April 5, 2010

Arlen Specter wants Justice Stevens not to retire this year.

"I think the gridlock in the Senate might well produce a filibuster which would tie up the Senate about a Supreme Court nominee. I think if a year passes, there's a much better chance we could come to a consensus."

Obama should just pick a relatively moderate liberal judge. That would avoid the filibuster this year, and it's what he'll have to do next year. So what is Specter talking about?

Specter is bouncing off what Senator Kyl said:
"I think the president will nominate a qualified person. I hope, however, he does not nominate an overly ideological person. That will be the test," Kyl said. "And if he doesn't nominate someone who is overly ideological, I don't think -- you may see Republicans voting against the nominee, but I don't think you'll see them engage in a filibuster."
So, you see my point. Maybe what Specter is really thinking is that it will hurt the Democrats in the fall to spend the summer paying attention to the subject of liberal ideology on the Supreme Court. Specter has been on the Senate Judiciary for a long time, both as a Democrat and a Republican, so he knows all about the way the 2 parties manipulate the occasion of Supreme Court nominee hearings.

57 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why filibuster? I mean its not like there is a snowball's chance in hell you'd get anyone right of Lenin for a pick and since Stevens is the leader of the liberal contingent its pretty much a wash anyway.

Save the battle for when it counts.

bagoh20 said...

The closer to the election, the worse it will be for the incumbent Dems, especcially the President

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Obama should just picka relatively moderate liberal judge."

Yes. I'd suggest Robert Bork.

Montagne Montaigne said...

How dare the president even consider selecting someone for the Supreme Court! Has he no respect for the Constitution? Barack Hussein No-Bama !!

traditionalguy said...

Calm down Monty. He is still President and he gets to send up a nominee. Then the fun begins.

Slow Joe said...

I think it counts, even if Stevens is already insanely liberal.

It's another 40 years of one seat. Might as well try to get a moderate on there. Cass?

Arlen Specter just wants some attention. Or maybe he realizes he will be out of a job next session, and has some kind of chip in the game he thinks he can cash for a nomination?

My fervent hope is that Obama picks Hillary. Of course that's absurd, but it would be the best decision he's ever made.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Hey, speaking of Arlen Spectre ... when is Barack Obama going to be arrested for offering Joe Sestak a bribe if Sestak would agree not to run against Spectre?

I guess we'll have to wait until there is a Republican Congress, and begin an investigation of the Obama Regime to determine who knew what when.

I imagine when everyone is hauled up before the House Judiciary Committee to testify then maybe we'll get to the bottom of the bribe-taking and bribe-offering that went on to secure the passage of the Insurance Agents Protection Act of 2010.

AJ Lynch said...

Specter has deluded himself and hopes the people's disdain towards the D.C. insiders will have dissipated by next year.

Alas, Spected is wrong and should be happy to leave office with his head still attached to his neck :)

Joe said...

Specter may be a hypocritical jerk, but you don't keep getting reelected unless you know something about politics. His comments are all about politics. Two whit, if Obama goes with an ideologue, it will bring the already despised Senate to its knees and will ensure even more democrats lose in the fall. Were Specter still a RINO, this would be great for him, but he switched sides and will lose the primary if he runs against Obama's choice.

danielle said...

he's right. hopefully stevens will leave the court after november.

mesquito said...

Oh, Stevens should retire, and Our President should nominate a liberal. A really ripe one. With a long, juicy paper trail.

I humbly suggest Larry Tribe.

Joseph said...

Specter just doesn't want a highly charged nomination battle because it will make it even harder for him personally to be reelected in November

It makes no difference who he nominates. The Republicans will label her a left-wing ideologue. But she will be a moderate woman so she should get at least a handful of Republican votes.

edutcher said...

The first thing I thought about when I saw this was, "Is he thinking about changing sides AGAIN?", so I tend to agree with Joe.

The Zero wants cap & trade, immigration, and card check before election day, so a SCOTUS fight would be counter-productive.

WV "violen" What you often see with sec.

Big Mike said...

The question isn't whether the Democrats and their boot-licking lackeys in the MSM perceive the nominee as extremely liberal, nor whether the Republicans attempt to paint the nominee as the holder of extreme views. It matters what the public thinks of the nominee, and that's what Specter is worried about now that the Obama administration and Reid and Pelosi have taken a "public be damned" attitude.

Salamandyr said...

Right now, any change in the national conversation is likely to be good for Dem's, since the current one hurts them so badly. A noisy confirmation fight is fun, and allows a compliant media to cast Republican questions as attacks on a "principled moderate" (note, the NYT would call Noam Chomsky a "principled moderate" if he was nominated for a federal position).

It's also the kind of audaciousness this President seems to favor. He seems to look at setbacks as a reason to double down.

John said...

Can we write in Ann's name?

Seriously, if they do it before the election, the Repos only need to filibuster for a couple of months until the election.

If Stevens resigns after the election, the Dems will need to filibuster for 2 years (or more)

Assuming the Repos pick up control of the Senate. Which may be iffy.

I still think everyone could unite around Justice Althouse. No filibuster, unicorns and rainbows.

Best part is that Meade is standing in back of her whispering in her ear. Whether she pays attention or not is another matter.

John Henry

rcocean said...

Why filibuster? I mean its not like there is a snowball's chance in hell you'd get anyone right of Lenin for a pick and since Stevens is the leader of the liberal contingent its pretty much a wash anyway.

Huh? Why NOT Filibuster? You lose nothing and you might get a moderate and avoid a left-wing wacko.

traditionalguy said...

I wouldn't put it past President Obama to nominate Anita Hill to start a fight with the Senators base upon racial stereotypes along the currently useful Propaganda themes.

prairie wind said...

Do presidents ever put a little pressure on a Supreme to resign? Or is there something in place to prevent that?

dick said...

Yes, Matt, the Kelo decision is a moderate Republican position - or maybe not. That one rather tells us all we need to know about how moderate Justice Stevens is. He even admitted after the decision came down that he was wrong but by then it was too late.

EDH said...

"Do presidents ever put a little pressure on a Supreme to resign? Or is there something in place to prevent that?"

Ever wonder how whack-job Ramsey Clark became Attorney General?

[Tom C.] Clark retired from the Supreme Court on June 12, 1967, to avoid a conflict of interest when his son, Ramsey Clark, was appointed Attorney General. He was succeeded on the Court by Thurgood Marshall. Lyndon Johnson was said to have appointed Ramsey Clark as Attorney General precisely to force Tom Clark off the bench, leaving a vacancy so that LBJ could appoint Marshall as the first African-American Justice on the Supreme Court.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Save the battle for when it counts."

Every battle counts.

Battle them on every front.

Make them expend all their resources on anything and everything.

Make it take a long time. Drag out the process. Investigate, harass and interrogate.

Slow them down.

Tire them out.

Total defeat.

Total impunity.

That is the approach they use with us. It is the approach that works. It is the approach they know has been battle tested.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Yes, Matt, the Kelo decision is a moderate Republican position - or maybe not. That one rather tells us all we need to know about how moderate Justice Stevens is."

Kelo was the beginning of the war.

It is the Maine.

Remember the Kelos!

We owe Despot Stevens a debt of gratitude for opening our eyes to the fascists hiding amongst us in plain site.

Penny said...

This feels like a loser all around. Obama will disappoint his base in selecting someone not liberal enough, the Democrats in Congress will support whatever he does and the Republicans will be against it, showcasing to the American voters, yet another disagreeable display of partisanship.

It might help third party candidates though. Who knows.

jpr9954 said...

Pat Toomey must be scaring the pants off of Arlen right about now.

Revenant said...

But she will be a moderate woman so she should get at least a handful of Republican votes.

I agree that she'll probably be a woman. But why would Obama nominate someone well to his right, while his party still controls Congress?

Revenant said...

The funny [or sad] thing about this is Justice Stevens is a 1970s Moderate Republican who hasn't really changed his views much. The right wing simply moved further right.

Well, no. The entire *country* moved further right. At this point Stevens wouldn't even qualify as a moderate Democrat; he is left-of-center even for the left-wing party.

A lot of things that are currently considered "progressive" -- e.g., that it is wise to have the government meddle in every area of life -- were once considered mainstream views on the left and right alike. Which makes it all the more amusing that those ideas are called "progessive", really. "Reactionary" would be a better term.

SteveR said...

Liberal or Conservative, nothing says WTF is wrong with this country like watching Pat Leahey swing into action on the Judiciary Committee.

Cedarford said...

"Matt said...
The funny [or sad] thing about this is Justice Stevens is a 1970s Moderate Republican who hasn't really changed his views much. The right wing simply moved further right. But seriously to consider Stevens a big time Liberal is rather odd.."

NO. If you look at Stevens, you see a massive departure from the late 60s and early 70s moderate Republican thinking on key issues.

Pro abortion, for greatly expanding enemy rights in time of War, for racial preferences (Ricci, etc,), anti-2nd Amendment, Kelo???

Since Ginsburg and Breyer came on, Stevens and Souter voted with them on almost every issue.

Yep, Stevens grew into a Big Time Liberal.



--------------------

Pogo said...

"Arlen Specter wants ...not to retire this year."
But it won't be optional.

David said...

Specter won't be in the Senate then, so he won't have to decide.


wv="busharic"
Middle Eastern Bush-speak.

Jeremy said...

The GOP will do anything they can to obstruct any nominee President Obama puts in front of them...so this talk via "The Queen," saying that if he would only nominate a "moderate liberal" all would be well is bullshit.

Just look at what we've seen thus far:

At this point in George W. Bush's tenure, he had 5 nominees still waiting for confirmation.

President Obama has 77 still waiting.

It's gotten so ridiculous that, at one point, a single senator put a blanket hold on ALL of the President’s nominees in an attempt to win concessions on two pet projects for his own state.

Another was held up by one senator for 8 months over squabble relating to a federal building in his home state.

Then, when that nominee was finally given the vote she was confirmed 96 to 0.

Pure obstructionism...period.

David said...

" . . . . since Stevens is the leader of the liberal contingent its pretty much a wash anyway."

We could do a lot worse than Justice Stevens, HD.

Steven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

I'd like to see the President nominate Dershowitz.
A liberal with balls.
He won't though. Dershowitz is taking him apart over Israel.

mariner said...

Hoosier Daddy:
Why filibuster?
...
Save the battle for when it counts.

The battle counts right now.

A filibuster would tie up Congress so they wouldn't be able to screw us as much as they otherwise have time to do.

If we just shut up, lie back and take it we could end up with a far-left Supreme Court Justice, cap-and-tax, and card check, all before the November elections.

Conservatives need to go to bat against EVERY Democrat initiative between now and then.

Howard said...

Fighting the dems on everything is a great strategy. That's a great way to convince voters that the repugs are not rabid nutballs.

David said...

The dishonest and ignorant Jeremy does not tell you that the vast majority of the Obama federal judiciary nominees who have not been confirmed were not even nominated until January 2010 or later. Numerous commentators have pointed out that Obama has been very slow on judicial nominations--and other nominations as well.

FYI: At the end of Bush's first term, only 18 of his 3 nominees for Federal appeals courts had been acted upon.

Dishonest or ignorance? You decide.

David said...

From WAPO October 19, 2009:

"President George W. Bush sent 95 names to the Senate in the same period that Obama has forwarded 23."

Since that date, Obama has made 38 more federal judicial nominations. Unsurprisingly, none of them have been acted upon by the Senate yet. The Senate has been "otherwise engaged" and the usual confirmation process is 4-5 months or more.

I submit my vote: Jeremy's lying.

No, wait! He's ignorant.

Pogo said...

"I submit my vote: Jeremy's lying."

Know how to tell?
There are words typed under Jeremy said....

David said...

Typo King rides again:

Bush had 18/34 for federal appeals acted on by end of his first term.

Jeremy said...

David -

There is a key difference, however, between 2005 and 2010: the amount of Senate obstruction. As White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki noted today:

At this time in 2002, President Bush had only 5 nominees pending on the floor. By contrast, President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month.

And cloture has been filed 16 times on Obama nominees, nine of whom were subsequently confirmed with 60 or more votes or by voice vote.

Cloture was not filed on a single Bush nominee in his first year.

And despite facing significantly less opposition, President Bush had already made 10 recess appointments by this point in his presidency and he made another five over the spring recess.

Fuck off.

Jeremy said...

Pogo - Have you had any testicles dopped your way lately?

The little man who never has anything relevant to say.

Jeremy said...

David said...From WAPO October 19, 2009: "President George W. Bush sent 95 names to the Senate in the same period that Obama has forwarded 23."

Davey...it's April 5, 2010.

Relevance?

Revenant said...

If you look at Stevens, you see a massive departure from the late 60s and early 70s moderate Republican thinking on key issues. Pro abortion, for greatly expanding enemy rights in time of War, for racial preferences (Ricci, etc,), anti-2nd Amendment, Kelo???

The Nixon administration was pro gun control, pro affirmative action, and neutral on abortion (Nixon's wife was a vocal supporter of abortion rights, though). As for Kelo, well, Nixon implemented one of the most egregious violations of property rights in living memory with his wage and price controls.

Goldwater and Reagan were rebels against the big-government Republican mainstream represented by Nixon and, later, the Bushes.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"Pure obstructionism...period."

You're goddamned right it is.

What about it?

We're obstructing your efforts to turn the United States into a Socialist Republic.

What about that do you not understand?

Your nominees will not get a free ride.

Your Supreme Court appoiontments will be fought.

In every way, we're going to make your fucking lives miserable.

You will not enjoy your time in public office. You will not enjoy the fruits of your efforts.

Every law you pass we will seek to repeal. Every company you take over we will free upon our entry into office. Every bribe you hold out for votes will not be funded when we take back the Congress.

Every crime you've committed will be investigated. Every bribe you've paid will be found out. Every person involved in your conspiracies will be investigated, harassed, sworn in and deposed.

Are we clear yet, Jeremy?

Is there anything that you don't understand about how we intend to obstruct your takeover of our country?

Revenant said...

Fighting the dems on everything is a great strategy. That's a great way to convince voters that the repugs are not rabid nutballs.

The polls show that a solid majority of swing voters think the Democrats are doing a lousy job on health care, the economy, and foreign policy. In other words, the people who will be deciding the 2010 and 2012 elections pretty much "oppose the Democrats at every turn".

Not much downside for the Republicans.

Peano said...

"I think if a year passes, there's a much better chance we could come to a consensus."

What do you mean "we," Arlen? Do you think you'll be in the Senate a year from now?

Penny said...

Obstructing because you CAN is a loser's game. If you doubt that, drive down an interstate under construction during rush hour.

I don't care which side of the aisle you are on, we are ALL bitching about the workers who aren't doing anything resembling earning their pay.

So too in Washington. Gridlock benefits neither Democrats nor Republicans. It just pisses EVERYONE off.

Of course, some third party candidate might use that to their advantage. Hm?

Jeremy said...

New "Hussein" Ham said..."We're obstructing your efforts to turn the United States into a Socialist Republic."

Thanks, Glenn.

Read more...talk less.

David said...

Jeremy:

"Relevance?"

1. Obama still hasn't sent as many nominees as of today as Bush did in his first nine months.

2. The reason that Obama has a number of unconfirmed nominees is largely his lard assed pace in making nominations.

3. The figures you quoted in your initial post are wildly inaccurate as to the number of Obama nominees not acted upon.

4. You are either dishonest or ignorant.

5. And perhaps lazy and stupid as well.

Try getting your facts close to right. It improves credibility and persuasiveness.

prairie wind said...

Thanks, EDH. I hadn't had a chance to get back here until now.

Revenant said...

Obstructing because you CAN is a loser's game. If you doubt that, drive down an interstate under construction during rush hour.

Bad metaphor. On an interstate, everyone wants to go in the same direction. Causing an obstruction in that case is obviously going to annoy everybody, because by definition you're stopping everyone from getting where they want to go.

Democrats are taking the country where swing voters don't want it to go. Obstructing them isn't like driving slow on the freeway; it is like putting up a roadblock to catch a kidnapper.

David said...

Jeremy is still making up facts.

According to the official web site of the federal judiciary, there are 38 pending nominees for federal appellate and district courts. www.uscourts.gov/judicialvac.cfm

There are 102 vacancies. So Obama has not even tried to fill over 60 posts.

According to Wikipedia, of the 27
pending district court candidates, all but one was nominated after December 1, 2009. Most of those were not sent to the Senate until 2010.

Every district court judge acted upon has been confirmed by unaminous vote. The rest--as noted above--are recent nominees.

Six of the eleven pending appellate court nominees were sent to the Senate on February 24, 2010 or later.

Four of the seven appellate judges confirmed have been by unaminous vote. The other votes were 94-3, 72-16 and 59-39.

Five appellate judges are pending with nomination dates between August and November 2009.

Still, Jeremy says: President Obama has 77 nominees currently pending on the floor, 58 of whom have been waiting for over two weeks and 44 of those have been waiting more than a month.

Where do you get your made up facts, Jeremy?

David said...

I ask myself, why do I bother to refute this Jeremy. Why is it worth the effort?

The short answer is that it's not worth the effort. I need to stop.

It's not the opinions. People are entitled to their opinions, even as rudely expressed as Jeremy's.

It's the laziness. Or dishonesty. Or stupidity. Or whatever. Blatant and persistent misrepresentation of ascertainable facts.

This offends me. From liberals or conservatives.

I must stop.

As Jeremy so eloquently said to me, "Fuck off."

I hereby do.

Bye, Jeremy.

MadisonMan said...

I foresee half the people suggesting the nominee is too ideological

Methadras said...

Why hasn't Spector joined his brother-in-arms Murtha to the grave yet? He can't die soon enough.