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President Obama announces the nomination of three candidates for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: Robert Leon Wilkins, Nina Pillard, and Patricia Ann Millett.
Nina Pillard, one of the three nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals to the D.C. Circuit, had a nomination hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, facing a hostile minority that focused on Pillard's experience with the ACLU and her case history on women's rights:
"I have concerns about your nomination," Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. "The primary source we have are your academic writings, and those writings to me suggest that your views may well be considerably out of the mainstream."

Pillard's exchange with Cruz was representative of similar questioning from senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). Cruz particularly probed an article Pillard wrote in 2007 about a school district's decision to teach abstinence-only sex education.

This was all predictable and within the bounds for Republicans discussing the career of a judicial candidate to the left of Ghengis Khan, particularly a female one. What's not typical, and what's showing the real limits of the filibuster agreement Harry Reid achieved last week, is the continuation of Republicans' ridiculous claim that by trying to fill vacant seats, President Obama is trying to pack the court.
Grassley, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, re-upped that argument during Wednesday's hearing. He cited statistics that he said illustrated that the court has the lowest workload of all circuit courts. He also read aloud anonymous statements that he said were from current D.C. Circuit judges arguing that the court isn't busy enough to warrant filling its vacancies. Those statements came in response to a letter that Grassley said he sent to the court's judges asking for their take on the matter. [...]

But Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Grassley's argument overlooks the fact that the D.C. Circuit, considered second only to the Supreme Court in terms of its importance, takes on particularly hefty and complex cases that require extra scrutiny. He also listed off the names of current and former judges on that court—including Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts—who have spoken publicly about the court's intense workload.

There's little indication at all that Republicans are going to be willing to relent on their obstruction when it comes to at least one of the president's judicial nominees. In a normal world, it would be hard to believe there are 47 Republicans who are willing to associate themselves with an effort as idiotic as Grassley's. But it's the Senate. None of the votes these nominations are likely to be held before August recess. So add a major nominations fight to the budget battles we'll be seeing in the fall.

Tell your Democratic senators to keep filibuster reform moving, and to bring back the talking filibuster.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 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. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:31:59 PM PDT

  •  Anything they can do to sabotage America... (7+ / 0-)

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:53:47 PM PDT

    •  When to goal is to drown the goverment, what need (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is there for judges. That is until repugs are in charge, then full speed ahead to fill all the seats.

      The Prez really needs to up His game on this issue, it is really that important!

  •  Ugh. (3+ / 0-)

    I am so terribly ashamed to have Ted Cruz as a Senator.

    He makes Kay Bailey Hutchison look like a progressive....

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 01:57:31 PM PDT

  •  Reid, what the HELL. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Ted Cruz... (2+ / 0-)

    I have concerns about you. You're unfit to legislate at a student government level let alone a national level. I have concerns you are not all there mentally. I have concerns that you're an attention whore who says stupid shit so the pimps in the MSM love to whore you out. I am concerned that you won't run for President in 2016 and embarrass yourself so you die a political death worthy of being called a Palin.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 02:16:26 PM PDT

  •  Then its time to quit buggering about and nuke the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat, psnyder

    republicans in the senate. You want to filibuster? Fine. You do it the old fashioned way. You stand and you talk and you keep it to the issue at hand as to why it is that important to  filibuster it. You don't make deals with bullies. You get nothing.  It has to hurt. Its the only thing that they understand. No more holds, secret holds, modern filibusters, just lots of sunlight on the faces of obstruction.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 03:08:47 PM PDT

    •  Enough Senate Democrats are so afraid (0+ / 0-)

      of losing their seats they would rather tell Reid they'll vote against filibuster reform than tell the Republicans they'll be nuked.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:42:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is the defining thing in Washington - (4+ / 0-)

    this historical rebellion by Congress against a sitting president. It is an outright rebellion (but a legal one, pretty much). The left just does not take this properly into account when attacking President Obama for not being more effective or for compromising too much. He is facing something no president (other than perhaps Andrew Johnson) has ever faced. That constant battle affects everything the White House does and can or can not do. Everything.

    And it's because he's a black guy. Bottom line.

    So that's why I think we should all cut him some fucking slack.

  •  No really. Lucy will hold the ball this time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    just kick the damn thing!

    Fuck Harry Reid.   Fuck him in his stupid ass.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:20:56 PM PDT

  •  Kiss my assley Grassley. What a shriveled, mean... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...and sour human. He used to exhibit some human intelligence, but it's been subsumed by his calcified bitterness.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:24:51 PM PDT

  •  One of the reason Texas has the highest Teen (2+ / 0-)

    pregnancy rate is because they teach abstinence-only sex education & limit access to comprehensive sex ed and contraception by cutting PP's funding!!!

  •  The GOP play the long game here... (4+ / 0-)

    They didn't care about the Cabinet nominations, they cut the deal to keep filibustering the judicial because the cabinet members only serve three more years, the judicial nominees could serve 20+ years.  

    The DC Court will have 8 year vacancies if it's up to the GOP and Reid, and you can bet the first order of business for a 2017 GOP President, on January 22nd 2017 will be to nominate three firebrand Conservatives to that bench and make a huge grandstand issue about how they deserve to be sat - and the press will run with it.  

    It's now or never for Reid because, Dems blocked nominees in the last two year of Bushes presidency hoping for a Dem Presidency in 2008.  So he can't push a nuclear option in 2014 because the GOP will point to his rank hypocrisy and the press will love it.  

    If you're not talking about what billionaire hedgefund bankster Peter G. Peterson is up to you're having the wrong conversations.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:31:18 PM PDT

    •  They always do. (0+ / 0-)

      This is the endgame, folks--the GOP has been playing since 1964, when Goldwater got embarrassed. When will we start?

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 09:49:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The next time there's a House or Senate opening (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skod, Miggles, Pale Jenova

    I say just let it remain vacant as well.

    Clearly there's not enough work to warrant filling those seats either.

    And besides, if states like Texas can eliminate most of their women's clinics in the name of "better health", I think we could easily lose most of their congressional representatives in the name of "better government".

    John Boehner: Leading With Behind.

    by here4tehbeer on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:32:53 PM PDT

    •  I figure the dubious workload statistic that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Grassley is citing is due to the fact that the court is being forced to reject extra cases out of hand without even putting them into the backlog due to the low number of judges available to hear them.

  •  I don't think we're going to see budget battles (0+ / 0-)

    this fall.  There may be one battle - over a continuing resolution to fund the government, and if the Republicans really are completely crazy and suicidal they will shut down the government over deficit spending.  But there won't be a battle over the debt ceiling.  The president says he won't negotiate over the debt ceiling at all, and I take him at his word on that.  It takes two to wage a battle; several fulminations and a series of rants from one side won't amount to much.

    The judgeships are a different matter, but if Reid goes ahead and schedules a vote in spite of the filibusters and holds from the right, the nominees may not carry the day, but they'll have had a vote.  If the Republicans actually shut down the government right after the August recess, by the time the judicial nominees come up for approval, everyone will be so pissed that holding the vote will be considered an act of grace.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:36:07 PM PDT

  •  Out of the Mainstream??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, PorridgeGun, KJG52

    Yeah I guess these days, adhering to the Constitution is pretty much "out of the mainstream"

    In particular, the Fourth Amendment

  •  Grassley is just an asshole n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, PorridgeGun

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:57:53 PM PDT

  •  Who could have predicted? n/t <snark> (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion. Molly Ivins

    by MufsMom on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 04:59:55 PM PDT

  •  I just don't get it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, PorridgeGun

    Why aren't the Democrats forcing these votes now? WTF are they waiting for? Every day that goes by is one less day in Obama's second term, and one more day of justice denied.

  •  Surprisingly, Genghis Khan wasn't actually such an (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    extreme right winger as some people make him out to be.  If you need a conquering barbarian to compare folks to, I'd suggest Tamerlane.

    And as long as we're on the subject of barbarous villains, who the hell told Ted Cruz he represents the mainstream?  I'm gonna take the word of perhaps the most extreme Senator on what the majority of Americans believe?  Sorry, Charlie.  Not this time.

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:14:03 PM PDT

    •  According to Douglas Adams (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Genghis Khan got insulted by Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged . . . and thus began his reign of barbaric rampaging, lol.

      "You're a jerk, Arthur Dent. A real knee-biter."

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:28:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Her history on women's rights? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You mean, she actually believes women have rights? Sacrilege, I say!

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:23:04 PM PDT

  •  Calling all twitter warriors (0+ / 0-)

    War on Error has written some twitter tutorials and is assembling a twitter warrior team

    Send War on Error a kosmail if you're interested and check out these diaries.

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:39:45 PM PDT

  •  and (0+ / 0-)

    reid keeps threatening and threatening and threatening...

  •  huh? (0+ / 0-)
    "I have concerns about your nomination," Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said. ............your views may well be considerably out of the mainstream."

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 05:49:10 PM PDT

  •  Republicans and New Democrats have been ... (0+ / 0-)

    stacking the Federal Courts with business friendly and partisan judges since Richard Nixon.  This is a specific Republican legal strategy put forward by the Business Roundtable, the National COC, and the Federalist Society. You can always tell the agenda of the Republicans, because they always state their accusations of what a Democrat might do, in the form of what they are doing.

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 07:14:22 PM PDT

  •  Harry Reid must be shocked! (0+ / 0-)

    Just shocked, I tell you!  Good thing none of these nominations could be voted on before the August recess, when he would actually have some leverage to get them through.  Fortunately, they'll all be lost in the noise of the coming budget battle and gubmint shutdown.  The common folk will have forgotten all about that silly filibuster reform notion by then, so no problemo.

  •  "Court-packing" by filling vacant positions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How much trouble would a sitting Senator get into by saying something like "fucking insane, nonsensical bullshit" into the record?

    ..and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Jul 26, 2013 at 08:21:31 PM PDT

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