Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 4, 2009

SESSIONS AND FILIBUSTERS.... Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-Ala.) record as a crypto-segregationist is interesting enough, but under the circumstances, with Sessions becoming the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, his record on the handling of Supreme Court nominees is of particular interest.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), now the Republican with the most power to delay President Obama's Supreme Court nominees, decried filibusters during the battle to confirm Justice Samuel Alito.

Sessions will take over for defector Arlen Specter as top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, a position that enables him to drag out debate on potential Supreme Court justices.

No one knows if Sessions plans to do so -- but when Democrats opposed the nomination of Justice Alito, the Republican declared that judges should face only a "majority vote" and that filibusters of court nominees were "very painful."

As recently as 2005, Sessions argued that Democratic filibusters of Bush's most conservative judicial nominees -- "some of the best nominees ever submitted" for consideration in the 200-year history of the Senate, he said -- were inconsistent with a process that has been in place "since the founding of the republic."

It will be challenging for Sessions, if ever pressed by reporters, to explain a record of seemingly blatant, transparent, and ugly racism. It will nearly as difficult for him to explain, if asked, why Democratic judicial filibusters tear at the fabric of our democracy, while Republican filibusters are no cause for concern.

Steve Benen 2:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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It will be challenging for Sessions, if ever pressed by reporters, to explain a record of seemingly blatant, transparent, and ugly racism. It will nearly as difficult for him to explain, if asked, why Democratic judicial filibusters tear at the fabric of our democracy, while Republican filibusters are no cause for concern.

And if Obama's nominee is a person of color, it will be a two-fer!

Posted by: TG Chicago on May 4, 2009 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Will the nominations wait for #60 Franken to be seated?

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on May 4, 2009 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately the qualifier is "if ever pressed by reporters"... I have little faith in such a thing.

Posted by: PDog on May 4, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

"....difficult for him to explain..... Republican filibusters are no cause for concern."

Oh, I think a simple "They started it!" will suffice for the base. All others can go fuck themselves.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 4, 2009 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

"It will nearly as difficult for him to explain, if asked, why Democratic judicial filibusters tear at the fabric of our democracy, while Republican filibusters are no cause for concern."

You're smarter than that, Steve. Simplest thing in the world.

Posted by: gussie on May 4, 2009 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

"some of the best nominees ever submitted" for consideration in the 200-year history of the Senate, he said

It will be challenging for Sessions

Not at all. This is easy. If Sessions thinks Bush's nominees were the best ever, he'll have no problem opposing truly outstanding Obama nominees that he will undoubtedly consider odious.

Posted by: ckelly on May 4, 2009 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Situational ethics

No one knows if Sessions plans to do so...

I've got good news and bad news:
The good news is that in certain situations republicans deplore situational ethics.
The bad news is that republicans get to decide which situations are situational and which are not.

Posted by: koreyel on May 4, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Senator: "Are you lying now, or were you lying then?"

Love to hear the answer.

Posted by: Tigershark on May 4, 2009 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Sessions seems to be more segregationist than crypto.

-Z

Posted by: Zorro on May 4, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

As previously noted, no mystery here. After all, it is the party of blatant projection and hypocrisy you are talking about; traits held in common by both "leaders" and rabid supporters. Nor is their any risk that the "liberal media" will object. Neither, come to think of it, will the flaccid Democrats.

Posted by: Chopin on May 4, 2009 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I love how this is a temporary assignment for Sessions. That means he can take the crazy up to 11 and burn every bridge he sees.

This will get messy. The best bet for the Dems is to get just as messy back at Sessions. Every time he opens his piehole, a Dem should ask "Why do you hate black people?"

Posted by: Eric on May 4, 2009 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I know it will never happen, but just for fun, how about a nomination of Michelle Obama as Supreme Court justice. She is, after all, a lawyer, a woman and a person of color.
Just for fun!!!

Posted by: st john on May 4, 2009 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

This is why they're promoting Sessions. The two controversies will starve each other of oxygen (and more importantly, air time).

Posted by: Bernard HP Gilroy on May 4, 2009 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Sessions will merely express his great sorrow and regret that Obama has nominated someone so EXTREEM that Sessions has no choice but to use every means available, even those normally abhorrent to him, bla bla bla. "Isn't this a contradiction?" "No, it's not a contradiction at all."

Come on now. Do you laugh as you type these things? It's all some vast Andy Kaufman style deadpan joke?

Posted by: tatere on May 4, 2009 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Who in the media do you think is actually going to ask these questions? Remember, nothing in the past counts. Stop looking backward!

Posted by: Jane on May 4, 2009 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

"crypto-segregationist"

Code for speaking-in-tongues at a Klan rally.

Posted by: MissMudd on May 4, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

>"why Democratic judicial filibusters tear at the fabric of our democracy, while Republican filibusters are no cause for concern."

Same RWA [right-wing-authoritarian] answer as always: "That's different"

Posted by: Buford on May 4, 2009 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

"No, it's not a contradiction at all." Because, after all, the Shrub nominations were some of the best EVAH, and this nominee is a party hack.

Of COURSE we must take every action we can to block such a doctrinaire radical activist judge who hates the Constitution and hates America.

Blocking good Christianist judges is BAD. Blocking Democrats SAVES AMERICAN LIVES and KEEPS US SAFE.

Posted by: Sen. Sessions on May 4, 2009 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

RWA personalities have no problem with cognitive dissonance as long as the outcome is in their favor. They have no insight and no conscience.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on May 4, 2009 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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