Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 8, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SPARE ME....Republicans are complaining that Democrats aren't being quick enough about confirming George Bush's judicial nominees? Seriously? Give 'em credit for chutzpah, anyway.

Kevin Drum 2:19 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (43)

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Why should they be expected to bother to confirm them at all at this point?

Posted by: JeffII on June 8, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

And how many Clinton appointees did they sit on? It seemed like dozens.

Posted by: katiebird on June 8, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Somehow...someway....Republicans STILL manage to paint Dems as obstructionists. Amazing.

The gall is just...stunning.

Posted by: Kryptik on June 8, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

This is the same shit they always do. Just take the politically convenient position no matter how great the contradictions.

Posted by: elmo on June 8, 2007 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone think the Democrats ought to confirm qualified candidates promptly so that we can receive fair and prompt justice from our courts?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 8, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Does anyone think the Democrats ought to confirm qualified candidates promptly so that we can receive fair and prompt justice from our courts?"

Sure, but no one Bush will nominate is anything but a political hack, so the Democrat's decision is easy.

Posted by: CDWard on June 8, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal, the quick answer is "no," but not because we don't want fair and prompt justice from our courts. The answer is "no" because the judicial appointments of Bush the Lesser have been the worst ones in since Bush the Former.

If we want fair justice, we'll just have to wait until the White House is occupied either by a Democrat or by one of the two Republican'ts left in the country with a conscience and sense of fair play.

The Democrats should respond to this bullshit with a big "Boo Hoo" and "elections have consequences."

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 8, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

The skinny from Carpetbaggerreport
Rules are for little people, not Republicans.

Posted by: Mike on June 8, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

We first need hearings to confirm the next Attorney General and figure out why Republicans don't have to respond to subpoenas. After those hearings are over, we can start talking about judges.

Posted by: reino on June 8, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Eh. This story was better back before the '02 midterms, when it was Orrin Hatch personally complaining about the Democratic Senate's obstructionism in confirming judicial appointees, and the media somehow managed to cover Hatch's complaints without apparently remembering that Hatch had been personally responsible for holding up a far greater number of appointees less than two years previously.
Amazingly, Hatch even got to use as his argument the huge number of vacancies needing appointees, without getting called on his BS.

Posted by: Warren Terra on June 8, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

GOP SOP.

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Chutzpah my ass. This is way past chutzpah. This is an absolute congenital inability to be ashamed or embarrassed by anything whatsover.

Posted by: Greg VA on June 8, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraq funding just shows that Congress has no power. The Repugs know that. They know they control the media and the Dems are too frightened to stand up to anyone.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on June 8, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Can I just say that I find lines like " Give 'em credit for chutzpah, anyway." incredibly irritating? Why, dear lord, would we praise, even mockingly or with a slight tongue in cheek, someone being willing to lie and dissemble with absolutely no shame, especially right now, in light of where it has gotten us?! Why?

Posted by: socratic_me on June 8, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

This is an absolute congenital inability to be ashamed or embarrassed by anything whatsover.

Hell, I don't get embarrassed, but I know humility...and they ain't got none.


Posted by: elmo on June 8, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Only a moron would think that Kevin has been silent about Jefferson, not to mention the leftie bloggers, which have been united against Jefferson since the freezer.

The Left knows how to police it people, unlike the wingnuts which enable and excuse the crimes of their compatriots (cf Libby).

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

One way that might help Bush to get back into the conservative base's good graces would be to fill all vacant judgeships with recess appointments when the Senate adjourns for the Fourth of July break.

Since the Dems are not going to move judicial appointments through the Senate anyway, why not stick it to them? The hue and cry that would emerge from the Left would be sweet, sweet music in our ears after this immigration debacle.


Posted by: Chicounsel on June 8, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry Chicounsel, but Harry Reid has already said that the Senate will remain in session for the remainder of Bush's term to prevent his continuing abuse of the Constitution-Elections have consequences.

Posted by: CDWard on June 8, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'll tell you what chutzpah is; silence on the Rep. Democrat William Jefferson.

Shorter Orwell...

We have to have a long media blitz on Jefferson so the people will think there are just as many corrupt Dem's as Retardicans.

Posted by: elmo on June 8, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Good grief. This argument was wholly legit until last January, but not anymore. What do they expect a hostile Congress to in the last half of a President's second term?

Posted by: Brian on June 8, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

There does not have to be a 4th of July break, Chicounsel.

Posted by: elmo on June 8, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK


The Iraq funding just shows that Congress has no power. The Repugs know that. They know they control the media and the Dems are too frightened to stand up to anyone.

To be more accurate, Congress has plenty of power, but appears to be a bit frightened of using it- as you rightly point out. Just look at the way the GOP-controlled Congress bottled up many of Clinton's nominees + proposals, + you'll see that Congress has plenty of power- if it wants to use it.

None of the 3 branches prescribed by the US Constitution is fundamentally more powerful than any of the others by design; it's in how the occupants of those branches choose to use the power they have.

Posted by: Adam on June 8, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

CDWard:

Just like Nancy Pelosi who said that the House would work five days a week like normal Americans? lol

What Senator is going to want to stay in Washington on the Fourth of July instead of being out there with the people celebrating the nation's birthday? Was the Senate in session over the recent Memorial Day holiday? I don't think so.

Besides, I don't think that Bush would ever do that so it's just wishful thinking on my part.

Posted by: Chicounsel on June 8, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Orwell,

Show me a Democratic effort to support him, or sweep the indictment under the rug. Show me bloggers on the left who deny that this is a problem. Show me someone who is mitigating his actions. The House leadership has refered the indictment to the Ethics committe - they are doing this appropriately, procedurally. The Jefferson indictment will stand, and he will be expelled. When he was reelected (bad call on his district, by the way), he was marginalized - given one peripheral committee appointment, and barred, largely, from the benefits his seniority would otherwise bring. I don't see a problem here. He'll be taken care of in due course. you see, that is the difference between Dems and Reps - the Democratic leadership isn't circling the wagons as the Republicans were wont to do.

Also, it's a little disingenuous to point to one corrupt Democrat and to indicate that, hey, he balances out all the Republican crimes, see? Democrats aren't angels, but they've had a better track record in this regard than than those who lead the 109th Congress.

Posted by: Everblue Stater on June 8, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

What Senator is going to want to stay in Washington on the Fourth of July instead of being out there with the people celebrating the nation's birthday?

Uh, what makes you think remaining in session prevents Senators from going home for the Fourth?

You're not much of a lawyer, are you?

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Forget the judge thing, why is this not a lead issue

Because this post is about the judge thing, that's why. You want to talk about Jefferson, go find somebody blogging about Jefferson, it won't be hard to do. Meantime, try to stay on topic, ok?

Posted by: tomeck on June 8, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, the D-List trolls have come out in force today Kevin-The RNC's money problems must be worse than I thought.

Posted by: CDWard on June 8, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

the conservative base's good graces would be to fill all vacant judgeships with recess appointments when the Senate adjourns...

The conservative base is in favor of circumventing the Constitution and installing unqualified judges? Guess I'll stay a liberal Democrat.

Posted by: ckelly on June 8, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

If they really want to speed up the judicial nomination process, why doesn't Bush agree to renominate the 60 Clinton nominees that Hatch squelched so they could finally get a hearing. That would be fair, since these Bush appointees are trying to jump to the head of the line. Make 'em wait their turn, just like the Mexicans.

Posted by: tomeck on June 8, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

According to the rules of the Senate, there must be a quorum of Senators present in order to conduct business or hold a vote. From the Senate's website:

A quorum is defined as being the number of Senators that must be present for the Senate to do business. The Constitution requires a majority of Senators (51) for a quorum. Often, fewer Senators are actually present on the floor, but the Senate presumes that a quorum is present unless the contrary is shown by a roll call vote or quorum call.

So if Harry Reid wants to keep the Senate in session over the holiday, he needs to have a quorum of Senators available to respond to a quorum call that only one Rep Senator can call for. Presumably, if a roll call vote shows that a quorum is not present, then the Senate would not be regarded as being in session and thus, would be in recess.

Not much of a parliamentarian are you? lol

Posted by: Chicounsel on June 8, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly:

How is it circumventing the Constitution when the President is exercising a power given to him by the Constitution?

And why assume that the recess appointments would be unqualified. The appointments would go to the persons that the President nominated in the first place.

Posted by: Chicounsel on June 8, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK
Presumably, if a roll call vote shows that a quorum is not present, then the Senate would not be regarded as being in session and thus, would be in recess.

Wrong. The Senate is in recess if, and only if, a session is recessed or adjourned. Should a quorum call show the absence of a quorum, "a majority of the Senators present may direct the Sergeant at Arms to request, and, when necessary, to compel the attendance of the absent Senators, which order shall be determined without debate; and pending its execution, and until a quorum shall be present, no debate nor motion, except to adjourn, or to recess pursuant to a previous order entered by unanimous consent, shall be in order." (Rule VI)

Your one Republican can call for quorum calls all day, but if there are two Democrats there with him, he'll never get a recess or adjournment, or even a direction to the Sergeant-at-Arms to drag everyone else back. The absence of a quorum does not, even when found by a quorum call or roll call vote, create a recess by operation of law as you seem to suggest.

Not much of a parliamentarian are you?

I might be inclined to mention something about glass houses and throwing stones, here.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 8, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Presumably, if a roll call vote shows that a quorum is not present, then the Senate would not be regarded as being in session and thus, would be in recess.

Per usual, you presume wrong.

Not much of a parliamentarian are you?

No, you certainly aren't.

lol

It's charming how you laugh at your own stupidity.

You weren't my ex-wife's divorce lawyer by any chance, were you?

Posted by: Disputo on June 8, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Some Republicans apparently are experiencing difficulty segueing into the minority role.

Posted by: minorityreport on June 8, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Damn Chicounsel, you've just been bitchslapped!

Posted by: elmo on June 8, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

You guys, (I'm talking to you cmdicely, and Disputo), have got it all wrong. Chicounsel is not a lawyer. Chicounsel is a camp counselor at Loony Right Wing Summer Camp. Busy teaching all the little trolls how to embarrass themselves.

Posted by: bigcat on June 8, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

There have been a lot of controversial recess appointments. Reid's plan is to hold a pro-forma session every 10 days.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a little trick up his sleeve that could spell an end to President Bush's devilish recess appointments of controversial figures like former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton. We hear that over the long August vacation, when those types of summer hires are made, Reid will call the Senate into session just long enough to force the prez to send his nominees who need confirmation to the chamber. The talk is he will hold a quickie "pro forma" session every 10 days, tapping a local senator to run the hall. Senate workers and Republicans are miffed, but Reid is proving that he's the new sheriff in town.
We shall see.

Posted by: Mike on June 8, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-lib: "Does anyone think the Democrats ought to confirm qualified candidates promptly so that we can receive fair and prompt justice from our courts?"

You talk as if you're expecting to be bundled up and taken off in the middle of the night to an undisclosed location, without benefit of counsel or congressional oversight. Bt that could never happen, could it?

Posted by: Kenji on June 8, 2007 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Fallen bullies are the worst whiners!
(But they haven't fallen near hard enough....)

tyrannogenius

Posted by: Neil B. on June 8, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

About William Jefferson, what's the corruption score now? Democrats 1, Republicans 50 or more?
And that's in spite of the best efforts of the newest wing of the Republican Party, aka the Justice Department under Gonzales.

I can honestly say I have not heard or read one word about Jefferson deserving a pardon. Can you say the same about Scooter?

Posted by: fafner1 on June 8, 2007 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

Either ex-liberal or chicounsel did not click the link or they are hoping nobody else did.

The Carpetbagger clearly spells out that:

1) The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved more nominees so far this year than the Republican-controlled committee had at this point in 2005 (start of the 109th Congress).

2) The committee has already approved more than 2.5 times as many nominees in 5 months as the Republican-controlled committee held hearings for in all of 1999 (the comparable point in the Clinton presidency).

In other words, Lott's complaints represent the common Republican party tactic of acting like whining sissies over a made-up issue.

With any luck, they will finally get called on it somewhere other than on progressive blogs, but I am not holding my breath.

Posted by: tanstaafl on June 8, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

orwell: The silence is amazing.


hear any republicans commenting on this?

Italia Federici, a one-time political aide to former Interior Secretary Gale Norton, has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of Congress..

that's 11-guilty pleas and/or convictions in the Abramoff scandal...

NOT ONE WAS A DEM....

not one...

all 11 are republicans...

reality strikes..

again..

Posted by: mr. irony on June 10, 2007 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Wah! Wah! Wah! -- the *poor* little darlings.

Maybe they can stamp their wittle footies and hold their breathses, too.

Jeez. Some of the people that need to get a life have been sent to DC, and *still* can't seem to pursue honest work.

Posted by: Scorpio on June 10, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK
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