March 16, 2016: McConnell: Blocking Supreme Court Nomination ‘About A Principle, Not A Person’ 8 Months Prior to the 2016 Election

Here is What McConnell Argued And Here is What the Dems Must Do If the Seat is Filled….PACK/BALANCE THE COURT.

“It is a president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check on a president and withhold its consent,” McConnell said on the Senate floor following the president’s nomination of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Merrick Garland.

In his remarks earlier on that day, President Obama had called for the Senate to put politics aside and confirm Garland. Obama praised Garland’s collegiality and ability to build consensus, saying “he’s shown a rare ability to bring together odd couples.” A Supreme Court nomination, Obama said, is “supposed to be above politics, it has to be, and should stay that way.”McConnell’s comments came after a pledge he had made in the last month prior to the nomination that the Senate would take no action on the nomination, setting the stage for a political fight. McConnell said Wednesday that the “the decision the Senate made weeks ago remains about a principle, not a person.

“It seems clear President Obama made this nomination not, not with the intent of seeing the nominee confirmed, but in order to politicize it for purposes of the election,” McConnell said.”I believe the overwhelming view of the Republican Conference in the Senate is that this nomination should not be filled, this vacancy should not be filled by this lame-duck president,” McConnell said.”The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let’s give them a voice. Let’s let the American people decide. The Senate will appropriately revisit the matter when it considers the qualifications of the nominee the next president nominates, whoever that might be,” McConnell said.

OK MITCH…..LET’S SEE IF YOU ARE NOT THE POLITICAL HACK, THE BLATANTLY PARTISAN OPERATIVE, THE CRAVEN COURT PACKER THAT I BELIEVE YOU TO BE……..CLEARLY TRUMP SHOULD NOT NOMINATE A REPLACEMENT FOR GINSBERG BY YOUR RULES AND IF HE DOES IT SHOULD BE IGNORED…GIVEN THAT TRUMP IS A LAME DUCK WITH ONLY SIX WEEKS (AND NOT EIGHT MONTHS) TO THE ELECTION……BUT YOU HAVE MADE IT CLEAR….YOU’RE ARE A LIAR….. LAST NIGHT, WHEN THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF GINSBERG’S DEATH WAS BARELY OUT THE DOOR, YOU ANNOUNCED THAT YOU WOULD IGNORE “THE MCCONNELL PRINCIPLE” AND PUSH THE TRUMP NOMINATION THROUGH THE DOOR IN RECORD TIME.

In a statement last night you said that President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to fill the vacancy of late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate. ”Democrats have only one play here: If Trump and McConnell jam an appointee through, it is not enough for Democrats to raise hell about the hypocrisy, the duplicity, and the Republican refusal to play by McConnell’s own rules. It is not enough to target every Republican senator who goes along. It is not enough to have voters bombard their Republican senator’s office with phone calls and protests. Because those things have been happening for four years, and none of them have persuaded the GOP to put the stability of the country or the obligations of office ahead of that party’s thirst for power.

So Democrats should threaten to pack the court. And, if McConnell pushes through a new justice and then Joe Biden wins, they should follow through. Ginsburg herself was clear on what she believed to be fair. As she was dying, she dictated a public statement to her granddaughter: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” Before Ginsburg’s death, Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Charles E. Grassley all stated, laudably, that they would not consider a Supreme Court nominee this close to the election. So far, only Murkowski has kept her word. Whether the other senators’ commitments will hold up when these senators faced with our new reality remains an open question.

This is simply a question of fundamental fairness and democratic norms. In order for a democracy to function, people have to play by the same rules. McConnell has made up the rules as he goes along, constraining Democrats and empowering his own party. He has shown, time and again, that preserving American democracy is not the goal; power is. We saw this when he thwarted Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland. We saw it when he blocked any real impeachment trial and refused to call witnesses who might incriminate Trump. We saw it when he blocked from consideration emergency bill after emergency bill from even being considered by the Senate. AND WE HAVE SEEN IT IN HOW HE HAS PACKED THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY.

Democrats need to realize that they’re up against an uncompromising and mendacious bully who is never going to follow even the rules he sets out. “Court-packing” is a loaded term, and if they’re smart, Democrats will find a more palatable one like “Court-Balancing”. But it’s a defensible and evenhanded move to assert that, if McConnell steals another Supreme Court seat (just weeks before a national election), then Democrats will consider a presidential victory a mandate from voters to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court.

This is not unprecedented. The number of justices has not been static at nine; it’s changed six times, from as few as six to as many as ten. All it takes is for Congress to pass an act, and for the president to sign it. If a Biden victory comes with a Democratic congressional majority, expanding the number of Supreme Court justices isn’t all that hard to do. Add two seats making it 11 in response to the thwarted Garland nomination and the proposed Trump nomination to replace Ginsberg. Some are already arguing that given that Trump has already placed two Supreme Court Justices into place with one of them having been jammed through…maybe the number should be 13.

And let’s recall that Trump has placed more than 175 judges on the federal bench, a historic number because McConnell has violated virtually every precedent to push them through. Adding justices is not an action Democrats should take lightly. It runs a high risk of alienating some voters who would see such a move, constitutionally permitted, and I would argue, mandated though it may be, as taking advantage. And the escalation would certainly ratchet up the already boiling conflicts between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. But McConnell forces the left’s hand. Thanks to him and his ally in the White House, the United States looks less like a functional democracy by the day.

This latest maneuver is more than political gamesmanship; it’s a massive blow to the stability of the republic. With an election looming, Democrats can give voters a say. If they vow to expand the court, then Americans can cast their ballots with that in mind. Key to the message should be that McConnell and Senate Republicans have so repeatedly broken the rules, rigged the game, and stolen victories that it’s become impossible to play on neutral turf.

As Murkowski put it, the fair is fair. It’s a shame we’re here. But to restore a democracy that has been battered, bruised, and robbed blind by the president and his party, Democrats will need to fight harder. If Republicans steal this seat, the only reasonable response is to change the number of judges on the bench.

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Khirad
Member

I’m done playing nice. I’m beyond words, so as Zack de la Rocha, spit it:

Amp up and amplify
Defy, I’m a brother with a furious mind
Action must be taken
We don’t need the key, we’ll break in

Something must be done
About vengeance, a badge and a gun
Cause I’ll rip the mic, rip the stage, rip the system
I was born to Rage Against ’em!
Fist in ya face in the place and I’ll drop the style clearly…
Know your enemy!

AdLib
Admin

First off, I was helping to post this for Murph and accidentally, my name was listed as author at first (it’s now corrected).

Secondly, I am in strong agreement on Dems ending the filibuster and using a unitary government to fully reform the courts. Part of that requires enlarging the SCOTUS to 13 seats, one for each district court, and enlarging district courts. First, it will undo the stacking that McConnell and Trump have done in their evil, hand-wringing way. Second, it will provide for more cases to be heard by all courts and fix some of the long delays that are common.

Part of justice reform should include the ability to rotate judges out of the SCOTUS after a period of time because lifetime appointments are a bit insane in the SCOTUS (what is the point of Thomas being on the court for another 10 years?).

Also, there needs to be a quick path for urgent issues, like a president refusing to turn over his tax returns or Congress enforcing subpoenas and testimony.

Inspector Generals should not be able to be fired by a President without Congress’ approval and even then, only for Proven cause, not to prevent their investigations.

There should be an independent prosecutor provision that is triggered automatically whenever a president, his staff, VP or a cabinet member is accused of potential wrongdoing by Congress or an IG. Neither the President or the DOJ should have any authority over that prosecutor, he/she should report only to Congress.

And let’s get the Hatch Act invigorated and enforceable by Congress/Independent Prosecutor. And pass nepotism laws that prevent a president from giving a grain of power or government money to any relative And give that Independent Prosecutor empowerment over enforcing the emoluments clause and modify the law to allow any citizen, who is indeed directly impacted by a president being bribed, to file charges against a president so there is never an obstacle of having standing to pursue such crimes.

That’s a start.

Khirad
Member

William Howard Taft though, wink wink. Who do we know who was a President and Constitutional Law scholar…….

Listen, not gonna happen, but it would be most bodacious.

Khirad
Member

I shot this off to Mitch McConnell’s office:

Whenever I doubt myself, say: what would Mitch McConnell do? He’d look himself in the mirror before going onto the Senate floor to say the exact opposite, and go home, and not lose a wink of sleep. That’s why I admire Mitch McConnell. Power is destiny. It takes courage to be a sociopath with no real intrinsic values.

Khirad
Member

Ted Cruz, this is what I sent:

You’ve been a national figure. Ivy League from Calgary via Cuba. What I hate most, is not your ideology, but cowardice. These are fightin’ words, but in Arizona we don’t like cowards and hypocrites. I want a John McCain to say shove it. You are no John McCain. You are a snivveling coward and all I want you and Republicans to say is this: Yes, we are hypocrites, and politics are a blood sport, and we want power. You’re acting like Tammany Hall. And, you sleep at night counting mythical terrorists jumping the border (I’m pretty close to the border, that doesn’t jive).

AdLib
Admin

If you really think about Cruz, all he’s said and done through the years, it’s clear why he is the most disliked person in The Senate.

He is a slimy weasel. He looks like a slimy weasel. He crawls through lies and propaganda like a slimy weasel.

I think he would lose hands down to Beto if that election was this year.

Khirad
Member

If somebody messed with my most loved ones, I would not just forget it, even if it were a Democrat or Purpelian Whig. I would…

AdLib
Admin

The unfortunate thing is that sociopaths can’t be shamed. We have Russia as a part owner of the GOP and the official owner of the president.

We are in deep shit and if Dems win unified power in Nov as I think they will, despite Trump’s cheating, Dems must toss out the rules that would tie their hands, like the filibuster, to urgently repair our Country and democracy.

TOCB
Member

I agree with everything you said. HOWEVER, I think if the truth be known, if Democrats were in the position republicans are in, they would work to fill the vacancy as well. Both trump and McConnell are within their constitutional right to fill the vacancy. Yes, it is hypocritical, and I do believe that in normal circumstances Democrats would confirm a moderate justice as opposed to an extreme liberal, but they would definitely protect choice, healthcare and gun safety. That, in and of itself, would make the appointment “far left” in the eyes of republicans.

For this particular seat, I think Democrats would attempt to fill the seat with a so-called liberal justice, and republicans will attempt to fill it with a so-called conservative justice. THIS is the problem with our judicial system. There should not be liberal and conservative judges. Some things SHOULD BE above politics and ideology, and justice is one of those things. As a society, we like to claim that justice is blind, however we KNOW it is not. If justice were blind, it wouldn’t matter what the ideology of a judge is, BECAUSE EVERY judge would apply the same law, based on the same Constitution.

AdLib
Admin

Having politicians appoint judges is a de facto corrupt thing. How can it not be political now, when McConnell killed the filibuster rule for SCOTUS judges? And the Blue Slip for lower court judges. If these things could be legislated into place and not removed by subsequent Republican Senate leaders, maybe there could be at least a little de-politicizing of appointing judges.

And it should always be required that a candidate for the court gets a “qualified” rating from the ABA.

Khirad
Member

I am sorry to all you here that are true Christians.

But this is why I am not.

All my life, I’ve associated a majority of Christians as hypocrites.

Anton LaVey, the self-professed charlatan deemed this the Good Guy Badge.

I’m not pissed at Christians. But I am pissed at those that vote Republican.

I’ve grown up around all your Pat Robertsons and the Evil Empire and Obama is the Antichrist. I’m veering into evangelical land, so that caveat with good Christians.

I’ve witnessed this hypocrisy all my life. The woman who abused me, the anti-gay people who are caught in airport bathrooms.

So, I’m not surprised. But, if you wonder why I inversed it so that Satan is the good guy?

This is how. I am so – like when even I can’t cuss – that’s when you know how pissed I am.

But they will follow their savior, Trump, who unlike Obama is not the Antichrist, and Leave Behind any claim to Jesus.

I want to help my Christian friends, but I left the faith a long time ago because of this.

Morals, principles… nevermind! POWER!

I mean, I pissed off on so many levels, but let’s call a spade a spade.

On a lighter note, besides being a turtle, McConnell reminds me of Frank Langella’s character in the Ninth Gate. I mean, after this rant, I don’t believe in supernatural evil; but he comes close.

The lack of shame. I emailed Lindsey Graham earlier. In so many words I said John McCain would bitch slap him from his grave.

I’m pissed. And I’m also somewhat envious. I never want progressives to be like this, but I am just taken aback how they look into the camera, just as Cheney did with Russert, and …

Chubby Checker couldn’t twist like that.

AdLib
Admin

Any tool of power will always be stolen by the power hungry. That is what’s happened with religion and Christianity in particular in the US. Yet, organizations like IMPACT in CA, are Christian-led but Progressive and truly Christian in their positions in caring about the health and welfare of the people.

But the destructive aspects of the corrupt “Christians” are far more potent. Always easier to destroy than build.

kesmarn
Admin

Absolutely right, Ad Lib.

GOP football rules: If you’re a Democrat, when you carry the football into the end zone, you have to keep going up into the stands and you have to run the top tier of the spectator area around the entire circumference of the field in 30 seconds or less in order to score one point.

If you’re a Republican, and you happen to stray within 30 yards of the goal post carrying the ball, it’s an automatic touchdown worth 40 points. Point after is worth 30 more points.

GOP baseball rules: Since justice is blind, all Democratic batters must be wear masks over their eyes while at bat. (COVID, you know…) If they accidentally make contact with the ball, they shall run the bases blindfolded, while the bases are moved at will by the opposing team. The GOP team shall be allowed to field 40 team members in the infield/outfield at all times.

GOP batters are allowed to stand within 15 feet of the pitcher’s mound. The 20″ diameter Nerf ball shall be placed on a little tee stand for them to swing at. They’re allow 78 strikes before they’re out. They need not worry about running the bases, as there will be designated minority runners to spare them the exertion. No matter what the score, innings will be added to the game until the GOP is ahead, at which point it will be “Game Over.”

And it really will be game over if we let them get away with this.

AdLib
Admin

My mistake, this article was by Murph and my name wrongly showed as author.

That said, yes, your excellent sports allegories are hardly exaggerations. Even in the campaign, the MSM cooperates and holds the Dem to high standards that they won’t hold the Repub to.

If Biden makes one misstatement in a debate while Trump lies and rambles incoherently, I think the “news” will be about Biden stumbling.

I think it’s time Dems accepted and recognized the double standard game and quit trying to win by its rules. Call it out, condemn those trying to push it and ignore it in actions. Repubs should be run over like slow armadillos in a unitary Dem government. We don’t need their input or their meddling, they’ve done far worse to Dems and the majority of Americans over the past years. Time to even the playing field first then they need to come hat in hand to Dems to participate in Congress.

kesmarn
Admin

Thanks for the clarification, Ad Lib, and kudos to Murph for sizing up this frustrating situation and for having the country’s best interest at heart in advocating the expansion of the SCOTUS.

The usually (hilariously) irritated Vic Dibitetto sobered up and posted this commentary on the situation on YouTube:

AdLib
Admin

Thanks for sharing this, Kes. Never seen him before but he’s very good! And his point is made so simply, no one can miss it unless they’re a cult member.

kesmarn
Admin

Vic has made a living from playing the straight-talking East Coast “Eye-Talian” character. Being politically incorrect is his shtick. But I think he nailed it here, AdLib. In short — on this one he’s completely politically correct!

AdLib
Admin

He is very good as a comedian and performer, right on the money and I’m very picky. It is funny that playing this character with Trump going rogue makes him politically correct. Indeed!