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View Diary: Senate Prepares for Judicial Nominee Showdown--Again (125 comments)

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  •  Doesn't matter. (0+ / 0-)

    It doesn't matter whether he was being filibustered or not. Filibusters are only addressed under Part II of the agreement, which doesn't apply to Kavanaugh, because his nomination was pending.

    •  That makes no sense (0+ / 0-)

      If that was true, i.e., if anyone who isn't specifically mentioned can be filibustered, why list Myers and Saad explicitly?

      And in any event, he is a new nomination since he was returned in December and renominated in january.

      •  Sure it makes sense. (0+ / 0-)

        You just need to pretend it doesn't, so that you can claim that Kavanaugh's nomination wasn't pending, and you can shoehorn him in under the wrong part of the deal.

        All Part I(B) says is that there's no agreement as to the disposition of the nominatios of Myers and Saad. What's so hard to figure out about that? It means what it says.

        It also means what it doesn't say -- that is, that there's also no agreement as to the disposition of any other pending nominations.

        I have no doubt, of course, that disingenuous Republicans will claim that the terms of the deal can be rewritten if only once "pending" nominations can be reclassified as "future" nominations.

        The fact that Kavanaugh isn't mentioned is (intentionally) confusing. But it doesn't magically change the fact that his nomination was pending, as you're trying to do.

        •  That's silly (0+ / 0-)

          Again, why mention Saad and Myers?!  If there is no deal on ANY of the pending nominations other than Owen, Pryor and brown, why mention Saad and Myers specifically?

          Furthermore, it would make no sense for the Gang deal to specifically mention Kavanaugh or anyone else who was still in the committee, because for all they know, they may never be reported out of the committee.  Or some bizarre facts may come from hearings.  Or they may die or withdraw.  It would be premature to have any deal on those who have not yet been considered in the Committee, and it would be premature to state that there is no deal on them either.

          It therefore stands to reason that the nominees who were not reported at the time of the deal are all "future" nominees.

          •  Is it silly? (0+ / 0-)

            Sillier than having to pretend that the signatories to the deal used the word "pending" without knowing that it really meant what you think it means, as opposed to what the inclusion of Saad and Myers under Part I means?

            Sillier than having to pretend that the fact that there's no agreement written about the pending Kavanaugh nomination actually means that there was one, and that it was for his approval?

            Saad and Myers were still in committee at the time the deal was inked, and yet they were mentioned under the "pending" section of the agreement. You're just flat wrong about that, and haven't come to grips with it. What's "silly" is pretending that you're capable of discussing this issue without acknowledging that.

            They mentioned Saad and Myers specifically because those were the two names they could get 14 signatures for. Kavanaugh was also opposed, and opposed specifically by Graham, but Graham knew what kind of heat he was in for just for signing, and was too gunshy to permit Kavanaugh's inclusion, because the stalling of Kavanaugh's nomination could be directly linked to him, and he didn't want to put that down on paper and add that to his list of troubles. No written agreement was necessary, because it was general knowledge that his nomination was dead, while there was still some lingering question as to Saad and Myers.

            •  Again, you are factually incorrect (0+ / 0-)

              Myers was reported out of committee on March 17, 2005 on a 10-8 vote.  The deal was inked on May 24th, 2005, i.e., over 2 months after Myers was voted out of the Committee.

              Graham never opposed Kavanaugh.  that's utter nonsense and you have absolutely no evidence for that.  Graham opposes Haynes (a nominee to the 4th Circuit) and will vote against him in the committee, thus preventing him from getting to the floor.  Graham supports Kavanaugh and will vote for him.  the stalling of Kavanaugh's nomination is done by Hillary not by Graham, as a payback for his involvement with Ken Starr.

              I still fail to understand why if teh deal really only included the three confirmed judges, and no one else, why bother metioning 2 other judges specifically as still filibusterable?  

              Furthermore, Kavanaugh is a new nominee anyway.  having been returned by the Senate, his nomination was resubmitted in January of this year as a new nomination.  Consequently, he is a "future" nominee.

              •  And Saad? (0+ / 0-)

                You still need to overcome Saad to even have a shot at being right about what "pending" means.

                Graham won't oppose Kavanaugh this time, but that's not an answer to where he was privately last time.

                You still fail to understand innumerable things about this deal, whether I can list them specifically or not.  And the deal doesn't say the other two are specifically filibusterable. It says there's no agreement on them. That's all. In order for you to be right about Kavanaugh, you need to prove that he wasn't "pending," and that the fact that there's no mention of any understanding on him really means that there was one.

                And yes, I'm well aware of the spin Republicans would like to have us believe, having "renominated" Kavanaugh so that he can be considered a "future" nominee. But why not "renominate" Saad, too? Or Myers? Would you defend them as "future" nominees, too?

                •  Saad and Myers (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Saad withdrew.  Myers was never returned and remains pending.  Furthermore, whether Myers and Saad are renominated, they are specifically permitted to be filibustered.  In other words, teh agreement says that neither the letter nor the spirit is violated if the signatories choose to vote against cloture on those 2 nominees.  The letter and the spirit is violated if they choose to vote against cloture on any other nominee absent extraordinary circumstances.

                  You have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Graham opposed Kavanaugh at any point in time.  That is just a bald faced lie.

                  Finally, the discussion is academic.  Kavanaugh will be confirmed either by having cloture invoked, or through the nuclear option.  DeWine, Graham and Warner have made it pretty clear that they will not tolerate any future filibusters of judicial nominees.

                  •  Not proven. (0+ / 0-)

                    Saad withdrew in March of this year.

                    You've failed to prove your case. Or, if you prefer this construction, you're a bald faced liar.

                    But I agree that Republican duplicity will render this discussion (or at least my part of it) academic. Your part wouldn't qualify.

                    •  Ludicrious (0+ / 0-)

                      By specifically mentioning the 2 nominees who wouldn't trigger the nuclear option, i.e, who were OK to be filibustered, the agreement under the "inclusion unius" principle provided that no other nominee, absent extraordinary circumstance can be filibustered.

                      No other construction is plausible.

                      •  Ludicrous indeed. (0+ / 0-)

                        By what construction do you find an agreement on Kavanaugh?

                        The deal does not specifically say a filibuster is OK for those two. It merely says that there's no agreement about it.

                        Part I(A) says, "we will vote to invoke cloture" on Brown, Pryor and Owen.

                        Don't you think Part I(B) could easily have said, "we will not vote to invoke cloture" on Saad and Myers? Because it doesn't. It says, "signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture" on them.

                        So by what magical construction does the omission of Kavanaugh mean there something other than "no commitment" on him? And what accounts for this report on the subject?

                        I have just heard from excellent sources that a number of Hill reporters believe that there is an oral side deal under which two other very good men have been prospectively thrown overboard by the Republican 7, notwithstanding the "extraordinary circumstances" pledge: Kavanaugh and Haynes. If true, this would be the dirty deal of all time and a disgraceful surrender executed under cover of darkness. It would also be an ominous portent of how the written deal will be implemented in the future.

                        At this point, this is only rumor, but it's imperative for the press, the groups, and the Republican leadership to demand a flat, on-the-record confirmation or denial from each of the seven Republican signatories. Immediately. If there are terms of this deal beyond those in writing, the public has a right to know.

                        Gee, I wonder why nobody ever got a flat, on-the-record confirmation or denial from each of the seven Republican signatories? Could it be... for precisely the reason I posited?

                        •  Part I(B) (0+ / 0-)

                          could not say "will not vote to invoke cloture" because obviously 7 GOPers + Nelson of NE supported cloture.  So that's why it said "no agreement" meaning that Senators can oppose cloture and still comply with the MoU.

                          There is no specific agreement on Kavanaugh.  Duh.  he is to be treated like everyone else, i.e., filibuster under extraordinary circumstances only.

                          So the quote you cite self-acknowledges that a) it is nothing but a rumor and b) says absolutely nothing whatsoever about Graham's opposition to Kavanaugh.  I am underwhelmed.

                          That morning, Reid met in his office with Nelson and Mark Pryor. Reid wanted changes in the draft to specify that there was no guaranteed final vote for two other nominees:

                          Kavanaugh. As associate independent counsel under Kenneth Starr, he had leading roles investigating the Whitewater case involving President Clinton and the 1998 Clinton impeachment case. Later, in the Bush White House, Kavanaugh was one of the president's lawyers working on getting the president's judicial nominations through the Senate. Kavanaugh was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Democrats argued that he was too conservative for the bench.

                          Senate Republicans pushed back when the centrists got together last Monday evening for what proved to be their final meeting. GOP lawmakers noted that the Senate Judiciary Committee had not acted on either Kavanaugh or Haynes.

                          Schumer objected to the deletion of Kavanaugh's name. Recognizing that the talks were over, Reid asked Democrats to support filibusters against both Kavanaugh and Haynes.

                          Nelson declined. Several participants in the meeting said the others agreed, although Landrieu said Friday through a spokesman that she had not. Reid's spokesman declined comment.


                          Seems like Reid & Schumer wanted the language saying that there are no guarantees on Kavanaugh and lost out.

                          •  I read that, too. (0+ / 0-)

                            Why did you leave out this part?

                            At Collins' suggestion, their names [Kavanaugh and Haynes], as well as those of McKeague, Griffin and Neilson, were dropped from the document.

                            Why were they were dropped? Because Republicans like Graham didn't want to sign documents linking them to sinking their nominations, but understood that the nominations were dead anyway (which is the way they wanted it). Otherwise, they'd have pushed to include them in Part I(A). Instead, they agreed to reach no agreement on them.

                            The assumption that he'd be treated like everyone else, even though the circumstances of his nomination at the time were entirely different from those contemplated under Part II -- where the only mention of "extraordinary circumstances" resides -- requires a redefinition of pending so radical and counterintuitive that it facially violates the plain language of Part I.

                            Of course, it also violates the "spirit and continuing commitments made" in the deal, referenced in Part II(B), should we decide that applies. The Republican commitment was to oppose rules changes in the 109th Congress, but apparently they recognize no parallel commitment prohibiting the "renomination" of rejected candidates within the same Congress. Which is why Graham and his six cohorts are snake oil salesmen never to be trusted, and the interpretation of the agreement is, as you noted, all academic.

                          •  I fail to understand where you get that (0+ / 0-)

                            "Republicans like Graham didn't want to sign documents linking them to sinking their nominations, but understood that the nominations were dead anyway (which is the way they wanted it)."

                            The article states pretty clearly that it was Reid and Schumer who wanted the nominations dead, not Graham.  If Graham wanted it dead, he would simply vote against him in committee of which he is member, thus deadlocking the committee and preventing Kavanaugh from ever reaching the floor.  (As he is planning to do with Haynes).  There is no evidence whatever that Graham does now or has ever opposed Kavanaugh.

                            The only people who wanted Kavanugh and Haynes included in the document were the pro-filibuster Democrats.  They wanted their names to be included along with Saad and Myers.  they failed.  Consequently, they are not placed in the same group as Saad and Myers, and therefore are entitled to a vote absent extraordinary circumstances.

                            As for "spirit and continuing commitments made," it is pretty clear that the Senators can vote for the nuclear option if they feel that the other side is not living up to the "spirit and continuing commitments made" of the agreement.

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