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Huffington Post talked to a number of Republican senators about the prospects for three nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Some Republicans are pretending they will be reasonable.
"I've always thought that judges should get votes. Elections have consequences," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "He wants to obviously get his nominees to the second most important court in America."

"I've been pretty good on voting for judges if I think they're qualified and not ideologues," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). "Some of my colleagues feel that the D.C. Circuit is sort of overdone. I haven't made my mind up yet."

"I don't have any opinion," Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said as he walked away.

As if there's a possibility that at least one or two of these three candidates won't be filibustered. As if McCain or Graham being reasonable (and Enzi being disengaged) would make a difference when there are these guys:
"You don't need any more in that circuit. It's the most underworked circuit in the country," said a visibly agitated Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). "I think we're playing politics."

"We all know that the D.C. court has too many judges on it. It's not a busy court," said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.). "I would think that the president is ill-advised to just immediately try to look for one other opportunity to establish confrontation, unless he's just trying to change the subject."

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) fumed at Obama for creating a sense of urgency behind the three nominees and, more broadly, for criticizing Republicans for obstruction. [...]

"When you win an election, particularly when you win a second election, you should stop campaigning and start governing," Alexander said. "This business of threatening the Congress and inventing a crisis is unpresidential, unproductive and embarrassing for him to act that way."

Right. Because nominating judges for vacancies on the court is not governing. Unbelievable.

As is the argument that this court is doing just fine with all the vacancies. The DC Circuit is the second most important court in the country. The cases it deals with are among the most complex and time-consuming and the caseload per individual judge is high. The former chief judge of the court, Patricia Wald wrote in this op-ed for the Washington Post that the caseload for the individual judges has increased from 119 in 2005 to 188 to now. When George W. Bush was president, none of these senators had a problem with doing their job in filling seats on this court.

In other words, Republicans being Republicans. And McCain and Graham, for all their "reasonableness," aren't going to do a damned thing to convince Mitch McConnell to call off the attack dogs and allow these nominations to go forward. As if he could, or would. The only way all three of these judges get through the Senate is if Harry Reid and Democrats change the rules.

Keep the pressure on. Send an email to your Democratic senators telling them to re-open filibuster reform and make the Senate function again.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:05:03 AM PDT

  •  I am so f'ing sick of the GOP (6+ / 0-)

    bullsh*t and the dems that seem to allow some of it to take hold (yes, I am looking at you, Harry.)

    While I am a fan of "finding common ground", we should keep in mind just who won the election....

    by left my heart on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:16:42 AM PDT

  •  Do nothing and blame everything on everyone (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HappyinNM, kerflooey, MadRuth

    else. Typical. Ho does that little song go? Ah yes.
    Whatever it is, I'm against it! As performed by Groucho Marx.
    It's funny in the movie. Not so much when it comes to actually governing a country.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:30:05 AM PDT

    •  And by the way, Lamar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, Noodles

      When you win an election, particularly when you win a second election, you should get your nominees confirmed unless there is something really wrong with them. The fact that they might be Democrats does not qualify as being really wrong.

      If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

      by MadRuth on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:52:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My prediction (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bear83, Noodles

    1. Two of the three nominees will be confirmed.
    2. Reid and the old guard Democrats will pat themselves on the back saying the Republicans have backed away from the filibuster.
    3. There will be no change to filibuster rules.

    Thank you Reid, Feinstein, Boxer, Levin and Co.

    •  I do think (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadRuth, Capt Crunch, Egalitare, Noodles

      Reid could try it this time. Because there are the three executive nominations as well. We know that the GOP won't back down on at least one of them--Cordray.

      Levin is never going to come over, but the others might if we push hard enough.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter."--Frank Church

      by Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:46:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For any vacancy in Congress I assume the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadRuth, bear83

    Republicans will argue against filling the seat, seeing as they don't do much anyway.

  •  I am always contacting our Senators, but they are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, Capt Crunch

    on board when it comes to filibuster reform and also quickly respond. Here Chris Murphy's prompt response:

    Senator Christopher Murphy

    Thank you for contacting me about filibuster reform. I appreciate your correspondence and hope that you find this response helpful.

    It is clear that Washington, and the Senate in particular, is not working the way it should, which is why I am in favor of common-sense rules reform.  My colleagues and I were elected to get things done, not spend time in endless stalling tactics.  In recent years, the filibuster--which was once used as an extraordinary tool to be deployed only in rare instances--has come to be used or threatened on virtually every measure considered by the Senate.  Under existing rules, in order to end a filibuster (which is essentially a period of extended debate to postpone voting on a measure), "cloture" must be invoked, which requires a three-fifths majority of the Senate (60 votes) voting in favor.  Thus, a minority of 41 Senators has been able to block or delay nearly all legislative action in the Senate, contributing significantly to partisan gridlock in Washington.

    I have great respect for the long-standing rules and traditions of the Senate, which emphasize the rights of the minority to be heard and to influence legislation.  However, the recent abuse of these rules, which were last changed in 1979, has convinced me that the time has come for reform.  That is why I was an original cosponsor of S. Res. 4, which would require Senators wishing to hold a filibuster to actually stand on the Senate floor and debate--rather than the current practice of placing a hold on a bill with a simple phone call and then walking away with no further effort.  I am disappointed that the Senate did not ultimately adopt this measure, but I was pleased to vote in favor of a more modest bipartisan package of reforms (S. Res. 15 and 16) that passed the Senate on January 24, 2013.  I am hopeful that these reforms will help restore a spirit of comity and bipartisan cooperation in the Senate, and I will continue to work to end the gridlock in Washington.

    Thank you again for contacting me about this matter.  I appreciate hearing from you and assure you that I will always do my best to represent the views of my constituents in the Senate.  In the future, please do not hesitate to call me in my Connecticut office at (860) 549-8463 or my Washington office at (202) 224-4041.

                Every Best Wish,

                Christopher S. Murphy
                United States Senator

  •  Well, they have the talking points down. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MadRuth, kerflooey, bear83

    But Alexander was the best.

    This business of threatening the Congress and inventing a crisis is unpresidential
    That's always their MO. Accuse the other party of doing what you've been doing. Disgusting!
  •  I love it! Their fucking heads are exploding! (0+ / 0-)
  •  At this point, I hope (0+ / 0-)

    that the GOP continues obstructing the president, and that the Senate obstructs the House (and vice versa) and that Democrats and Republicans in D.C. continue chewing on one another like plagued rats in a big sack.  Very little that has come out of that city over the past few decades has inspired confidence in me of their willingness to govern justly, and recent events have further eroded what trust I had in either party.

    If a judicial position or two sits vacant, that is minor, almost entirely negligible, news, and not much more than a distraction from the real problems this country faces.

    For this you went to college?

    by Not A Bot on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 08:57:51 AM PDT

  •  President Obama should (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    declare both houses in recess, recess appoint EVERY vacancy then re-litigate the appointments with the new facts and the new judges.
    Let them scream, they're going to do that anyway.

  •  It's the "D" word, stupid! (0+ / 0-)

    Since when, "Mr. Red Plaid Shirt" Sen. Alexander is nominating judges a crisis and just campaigning? Apparently, when a President with a "D" after his name does it. When W nominated federal judges before and after his re-election, he was just doing the nation's "bidness." Get real GOPers! And once again welcome to hypocrisy land and double standardville. Enough with IOKIYAR! Go nuclear, Harry! For more on  the real scandal, GOP judicial obstructionism, read   this  

  •  I'm not sure Barbara Boxer is listening to me / (0+ / 0-)
  •  Like Lucy and the football... (0+ / 0-)

    And the Dems are Charlie Brown. Over. And over. And over. Good grief!

    by fcphantom on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:22:59 AM PDT

  •  If Republicans think the DC Circuit caseload (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is light, maybe they should compare it with the US Supreme Court.

    Filibuster reform, 2013 - woulda, coulda, shoulda.

    by bear83 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:51:27 AM PDT

  •  They're Not Stupid....4 Of The Current SC Justices (0+ / 0-)

    came from that court.  It's a stepping stone, & they know it.  Justice Gingsberg isn't getting any younger.  They know
    Obama could get another shot @ nominating a justice to fill her spot......and they'd like nothing better than screwing that up.  

  •  For all the successes of the left blogisphere... (0+ / 0-)

    ...this will be an utter failure. Pestering the Senate to reform the filibuster is a lost cause. Not that it shouldn't be attempted! But it should be more than obvious by this point--since 2006 when the Dems took back the House--that the Democrats are not interested in reigning in the Republican insanity.

    They are USING IT. They have NO INTENTION of reforming the filibuster. It works JUST FINE for them, or else they would have done so ALREADY.

    It's not a matter of balls or standing up to the Republicans. Sooner or later, we will need to replace these 'Democrats' with BETTER Democrats. Sooner or later.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 09:59:20 AM PDT

  •  Senator Boxer appears to be relenting! (0+ / 0-)

    I received a response from Senator Boxer's office indicating that she has apparently changed her stance on the filibuster and I would like to thank her for supporting it. I hope to soon hear from Senator Feinstein that she has also supports changing the Senate's filibuster rules mid-session and for majority vote on judicial nominations and indeed, in all but the rarest of cases.

  •  Ummm, are these the same judges... (0+ / 0-)

    ....that will continue with the lousy NSA oversight?  Just wondering.

  •  Boxer finally replied-- (0+ / 0-)
    Thank you for contacting me about reforming the filibuster.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

    Historically the filibuster has been used in rare circumstances, but abuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans over the last few years has caused unprecedented gridlock in Congress.

    We need to reform the Senate so we can get the work of the American people done.  At the beginning of the 113th Congress, the Senate overwhelmingly voted to approve rule changes to allow congressional business to come to the floor in a more timely manner while maintaining important rights for the minority.  This was a good first step, but if the Senate minority continues to block consideration of even noncontroversial legislation and nominations, further changes in Senate rules will be needed.

    Again, thank you for writing to me.  Please feel free to contact me again about this or other issues of concern to you.


    Barbara Boxer
    United States Senator

    A little mealy-mouthed but definitely progress.
    Now for that POS Feinstein.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Fri Jun 07, 2013 at 11:31:48 AM PDT

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