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Senator Mark Warner and Senator Tim Kaine introduced Virginian Patricia Millett at her Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing for the DC Circuit Court.
Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine meet with Virginian Patricia Millett before her nomination
hearing for the D.C. Circuit Court.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-8, along party lines, Thursday to send the nomination of Patricia Millett to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to the floor. Where this remarkable woman, who has argued 32 cases before the Supreme Court will almost assuredly be filibustered.

The purported reason for that Republican filibuster is pure bullshit.

Republicans said they didn't have anything against Millett—Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said she was probably well-qualified—but that the court's workload wasn't large enough to justify filling its vacancies. Many Republicans have used that argument for weeks, along with the charge that Obama is court-packing, to justify not filling the court. Eight of 11 seats on the D.C. Circuit are currently filled, four of which are Republican-appointed and four of which are Democrat-appointed.

"The last thing we need to do is spend $3 million a year for three judges that are not needed," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). "We can't just move these three forward. It would be violating our commitment to the American people."

Cutting three judges from the D.C. Circuit is a "reasonable compromise," said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

How much bullshit? Total bullshit. They're using pure conjecture, an insane theory in which filling existing vacancies on a court is "court-packing," and an anonymous survey of judges by Sen. Chuck Grassley on their workload. Grassley used the responses of two(!) of these judges to claim that the workload of the court didn't merit more judges. A whole bunch of judges, including John Roberts, the guy who is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and served on the D.C. Circuit disagree.

But bullshit is how the Republicans roll. They've already registered political objections to one of President Obama's nominees to the D.C. Circuit, Nina Pillard, indicating they won't let her get a vote. Based on Thursday's hearing, they're not going to allow the other two—Leon Wilkins and Millet—votes either. Kumbaya, indeed.

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

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 12:20 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 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 Aug 01, 2013 at 12:20:12 PM PDT

  •  The GOP is attempting to stack the court (12+ / 0-)

    Just like FDR with the SCOTUS, only instead of adding people to achieve their desired partisan mix, they are trying to remove people.

    Where's the outrage?

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 12:29:25 PM PDT

    •  Wasn't it last week that I was asked to thank Reid (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...for using his clout to make Republican Senators allow Obama an up-or-down vote? On this very website? I remember being in a large majority of people who commented who most certainly did NOT feel 'grateful' to Senator Reid for wasting two years of time trying to get Republican Senators to keep their promises and act like adults.

      Just last week. And now, Reid's play is an epic fail. My, that didn't take long.

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

      by DaddyO on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 08:06:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's only an epic fail (0+ / 0-)

        if the nominees are not seated. Reid did make McConnell blink on the executive branch nominees, and thus we have Corday et al. Will the Turtle retreat into his shell again (or be kicked there by an adult, like - I can't believe I'm typing this - McCain)?

        Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

        by blue aardvark on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 08:02:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. The court packing is coming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      from the GOP.

  •  Waiting for a stern pose from Reid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, ferg, rabel

    I'm sure we can get yet another threat to actually do something from our fearless fighting Majority Leader.....

    In God we trust, All others we monitor -AFTAC (-2.75, -2.67)

    by lcs on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 12:35:42 PM PDT

  •  Someone should tell (7+ / 0-)

    Grassley that "more judges" is like saying dinner is "more meals" for his dumb ass.

    Just take one area of law -- environmental.  Many, many, ok, most federal enviro cases go to the DC Circuit.  I practice enviro law and my whole practice is based on critical DC Circuit cases -- many upheld by SCOTUS.  The DC Circuit is THE appellate court for those cases by statute.  That is just one area of law.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 05:55:52 PM PDT

  •  You can bet with a Republican President in 2016... (9+ / 0-)

    All of a sudden the Senate GOP would find that there was need to fill the vacancies.  

    Reid and the Senate Dems simply cannot let this happen.  There is vacancies - you fill vacancies.  Pres Obama is not creating new bench seats - that would be packing the court, he's filling vacancies of seats that already exist and have for many, many years.  

    Reid and Co HAVE to make a stand on it now - because come after 2014 there is no chance the GOP will allow the seats to be filled because they'll figure, let's wait and see if a Repub is elected in 2016 since we blocked it this long.  

    One of the seats will have been vacant for the whole of the Obama Presidency.  That is RIDICULOUS!

    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 Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 05:59:09 PM PDT

  •  John Roberts is Chief Justice of the US (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, Phoenix Rising

    not just the Supreme Court, and as such is the head of the judicial branch.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:04:00 PM PDT

  •  You can't have gentlemen's agreements with Vandals (4+ / 0-)

    or Huns for that matter.

    Will they ever learn? Do they even want to learn?

    Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

    by chuckvw on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:10:48 PM PDT

  •  It's obvious (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rabel, Maverick80229, HappyinNM, Matt Z

    Time for Reid to play the same cards.  We vote the easy way, or we vote hard way.  Your choice.

  •  Cutting three positions is a "compromise"???? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    captainlaser, Matt Z, grich01

    Same old same old.

    Any one have any idea how many judicial positions they moved to eliminate under Bush?

    Wonders are many, but none so wonderful as man.

    by Morgan Sandlin on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:27:08 PM PDT

  •  Republicans don't "compromise" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, Maverick80229, Matt Z

    Compromises and deals with Republicans mean that they get all of what they want, and Democrats should be grateful that the Republicans didn't burn the Capitol down.

    When John Cornyn says "reasonable compromise" that means again that Republicans get what they want -- in this case, control of a court they don't already have in their pocket.

    If the President was a Republican, Republican Senators wouldn't be compromising or negotiating or shrinking the court -- they'd be ramming through their nominees.

    Get rid of the filibuster and the hold on presidential nominees -- The Senate's job is to advise and consent, so they should do it.

    And Democrats should stop being so reluctant to get rid of the filibuster and the hold, on the grounds that they want the filibuster to be available to them when they're in the minority.

    Instead, work harder to make sure you don't become the minority.  Elections should have consequences.

    The legislative branch paralysis has to end.  Getting rid of the filibuster and the hold is a step in the right direction.

  •  And at such a young age, too! nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    filby, Egalitare

    No matter how cynical you become, it's impossible to keep up; no matter how cynical you are, you have no idea...

    by ChristopherMays on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:29:51 PM PDT

    •  Maybe that's an indication... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of how long the West Wing is resigned to the confirmation process taking

      When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

      by Egalitare on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 04:02:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP will say and do ANYthing not to add ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zinman, rabel, Matt Z

    ... Democratic-appointed judges. They well know the power of having a conservative judiciary, and they mean to keep it so.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 06:30:57 PM PDT

  •  I'm (0+ / 0-)

    a little leery of supporting filibuster reform on judges. Reagan tried to appoint arch-conservative Robert Bork - luckily our Vice President was there in the Senate to fight him tooth and nail. Instead we got Anthony Kennedy, probably the most respectable (though certainly not agreeable) justice on the SCOTUS today.

    *Note: I say respectable in the sense that he doesn't appear to be an ideological hack like Scalia.

    •  Not a filibuster (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Biden chaired the Judiciary Committee and D's controlled the floor.  The presumption was very strong that the President would get his nominees in those days, even with a Democratic Senate.  

      •  My point was (0+ / 0-)

        that if a Republican wins after Hillary's two terms are over, and they take the Senate, he'll be able to ram through any SCOTUS judge he wants, even a new Bork. I don't think we should allow the court to be conservative. It's too damaging to the country.

        •  The point is, the Republicans will do it anyway if (0+ / 0-)

          there's a Republican President again.  They effectively ended filibusters for judges while Bush was President and there was a Republican Senate.  They did it by threatening the nuclear option.

    •  First, Bork wasn't filibustered. (0+ / 0-)

      He didn't have 50 votes on the floor, and he lost the committee vote 9-5 to even get there.


      Second, the GOP got rid of filibusters on far, far more extreme judges back in 2005, when Bill Frist floated the "nuclear option" and the Democrats backed down like the gormless cowards they are.

      Third, Mitch McConnell has made it abundantly clear that the filibuster will be eliminated altogether the moment the GOP becomes the majority again - and I rather doubt that a hypothetical Republican Senate Majority Leader other than Yertle would do otherwise.

      Fuck the Republicans. Fuck them SIDEWAYS, and appeasement artists like you - the modern-day Neville Chamberlain - aren't much better.

      "Give them a little bit here, Democrats. Give them a little bit there, Democrats. Give them a little bit more, Democrats, in the hope that they'll allow you to keep the little bit you have left!"

      If people like you had been prating around when Hitler invaded Poland, we'd all be doing the Hitlergruß today.

      "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

      by Australian2 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 01:10:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If the Republicans plan on using idiotic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    arguments to filibuster, then the filibuster is GONE.

    Pull the trigger, Dems.  What more do you need?!?

  •  The D.C. court is important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rabel, barbwires

    among other things this is the court that has jurisdiction over the detainees at Guantanamo (and has so far been mostly quashing any actions related to detainee rights that reach them). Does anybody doubt that the objective of the filibuster here is to prevent additional Democratic nominees from joining the court?

  •  Given the actual workload of the Senate and (0+ / 0-)

    House, we could cut about 535 seats and we would not get any reduction in productivity.

    Maybe we should not fill any of the seats in 2014.

    We will never be free from fear as long as we fear the NRA.

    by captainlaser on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 07:48:41 PM PDT

  •  please senator reid (0+ / 0-)

    step down as leader if for no other reason than the good of the country.

  •  The missile crews have received the go code (0+ / 0-)

    It's time to launch the nuclear option.
    Nuke them now. Nuke them till the glow.

  •  how fast will they... (0+ / 0-)

    fill these vacancies if a Republican wins the White House next?

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Thu Aug 01, 2013 at 09:04:59 PM PDT

  •  And yet there will, once again, be nothing (0+ / 0-)

    but finger-shaking and very, very angry "You're REALLY gonna get it this time!" platitudes from Spineless Harry Reid.

    All the while, the Republicans are forcing the Senate to fiddle while the judiciary burns, and his response would make Caspar Milquetoast seem firm and decisive.

    Time to retire, Senator Reid. In 2016 from the Senate, and TODAY from the leadership. Stand aside and let a real leader take your place!

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 01:03:20 AM PDT

  •  This quote: (0+ / 0-)
    "The last thing we need to do is spend $3 million a year for three judges that are not needed," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). "We can't just move these three forward. It would be violating our commitment to the American people."
    How does Senator Sessions say something like this without his head exploding from hypocrisy??

    Filibuster? I hardly know her!

    by grich01 on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 01:25:04 AM PDT

  •  She looks awfully young (0+ / 0-)

    I like it.  The younger the appointee, the longer the judge will be around.  Great move, President Obama.

    (Yes, this is a joke.)

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Fri Aug 02, 2013 at 07:39:26 AM PDT

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