The History Of The Judicial Filibuster

The following is taken from a transcript of the Rush Limbaugh Show:

All that is happening today is that the Senate is being returned to the rules that lasted for 100 years prior to 2003.

The judicial filibuster was invented by the Democrats in 2003. The point is there was no filibuster anywhere… It’s not even mentioned in the Constitution. It’s a Senate rule. The Senate can make whatever rules it wants. The Democrats… I just listened to Dick Durbin. (paraphrased) They’re talking about decades and centuries of Senate tradition being wiped aside by these evil Republicans! The Republicans didn’t do anything but stand aside while the Democrats changed the rules. So all that’s happening is that Democrat rules that created filibustering judicial nominees are now being removed.

That’s all that’s happening. The Senate is being returned to normal. That’s all that’s happening. There is no great earthquake happening here. The Senate is not being forever undermined and changed. But that’s the media’s story, and so the Democrats are going along with it. The media’s devising all this strategy, and they’re showing by virtue of controlling the news how the Democrats should act and what the Democrats should say.

…The Senate has just affirmed the nuclear option on the Gorsuch confirmation. To prove the point that prior to 2003 judicial filibusters didn’t exist, look at Clarence Thomas! Clarence Thomas — after all of that crap that was his confirmation hearings — was confirmed to the court with fewer than 60 votes. So was Samuel Alito, and there have been others.

But in the modern era, those are two prominent justices confirmed with fewer than 60 votes. The filibuster didn’t exist. The Democrats invented the judicial filibuster in 2003 to stop the nominees to lower courts of George W. Bush. Harry Reid pulled it again in 2013 to include all presidential judicial nominations except those nominated for the Supreme Court. What McConnell has done today is not alter the Constitution.

McConnell and the Republicans have not nuclearized the Constitution. They have not actually triggered a nuclear option. That’s just words. All that’s happened here is that Mitch McConnell has returned to the Senate its rules that existed prior to the Democrats changing them in 2003. And, by the way, the Senate can make whatever rules it wants. And if a majority votes on the rules change, then it’s changed. The Constitution does not say anything about filibusters, because the filibuster was not actually invented until long after the country was founded and began operating.

So what is this actually about? This whole exercise was nothing more than a political game of chicken. I am still not convinced that the Democrats thought the Republicans would use the nuclear option. There will be Senate and House seats up for grabs in 2018. The recent track record of the Democrats in Senate and House elections is abysmal. It is hoped that all this fuss about the nuclear option (and forcing the Republicans to use it) will energize the Democratic voter base. It has nothing to do with the qualifications of Judge Gorsuch (and it doesn’t even have anything to do with Judge Merrick Garland). Judge Garland is a good excuse for the Democrats to throw the temper tantrum they are currently throwing. It’s all about the next election. That shouldn’t surprise anyone.

If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough, It Becomes The Truth

The above quote is attributed to Vladimir Lenin. It has been used successfully by the political left for a very long time. The Wall Street Journal posted a story on Wednesday illustrating how the political left is repeating a lie in order to gain advantage in the efforts to confirm a Supreme Court Judge.

The article reports:

…But Democrats are still itching for a fight, and their first line of offense is the myth of the “stolen” seat.

“This is a seat that was stolen from the former President, Obama, that’s never been done in U.S. history before,” declared Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley in announcing that he will attempt to filibuster Judge Gorsuch. “To let this become normal just invites a complete partisan polarization of the Court from here to eternity.” The “stolen” line is echoing across Progressive Nation, but it’s a complete political invention.

The “theft” is supposedly the GOP Senate’s refusal last year to vote on President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat. But the standard of not confirming a Supreme Court nominee in the final year of a Presidency was set by . . . Democrats. And by no less a Beltway monument than the current Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer.

 

“We should not confirm any Bush nominee to the Supreme Court, except in extraordinary circumstances,” Mr. Schumer declared in a July 2007 speech to the American Constitution Society. Democrats then held the Senate and Mr. Schumer was putting down a marker if someone on the High Court retired. George W. Bush didn’t get another opening, but Mr. Schumer surely meant what he said.

Ah, but that was then and this is now. We had a Republican President then. Last year we had a Democratic President.

The article continues:

The Democratic theft standard goes back further to Joe Biden’s days as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In June 1992 in President George H.W. Bush’s final year, Robber Joe opined that the President “should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”

Naming a new Justice, he said, would ensure that a confirmation “process that is already in doubt in the minds of many will become distrusted by all.” If Mr. Bush made an election-year nomination, Mr. Biden said his committee should consider “not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

Does anyone outside the MSNBC audience think that had the roles been reversed in 2016, and a Democratic Senate faced a Republican Court nominee, Harry Reid would have held a confirmation vote? As John McEnroe liked to shout, “You can’t be serious!”

It must be frustrating to the Democrats (and at times to the Republicans) than anyone can google a subject and find out what politicians have said in the past. What we need now is an honest mainstream media that will report previous statements.

The Supreme Court Has Reached A Decision On Hobby Lobby

Fox News is reporting today that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in its suit against the ObamaCare requirement that it provide contraceptives for female employees.

The article reports:

The justices’ 5-4 decision is the first time that the high court has ruled that profit-seeking businesses can hold religious views under federal law. And it means the Obama administration must search for a different way of providing free contraception to women who are covered under objecting companies’ health insurance plans.

…The court stressed that its ruling applies only to corporations that are under the control of just a few people in which there is no essential difference between the business and its owners.

Alito also said the decision is limited to contraceptives under the health care law. “Our decision should not be understood to hold that an insurance-coverage mandate must necessarily fall if it conflicts with an employer’s religious beliefs,” Alito said.

The really good news here is that Hobby Lobby will remain in business. There was some question as to whether the company would have stayed in business had the family that owns the company  been forced to do things that were in conflict with their religious beliefs.

The Next Battle In The Healthcare War

On Thursday, Matt Sheffield posted an article at CNS News about the next step in the war over Obamacare. Although it is not at all a sure thing, there are many people who feel that the Supreme Court will strike down the law as unconstitutional because it requires all Americans to purchase a product whether they want to or not. Mr. Sheffield points out that the left is already preparing for the next battle. He cites some recent statements by left-leaning pundits:

If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate in Obamacare, the result will be higher insurance premiums and, “we’ll just blame Republicans for it,” says Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, appearing on the Wednesday edition of Fox News’ The Five.

…Andrew Koppelman, writing in Salon today, asserted that the arguments against the individual mandate amount to nothing more than “silliness,” and said the “silly” arguments “nonetheless seemed to sometimes move Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito.”
 
…Steven Rosenfeld, writing at AlterNet, says Republicans “don’t want to fix our broken healthcare system.” He writes: “The Republican Party again showed its petulant, “party-of-no” face on Tuesday as lawyers representing 26 red states and conservative think-tanks told the U.S. Supreme Court that nobody should be forced have health insurance—even if people carrying insurance end up subsidizing the defiantly uninsured who get ill.
 
The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision sometime in June or July. Prepare for healthcare to be a major issue during the 2012 election. Be ready to listen carefully as very little of what you hear may actually be true.
 
 
 
 
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