Do your job, Senate

supreme_court_buildingA new survey says that 62 percent says that Pres. Obama’s Supreme Court candidate deserves a hearing.

According to a new Monmouth University Poll:

Specifically, two-thirds say that Pres. Obama’s recent nomination deserves a hearing and 3-in-4 Americans think Senate Republicans are playing politics by refusing to consider to it.

Turns out the chief justice agrees — or he did before there was a vacancy created by the death of Associate Justice Antonin Scalia.

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  1. I don’t think Roberts’ opinion on the process would change after Scalia’s death. In fact, considering the stated positions of the Republican majority, he’s probably more convinced than ever that “the process is not functioning very well.” But it’s not very realistic to think that politics can be somehow disentangled from a process controlled by politicians. And it’s kinda funny…actually…to hear a political animal like Roberts speak in those terms.

    Asking Congressional Republicans to do their job can be a risky proposition. They might just do it. (Have you seen their budget?) A Judiciary Committee hearing would just add another ring to the election year circus. If it’s possible public disdain for Congress can sink any lower, a SCOTUS confirmation hearing would make that a reality.

    Not that I think Garland is a bad choice. (I would have preferred Jane L. Kelly or Ann Claire Williams. But they’re not considered “consensus candidates” by Obama.) His skill as a jurist is, indeed, unassailable. But I’m concerned that if hearings actually do take place, The Clown College will find a way to reject his nomination so as to tarnish his chances down the road. I think Garland would be Clinton’s choice. (The Democratic Party needs another centrist on the Court.) It might be prudent to wait it out.

    1. I believe that not at least giving a hearing to the recent Supreme Court candidate is pretty vile. Garland would not be my choice (only because he’s more middle of the road; he seems like a fine person, otherwise), but he is the President’s, and so attention must be paid to the duties that should follow. So saith I. So saith the Constitution.

      1. Vile is Business as Usual for Republicans. (This is me giving congressional Democrats a break. You’re welcome.)

        But exactly how the Senate delivers on its “advice and consent” obligation isn’t all that clear.

        The appointments clause of the Constitution gives the president the power to nominate judges, but it also gives the Senate the power to provide “advice and consent” and places no limits on how the Senate discharges this power. The Senate may withhold its consent by voting down a nominee, but it may also withhold its consent by refusing to act, or otherwise failing to confirm a nominee.

        The “constitutional duty” assertion is a political argument, not a legal one. (This is me giving Joe Biden a break. You’re welcome.)

        1. You don’t need to hold off on the Democrats on this one. I think when history reviews this time period, they’ll paint my party of choice as an incredibly limp-(#&$ one.

          1. Well…you can’t really call congressional Democrats obstructionists on this one.
            Cut-and-Run Liberalism? The politics of accommodation? Sure. But I wouldn’t go as far as vile…on this issue.

              1. WaPo’s James Hohmann reports this morning Republican politicians are getting more play on Garland’s nomination within their share of the electorate than are the Democrats…possibly because Obama’s policy of accommodation isn’t playing well with some of his cohorts in Congress.

                — Some top Democrats privately complain that Obama has thrown away a golden opportunity that could have helped them retake control of the Senate and elect Hillary Clinton. By opting for a mild-mannered white man who has been careful not to leave a paper trail – and by all accounts is more of a technocrat than an ideologue – Obama made a choice that makes it less likely his own base will fight for his nominee. If he had picked an African American, a Latino or even an Asian candidate – and especially a woman – he could have helped energize the coalition that got him reelected in 2012 and arguably pushed his nominee onto the court.

                Instead, he picked a former prosecutor known for siding with the government on criminal justice issues more than his Democratic counterparts – something that appears to be deterring the Black Lives Matter movement from going all-in. Now Democrats are divided about whether or not they’d be okay with Garland being confirmed during a lame-duck session or if Clinton should get to choose, with some liberals calling on Obama to withdraw his pick if Hillary wins and the White House insisting he’d do no such thing.

                And…also…possibly because the Democrats are, again, unprepared for utterly predictable right-wing activism.

                So yeah… incredibly limp-(#&$ fits like a glove.

  2. If they refuse to do their job over these last 9 months, then we should give them all a pay cut, proportionally.

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