Patterico's Pontifications

2/16/2016

President Obama On Filibustering Alito: That Was Different!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:15 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Of course it was. Is anyone surprised?

President Obama responded to a question today about whether his decision as a senator to filibuster Alito weakens his current request that the GOP allow his nominee to go through. In typical Obama-fashion, the president embarrassingly claimed that it wasn’t fair to compare the two:

“I think what’s fair to say is that how judicial nominations have evolved over time is not historically the fault of any single party,” he told reporters in California. “This has become just one more extension of politics.”

“And, there are times where folks are in the Senate, and they’re thinking… is this going to cause me problems in a primary, is this going to cause me problems with supporters of mine, and so people take strategic decisions,” he said.

“But, what is also true is, Justice Alito is on the bench right now. I think that, historically, if you look at it, regardless of what votes particular senators have taken, there’s been a basic consensus, a basic understanding, that the Supreme Court’s different.”

And without batting an eye, and without any self-awareness, the president continued:

“The Constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now,” Obama told reporters in California. “When there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the President of the United States is to nominate someone; the Senate is to consider that someone and either they disapprove of that someone, or that someone is elevate to the Supreme Court,” Obama said from Rancho Mirage, Calif., where he was spent two days meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian nations.

“This is the Supreme Court—the highest court in our land,” he said. “It is the one court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics, and this would be the opportunity for senators to do their job.”

Oh really, President Obama?? Because that’s certainly not what you thought in 2006:

On January 29, 2006, Mr. Obama told George Stephanopulos on “This Week” that he would “be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values, you know. When you look at his decisions in particular during times of war, we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch, and he has not shown himself willing to do that repeatedly.”

Meanwhile, when she wasn’t barking like a crazed dog, the woman who wants to become our next president went on a mad Twitter spree with 11 subsequent tweets attacking the McConnell’s decision, and Republicans in general. Once again she revealed her all-consuming fundamental hypocrisy:

Untitled-1

These people.

–Dana

UPDATE BY PATTERICO:

Racists

54 Responses to “President Obama On Filibustering Alito: That Was Different!”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (86e864)

  2. This is pretty much what professors call a “handwave” when they are trying to be polite.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  3. Obama is counting on McConnell et al to continue to be scared and cowardly. And he’s probably correct in thtat calculation.

    Bugg (fa64ec)

  4. Or get past nanny filters.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  5. I favor the method they used in 1866:

    Two justices died in office during Johnson’s administration, James Moore Wayne and John Catron. The United States Congress, however, passed the Judicial Circuits Act of 1866, which provided for a gradual elimination of seats until only seven were left. Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase had urged for this reduction in the hopes that it would result in an increase of the justices’ salaries, which, ironically, did not happen until Congress restored the size of the court to nine members in 1871. Johnson had nominated Henry Stanbery to be an Associate Justice, but due to the reduction of seats, this nomination was nullified.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  6. Dana, you seem to be unaware of the central fact of the matter: It’s perfectly fine, and a good thing indeed, to filibuster a SC nominee anytime they are nominated by a Republican, but never when nominated by a Democrat. If Republicans would just understand and accept that that’s how things should be, all would be well.

    At least, that’s the clear line the Democrats are hewing to. :)

    Arizona CJ (da673d)

  7. Then there was the hapless John Tyler’s troubles:

    John Tyler experienced difficulty in obtaining approval of his nominees due to his lack of political support in the Senate.

    John C. Spencer was nominated on January 9, 1844 and his nomination was defeated by a vote of 21–26 on January 31, 1844. Reuben H. Walworth was nominated on March 13, 1844, and a resolution to table the nomination passed on a 27–20 vote on June 15, 1844. The nomination was withdrawn from the Senate on Jun 17, 1844. Edward King was nominated on June 5, 1844. A resolution to table the nomination passed by a vote of 29–18 on June 15, 1844. No other action was taken on this nomination.

    The same day that Walworth’s nomination was withdrawn, Spencer was re-submitted, but there is no record of debate and a letter from the President withdrawing the nomination was received on the same day. Walworth was then re-nominated later that same day, but the motion to act on the nomination in the Senate was objected to, and no further action was taken.

    Walworth and King were re-nominated on December 10, 1844, but both nominations were tabled on January 21, 1845. Walworth’s nomination was withdrawn on February 6, 1845, and King’s two days later. John M. Read was nominated on February 8, 1845 and there was a motion to consider the nomination in the Senate on January 21, 1845, but the motion was unsuccessful and no other action was taken.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unsuccessful_nominations_to_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  8. ACJ–

    Well, of course. The last time a Democrat’s nominee was voted down was 1884. Four GOP nominees have been voted down since, 3 in the last 50 years. But Republicans are evil, so that’s the way it should be.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  9. BTW, Tyler’s repeated attempts to put someone on the court in his last year in office strike me as a fine model for how to go about this situation. Minimum High Regard.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  10. The dates in that Wikipedia entry in #7 seem confused.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  11. “It is the one court where we would expect elected officials to rise above day-to-day politics, and this would be the opportunity for senators to do their job.”

    this sleazy corrupt court has done as much as any other institution in this failed joke of a country to rape freedom and glorify oppression

    i got your rise above right here, harvardtrash sorosflunky

    happyfeet (831175)

  12. Ahh, here it is.

    But, what is also true is, Justice Alito is on the bench right now…

    If we were to be consistent, the GOP would win while Obama lost.

    Ergo, things must be different.

    Steve57 (f61b03)

  13. uck thinking of Mr. Ted Cruz taking on this nasty diseased shriveled up old woman with his calm reasoned more in sadness than in anger blah blah blah just doesn’t do it for me

    Mr. Trump at least knows how to express what normal people feel when they hear this vile harpy

    advantage: Mr. The Donald

    happyfeet (831175)

  14. UPDATE BY PATTERICO:

    Racists

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  15. So the president is a lying, inconsistent, hypocritical, layabout racist. Tell me something I don’t know.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  16. Miguel Estrada-different..because…ya know…
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/09/04/estrada.withdraws/

    Bugg (fa64ec)

  17. Too much barking at the moon? http://youtu.be/9C12ZvOJNfs

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  18. if the sleazy cowardly chambermaid Rs want to lose their majority they’re making the right moves

    happyfeet (831175)

  19. The “conservative” Republicans will cave and let Obama’s nominee sail through.

    DN (f53b94)

  20. Coronello @15, I’m sorry if you got that impression from me @12. I didn’t really mean what I said.

    It occurred to me later, after I commented, that the leftists are the height of consistency.

    They have one simple rule which they apply in every situation, every single time, without exception.

    And that rule is…

    BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!

    Steve57 (f61b03)

  21. 8… The last time a Democrat’s nominee was voted down was 1884 …

    Fortas wasn’t confirmed. You could say he wasn’t actually voted down but only because he didn’t have enough support to get that far.

    James B. Shearer (0f56fb)

  22. Fortas wasn’t confirmed. You could say he wasn’t actually voted down but only because he didn’t have enough support to get that far.

    There have been lots of withdrawals. Harriet Miers was withdrawn.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  23. Since the argument with my cousin, I’ve become slightly more active on the facebook. I have about three followers and a dozen friends. Strangers really.
    But they seem like nice strangers, so what the hey.
    Every now and again i’ll get an update in my inbox. So and So has a new picture posted.

    Update so and so’s dog Sally died. Update so and so just added a German Sheppard pup to the family.

    Generally, the new picture of the day at the beach, or the gang at the club having fun, has a comment or three.
    Sally dog died post had more expressions of shared grief from strangers than the Justice Scalia death notice @ Patterico.

    The new pup in the family post had more gooey gushes of expectation and joy from strangers than you would expect of a baby shower.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  24. One might think the Democrats are insane, or just so intellectually lazy that they really do think that this time it’s different. But they are doing what Obama has always done, with such resounding success. When he utters these total and simple lies, he hints that he expects his fanbois in the media to throw his past actions down the memory hole, which they do with breathless obeisance. The contradictory past is gone. There is no truth except the truth of Right Now.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  25. News already leaking that Senate Republicans buckling.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/16/gop-signs-back-down-vow-block-obama-scotus-nominee/

    Nah. This is all about optics. They want to obstruct without looking like obstructionists. Voting for Obama’s pick would be like voting for ObamaCare. Not gonna happen.

    Patterico (86c8ed)

  26. Why do they even say they are going to do something, only to back down later?

    Gah.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  27. A distant mirror:

    http://www.jamesjheaney.com/2016/02/16/the-longest-confirmation-battle-in-history/

    …the Whigs held a hefty majority in the Senate, so the Democrats could not move legislation for [President John] Tyler. Tyler therefore spent most of his presidency focused on foreign policy, where he could act largely without Congress’s support, and was largely successful there, particularly in advancing the annexation of Texas.

    However, every once in a while, Tyler had no choice but to deal with Congress. One place where this was inescapable was in nominations to the judiciary, which, according to the Constitution, cannot take effect unless confirmed by the Senate.

    Supreme Court Justice Smith Thompson died on December 18, 1843, less than a year before the November 1844 election. Just a few weeks later, on January 9, 1844, President Tyler nominated John Canfield Spencer, former Chief Justice of the New York State Supreme Court and current Secretary of War, to replace Justice Thompson. Although a Northerner going before a North-dominated Senate, Spencer was disliked, particularly by Clay loyalists who considered him a “turncoat” for standing by President Tyler. Calling him “personally obnoxious,” the Senate rejected Spencer on January 31st on a 21-26 vote.

    President Tyler then nominated Rueben Walworth, in March 1844. The Senate didn’t bother rejecting Walworth; they instead slow-walked his nomination, repeatedly postponing consideration in the hopes of running out the clock until the election, when (the Whigs were sure) Henry Clay would be elected President and could name his own justices. This was partly revenge against the Democrats, who had done the exact same thing to Whig Senator Crittenden’s Supreme Court nomination fifteen years earlier, postponing it until the new President, Andrew Jackson, could be inaugurated and nominate Democrat justices. Tired of repeated postponements, Walworth withdrew his name in June 1844.

    But, by then, events had already intervened! Justice Henry Baldwin died on April 21, 1844. There were now two vacancies on the Supreme Court. President Tyler nominated a replacement — Edward King — on June 5th, 1844. The Senate refused to confirm King and, like Walworth, slow-walked the nomination process for many months.

    For the rest of 1844, President Tyler tried to fill either of the open seats on the Court, but he couldn’t…

    In the end, Tyler sent 9 nominations to the Senate, but none were accepted. Some were voted down, some were tabled, some were withdrawn, some were resubmitted and some were simply ignored. It was not until his last weeks in office — and the election of the Democrat Polk — that one of the two seats were finally filled. The other one took another year.

    Read the whole thing.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  28. Nah. This is all about optics. They want to obstruct without looking like obstructionists. Voting for Obama’s pick would be like voting for ObamaCare. Not gonna happen.

    You are more optimistic than I am. Regardless, the Republicans just gave us more reason to make sure Cruz is the nominee.

    Dana (86e864)

  29. Patterico,

    I don’t think they will confirm anyone that Obama will nominate, but the camel’s nose is snuffling up against the tent.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  30. Wellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll. (crack)

    It’s a dog eat dog

    Eat cat too

    The French eat frog

    And I eat you

    Businessman, when you make a deal
    Do you know who you can trust?

    Do you sign your life away
    Do you write your name in dust

    Hey, hey, hey

    Every dog has his day

    It’s a dog eat dog

    Dog eat dog

    Dog eat dog

    Read the news

    Someone win

    Someone lose

    Up’s above and down’s below
    And limbo’s in between

    Up you win, down you lose
    It’s anybody’s game

    Hey, hey, hey

    Every dog has his day

    It’s a dog eat dog

    Dog eat dog

    And it’s a eye for eye

    Tooth for tooth

    It’s a lie

    That’s the truth

    See a blind man on the street
    Looking for something free

    Hear the kind man ask his friends
    Hey, what’s in it for me

    Hey, hey, hey

    Every dog has his day

    It’s a dog eat dog

    Dog eat dog

    Dog eat dog

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  31. Well, of course. The last time a Democrat’s nominee was voted down was 1884. Four GOP nominees have been voted down since, 3 in the last 50 years. But Republicans are evil, so that’s the way it should be.

    Fortas would have been voted down had he not withdrawn.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  32. 0bama is correct that there is a difference between what he did and what the Republicans seem to be proposing now. He heard what Alito had to say, considered him, and concluded that he was “contrary to core American values”. That is different from saying that we will not even consider anyone this president nominates. To do the same as 0bama did would mean to let him nominate someone, give that person careful consideration, and vote against her when and only when we discover that she is “contrary to core American values”.

    The difference is more formal than substantive, since it’s hard to imagine that this president would ever nominate someone who was in accord with core American values, but it’s not literally impossible. It could happen, just as Khamenei could become a Buddhist, and Ted Nugent could join PETA. We know they won’t, but it could happen. And I think it’s both more principled and better optics to wait until it doesn’t happen before rejecting it.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  33. Another difference between what 0bama did and what the Republicans are proposing: 0bama joined a filibuster; by definition, the majority can’t filibuster. When the majority sets the agenda it’s imply exercising its prerogative to do so; when the minority presumes to do so it’s a filibuster, an act of piracy, holding the senate hostage to its demands.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  34. We’ll know soon enough who Obama nominates.

    There is no “consensus nominee” to whom conservatives would not object but whom Obama could bring himself to nominate.

    Once the nominee is announced, it won’t matter whether, in the third week of February, there was a clamor to the effect that “the Senate GOP announced it won’t consider anyone Obama nominates.” Instead what will be said is, “The Senate GOP refused to even hold hearings on Nominee Doe.” In which case we’ll be talking about the relative merits of Nominee Doe. Whether that’s Loretta Lynch or Orren Hatch or Larry Tribe or Diane Wood, there will be plenty of very specific and no longer hypothetical things to talk about to explain why the GOP is justified in denying him or her a hearing.

    In other words, what might make the squishy GOP senators up for reelection in the purple states (e.g., Kirk in IL) nervous now will no longer apply in three weeks.

    This gives me hope.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  35. On the contrary, the senate should hold hearings on nominee Doe. Extensive ones, probing ones, digging up every piece of paper she ever wrote, every tweet and facebook update and blog comment, and demonstrate in detail why this person is unfit to serve on the supreme court. And then vote her down.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  36. Time to take that female dog out behind the barn and unload.

    mg (31009b)

  37. Fortas would have been voted down had he not withdrawn.

    Most everyone who withdrew would have been voted down. It’s why they withdraw in large part.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  38. n the contrary, the senate should hold hearings on nominee Doe.

    But there should be no terrible hurry. It took the Dems 3 months to hold hearings for Bork. We need time tor “due diligence”.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  39. Beldar, if Obama appointed Orrin Hatch, aged 81 and Republican, he would probably be confirmed.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  40. Obama has problems with HIS base, too. Unless he nominates a screaming leftist it will hurt Hillary. So, expect a SJW screecher.

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  41. “8?” Oh, I’ve been called far worse numbers than that, Madame Secretary.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  42. Someone should tell hillary that voting on a replacement for Scalia is not mandated by the constitution and it is not illegal to not vote. Unlike using a private server for top secret email. hillary should not be casting stones with all the corruption in her background.

    I hope Trump wins and puts her in JAIL!

    Jim (a9b7c7)

  43. On the contrary, the senate should hold hearings on nominee Doe.

    But there should be no terrible hurry. It took the Dems 3 months to hold hearings for Bork. We need time tor “due diligence”.

    Naturally. Surely the president wouldn’t want the senate to rush such an important decision. Every scrap of paper. Every tweet, facebook update, usenet posting, and fingerpainting piece from kindergarten.

    Milhouse (87c499)

  44. Not to mention every VHS tape rented, browser logs, entire personal email files….

    Kevin M (25bbee)

  45. @ Kevin M (#40): Yes, that’s the point. If he has concluded that he can’t get someone from the Left confirmed, he might appoint someone from the Right who’s very old, rather than leave the slot open for the new POTUS to fill in January 2017. If a Republican wins, then that seat’s not available immediately to fill with a young Alito/Scalia-type who can sit for 30 years. If a Dem wins, though, it’s a slot that’s likely to come open soon — Hatch, who turns 82 in January, is already older than Scalia was when he died. From the standpoint of creating the best opportunity to change the long-term balance of the Court, then, Hatch is arguably the least-worst appointment that Obama could name who’d be confirmed.

    And while I respect Sen. Hatch, who’s had a long and distinguished career, he’s not a modern movement conservative. He’s not someone I’d suggest for the SCOTUS if it were a Republican president making the choice, regardless of his age. My guess is that he’d end up, ideologically, somewhere well to the left of Alito and Thomas, but probably somewhere to the right of Kennedy; and that’s only a guess, and not a confident one, because we don’t have a judicial track record to look to.

    All that said, do I think Obama will nominate Orrin Hatch? Naw.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  46. Please note: When I wrote, “Hatch is arguably the least-worst appointment that Obama could name who’d be confirmed,” I meant, of course, as viewed by Obama.

    I didn’t pull this fantasy about Hatch out of thin air, btw: CNN questioned Hatch about it on the air, picking up on theories being spun by leftie pundits on the web.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  47. Oh, and by Lindsay Graham, who named Hatch as the only possible “consensus choice” he could think of.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  48. 43.Someone should tell hillary that voting on a replacement for Scalia is not mandated by the constitution and it is not illegal to not vote. Unlike using a private server for top secret email. hillary should not be casting stones with all the corruption in her background.

    I hope Trump wins and puts her in JAIL!
    Jim

    Trump invited her to his wedding….. Bygones will be bygones when he has her over for tea for tips for redecorating the WH. Get with it…. Trump has lied… Hillary will fly…

    jrt for Cruz (bc7456)

  49. The only person Obama might name from the Senate is someone from a State with a Democratic Governor or from a State with a system that the replacement would be named by Democrats. It would be a win if it were a Republican so the seat would switch. Hatch is from Nevada where the Governor is a Republican, so that will never happen.

    I think the current Republican Senators with law degrees are: Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (AK), Jeff Sessions (AL), Cory Gardner (CO), Jerry Moran (KS), David Vitter (LA), Thad Cochran (MS), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Lindsey Graham (SC), Lamar Alexander (TN), John Cornyn (TX), Ted Cruz (TX), Orrin Hatch (NV), and Mike Lee (UT). The only ones from States that do not have Republican Governors are Alaska (Gov Bill Walker, Independent), Colorado (Gov John Hickenlooper, Democrat), Louisiana (Gov John Bel Edwards, Democrat), and New Hampshire (Gov Maggie Hansen, Democrat).

    Cory Gardner (CO) and David Vitter (LA) seem unlikely to me. Vitter lost the primary and Gardner is too conservative for Obama’s tastes. Lisa Murkowski is possible but her history of running as an Independent means her support with Republicans will be questionable. That leaves Kelly Ayotte. Would Obama call her name? My feeling is she’s too young, so Obama will probably look at retired Senators — Bob Dole, maybe?

    DRJ (15874d)

  50. But that’s all useless speculation because there’s no way Obama will put a Republican on the bench. It’s against his nature to do anything that helps the evil Republicans.

    DRJ (15874d)

  51. DRJ – I could state with almost 110% certainty that Obama isn’t even willing to consider ANY of those. He will nominate a SJW whacko

    JD (34f761)

  52. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va8R54sdDic

    fantastic Mark Levin Interview!

    jrt for Cruz (bc7456)

  53. 7. 28. Kevin M

    As you didn’t make entirely clear, President Tyler eventually succeeded in naming someone to the United States Supreme Court:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Nelson

    President Tyler tried and failed many times previously to nominate a candidate to fill the seat on the court left vacant by Justice Smith Thompson. The appointment of Samuel Nelson in the last few weeks of his presidency was a very wise choice on behalf of President Tyler….Further reflecting this sensible appointment of President Tyler’s was the fact that it took the Senate only a couple of days to confirm his appointment. Samuel Nelson was the only Supreme Court Justice to be appointed by President Tyler.

    Nelson was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 14, 1845, and received his commission immediately. Nelson’s confirmation in the last month of Tyler’s presidency was a surprise. The unpopular Tyler had failed repeatedly to fill the vacancy left by Thompson, as the Whig-controlled Senate rejected his nominations of John C. Spencer, Reuben Walworth, Edward King and John M. Read.

    The Whigs found Nelson acceptable because, although he was a Democrat, he had a reputation as a careful and uncontroversial jurist.

    He did side with Taney on the question of Dred Scott, (he generally held that the laws of each state governed slavery) but had wanted not to declare blacks non-citizens or to say anything about the Missori compromise, which outlawed slavery in most of the territory of the Louisiana Purchase.

    Sammy Finkelman (882d94)


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