402551

If you think Clarence Thomas was treated fairly then bullying and slander are fair game.

Except it isn’t when a Democratic is involved, is it? No, when the shoe is on the other foot all the buzzwords come out and the media lines up behind the Democratic.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 14, 2016 3:07 PM
Comment #402552

Ultimately, things look very grim for Republican Senators running for reelection in marginal states. Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Pat Toomey, Mark Kirk and Ron Johnson are all going to be in tough positions over the next few months. Combined with the open seats in Florida and Nevada, Democrats only have to win 4 of these 7 contested elections to capture the Senate. Illinois and Wisconsin are probably already in the bag, bringing them halfway there.

Not to mention, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are still going to be around. These pro-choice ladies may certainly buck their party’s leadership.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 3:12 PM
Comment #402553

WW,

Clarence Thomas was not slandered. Thomas faced tough scrutiny as a result of accusations of sexual harassment brought up by Anita Hill. The Senate has a duty not to ignore accusation like this.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 3:14 PM
Comment #402555

Warren

If the democrats take back the Senate, they won’t be seated until the following year when the new Congress conveines. So no they will have the opportunity ram through Obama’s appointment.

Posted by: dbs at February 14, 2016 3:47 PM
Comment #402556

Congress convenes January 3, 2017. Obama is president until January 20, 2017. It is possible to push through a nomination with a new Democratic Senate, even if the incoming president is a Republican. Given the Senate math this year, a Democratic Senate is likely.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2016 3:55 PM
Comment #402557

dbs,

The new Congress convenes on January 3, 2017. The 45th President won’t be inaugurated until January 20, 2017.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 3:56 PM
Comment #402570

It is the President’s Constitutional privelge to nominate. It is the Senate’s right to reject or approve.

Before the Bork hearing gave us the new verb “borked” these things used to be less partisan. Since that, they have never been neutral. Recall who led the Bork fight.

Also recall that in 2007, Senate Democrats advocated confirming none of Bush’s picks. That was much farther ahead in time.

Finally re Scalia - he was not a partisan conservative; he was a principled one. A true gentleman who could separate his politics form his personal life.

The personal should never be political and we should draw a bright line between the two.

Posted by: C&J at February 14, 2016 9:28 PM
Comment #402571

It is the President’s Constitutional privelge to nominate. It is the Senate’s right to reject or approve.

Before the Bork hearing gave us the new verb “borked” these things used to be less partisan. Since that, they have never been neutral. Recall who led the Bork fight.

Also recall that in 2007, Senate Democrats advocated confirming none of Bush’s picks. That was much farther ahead in time.

Finally re Scalia - he was not a partisan conservative; he was a principled one. A true gentleman who could separate his politics form his personal life.

The personal should never be political and we should draw a bright line between the two.

Posted by: C&J at February 14, 2016 9:29 PM
Comment #402573

C&J,

Ultimately, I trust that Obama will nominate the best candidate for the job. With Republicans in control of the Senate, I see the argument for nominating someone who is a bit more moderate, but we will wait and see.

Also recall that in 2007, Senate Democrats advocated confirming none of Bush’s picks. That was much farther ahead in time.
The context for Schumer’s speech was quite different from what Republicans are proposing.
Finally re Scalia - he was not a partisan conservative; he was a principled one. A true gentleman who could separate his politics form his personal life.

The personal should never be political and we should draw a bright line between the two.


Absolutely. While I may have considered much of Scalia’s philosophy to be out of sync with our Founder’s intention, I never doubted the fealty he expressed to his beliefs. He will be sorely missed is Alito or Thomas are unable to fill his gargantuan shoes. Posted by: Warren Porter at February 14, 2016 10:45 PM
Comment #402574

Scalia “was not a partisan conservative; he was a principled one.”

Completely false. In Bush v Gore, he completely abandoned his so-called conservative principles in order to put Bush into the White House. His explanation? “Get over it.” We’re all supposed to pretend that did not happen. The decision was so bad, the SCOTUS majority insisted that the decision should not be used in any future rulings. And his opposition to Obamacare was purely partisan. Again and again, he participated in 5-4 rulings in order to stop the administration from implementing policy, even to the point of contracting his own rulings from earlier years. Yeah, part of that was due to his age; but the other part was due to extreme partisanship.

He wrote many bizarre dissents and his hateful homophobic comments are legion.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2016 10:57 PM
Comment #402575

Warren

Do you really think that Sotomayer or Kagan were the best we could do? They were sort of like Bush’s Harriet Meirs fiasco, except the Obama folks got through.

Re Schumer - I think that they should give the vote and vote down anyone but a real moderate.

Obama might be smart to nominate a moderate and dare Republicans to take it. Of course, it is possible for Republicans to delay a vote until after the election and then if Hillary is elected they can confirm the moderate.

Phx8

They could have counted forever. As you know, had they finished the count, Bush still would have won. And the complaints would have continued.

Re his opposition the same sex marriage - that was principled. I support same sex marriage, but it should have gone through the normal political process.

Posted by: C&J at February 14, 2016 11:14 PM
Comment #402576

Warren

Do you really think that Sotomayer or Kagan were the best we could do? They were sort of like Bush’s Harriet Meirs fiasco, except the Obama folks got through.

Re Schumer - I think that they should give the vote and vote down anyone but a real moderate.

Obama might be smart to nominate a moderate and dare Republicans to take it. Of course, it is possible for Republicans to delay a vote until after the election and then if Hillary is elected they can confirm the moderate.

Phx8

They could have counted forever. As you know, had they finished the count, Bush still would have won. And the complaints would have continued.

Re his opposition the same sex marriage - that was principled. I support same sex marriage, but it should have gone through the normal political process.

Posted by: C&J at February 14, 2016 11:14 PM
Comment #402578

warren

You are right. I thought they didn’t convene until later in the month.

phx8

“In Bush v Gore, he completely abandoned his so-called conservative principles in order to put Bush into the White House.”

Gore lost. He lost the initial count and the automatic recount. The whole premise of determining the intent of the voter was bullshit. The laws concerning the counting of ballots was already in place, and that should have been the end of it. If you don’t fill out your ballot correctly, it doesn’t count. All those hand recounts should have never happened, and didn’t help anyway.

Posted by: dbs at February 15, 2016 5:35 AM
Comment #402579

Warped, If you listen to the last few minutes of Schumer’s speech you will see he advocates NOT putting another conservative on the SCOTUS.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 15, 2016 9:45 AM
Comment #402580

phx8
The man is not buried yet and you are casting comments unbecoming to his character. You should hang your head in shame, which you will never do.

Furthermore you are wrong in your assessments. Most liberals and lefts even agree.

Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?

Posted by: tom humes at February 15, 2016 10:22 AM
Comment #402581

dbs,
I’m not arguing whether Gore won or not, or issues regarding the vote count. Some suggest Scalia was a ‘principled conservative.’ In perhaps his most important and momentous decision (other than Citizens United), Scalia abandoned principle to make a partisan decision, stop a vote count, and put Bush into the White House. Prior to this decision, conservatives on the court always advocated that states should determine issues involving elections and voting. In this decision, Scalia ditched that approach. In the decision, the majority even went so far as to say Bush v Gore must never be used as a legal precedent. That is unheard of. And it is NOT principled. Just the opposite.

tom humes,
Scalia was an ideologue. He died on a trip where he intended to go hunting for quail. He died before he could kill animals for fun. Feel free to defend cruelty to animals.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2016 10:48 AM
Comment #402582

Antonin Scalia will go down in history as the last Supreme Court justice to truly respect and honor the U.S. Constitution.

With four liberal activist judges already on the court, President Obama will nominate a less liberal judge to hopefully score some political points for liberals.
Hillary will win in November and she will have a liberal Senate to work with to fill the 2-3 Supreme Court positions that will open under her reign.

Come 2025, there will be at least 6 liberal activist judges on the Supreme Court and the United States will be unrecognizable.

Posted by: kctim at February 15, 2016 10:59 AM
Comment #402583

Quail is some fine eating phx8. I could down 2 of them myself.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 15, 2016 11:21 AM
Comment #402584

phx8
Let me repeat

Don’t you ever get tired of being wrong?

Posted by: tom humes at February 15, 2016 12:44 PM
Comment #402585

phx8

Hunting is necessary to conservation. I am glad that there are those who do it. I encourage them any way I can.

Posted by: C&J at February 15, 2016 2:22 PM
Comment #402586

If Obama truly wanted to see the right’s collective heads explode…he would nominate Anita Hill.

Just saying…

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at February 15, 2016 2:45 PM
Comment #402587

Hunting is used to control animal populations. Over population leads to animal starvation.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2016 3:11 PM
Comment #402588

The Rpblcns are the bipolar party, complete with extreme delusions of grandeur. I agree that Scalia was a Rpblcn partisan. And YES, Gore did win in 2000, and Scalia did his partisan thing.

Bork’s firing of Cox was declared illegal, but Cox didn’t want the job back.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 15, 2016 3:15 PM
Comment #402589

It is clear that some Lefties hate the Founders and consequently dislike a justice who bases judicial decisions on what they wrote.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2016 3:16 PM
Comment #402590

RF,
The problem with originalism is that the Constitution is a living document that changes with time through the amendment process, and through the interpretation it words by the Supreme Court. It pretends the context and solutins of 200 years ago can be jammed into the same context of today. At the time of the Constitution’s writing, blacks were considered property. Women could not even vote until the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920. Some issues were inconceivable to a person 200 years ago, and others that seemed very important then no longer matter.

It left a person like Scalia in an untenable position. As the satirical online paper The Onion said, he spent 30 years on the Court battling social progress.

Did he love the Constitution? I’m sure he did. But his opinions and decisions were reactionary and partisan in the extreme. Most of the 5-4 decisions will be overturned, and then forgotten- except for Bush v Gore, which ushered in the disastrous administration of George W Bush. There’s no do-over on that one. We all lost.

Posted by: phx8 at February 15, 2016 6:08 PM
Comment #402592

We all understand the desires of the Far Left phx8. Bend and twist the Constitution into a pretzel to accommodate socialist wishes and end the rights of individuals as the Founders expressed them.

It is really quite simple to explain. End Constitutional Rights and replace them with new found government perceived rights.

The Left is not about Social Rights, but rather, social upheaval. Undermining the Constitution is a road to perdition.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2016 7:29 PM
Comment #402594

phx8
“The problem with originalism…”
There is no problem. That is your imagination. You keep making up things and present them as fact or truth.
Don’t you get tired of being wrong?

Posted by: tom humes at February 15, 2016 11:22 PM
Comment #402595

phx8
“The problem with originalism…”
There is no problem. That is your imagination. You keep making up things and present them as fact or truth.
Don’t you get tired of being wrong?

Posted by: tom humes at February 15, 2016 11:23 PM
Comment #402596

phx8
“The problem with originalism…”
There is no problem. That is your imagination. You keep making up things and present them as fact or truth.
Don’t you get tired of being wrong?

Posted by: tom humes at February 15, 2016 11:25 PM
Comment #402598

phx8

“The problem with originalism is that the Constitution is a living document”

No “it’s a legal document, and it says what it says”. The left cannot get the support needed to amend it, so they subvert it by constantly attempting to change its’ interpretation to suit their political desires.

Posted by: dbs at February 16, 2016 5:37 AM
Comment #402600

“The left cannot get the support needed to amend it, so they subvert it by constantly attempting to change its’ interpretation to suit their political desires.”

And that is exactly why we are so divided and on the road to ruin.

Bravo DBS. Bravo.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2016 8:56 AM
Comment #402601

Not a good start to see things have devolved into name-calling already. The fact of the matter is that the US Constitution is an intentionally vague document. By design, it was meant to be reinterpreted in light of changing technologies and social mores. In 1892, the Constitution’s support of segregation was a matter of settled law only, yet a new interpretation of the 14th Amendment was adopted 60 years later. Likewise, no amendment was necessary for the government to establish an Air Force even though the Constitution only authorizes a navy and an army for common defense.

That said, I really don’t want to argue jurisprudence much longer. I wrote the essay above as a tribute to Scalia’s legacy as well as to signal my worry regarding the upcoming Constitutional crisis. The last time the Senate refused to consider any of a sitting President’s nominees to the Court occurred in the 1840s during the Tyler administration. This breakdown in protocol is sometimes cited as yet another episode in the unraveling of our Constitutional Republic as it descended into civil war scarcely a generation later.

For our country’s sake, it would be terrible for Republicans & conservatives to jeopardize the country’s stability just to score some political points. There’s no ironclad rule that we must have 5 right-leaning Justices. In living memory, we had a left-winging Court just a few decades ago and everything turned out OK. Why can’t people accept the fact that the pendulum of American politics will inevitably swing back and forth as time goes by?

Besides, there is no way that Ginsberg will still be around at the end of the 45th President’s term. If a Republican wins in November, he can appoint someone like Scalia to replace her and restore the current ideological balance within a few years.

Anyway, here is a cheerful story about the time John Boehner tried to convince Scalia to run for VP in 1996:
http://opinion.injo.com/2016/02/253148-time-tried-persuade-antonin-scalia-run-vice-president-united-states/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=floating-sidebar&utm_campaign=Sharing

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 16, 2016 9:43 AM
Comment #402602

Warren

No, is a static document that can be changed only by amending it. If what you say was true any legal document could be twisted and contorted to mean anything any group wanted to at any time to suit their liking.

Posted by: dbs at February 16, 2016 9:49 AM
Comment #402603

wp
If is a highly questionable circumstantial word

If the dog would not have stopped to crap he would have caught the rabbit.

If..If..If

If any of us would have changed some decisions we made in the past things might have been different.

Only If

We can sit here all day long and bring up the ifs of situations that might or could be and if they don’t materialize then another if could be put in the mix.

In a discussion like this post if makes it a non-sensical writing with words only put here to make it sound like a smart person really penned it. That is not true and that is no if.

Posted by: tom humes at February 16, 2016 10:09 AM
Comment #402604

The following excerpts are from this link.

Article I Section 8
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years

So how do we have a military conglomeration now that consumes the majority of our budget?

Article II Section 2
He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court

So why is there now contention on President Obama’s appointment of a SC justice?

Article IV Section 3
and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States

So this Constitution is not to be held in perpetuity word for word?

Article VI
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

I just had to use this one since it is so explicit and simple but it would seem it may be in danger of being negated by some conservative ideas.

WP thank you for expressing your tribute to ‘Nino’ Scalia and for expressing your concerns regarding the upcoming Constitutional crisis.

As I understand it, if the decision of arguments made is a 4 to 4 split then the ruling of the lower court will be in effect until the decision can be brought again to the Supreme Court.

I don’t think the collective jurisprudence of the remaining 8 justices will entertain a resolution that allows a lower court ruling to impede the progress they deem necessary for our country unless the decision favors their position.

Although it has happened in the past I suspect we may see more justice conference’s after arguments that might sway decisions by some of the justices. In particular Justices Kennedy and Breyer might be susceptible to interpretations that would not be the same had Justice Scalia been included. Perhaps even Chief Justice Roberts could have a play in this matter also. I do not see Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, Alito or Thomas as being susceptible to altering their ideological assumptions but I would suppose anything could happen.

I am also unclear on any use of retired Justices being used (O’Connor, Souter and Stevens). After all as you say it is a “crisis”. I would like to know if anyone has information on the possible use of a retired Justice in this instance?

We do indeed live in “interesting times”.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 10:29 AM
Comment #402605

“Why can’t people accept the fact that the pendulum of American politics will inevitably swing back and forth as time goes by?”

Because it’s no longer a debate over what to give up, it is now a fight to retain what little is left.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2016 11:14 AM
Comment #402606

S4A,

I hope you are right regarding the way the remaining 8 Justices conduct themselves for the next two terms. My big worry is if the Presidential election hits a snafu like it did in 2000. Agree with the decision or not, Bush v. Gore averted a Constitutional crisis of another sort. Putting aside the ranting of left-wing bloggers, it is a miracle that Bush v. Gore did not delegitimize our governmental institutions that much.

Regarding retired associate judges:
I know Charles Evans Hughes was nominated by Hoover to succeed Taft as Chief Justice. Hughes had served as an Associate Justice in the early 20th century before resigning in 1916 to be the GOP challenger to Woodrow Wilson’s reelection bid.

Unlike the other retired judges, Souter is “only” 76 years old. It would definitely prove difficult to argue that a former Supreme Court Justice was unqualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. It would take alleged ethical violations on the scale of Fortas, Bork or Thomas for Souter to face legitimate opposition.

Unfortunately, I am quite sure Souter doesn’t want the job. Stevens & O’Connor are way too old to serve except as temporary recess appointments.

dbs,

In US v. Naar (1951), an airman asserted his right to be indicted by a grand jury rather than face a military tribunal. After all, under the 5th Amendment, a person is guaranteed a right to a grand jury proceeding “except in cases arising in the land or naval forces”. Without a doubt, a member of our Air Force is not a part of our land or naval forces, yet the exception applies to him just the same in spite of the literal text of the Constitution. Clearly, the Constitution can change and adapt as society and technology evolve.

Read more on page 35

Tom Humes,

If conservatives cared a damn about our Constitution and our values, there would not be a crisis regarding the SCOTUS vacancy.

If Republican Senators had an ounce of honest sensibility instead of being infected with craven politicking, conservatism would at least stand a chance of remaining relevant in future decades.

If you were right, you wouldn’t have to stoop to criticizing my use speculation. Explain to me how I am wrong and maybe you will learn something or two.

Right now, Republicans have chosen the wrong path. Do they seriously think Clinton or Sanders will make a better appointment than Obama? Over the past 7 years, obstruction has proven to be a brilliant political tactic for Republicans because they have been allowed to hide in the shadows of esotericism and Parliamentary protocol. However, the SCOTUS vacancy shines a spotlight on the cesspool where these rats breed. Americans won’t like what they see one bit.

The GOP is going to lose Senate races in Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida and Ohio if they continue down the current path. In the RCP database there are over 22 polls conducted since the start of the New Year that about Obama’s job approval. Only 4 of those polls have fewer than 45% of Americans approving of Obama. This is similar to when Obama won reelection in 2012. Republicans will not do well if they are depicted as obstructing a popular President.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 16, 2016 12:20 PM
Comment #402607

In case of 4-4 possibilities, the court can and will re-write where Scilia was involved and also may hold the decision until the next session. The court has a variety of how to handle the absence of a justice. It is up to the Chief Justice Roberts to handle these matters. There probably will be some 4-4 decisions go forth but will only have an affect on the present decision and will not have any control of any other decisions. If Scilia has written the decision on either side of the decision and was the one who wrote the decision that spoke for either side then the decision will be rewritten.

Posted by: tom humes at February 16, 2016 12:32 PM
Comment #402608

WP, thanks. My optimistic view of our highest court in the land is not without misgivings however stranger things have happened and justices are humans with human type foibles. I don’t think it too far from reality to consider that a justice could change their past interpretations of law if the circumstances provided that opportunity. This circumstance may provide many different opportunities.

Agreed on the “retired” justices supposition. The likelihood of something like that happening while remote does remain a possibility, albeit not a very viable one.

The Senate races will be interesting especially due to these latest developments and the Presidential election and the veracity of the candidates. Surely the carnival we see from the Republicans would not bode well for that in my estimation however I am not Republican.

This all seems to be playing into President Obama’s ability to use this predicament to his political advantage. The conservatives and Republicans have consistently under estimated his popularity and political acumen, to their fault, and it would seem they will continue to do so(is there such a thing as political karma?). That this is not evident to them will be their undoing but it is theirs only to do or undo.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 12:40 PM
Comment #402609
Because it’s no longer a debate over what to give up, it is now a fight to retain what little is left.
This is pure unadulterated bullshit. Obama is liberal, he shifts government spending away from guns and towards butter, he supports everyone’s equality under the law instead of privileging “real” Americans whatever that may mean.

Conservatives and Republicans are fine to disagree. It makes sense to try to preserve an antiquated system whereby people are rewarded by their birth and circumstance rather than receive their just deserts when that system benefits them.

What doesn’t make any sense is all the hollering about how the threat is now existential. As if FDR, LBJ and other leftists didn’t do the same things. Granted, FDR tolerated racist Dixiecrats in his administration and LBJ was no dove when it came to Vietnam. Still, this is all highly hypocritical for Republicans when the leading contender for their Presidential nomination has proclaimed himself the biggest defender of a wide array of statist welfare programs.

The ultimate lesson here seems to be quite apparent. IOKIYAR. Ted Cruz lies his ass off about his poison pill amendment to the Senate Immigration Bill, but gets called “honest” by Royal Flush. Whereas, HRC fibs about snipers on a trip to Bosnia and gets brandished a liar. Emails sent or received by Colin Powell on an AOL server are retroactively classified without anyone impugning his integrity. The same thing happens to emails stored on a server in HRC’s basement and all hell breaks loose.

Ronald Reagan gets to fill vacancies on the SCOTUS even when its less than one year before an election whereas Obama cannot. Obama gets accused for executive overreach despite issuing fewer executive orders than pretty much every President since McKinley. Reagan gets to trade weapons with Iran to pay ransom, yet Obama isn’t allowed to negotiate an end to the Iranian nuclear program.

The list goes on and on.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 16, 2016 12:42 PM
Comment #402610
The Senate races will be interesting especially due to these latest developments and the Presidential election and the veracity of the candidates.

I think this is an important point that is being lost on our conservative friends. You see, many of them live in red areas that are so deeply detached from the American mainstream. East Texans like Royal Flush won’t be voting in those elections. Instead, it will come down to suburban swing voters such as the guy in Nashua who commutes to a nice job in Boston who approves of Maggie Hassan’s governorship. Or perhaps the Puerto Rican living in Tampa who thinks Latinos from other places should be able to move to the US just as easily as he. Or maybe it will be an African-American in Philadelphia or Ohio who didn’t typically vote in elections until Obama’s name appeared on the ballot. This voter may not have been planning to participate with both parties set to nominate nonblacks, but now he or she decides to turnout to support Paul Watford’s nomination to the high court.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 16, 2016 1:03 PM
Comment #402611

Speak writes; “So how do we have a military conglomeration now that consumes the majority of our budget?”

Very interesting arithmetic. The pie chart for FY 2016 shows 12% of the budget for defense. Interest on our national debt is already 5% and Welfare is 7%. Hmmm…that is as much as the defense spending.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_budget_pie_chart

Warren writes; “If Republican Senators had an ounce of honest sensibility instead of being infected with craven politicking, conservatism would at least stand a chance of remaining relevant in future decades.”

What an interesting “if…then” statement. A quick glance at how Obamacare was passed into law shows “craven politicking” and dishonest “sensibility”. Sure hope Warren doesn’t live in a “glass house”.

Warren writes; “Over the past 7 years, obstruction has proven to be a brilliant political tactic for Republicans because they have been allowed to hide in the shadows of esotericism and Parliamentary protocol.”

Oh, MY, what hubris. Shall we list all the capitulation by Republicans to Democrats wishes? Use your wit and logic Warren. Why is the electorate so angry with the establishment Republicans?

Warren, please explain “just deserts” as used in your comment 402609.


Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 1:14 PM
Comment #402612
Antonin Scalia will go down in history as the last Supreme Court justice to truly respect and honor the U.S. Constitution.

He was a judicial activist with political ties to far right organizations he will go down in history as such. He makes up this “originalist” thing as part of being an activist politicizing the SCOTUS and conservatives laud him as some kind of hero. but he wasn’t nothing but a political activist in a robe.

Hell many on the right are are already claiming Obama had Scalia killed or killed him yet we are to take the right wing seriously when they make the ridiculous claim that the position vacated by his death should remain vacated because Obama has only 11 months to go in office! This is simply ridiculous, without merit. Where in the Constitution does it say anything, anything at all about the last year of the presidency? Where does it say anything about no nominations during the last year of the presidency? The idea of lame duck nominations has zero merit and anyone who uses this foolishness is no defender of the constitution, they are tools being used by the far right to confuse the issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 16, 2016 1:20 PM
Comment #402614

I was wondering why the latest conspiracy theory about Scalia being killed hadn’t been mentioned. Maybe their overlords haven’t had much time since they’re too busy trying to figure out whether or not Trump is the new deity.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 16, 2016 1:48 PM
Comment #402615

“The rash statement that Sen. McConnell issued a few hours after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death was announced framed the precedent at stake in the broadest possible terms, arguing that, starting now, any president should be denied the right to fill a vacancy in a presidential election year. Not only is that principle absurd on its face, but if we set that precedent now, there is nothing to stop future Senates from sliding further down that slippery slope. It is a small and easily envisioned step to go from “no Supreme Court confirmations in this specific election year” to “no confirmations in any election year.” Our founders who envisioned a fair, bipartisan process must be rolling in their graves.

If we enshrine this precedent and declare a functioning Supreme Court optional, subordinate to the whim of the Senate majority, it is easy to envision a future where the Supreme Court is routinely crippled.
Senator Harry Reid, in today’s WaPo editorial

Reid writes a very good article:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/reid-to-gop-for-the-good-of-the-country-stop-your-nakedly-partisan-obstruction/2016/02/15/07f225e8-d42d-11e5-b195-2e29a4e13425_story.html

There is a good reason Supreme Court openings have traditionally been filled in a short time. Leaving a SCOTUS seat open for a year or more risk damaging our legal system in the short term, and crippling the Court in the long term.

In the short term, 4-4 cases revert to the decision made by the lower court. Over a period of a year or more, different lower courts may reach different decisions on the same issues. The Constitution will come to be interpreted differently for different parts of the country.

In the long term, as I have mentioned previously, the opposition party will routinely refuse to confirm SCOTUS nominations and simply wait for the next election, in the hope of a different outcome.

Our democracy depends on the loser in an election respecting the outcome. Will conservatives lose control of the Supreme Court for a generation? Perhaps. The GOP has lost the popular vote for five out of the last six presidential elections. Elections have consequences. Obama won in 2012 with more than 50% of the votes. This is a consequence.


Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 1:58 PM
Comment #402616

RF, thanks for pointing out my egregious error of using “most” instead of something more accurate. What ever the nit picking presents however it is still too much to spend. While I share your concern regarding our interest on national debt, would you agree that military spending contributed to that debt? I also have concerns on “welfare” spending however if the majority of minimum wage earners began earning enough money through their wages perhaps there wouldn’t be a need to give “welfare” to the “working poor”.

If military spending is only 12% how do you explain this pie chart on our 2015 discretionary spending?

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 2:29 PM
Comment #402617

Speak, your chart is federal “discretionary spending”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 2:46 PM
Comment #402618

RF, exactly as I stated in the link text. Your astute reading comprehension is appreciated but I think I already made the point that it was a chart of “discretionary spending”. Do you have a contention to make? Perhaps some contention of mandatory versus discretionary spending? What about military spending contributing to the national debt? How about “welfare” spending being spent on the “working poor” who should really be earning a decent wage?

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 2:54 PM
Comment #402619

Speak, I am disappointed that you fail to recognize the difference between “discretionary spending” and total spending.

I know it is difficult to get sufficient oxygen to the brain when breathing liberal bullshit.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 3:06 PM
Comment #402620

Warren, thanks for the great example to my point.

We no longer debate over shifting spending from defense to help those who truly deserve help, we now fight over excessive taxation to give to those who don’t deserve it.
We no longer debate actual equality under the law, we fight over creating new laws that give special treatment to one group over another.

The harmful belief that our Constitution is out of date has led to leftist overreach and is what has brought us to this point.

“this is all highly hypocritical for Republicans when the leading contender for their Presidential nomination has proclaimed himself the biggest defender of a wide array of statist welfare programs.”

I totally agree, but it really isn’t something that’s new. Time and time again I have tried to tell you guys that the rejection of liberal policy has less to do with welfare programs and everything to with individual rights.

“The ultimate lesson here seems to be quite apparent.”

What’s apparent is how people willingly omit facts in order to justify their support. Hillary trying to pad her cred with lies about sniper fire were laughable at the time. Now, like her CYA with her server, they are just more examples to her lack of integrity.

“Ronald Reagan gets to fill vacancies on the SCOTUS”

Our nations government was not so far left, nor were we divided 50-50.

“Obama gets accused for executive overreach despite issuing fewer executive orders than pretty much every President since McKinley.”

You know darn well that it’s the content of those EOs that people don’t like, not the numbers.

Face it Warren, the people on the right trying to retain what’s left of the country, is the reason liberals hate those on the right are why they cheer Scalia’s death.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2016 3:06 PM
Comment #402621

J2, Scalia’s refusal to reinterpret the Constitution to fit your politics does not make him a “judicial activist.”

“Where does it say anything about no nominations during the last year of the presidency?”

Ask Chuck Schumer, he seems to think it’s a great idea.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2016 3:11 PM
Comment #402622

I have dis-proven the Left’s silly contention about mandatory higher wages helping the working poor. They conveniently discard the law of supply and demand to make their theory work.

Please explain how increasing the cost of labor will increase the demand for labor.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 3:12 PM
Comment #402623

RF, I am disappointed that you fail to recognize what I am attempting to point out but not surprised. Obviously all of the oxygen on the planet cannot help when there is no recognizable synapse to be found and acted upon. Please tell me how military spending somehow is excluded from the debt? Then explain to me why corporate “welfare” is a good thing when those same corporations depend on their employees receiving “welfare” because they are to poor while working to support themselves and their families because these same corporations, while racking up record breaking profits, are unable to increase the average employees earnings?

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 3:13 PM
Comment #402624

“Obama won in 2012 with more than 50% of the votes. This is a consequence.”

Yep, and I do believe he gets to nominate a replacement.

Republicans won in 2010 and 2014. This too is a consequence.

And by doing so, I believe that they get to confirm the replacement.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2016 3:23 PM
Comment #402625

Silly boy. How many times must I write that I oppose government favoritism towards any group. I support Ted Cruz as he will attempt to eliminate the IRS, the funnel for channeling government money to corporate America. Only he had the balls to call for an end to the corn ethanol subsidy while campaigning in Iowa.

Changing the subject doesn’t enhance your argument regarding military spending. It’s 12% for FY 2016. Do you disagree?

Now, stop being evasive on how higher minimum wages fits into Supply and Demand theory.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 3:25 PM
Comment #402626

Silly old man. I don’t disagree about military spending except that I consider it to be way too much and you would probably condone more. This seems really inconceivable when our only real enemies are some rag tag bunch of goons squatting in the desert some where while we tremble at the mere mention of their supposed abilities.

Now stop being evasive about why we as a country allow corporate “welfare” to the very organizations that are responsible for keeping wage earners as “working poor”.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 3:34 PM
Comment #402627
Our founders who envisioned a fair, bipartisan process must be rolling in their graves.

I don’t believe that our founders envisioned any kind of partisan processes, and it took until the Civil War for the current biparty lineup to emerge, and until 1884 to become competitive. I want it to disappear, and this year seems hopeful, since a major candidate in each half of the biparty isn’t exactly a card carrying member.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 16, 2016 3:42 PM
Comment #402628

Speak must be having a bad day as he can’t recognize my answers or respond to my questions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 3:46 PM
Comment #402629

RF, your weak response to my question about the “working poor” using some kind of Supply and Demand fantasy is not an answer to my question of why you condone, support and would keep the “working poor” while handing out corporate welfare to those that have the most influence on correcting that. You also have not even tried to answer how military spending doesn’t contribute to the national debt. Bad day? Nothing bad here but the answers you are trying to provide.

Who here has said anything about “cheering Scalia’s death”. Truly there are some here that exist in the bubble of their echo chamber existence and are impervious to any intention of bursting that bubble. That would be their loss. WP gave a heartfelt rendition of respect to Justice Scalia and is now being accused of “cheers for his death”? Disgusting!

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 3:55 PM
Comment #402630

Go back to bed Speak and take something for your hangover.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 3:58 PM
Comment #402631

RF, my sleep habits are not being discussed now. Your insistence in support of corporations keeping the “working poor” in less than subsistence wages by virtue of requiring not only corporate welfare but also welfare for the “working poor” that they employ is being discussed. Your “hangover” is something you are unable to take something for since it requires you to recognize the fallacious position that you adhere to in giving corporate welfare but decrying welfare to the “working poor”. The something you need to take is truth.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 4:05 PM
Comment #402632

Speaks, venture outside your WatchBlog bubble and you will easily find that liberals are elated over the news of Justice Scalia.

Posted by: kctim at February 16, 2016 4:13 PM
Comment #402633

It is interesting, but not surprising, that the more the Left recognizes they have an old tired loser and avowed Socialist for presidential candidates the more they promote the very liberal policies that are failing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 4:15 PM
Comment #402635

phx8

“Our democracy depends on the loser in an election respecting the outcome.”

First off. This country is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. And yes the loser in an election should respect the outcome. Who is it that was booted out of the majority in the house, and recently the senate ? Oh ya it was the democrats. Remember elections have consequences, and the consequence of losing the senate is that you no longer get to control the agenda, or ram through your judiciary picks by changing the rules. That may change in November, it may not. Either way dear leader doesn’t get to pick the next justice unless the senate says he does. Deal with it.

Posted by: dbs at February 16, 2016 4:26 PM
Comment #402636

kct, I do and I have not witnessed anything like that except in the fevered imaginary statements that you make. Please give us some credible citations of this supposed elation you are witnessing.

RF, a far sight better than a group of liars by their own adversaries admissions. My prediction of the chicken head biting contest wasn’t too far from the reality of last Saturday’s debate performance, sans chickens. As also predicted, Kasich could not believe his eyes and ears, as he so vehemently made a point of. Unfortunately he will probably be gone after the SC primaries, but I could be wrong. What did you think of GWB’s performance last night for the benefit of his brother’s campaign. Help or hindrance?

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 4:34 PM
Comment #402637

Another anomaly of the great amount of spending on our military and the outcome of that spending.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 4:39 PM
Comment #402638

Sorry Speak, no more answers from me until you answer my questions above.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 4:39 PM
Comment #402639

Sorry RF your lame excuses for not responding are, well lame. I have answered your questions as best as I can, that you are unable to understand them is something that is beyond my control but might be helped if you didn’t expect the answer to be in some agreement with your contentions but in fact disagree with them. Some other time then. I’m not surprised that you don’t want to expound on the GWB appearance on the campaign for Jeb:(

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 4:51 PM
Comment #402640

Sorry Speak, evasion is not an answer.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 5:04 PM
Comment #402641

RF, evasion is not being presented. Please point out any evasiveness you may be referring to. Looking back at your comments I do not see many ?’s. Punctuation is not all that important here but it does delineate a statement from a question, does it not?

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:07 PM
Comment #402642

It certainly is. Explain how increasing the cost of labor will increase demand for jobs.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 5:09 PM
Comment #402643

RF, just a point of clarification then. Are you OK with our service members and their families not only being included in the overblown military spending but also being included as the “working poor” in need of “welfare” due to their low wages?

You know what, you don’t need to answer that after all, as I expect that your answer will be a question for me instead, as your previous comments have been.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:11 PM
Comment #402644

Finally, Speak gets the message. Whew…he is slow.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 5:16 PM
Comment #402645

RF, I am not condoning increasing the cost of labor in order to promote more jobs. Where ever did you come to that conclusion? I am condoning the payment of wage earners a proper amount to keep them in subsistence level earnings to avoid increasing their need for “welfare”. The job creation will come from other avenues. What I asked you is why you support corporate “welfare” but decry “welfare” for the “working poor”? Welfare is welfare, isn’t it? These things (?) are important in any written discussion. Your insistence to not use them make your comments statements rather than questions.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:17 PM
Comment #402646

Slow, determined and unequivocally adhered to attempting to discuss. Excuse me for not realizing that I was attempting to do that with someone who was not up for discussion and only wanted to make their inadequate statements seem relevant.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:21 PM
Comment #402647

“RF, I am not condoning increasing the cost of labor in order to promote more jobs.”

Finally, a firm statement. Next, will the number of jobs remain the same, increase, or decrease with an increased cost of labor????? Please explain your answer with something more than the usual Liberal BS.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 5:22 PM
Comment #402648

RF, I am not in possession of a crystal ball or anything like that so I will be unable to tell you if the number of jobs will remain the same, increase or decrease at any point in time in our existence. Neither will I be able to afford you the winning Power Ball numbers. I am certain however that you are absolutely sure that raising wages to pull people out of “welfare” who are now the “working poor” will only lead to less jobs. I really don’t care that you think that way and will not attempt to change that. I can only wonder why you would maintain that position without any indication of it being truthful.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:28 PM
Comment #402649

“I can only wonder why you would maintain that position (higher cost leads to lower demand)”

Name one reputable economic expert who doesn’t agree with my position on cost and demand in the private marketplace.

Government is the only entity that can break economic laws with impunity.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 5:36 PM
Comment #402650

I would dispute your contention that “higher cost leads to lower demand”. While this may be the case for some commodities, it is usually due to decreased consumption of said commodities. In a labor market those things don’t apply. If wages are increased for the “working poor” they will be spending that money in their consumption of products. Name anyone with an ounce of truthfulness that wouldn’t agree with that or do you think they would just sit on it like so many that benefit from lower wages do. While depriving the wage earner of earnings doesn’t cause any greater consumption of products from the entities that benefit from the lower earnings, increasing the earnings of wage earners would infuse the economy instead of stagnate it.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:46 PM
Comment #402651

RF, not a half bad discussion, thanks. But alas I need to spend some time with a grandchild to make sure they understand the importance of putting in some time on SAT score improvement. Now that is going to be daunting. I will be waiting in anticipation of any response from you.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 16, 2016 5:50 PM
Comment #402652

Speaks attempts to be clever by writing; “If wages are increased for the “working poor” they will be spending that money in their consumption of products.”

Is he clever enough to discern from where that additional “spending” money will come? Clue for the clueless: It’s not the employer.

Speak is careful not to address the lost “spending” by those who lose their jobs due to increased labor costs. We all know that those poor, now unemployed folks, will simply join the feeding frenzy at the public trough.

But then, isn’t that what Liberalism is all about. Make people more dependent on government. More government dependence equals greater control of the masses.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2016 5:59 PM
Comment #402654

kctim,
It is the constitutional duty of the president to nominate a candidate for the SCOTUS. During the Saturday debate, Kasich and Rubio apparently did not know this. It is the constitutional duty of the Senate to provide advice and consent. Cruz and others apparently did not know this either when they called for no hearings to be held. Oddly enough, Trump was the one who came closest to giving a good answer that meets the constitutional requirements. He called for the GOP to “delay, delay, delay.”

Although it would break with precedent- there have been cases where justices have been confirmed in the last year of a president’s term (Cruz was very wrong on this one as well)- there would have been room for the GOP to work through this if they had basically said ‘um, we’ll think about it’ for 11 months.

Instead, the GOP punched itself in the face. And now the Democrats are going to pile on and say ‘stop hitting yourself!’ over and over.

The strategy of preventing a hearing was stupid right from the word ‘go.’ It was just stupid. The only way this ill-conceived strategy would work in the first is if the GOP won the White House in 2016 AND held the Senate; and given the Senate math, that is highly unlikely to happen. It is a bit morbid to say this, but Ruth Bader-Ginsburg has been battling cancer on and off for years. There is an good chance a GOP president would be able to restore a conservative majority on the SCOTUS when her position becomes open.

Now, there is almost no way that will ever happen. The Democrats will simply dish it right back to the GOP should Republicans win this November. Democrats will say ‘ya know, we should wait until the next election…’

The GOP approach is tremendously harmful to our system of government. They deserve to be raked over the coals for this. They earned it.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 6:56 PM
Comment #402655

Phx8 ranting and raving, it’s OK for Democrats to delay, delay, delay, but WOE to the GOP if they do.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 16, 2016 7:15 PM
Comment #402657

KAP,
Care to provide an example of Democrats delaying? The longest confirmation process was for Clarence Thomas- 107 days. In recent history nearly every nominee for SCOTUS has been approved. Since the 1930’s, very few have failed: Abe Fortas, Harold Carswell, Robert Bork, David Ginsberg, and Harriet Miers. Each of these candidates were rejected for good reason.

Fortas was denied a position as Chief Justice due to ‘extracurricular activities.’ Carswell had a history of being a segregationist. Bork participated in Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre. Ginsberg was withdrawn when conservatives discovered the Reagan nominee had smoked marijuana. Hand me my feinting pearls! Miers was withdrawn when Senators- both Republican and Democratic- started interviewing the George W Bush nominee and realized she had no clue.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 7:29 PM
Comment #402658

phx8, Democrats in the 60’s made a resolution that NO SCOTUS vacancies be filled in a Presidential election year. Also it is the Presidents job to NOMINATE a person to the SCOTUS, it’s the Senates job to approve. And are you saying that a Democrat run Senate would not do the same?

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 16, 2016 7:44 PM
Comment #402660

“Democrats in the 60’s made a resolution that NO SCOTUS vacancies be filled in a Presidential election year.”

I’ve never heard that and I can not find anything on the internet supporting that. Link?

“And are you saying that a Democrat run Senate would not do the same?”

Yes. In fact, they did, and fairly recently. In 1988, Justice Kennedy- a Reagan nominee- was confirmed by a Democratic Senate in the last year of Reagan’s second term.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 8:03 PM
Comment #402661

KAP,
I found what you were referring to from the 1960’s. It was a resolution that about recess appointments to the SCOTUS.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/02/dems_in_senate_passed_a_resolution_in1960_against_election_year_supreme_court_appointments.html

That is NOT what is going on here. It has nothing to do with a recess appointment.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 8:07 PM
Comment #402662

It was during the Eisenhower administration phx8, and if I am not mistaken Kennedy was nominated the year before he was confirmed.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 16, 2016 8:09 PM
Comment #402663

Justice Kennedy was nominated by Reagan in 1987 and confirmed in February 1988 by a Democratic Senate.

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 8:30 PM
Comment #402664

phx8, No one is saying Obama cannot nominate someone, what they are saying is the Senate can take it’s good old sweet time in the confirmation process, if they get around to it. I’m sure Reid would do the same if the shoe was on the other foot.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 16, 2016 8:32 PM
Comment #402665

Less than a year before the next Presidential election, Reagan nominated Kennedy on November 12, 1987.

In September 1956, Ike gave William Brennan a recess appointment a couple of months before an election. Brennan was confirmed as a permanent justice the next year, but apparently the Democrats didn’t want Ike to pull the same trick in 1960 that he used in 1956.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 16, 2016 8:39 PM
Comment #402666

KAP,
You are missing the point. Republican Senators have declared they will not even hold hearings.

The Onion nails it, as usual:

“WASHINGTON—Moving quickly to begin the process of filling the unexpected vacancy on the Supreme Court bench, President Obama spent much of the weekend compiling a shortlist of gay, transsexual abortion doctors to replace the late Antonin Scalia, White House sources confirmed Monday. “These are all exemplary candidates with strong homosexual values and proven records of performing partial-birth abortions, but am I missing anyone?” Obama reportedly asked himself while reviewing his list of queer, gender-nonconforming, feminist Planned Parenthood employees, all of whom were also said to be black immigrants. “I definitely have enough post-op transsexuals on the list, but it is a little light on pre-op candidates. And I should probably add a cop killer or two on here just to round out my options.” Sources later confirmed that Obama was attempting to rapidly narrow the list down to the single best nominee to submit to the Senate in hopes of wrapping up confirmation hearings before his choice had to leave to attend the Hajj pilgrimage.”

Posted by: phx8 at February 16, 2016 10:54 PM
Comment #402667

That’s their prerogative phx8, I’m sure Democrats would do the same.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 16, 2016 11:14 PM
Comment #402668
Scalia’s refusal to reinterpret the Constitution to fit your politics does not make him a “judicial activist.”

Really kctim, isn’t that the definition of judicial activist when you guys use it to criticize judges?

“Where does it say anything about no nominations during the last year of the presidency?”

Ask Chuck Schumer, he seems to think it’s a great idea.

Are you suggesting, kctim, that the final word on the constitution belongs to Chuck Schumer as far as conservatives, libertarians and other fringe groups are concerned?

Just look at how silly you and your conservatives friends here on WB are behaving on this issue kctim. our strict constitutionalist friends are running from the constitution as they seek to prevent Obama from selecting the next SCOTUS justice. They are quoting dems while at the same time calling dems anti constitutional! The hypocrisy is so over whelming it is as if you are all scripted by the Onion.


Posted by: j2t2 at February 17, 2016 1:27 AM
Comment #402675

“isn’t that the definition of judicial activist when you guys use it to criticize judges?”

Um, no J2. The definition I use is when they do reinterpret the Constitution, not when they refuse to.

“Are you suggesting, kctim, that the final word on the constitution belongs to Chuck Schumer”

No, I am stating how ridiculous the lefts hypocrisy is on all of this. The fact that liberals would be calling for the exact same thing if this was a Republican administration, is freaking priceless.

“Just look at how silly you and your conservatives friends here on WB are behaving on this issue kctim.”

Silly? From what I have seen so far it seems that most are saying it’s the Presidents duty to nominate a replacement and it’s the Congress’s duty to consent or deny. How is that silly or somehow ‘running from the Constitution?’

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2016 11:34 AM
Comment #402676

kctim, gonna have to take off the blinders and clean out the ears it seems. Repubs in Congress have been telling us they aren’t going to do their jobs when it comes to advising and consenting. He is just the tip of the iceberg though but without these tidbits of factual information your comments and the comments of others here on WB would be less than silly. Reality, however you deny it, tells us your defense of these guys and their hypocritical stance on the issue is just silly.

Sad it has come to this, the strict constitutionalist running for cover when it comes to following the constitution. IMHO a total lack of integrity when they use the “well they did it to; well kinda” line to justify their position. How are we to believe anything they say when they sell out so easily.

KAP and his revisionist interpretation of what the repubs in Congress have told the American people they intend to do is laughable in it’s silliness but it seems you have one upped him with you latest denial of the facts. But hey lets get on to the important stuff. Do you believe, as some conservatives are saying that, that Obama killed Scalia as a pagan sacrifice? Do you believe Trump is the next target as Alex Jones tells us? DO you think conservatives deserve to advise and consent when their leaders babble this kind of crap?

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/rick-wiles-obama-killed-scalia-pagan-human-sacrifice

Posted by: j2t2 at February 17, 2016 11:54 AM
Comment #402677

And if it were a Dem Senate doing it to a Republican President J2 and phx8 and a few others from the left would be praising them. What a bunch of hypocrits!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 17, 2016 12:04 PM
Comment #402678

J2, I have seen where Republicans have said the position should be filled by the new President after the people have their say in November. I have seen where Republicans have said they think they should block Obama’s liberal nomination to the bench. But I have not seen where Republicans have stated they will intentionally disregard the Constitution if President Obama actually nominates someone to the position. IF they do, they will be in the wrong.
Now, I do not read the radical leftist blogs and conspiracy sites that you apparently do, so it is possible that I have missed their “facts.”

From what I gather, there is no timeline that the President must meet in his nomination, and there is no timeline for Congress to hold their hearings and give their advice and whether they consent or not with his nomination.

“Do you believe, as some conservatives are saying that, that Obama killed Scalia as a pagan sacrifice?”

I believe it about as much as I believe the conspiracies about Bush stealing the election, some super secret 1% Bilderberg corporation group ruling the world, and the coming American theocracy that is always right around the corner.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2016 12:35 PM
Comment #402681

KAP the difference is the dem senate wouldn’t, the day after the death of a justice, tell the world they refuse to do their job. Time has shown us what the dems would do, your comment is without merit. Remember your team are the “originalist”, the “constitutionalist” and they are refusing to do the work we elected them to do. They are refusing to follow the constitution because of circumstances which makes them hypocritical for doing so and you hypocritical for defending their actions.

J2, I have seen where Republicans have said the position should be filled by the new President after the people have their say in November.

Which IMHO is BS, the people have had their say and reelected Obama to a second term. Where does the constitution expand the duties of the Senate on the appointment of SCOTUS justices as your repub leaders suggest? Wouldn’t we need an amendment that tells us it is ok to stall until the next president is elected and sworn into office to fill the vacancy?

But I have not seen where Republicans have stated they will intentionally disregard the Constitution if President Obama actually nominates someone to the position.

So then we come full circle kctim, show me where the constitution tells us to wait for the next president, or to not confirm the presidents choice for Justice or to sit on the nomination until the next president is in office. Explain why constitutionalist are using the “well they did it to, well kinda” excuse to do these things? How can you allow your leaders to have it both ways? You do, because you defend them and the weak argument they use.

http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-02-16/republicans-show-signs-of-division-on-supreme-court-tactics

Posted by: j2t2 at February 17, 2016 1:17 PM
Comment #402686

“Which IMHO is BS, the people have had their say and reelected Obama to a second term.”

Yes, in 2012. But in 2014 the people had their say and filled the House and Senate with Republicans.

“Where does the constitution expand the duties of the Senate on the appointment of SCOTUS justices as your repub leaders suggest?”

I don’t know. Perhaps it says it right next to where it expands the Presidents duties to hastily pass health care laws and Supreme Court picks before the coming election results prevent him from doing so?

“So then we come full circle kctim, show me where the constitution tells us to wait for the next president, or to not confirm the presidents choice for Justice or to sit on the nomination until the next president is in office.”

The problem J2, is that it doesn’t say they can’t. It doesn’t give a timeline. It doesn’t say they have to give their consent to whomever the President nominates.

“Explain why constitutionalist are using the “well they did it to, well kinda” excuse to do these things?”

Their ‘excuse’ is that the Constitution does not prevent them from doing it. The whole ‘well they did it to’ stuff is just pointing out typical liberal hypocrisy.

“How can you allow your leaders to have it both ways?

Both ways? As far as I have heard, they are not going against what the Constitution actually says and, other than the small amount of difference in time, they are doing what has always been done in the past.

Hillary is going to win in November J2. You guys are going to have plenty of time to rewrite the Constitution.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2016 2:28 PM
Comment #402687

Yea j2 Like Schumer said in 2007 now wants Republicans to disregard what he said? J2 your side is just as bad as Republicans the problem is you won’t admit it.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 17, 2016 3:11 PM
Comment #402694

So anyway, Scalia was having a vacation courtesy of a Poindexter whose company was involved in a case that made it to the high court. Last year, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case involving an age discrimination lawsuit filed against one of his companies, court records show.

Posted by: ohrealy at February 17, 2016 5:12 PM
Comment #402697

Geez ohrealy, it almost seems like you are pointing out that Poindexter donated to Scalia and then received something of a big deal in return.

Posted by: kctim at February 17, 2016 5:52 PM
Comment #402701
Yes, in 2012. But in 2014 the people had their say and filled the House and Senate with Republicans.

So what the president has the constitutional responsibility to select the next justice to serve on the SCOTUS. It really is that simple kctim.

I don’t know. Perhaps it says it right next to where it expands the Presidents duties to hastily pass health care laws and Supreme Court picks before the coming election results prevent him from doing so?

So it seems we agree the constitution is a living document and all this strict constitutionalist and/or originalist crap is just much ado about nothing. Supporters of the originalist/strict constitutionalist viewpoint lose any credibility they have when then spout nonsense like you just did kctim. When they double down and use the “well they did to… well kinda” excuse they lose their integrity IMHO.

The problem J2, is that it doesn’t say they can’t. It doesn’t give a timeline. It doesn’t say they have to give their consent to whomever the President nominates.

Yeah no doubt the founding fathers wanted to give the Senate years to give their advice and consent. Kctim you seem to be making a mockery of the strict constitutionalist viewpoint as you wiggle around trying to justify the repubs actions concerning the appointment of a replacement justice.

The whole ‘well they did it to’ stuff is just pointing out typical liberal hypocrisy.

The difference is, of course, the dems are usually considered to be living document types kctim. Changing sides to fit the moment tells us your conservatives principles don’t amount to much when you do the same thing you criticize others for. It also points the hypocrisy finger back to you guy.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2016 1:38 AM
Comment #402703

J2

The President has the Constitutional responsibility to nominate, not select.

The President shall nominate and he, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint.
The President will nominate - the Senate will have hearings - The Senate will let the President know whether or not they give consent to his choice.

THAT is what is happening. There has been no violation of the Constitution, there is no Constitutional crisis.

Supporters of the originalist/strict constitutionalist viewpoint have not lost any credibility with this issue.

“The difference is, of course, the dems are usually considered to be living document types kctim.”

I can’t tell if you are being intentionally obtuse, or if your emotions have finally blinded you to all facts.
The Constitution is NOT being treated as a living document here.

“Changing sides to fit the moment tells us your conservatives principles don’t amount to much”

How has anybody changed sides, J2? So far both sides are doing things as they are outlined in the Constitution and they both are taking the same position they took before with the ACA: Conservatives want the people to decide and liberals want to push it through before they possibly lose power to do so.

So far, there isn’t anything anti Constitution going on, J2. What you are truly upset about is that the politics aren’t working out in your favor this time.

Posted by: kctim at February 18, 2016 9:52 AM
Comment #402705

Kctim, so we both agree the constitution doesn’t say the Senate is to refuse to advise and consent if the president has less than a year in office, right?

Now you may be right if it turns out McConnell (and many others on the right) was just lying to the American people when he threatened to not do the advise and consent part because Obama has less than a year in office. The sad part it seems is you guys have the choice of a liar or a hypocrite in this argument.

Despite your silly maneuvering on this issue it still seems the right, those that are strict constitutionalist/originalist when it comes to SCOTUS decisions have a problem of credibility when they use the rhetoric you have used to defend themselves kctim. You see you can’t have it both ways simply because you use the “well they did it to, well kinda” excuse. Nor can you weasel word the constitution to imply the founding fathers wanted a long drawn out process, a “let the people decide in the future” process to select Justices. That is just not the case, you do this because the timing isn’t what you would hope for, you are bending your conservative principles for political gain. Which is the definition of political hypocrisy IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2016 10:52 AM
Comment #402711

J2

Shaming people into giving up political advantage isn’t going work. Lol

Posted by: dbs at February 18, 2016 12:17 PM
Comment #402712
the Senate will have hearings

You don’t know that.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 18, 2016 12:22 PM
Comment #402715

J2, from the very beginning, I have been saying their job was to advise and consent. You are the one who has taken the Republicans desire for the President to not nominate and their vow to block, as some kind of violation of the Constitution.
Vows to block are nothing but politics. Business as usual. And both parties do it all the time.

CNBC: “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” McConnell said in a statement.

There is nothing hypocritical about his statement and the only way he is lying is IF he does nothing to allow the people the chance to vote on it.

“Despite your silly maneuvering on this issue it still seems the right, those that are strict constitutionalist/originalist when it comes to SCOTUS decisions have a problem of credibility when they use the rhetoric you have used to defend themselves kctim.”

Silly maneuvering? Problem of credibility? Sigh. I quoted out of the Constitution, J2:

- he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint

That’s NOT a ‘they did it to’ excuse.
The ‘they did it to’ excuse is in reference to the left’s claims that it is wrong to filibuster a nomination presented by the current President.

“Nor can you weasel word the constitution to imply the founding fathers wanted a long drawn out process, a “let the people decide in the future” process to select Justices.”

I never said what I thought the founders wanted, I stated the fact that they gave no timeline for the position to be filled.
We have had relatively short nominations and confirmations, and we have had long drawn out ones due to politics, without any Constitutional crisis popping up.

“That is just not the case, you do this because the timing isn’t what you would hope for, you are bending your conservative principles for political gain.”

There are no principles at stake here, J2. The President nominates and the Senate confirms. Doesn’t matter if it takes a few weeks, 391 days, or 410 days.

Obama, Clinton, Warren and Reid are indulging in hyperbole, J2. You would be better off thinking on your own.

Posted by: kctim at February 18, 2016 12:52 PM
Comment #402717

kctim,

If Obama nominated Diane Sykes or Bill Pryor, do you honestly believe the Republicans would keep their promise to wait until the 45th President is sworn in? That is the hypocrisy.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 18, 2016 1:05 PM
Comment #402724

Of course it would be Warren, but that is the typical political hypocrisy we always get from both sides. Not what J2 is confused on.

Posted by: kctim at February 18, 2016 1:54 PM
Comment #402727

No Warren, that is politics. The democrats would do the same thing.

Posted by: dbs at February 18, 2016 2:10 PM
Comment #402728

I would have no problem if Republicans adopted the advice Schumer gave in 2007. At the time, Schumer never babbled nonsense about letting the next President fill any vacancies. Instead, he briefly summed up his thoughts process for evaluating a nominee. Suffice to say, he predicted that it would be an “extraordinary circumstance” for Bush to nominate someone that met Schumer’s criteria. Republicans are free to do the same without fear of contradiction.

It’s this nonsense that the Senate cannot even consider Obama’s nominee due to the upcoming less that is pure applesauce. Let’s drop the canard and revert to the traditional process: Hold a fair hearing and then hold a fair vote. If a majority of Senators do not assent to Obama’s nominee then it is their right to reject the nominee and face the voters in November to defend the decision.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 18, 2016 2:54 PM
Comment #402729

Agree, Warren - Hold a fair hearing and then hold a fair vote. What happens, happens.

As I said before though, we are way too divided and I just think the well has been to poisoned for that to be an option anymore.
IMO, Conservatives and liberals are afraid to do that because of how the other side will use the court of public opinion.

Posted by: kctim at February 18, 2016 3:18 PM
Comment #402736

I’d like to know where it says Democratics elected the president and the Republicans have to give him what he wants?

The facts are Republicans were elected to the senate and Scalia was a strict interpreter of the constitution.

Obama, to keep the peace, should nominate a strict interpreter of the constitution and maintain the status-quo. The senate, being elected to counterbalance Obama, should reject anyone who doesn’t view the constitution the way Scalia did.

Both are doing their job. If no one is appointed to fill the vacancy is because Obama and the senate are being stubborn. But to give in to Obama simply because he is a Democratic, and Republicans are supposed to give in to Democratics, is going to lead this country into the abyss.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 18, 2016 5:24 PM
Comment #402737

WW, that is not how it works and it is not how it should work. I didn’t vote for President Obama twice, so that if he had an opportunity to nominate an SC justice that he would be sure to nominate someone exactly like who was being replaced. I helped elect him so that he would use his abilities and knowledge. He is now the President of the United States and I expect him to use his best judgement to appoint someone that the people who voted for him will approve of and support. Then it will be up to the Senate to advise and consent or not, that is their prerogative. This nomination has nothing to do with making sure the candidate is just like Scalia.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 18, 2016 5:51 PM
Comment #402739
Agree, Warren - Hold a fair hearing and then hold a fair vote. What happens, happens.
This is precisely what Obama said, yet Republicans are saying that doing this less than a year before the election is somehow an aberration.
As I said before though, we are way too divided and I just think the well has been to poisoned for that to be an option anymore. IMO, Conservatives and liberals are afraid to do that because of how the other side will use the court of public opinion.

I do not think liberals are afraid of the court of public hearing. Either way, they will make their case to the voters in November.

It’s not like any wells have been poisoned either, or at least not yet. Since WWII, the Senate has only denied a a nominee a place on the SCOTUS when the nominee faced ethical difficulties. It would be a first if Obama’s nominee was denied a seat merely on the basis of ideology alone.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 18, 2016 6:43 PM
Comment #402740

Speaks, I agree, Obama has every right to nominate who he wants. But no matter who he nominates I doubt that he/she will be approved, unless something drastic happens. What Schumer said in 2007 and with Obama wanting to filibuster Alito’s appointment, things are biting Democrats in the behind. The old saying what goes around comes around. But that can work both ways.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 18, 2016 6:46 PM
Comment #402741

I voted for Republicans to control the senate and I expect them to defend the constitution against the left and judges who think the constitution is a “living document”.

It isn’t. For instance, “shall not be infringed.” How can that be interpreted to mean anything other than what it says.

The SC went way too far in allowing the patriot act to stand. Law enforcement shouldn’t be able to write themselves their own search warrants. They shouldn’t be able to arrest and hold people without charging them. They certainly shouldn’t be murdering citizens with drones without a trial.

The SC went way too far in the last 15 years by letting the other branches get away with ignoring the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th, and 10th amendments.

It’s strange how the Bill of Rights is being ignored while every amendment after that is considered being written in stone.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 18, 2016 7:09 PM
Comment #402743

So, I think we have a Watchblog consensus. The Senate has a Constitutional duty to hold hearings and vote on Obama’s nominee. Whether or not they vote to confirm or deny that nominee is a separate matter. It is a shame Senate Republicans are proclaiming that even considering Obama’s nominee would somehow violate norms and precedent when that is clearly not the case.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 18, 2016 10:43 PM
Comment #402744

Warped, Yes they have a constitutional duty to hold hearings, but when they hold those hearings is a different matter. They may start on Obama’s last day in office.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 19, 2016 10:05 AM
Comment #402745

WP, agreed. I am still amazed at how this has all evolved, beginning with the untimely death of Justice Scalia. I await President Obama’s nomination and look forward to the Senate either fulfilling their constitutional obligation or not(that does not mean that they have to approve of the nomination). I expect that there may be a lot of chest thumping in the interim but if they do not choose to fulfill their obligation and hold hearings and actually vote on the nomination the only people cheering the abdication of their constitutional obligation will be those that proclaim their devotion to the constitution. Others will see it for what it is, pandering to a group of voters who have no real intention of adhering to constitutional stipulations but merely hold great grievances for an elected President committed to performing his constitutional duties.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 19, 2016 10:29 AM
Comment #402746

S4A,

The problem that GOP senators have recognized that this is a Catch-22 situation. Once they decide to hold hearings, they will no longer be opposing the inanimate idea of Obama appointing a 3rd Justice, they will be facing a living and breathing human no more than 30 feet away in a hearing room. Assuming Obama does his homework and picks a man or woman with impeccable credentials and demonstrated moderate ideology, then the groundswell of public support will definitely tilt against them. This is why Republicans have concluded at the onset that hearings must be avoided at all costs.

KAP,
The 114th Congress ends its term 2.5 weeks before Obama finishes his term, so starting the hearing process on his last day isn’t an option. In order to fulfill their Constitutional duty, the Senate must conduct their hearings this year. Granted, they could wait until November/December’s lame duck sessions to do it.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 19, 2016 10:37 AM
Comment #402748

WP, again agreed. The Republican led Senate seems to want to have it both ways. That being their avowed belief in the sanctity of the constitution and the abdication of their constitutional duties. While I can understand why they would want to do that, what I do not understand is how they can equate this abdication with their professed beliefs. Hold the hearings and vote up or down on the nomination, pretty simple but what has seem to become the norm, a difficult decision for the majority party of the Senate. I do expect President Obama to nominate someone that will only cause the majority even more indecisiveness.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 19, 2016 11:00 AM
Comment #402750

Warped and Speaks, I agree hold the hearings and give the candidates an up or down vote. More then likely none of Obama’s nominations will get approved unless he surprises everyone and nominates someone both sides can agree on. Warped, I was just using the last day as an example of what could be done.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 19, 2016 11:41 AM
Comment #402752

KAP,

Fair enough. Nobody is saying Obama’s nominee deserves a free pass. The Constitution considers Senate scrutiny of Presidential nominations to be vital and if a majority of Senators feel that the nominee is unqualified, they are free to refuse to consent to the appointment.

The point of what I have written above in preceding comments is not a complaint of the Senate exercising its right to refuse consent, but rather the Senate concocting a nonexistent rule that prevents them going through the standard process. If you believe Obama to be incapable of nominating a qualified person, then own it. Stop the lazy excuse of, “Gee, I wish we could confirm your nominee Mr. President, but I can’t violate the Thurmond Rule”.

he surprises everyone and nominates someone both sides can agree on.

Sri Srinivasan earned unanimous support from the Senate in 2013.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 19, 2016 12:16 PM
Comment #402755

Like I stated in an earlier comment, Warped, What the Democrats like Schumer did in 2007 and what Obama did with Alito is coming to bite them in the behind. I don’t agree with the tactics, but in todays politics it is becoming the norm.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 19, 2016 12:53 PM
Comment #402761

For the umpteenth time. What Schumer said in 2007 has nothing to do with what Republicans are saying today.

Schumer said he wouldn’t vote to confirm any Bush nominees unless he was sure that they respected precedent. Today’s GOP says they cannot hold hearings because of a made up “tradition”. These are not comparable.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 19, 2016 4:52 PM
Comment #402762

Warped, Democrats make up their BULLS**T, Republicans make up theirs, IT’s POLITICS. It’s been going on for 240 years.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 19, 2016 6:24 PM
Comment #402763

Fine, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 19, 2016 6:26 PM
Comment #402764

Warped, That’s why I don’t claim any party. All politicians are full of BULLS**T.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at February 19, 2016 6:33 PM
Comment #402782

Returning to the original topic of discussion, it appears Chuck Grassley isfacing blowback from his constituents on his decision to not hold hearings for Obama’s nominee. If Iowa Republicans are reacting this way I can only imagine how things are in Illinois, Wisconsin and other states with GOP Senators in fierce competition for reelection.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 4:59 PM
Comment #402784

“If it’s a bad nomination, fine — that’s fair. But doing it based on the fact that a Democratic president is making a nomination and we’re hoping that we can get a Republican president in, so they can do a nomination, so that our party can maintain or control the balance in the Supreme Court, is not representing us. It’s representing your party. And yes, I know the Democrats have done it in the past, and like I’ll tell the 5-year-olds in my care, just because he did it first, doesn’t make it right.”.

Hypocrisy is standard operating procedure for Democratics, and they don’t realize how obvious they are about it.

I wonder if “doesn’t make it right” came up when Schumer brought it up!

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 5:50 PM
Comment #402787

WW,

Get back to me when Democrats refuse to consider a GOP nominee on no basis other than the fact that there are fewer than 12 months until the next election.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 6:27 PM
Comment #402792

What was Schumer’s motive?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 7:22 PM
Comment #402793

Let’s look at what he said:

In case after case, our most recently confirmed Justices have appeared to jettison decisions recently authored by their immediate predecessors. Although Roberts and Alito both expressed their profound respect for stare decisis at their confirmation hearings, many of their decisions have flouted precedent.

Apparently, he was upset after Roberts & Alito lied to him. Both nominees proclaimed deference to precedent before commencing a judicial term of activism. Nowhere is there any complaint regarding the limited amount of time remaining in Bush’s term. Schumer also makes it clear that he would vote to confirm a Bush nominee, but that:

They must prove by actions—not words—that they are in the mainstream, rather than the Senate proving that they are not.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 7:34 PM
Comment #402794

I think Grassley is saying the same thing.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 7:57 PM
Comment #402795

No, Grassley is saying that no one nominated in a President’s final term deserves a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary committee. This is completely foreign to Schumer’s remarks, which never suggested withholding hearings nor mentioned the limited amount of time remaining in Bush’s term.

I would condone Grassley if he followed Schumer’s 2007 suggestion, which would entail withholding a final decision until after knowing the nominee has proven, “by actions—not words—that they are in the mainstream”.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 8:02 PM
Comment #402796

He said that the senate will do it’s job.

“And then at that point, we are going to act. We’re going to act in one of two ways. We are either going to give our consent or we’re not going to give our consent. Either way, the Constitution is going to be fulfilled.”

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 8:16 PM
Comment #402798

150+ years of precedent says otherwise. The Senate has always conducted hearings before voting to confirm or reject an appointment. Grassley’s threat would short-circuiting the entire process and subvert the Constitution.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 8:37 PM
Comment #402799

“And then at that point, we are going to act. We’re going to act in one of two ways. We are either going to give our consent or we’re not going to give our consent. Either way, the Constitution is going to be fulfilled.”


What part of that don’t you understand?
Where is the threat?


Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 8:49 PM
Comment #402800

In Comment #402712, I shared a link where Senate Republicans openly threaten to withhold hearings from Obama’s nominee.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 9:28 PM
Comment #402802

Well, you better go back to your link and read it again because Grassley’s name is mentioned twice and neither time was he quoted making threats.

This is how Democratics dominate the conversation. They fabricate and put words into people’s mouths and expect everyone else to believe it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 9:38 PM
Comment #402803

WW,

Senate Republicans are indicating that they won’t hold hearings for Obama’s nominee. That is a threat.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 10:08 PM
Comment #402804

Really, because all I’ve been hearing is how Republicans are caving on the issue and pretty soon they’ll give Obama anything he wants.

Is the idea of manufactured threats the Democratic’s way of keeping the heat on and making Republicans give in?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 10:30 PM
Comment #402805

Only with time will we be able to tell if the Republicans are merely bluffing or actually committed to carry out their threat. Regardless, the position Republicans are taking is anathema to the Constitution and longstanding precedents.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 20, 2016 10:56 PM
Comment #402806

It’s good to hear you’re backing down from your insinuations, Warren Porter.

The Democratic’s interpretation of the situation is what is anathema, Warren Porter. The Republicans have repeatedly said their actions will be constitutional. What is anathema is the Democratic’s ability to turn this into the delemma you are making it out to be.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 20, 2016 11:29 PM
Comment #402807

No matter how hard you try to spin things, shirking duties laid out by the Constitution would be anathema to the nation.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 21, 2016 12:13 AM
Comment #402808

Indeed, Warren Porter. Indeed.

We must now decide who is shirking duties, how they are being ignored, and the motive.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2016 12:35 AM
Comment #402809

Obama is in the high seat. He will nominate who he chooses. This is understood by both Democratics and Republicans. What isn’t understood is the congress will agree or not agree. This misunderstanding s what the Democratics are pinning their hopes on.

If the Democratics can convince the American people Obama’s Supreme court nominee is the best choice then the Democratics get their wish in a third Obama appointee.

Contrary to what the rest of the country thinks, Warren Porter, the Democratics are not always right.

For 100 years the Democratics have been getting their way. They started out by saying homes and property are subjected to economic fluctuations, even when the Democratics passed laws to prohibit economic fluctuations. That’s where hypocrisy comes in.

For 70 years the Democratics have been promising an end to poverty, and yet there is more poverty with every Democratic law that gets passed.

You, Warren Porter, elect people not for their accomplishments, but because they are black/halfblack, a woman, a gay, a transoffendedpsuedohuman! Where does that end?

It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with merit or intelligence.

Your party is ignoring merit and intelligence.

Half of your voting public are pulling the lever because of superficial, made up, manufactured issues like being the first woman, being gay, being persecuted for one reason or another.

Your party is built on opinion.

When the American people decide to rule themselves with logic instead of emotion, when the American people decide to respect the rule of the purse, instead of want, then we can agree on a supreme court justice.

I’m afraid your party is counting on want, not right. Your party is looking toward your comfort. I’m afraid your party will prevail.

It’s happened before. What makes you think it won’t happen again?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 21, 2016 2:17 AM
Comment #402810
Shaming people into giving up political advantage isn’t going work. Lol

Dbs, you seem to be concurring with me on this issue. I am pointing out the lack of integrity required to gain political advantage and the willingness of conservatives to sell out their principles for political advantage.

Now can you point out where in the constitution this jockeying for political advantage is spelled out so the strict constitutionalist amongst us can appreciate your honesty?

After all the term “advise and consent” was instituted to keep the balance of power without hindering the business of government. To use it to hinder the business of government seems unconstitutional.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 21, 2016 12:37 PM
Comment #402835

WW,

You would be better off citing a primary source:

if the President consults and cooperates with the Senate or moderates his selections absent consultation, then his nominees may enjoy my support as did Justices Kennedy and Souter.

Noticeably absent from Biden’s remarks: Any reference to letting the next President fill any hypothetical vacancies. Considering the full text of the speech and the context of the times, it makes sense. It was just a year after the very contentious confirmation of Clarence Thomas, which became highly politicized in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment claimed by Anita Hill. Senator Biden feared that any upcoming SCOTUS vacancy would be greeted with similar politicization. In order to prevent the politicization of a vacancy, he urged that the nomination should wait until the lame duck session.

In other words, Biden never said anything about wanting the winner of the ‘92 election picking the next Justice, he remained omitted to confirming George HW Bush’s nominee provided certain criteria were met. Also, it should be emphasized that Biden was speaking less than 6 months before the election. Today, we have nearly twice as much time remaining, which makes for a crucial difference.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 22, 2016 6:24 PM
Comment #402837

“cooperates with the Senate or moderates his selections absent consultation”

That all remains to be seen, Yes?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 22, 2016 6:48 PM
Comment #402838

Yes, but McConnell & Grassley aren’t looking for cooperation or moderation. They have promised no hearings under any circumstance. Also, Biden also said that he did not expect a conservative President to nominate a liberal Justice, so it would not be in keeping with Biden’s speech for Republicans to demand that Obama nominate someone as conservative as Scalia.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 22, 2016 7:23 PM
Comment #402839

Biden also said he would oppose a conservative nominee as is his right.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 22, 2016 7:59 PM
Comment #402850

Yes, as it would be the right of the Senate to oppose a hypothetical Obama nominee so far to the left that is out of the mainstream.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 23, 2016 8:21 AM
Comment #402852

The senate has the right to oppose anyone Obama, or any president puts up for nomination.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 23, 2016 9:00 AM
Comment #402874

Even before there is a nominee presented by President Obama, we have this.

Although Mitch seems pretty adamant about it now, I believe that there will be some consideration of the nominee once President Obama announces that. Seems as though the Republican leadership is counting on their electorates complete dislike of a sitting President’s constitutional obligation to nominate a successor for a SC Justice. There is no consideration regarding their constitutional obligation, that is not the confirmation of the nominee, but the process of holding hearings and then voting on the confirmation in a yes or no vote. Their miscalculation of President Obama and his popularity once again clouds their decision making and could lead to detrimental observations by the American electorate. There are even some Republican Senators calling for the constitutional obligation of advice and consent being used as intended.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 23, 2016 2:40 PM
Comment #402905

Obama’s approval rating is relatively high (upper 40s). It would be very foolish for the GOP to rely upon people disliking him.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 23, 2016 8:08 PM
Comment #402918

But the GOP has made some remarkably foolish calculations regarding President Obama. I expect that this will continue as they seem unable to help themselves from doing that for some reason. I am looking forward to the selection he will make, I don’t expect him to make this any easier for them. He will nominate someone that will be difficult for them to challenge and they will be perceived as playing nothing more than partisan politics with a nomination of a SC Justice. In fact that is exactly what it looks like today. This plays well to the Republican base but is viewed differently by those who do not subscribe to that ideology. Seems risky to me in an election year to try to leverage 20% of the electorate and ignore the other 80%. Yes, interesting times.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 24, 2016 11:10 AM
Comment #402938

To make the times even more interesting, a rumor leaked to the Washington Post depicts Brian Sandoval, Nevada’s GOP governor, as under consideration by Obama. Nominating him would definitely stop McConnell and Grassley in the tracks. Sandoval is a former district Judge and has a proven record of moderation that I hope would make a good fit for the court.

As I already said above, the division in party control between Congress and the White House means that Scalia’s successor ought to be a moderate. Obama has already placed two excellent liberal Justices on the court. His third nomination should be more along the lines of Anthony Kennedy or Sandra Day O’Connor.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 24, 2016 3:02 PM
Comment #402941

WP, I caught some of the story about Sandoval. President Obama is again being politically masterful in this nomination process. He is setting the stage for his nomination announcement by using their own words to point out there mistaken assumptions.

Come this time next year we will only have fond memories of his political abilities. We can only hope his replacement uses a lot of what they can learn from him.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 24, 2016 3:29 PM
Comment #402952

Apparently, Sandoval is very popular in Nevada. I wonder how the GOP nominee will explain to Nevadans that their governor shouldn’t even get a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary committee. Not to mention the hot water Dean Heller, who is running for Harry Reid’s Senate seat, is going to be in.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 24, 2016 9:03 PM
Comment #402955

He doesn’t give a crap about contracts.

Do you really want a supreme court justice that thinks contracts can be ignored by one party or the other?

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 25, 2016 9:45 AM
Comment #402956

WP, well he hasn’t been nominated yet. Shrewd political maneuver though on President Obama’s part. Even considering a moderate Republican, is going to give the Republican leadership fits. This could get pretty ugly during an election year for said leadership, if they are viewed as unconcerned with the judiciary of the highest court in the land but totally concerned with partisan politics even if the nominee is from their party. I am really looking forward to President Obama’s last months in office. This nomination and his trip to Cuba next month will be difficult to denigrate if he keeps using what has worked so far for him.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 25, 2016 10:15 AM
Comment #402968

WW,
I don’t know what you are talking about. Can you please share more details?

S4A,
Regardless of whether or not Sandoval gets the nod, it is certainly crafty of Obama to make Republicans squirm like this in the interim. Leaking this to the media was pure political genius. Now, reporters are badgering every Republican Senator about Sandoval, making them commit on the record to opposing one of their own fellow Republicans.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 25, 2016 11:58 AM
Comment #402973

WP, stay tuned for more squirming. I would not be surprised if during his visit to Cuba next month that President Obama announces some type of new use for the Guantanamo Bay military base once it is closed. Something within his powers that makes use of the facility to support a measure of trade and exchange of ideas that would include business, technology and social interaction. The Cuban people are anxious for this to happen and the leadership will see it as an opportunity to make strides in bringing economic stability to their country. I was down there during the 1960’s and remember being warned to stay on designated pathways because of land mines scattered about, those should be cleaned up if they haven’t been by now.

On another note please let me know if I am out of bounds on this suggestion. I realize that you do not support HRC and completely understand your position but it might be good to see some of that professed in words when and if she becomes the nominee. I would hope that your contentions would not take the inept derogatory accusation route but might provide a more thoughtful insight into a critique of her issues and policies. I haven’t met a liberal progressive Democrat that doesn’t mind being challenged by a bonafide argument that doesn’t just attempt to fling poo around the political cage we exist in. Of course I might take umbrage with some of your contentions but those of us with a thick political skin don’t mind it if it is thought provoking.

Posted by: Speak4all at February 25, 2016 12:45 PM
Comment #403021
On another note please let me know if I am out of bounds on this suggestion. I realize that you do not support HRC and completely understand your position but it might be good to see some of that professed in words when and if she becomes the nominee. I would hope that your contentions would not take the inept derogatory accusation route but might provide a more thoughtful insight into a critique of her issues and policies. I haven’t met a liberal progressive Democrat that doesn’t mind being challenged by a bonafide argument that doesn’t just attempt to fling poo around the political cage we exist in. Of course I might take umbrage with some of your contentions but those of us with a thick political skin don’t mind it if it is thought provoking.

Yes, I have already anticipated wishing to write such a piece. Whether it gets written or not comes down to the rest of my life’s schedule. If it happens, it would probably be around the time of the conventions.

Posted by: Warren Porter at February 26, 2016 5:31 PM
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