Obama Will Be The ONLY Black President To Ever Try To Name A Supreme Court Justice In His Final Year!
In the video above, Ted Cruz is lying his ass off, not because he expects anyone sane will believe him, but because the South Carolina Republican presidential primary is coming up. McConnell, Jeb Bush, Rubio, Herr Trumph, Chuck Grassley and lots of other high profile Republicans have demanded President Obama not appoint a replacement for far right Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Rubio was on Meet the Press Sunday either demonstrating his ignorance or just lying to the viewers. "Both parties have followed this precedent. There comes a point in the last year of the president, especially in their second term, where you stop nominating, or you stop the advice and consent process."
PolitiFact, which is based in Tampa and knows Rubio well, rated this a flat-out lie. They pointed out that "the scenario that Rubio is describing-- a Supreme Court vacancy in the last year of a presidency-- is pretty rare to begin with. Since 1900, it’s only happened once to a 'lame duck' president, and twice more to presidents who lost re-election bids."
All three times, the exiting president made nominations:NY Times reporter Nate Cohn reported how likely Republican intransigence could impact several important Senate races. He asserts that blue and purple state Republican senators up for reelection-- Ayotte (NH), Kirk (IL), Johnson (WI), Toomey (PA) and Portman (OH)-- are going to be under intense pressure to not go along with GOP threats to automatically block any nominee, no matter how qualified, who comes from Obama. Obama is almost certain to nominate a moderate, not a liberal, and his likely choice is Sri Srinivasan, was confirmed by the Senate to the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on May 23, 2013 by a vote of 97-0. Voting YES were Ayotte, Kirk, Johnson, Toomey and Portman-- as well as Cruz, Rubio, McConnell and Grassley. There is no rational case to be made that he's outside the mainstream or too liberal. If anything, progressives may grouse he's too much of a centrist!
• 1968: President Lyndon Johnson-- who announced he would not run for re-election-- nominated Associate Justice Abe Fortas as Chief Justice and Homer Thornberry to fill Fortas’ vacancy. Fortas’ nomination failed, Thornberry withdrew his nomination and Chief Justice Earl Warren remained on the bench, delaying his retirement.Three other presidents made successful Supreme Court nominations while running for re-election, but unlike Taft and Hoover, they won another term:
• 1932, President Herbert Hoover nominated Benjamin Cardozo. Hoover lost to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
• 1912: President William Taft successfully nominated Mahlon Pitney to the Supreme Court. Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson.
• 1956: Dwight Eisenhower made a recess appointment of William Brennan....We rate Rubio’s claim False.
• 1940: Franklin Delano Roosevelt nominated Frank Murphy.
• 1916: Woodrow Wilson nominated John Clarke and Louis Brandeis.
What all of these vulnerable senators have in common is that their success depends on winning a fair share of relatively moderate voters who traditionally vote Democratic in presidential elections. All of the Republicans won in no small part by faring better than Republican presidential candidates usually do in socially moderate areas, like the suburbs around Philadelphia, Columbus and Chicago. Rob Portman, the Ohio senator up for re-election, won Columbus’s Franklin County by three percentage points, a county Mr. Obama would carry by 23 percentage points in 2012.Portman's press statement aped McConnell's nonsense about how Obama shouldn't nominate anyone. "I believe the best thing for the country is to trust the American people to weigh in on who should make a lifetime appointment that could reshape the Supreme Court for generations. This wouldn't be unusual. It is common practice for the Senate to stop acting on lifetime appointments during the last year of a presidential term, and it's been nearly 80 years since any president was permitted to immediately fill a vacancy that arose in a presidential election year."
Monday morning the progressive Democrat running against Portman, P.G. Sittenfeld was all over it. "Sen. Portman is simply wrong. President Obama has a constitutional duty to fill vacancies on the court-- and since there are over 300 days left in his term, it would be irresponsible of him not to make a nomination-- and equally irresponsible for the Senate not to act on that nomination. In fact, refusing to hold hearings or schedule a vote on the president's nominee-- simply because the vacancy occurred in an election year-- would put the Senate in violation of both historical precedent and the clear language of the Constitution itself. Article II says the president 'shall' nominate Judges of the Supreme Court; it does not say 'except in election years.' Which is precisely why a Democratically-controlled Senate confirmed President Reagan's nomination of Justice Kennedy to the Court by a vote of 97-0 in 1988-- which, of course, was also an election year and the last year of Mr. Reagan's presidency."
But what Portman, McConnell, Cruz, Rubio and the rest of the goons are saying that there should be no 9th (tie-breaking) Justice on the Court for a year, until the next president takes office (339 days), actually a lot more than that because after Bernie or Hillary is elected it would probably take at least two months to get someone nominated and confirmed-- and if the Republicans keep control of the Senate, far, far longer.
Despite McConnell's and Grassley's and the candidates' posturing, there is clear precedent for confirming a nominee in an election year, even when the Senate is not controlled by the President’s party. Anthony Kennedy, for example, was nominated by President Reagan in November, 1987 and the Senate, which was controlled by Democrats, took up the nomination immediately and confirmed him in two months-- despite the Christmas/New Year break. What bodes badly though is that the last 11 times the Senate confirmed a Supreme Court justice nominated by a president of the opposite party, it’s been Democrats confirming a Republican nominee.
• Clarence Thomas, confirmed in 1991Elizabeth Warren sent an open message to Mitch McConnell after he's statement started this firestorm of Republican obstructionism. "President Obama is still the President of the United States. If some Senators don’t like the person that President Obama nominates, they can make their case to the American people and vote no. But it would be arrogant and irresponsible for Senate Republicans to preemptively paralyze the nomination process laid out by our Constitution – before President Obama even announces a nominee-- simply because they don’t like the guy who was elected to do the nominating. Senate Republicans took an oath just like Senate Democrats did. Abandoning the duties they swore to uphold would threaten both the Constitution and our democracy itself. It would also prove that all the Republican talk about loving the Constitution is just that-- empty talk."
• David Souter, confirmed in 1990
• Anthony Kennedy, confirmed in 1988
• John Paul Stevens, confirmed in 1975
• William Rehnquist, confirmed in 1971
• Lewis Powell, confirmed in 1971
• Harry Blackmun, confirmed in 1970
• Warren Burger, confirmed in 1969
• Charles Whitaker, confirmed in 1957
• William Brennan, confirmed in 1957
• John Marshall Harlan, confirmed in 1955
Ironically, just as Warren was issuing her statement, Alan Grayson sent an open letter to President Obama urging him to nominate Warren to the Supreme Court:
Dear Mr. President, please appoint Elizabeth Warren to the Supreme Court, before the end of the week.Lindsey Graham, who never got above 2% in Republican polling when he ran for president announced that he would vote YES if President Obama nominated far right Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. Very strange bunch, these Republicans!
Why Elizabeth Warren? She started waiting tables at the age of 13, a year after her father was driven into poverty by a heart attack followed by huge medical bills. She later taught children with disabilities. She was a Harvard Law Professor for almost two decades-- in fact, the only one there with tenure who had attended a public university. Her scholarly work is renowned; she is one of the most frequently cited law professors of all time.
She has been an indefatigable watchdog over the capital markets for almost a decade, going back to her extraordinarily valuable work on the Congressional Oversight Panel for the federal bailout program. She created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even though the Senate Republicans wouldn’t let her run it. She electrified the nation with her “you didn’t build that” speech. And she has been a tireless and effective U.S. Senator.
Fourteen Senators and 17 Congressman have been appointed to the Supreme Court. So it wouldn’t be the first time this happened.
One more thing: Senator Warren is an outstanding writer and communicator, something that the Supreme Court badly needs. (Justice Scalia recently attacked a colleague for a writing style “as pretentious as it [is] egotistic.”) In my opinion, the two best judicial writers of my lifetime are Justice Hugo Black, a former Senator, and Judge Abner Mikva, a former Congressman. (I worked with Mikva; I know what I’m talking about.) Serving in either House of Congress is a very effective lesson in communication.
Would obstructionists in the Senate filibuster an Elizabeth Warren appointment, or vote against her? Maybe. But that seems like poor form against one of their own, for a place as clubby as the U.S. Senate.
And the President should appoint Warren right now, before the end of this week. That would make it a “recess appointment,” and Justice Warren could take office immediately. The obstructionists in the GOP couldn’t do anything about it.
One last reason why Elizabeth Warren should be on the U.S. Supreme Court:
She’s earned it. She deserves it. And she’ll be so, so good at it.
Let's make sure the next Supreme Court nominee isn't nominated by a Trumpf, Cruz or Rubio-- by tapping on the thermometer: