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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Pickering appointed to the Fifth Circuit.

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Author Topic: Pickering appointed to the Fifth Circuit.
WmLambert
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Statement by the Prersident
quote:
Today I was proud to exercise my constitutional authority to appoint Judge Charles W. Pickering to serve on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
This is the first interim appointment Bush has made. This was specifically because "A bipartisan majority of Senators supports his confirmation, and if he were given a vote, he would be confirmed. But a minority of Democratic Senators has been using unprecedented obstructionist tactics to prevent him and other qualified individuals from receiving up-or-down votes. Their tactics are inconsistent with the Senate's constitutional responsibility and are hurting our judicial system.

"As a result of today's recess appointment, Judge Pickering will fill a seat on the Fifth Circuit that has been designated a judicial emergency."

He did not do this with Estrada, who was an ever better qualified nominee - so this is obviously a signal. What does it mean and how does it play? Thirdly, How does it fit with the 8 Democrat candidates running in their primaries?

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mv
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quote:
He did not do this with Estrada
Did not Estrada withdraw his name himself? I doubt that there is any significance that it was Pickering appointed now, not Estrada; in fact a recess appointment of a Hispanic would be a polically astute move this year.
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WmLambert
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Actually MV, Estrada's filibuster lasted almost two entire years before he withdrew his name which encompassed several recesses during when Bush could have made interim appointments, but didn't.
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mv
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Agree. But still this has nothing to do with Estrada: Bush is in a stronger position right now than at any point so far during his presidency and I suspect he does want to make an issue of the appointments for the open senate races.

PS. For all we know Estrada is sufficiently pissed off with the process to turn down an interim appointment proposal; or Bush will nominate him next. (IMHO, he should.)

[ January 17, 2004, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: mv ]

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TomDavidson
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Right now, across the country, Republicans are doing the equivalent of writing their names in the snow -- with very sloppy aim, I might add.

If it were summer, they'd be kicking sand, but it isn't. [Smile]

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Doug64
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According to one TV commentator, Bush asked all the filibustered nominees if they wanted recess appointments, and only Pickering took him up on it.

Also, notice the timing. It was announced on Friday, and outside of the occasional top of the hour news story you didn't hear a thing about it - all the talk is about the Iowa caucus.

This is one recess appointment I heartily approve of. I'm opposed to them when they are used to avoid an up-or-down Senate vote, but all for them when a minority prevents the Senate from doing its constitutional duty.

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Everard
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Of course, the minority is ALSO doing its constitutional duty.
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Doug64
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I'm sorry, but I don't consider preventing an organization from carrying out its constitutional duty to be a constitutional duty. Like the Texas legislators that fled the state rather than vote on redistricting, they are so afraid of what might happen that they are refusing to do their jobs.
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Everard
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No, they AREN'T refusing to do their jobs. They are doing their duty by using the procedures of the senate to block a nomination that would suceed in a straight up down vote, that they disagree with and have enough of a minority to block.

I mean, is voting against an apointment doing your duty? Or are senators and congressmen just supposed to rubber stamp all of the presidents nominations?

The duty of these men in regards to creating rules, which a fillibuster for example certainly is, in the words of the constitution, is "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings"

In terms of their responsibility regarding appointments "and he
shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall
appoint ..."

By advice and consent of the senate.

senate rules allow for fillibusters, and those rules are created in accordance with constitutional duty.

In accordance with constitutional duty, and the rules of the senate, the senate advised that pickering not become a judge, and did not grant its consent that he be placed in the position he was nominated for.

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Zyne
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Well said Ev.
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mv
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Doug, regardless of what I think about the Democrats, it is their duty to advance their agenda within consitutional means. You cannot blame them for trying.

If anything, it is more proper to blame the Republicans of not changing the procedural rules (which can be done with a simple majority) or not using the recess appointment powers to the full extend possible.

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Everard
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*shrugs* Those rules have helped the republicans fairly often as well. THe senators are too smart to change em just to get a couple nominations up for a vote.
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mv
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quote:
THe senators are too smart to change em
It is their right to decide if the cause is sufficiently important to justify the action. There is no way of knowing if this was smart or stupid; it was just a tactical move.

What is interesting is that there seems to be a pattern with Democrats trying to exploit any possible legal advantage and Republicans often preferring to avoid confrontations.

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Everard
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ROFL
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Locus
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"What is interesting is that there seems to be a pattern with Democrats trying to exploit any possible legal advantage and Republicans often preferring to avoid confrontations. "

That's because the Republicans are currently in power. Pity the Dems didn't see fit to block them on some of the more critical issues.

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Doug64
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quote:
Evarard wrote: I mean, is voting against an apointment doing your duty? Or are senators and congressmen just supposed to rubber stamp all of the presidents nominations?
Yes, it is, but that isn't what they are doing. They aren't voting against the candidates, but preventing a vote from taking place at all. If all they were doing was voting against the appointments those nominees would already be doing their job.

quote:
In terms of their responsibility regarding appointments "and he
shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall
appoint ..."

By advice and consent of the senate.

senate rules allow for fillibusters, and those rules are created in accordance with constitutional duty.

So Evarard, are you saying that "advice and consent" means whatever the Senate decides it means? Does the Senate have the right to decide that approval of any presidential appointee requires 75% approval or more? For over 200 years, at least as far as circuit judges go, "advice and consent" has been understood to mean a simple majority vote, without a filibuster, now the Democrats have chucked a two century tradition out the window. They have the power to do that, but it's a dangerous game because you can't know what new traditions will form to replace the old ones. What if we get one where the president simply recess appoints any appointment that gets filibustered? I don't necessarily consider that a good tradition either.
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TomDavidson
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"What is interesting is that there seems to be a pattern with Democrats trying to exploit any possible legal advantage and Republicans often preferring to avoid confrontations."

Out of interest, on which particular issue would you say that Republicans have made an effort -- any concessions of any kind, even -- to avoid confrontations?

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TomDavidson
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It's worth noting that recess appointments do not automatically renew, but come back up for a vote. The president COULD keep appointing the same guy, over and over, during the next recess (as I understand it), but that would be...well, knowing Bush, that would be par for the course.
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Everard
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Doug-
Republicans started fillibustering federal judge nominations, not democrats. *Shrug* The tradition made it 160 years before being killed.

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mv
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quote:
Out of interest, on which particular issue would you say that Republicans have made an effort -- any concessions of any kind, even -- to avoid confrontations?
Not making a recess appointment up to this point, for example.
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Zyne
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Mmmm, Eisenhower, some 27 times (appointed Warren, infamous defender of the Constitution). Among many others.

See: http://fairjudiciary.com/cfj_contents/press/recessappointments.pdf
(there's a chart at the end)

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mv
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quote:
It's worth noting that recess appointments do not automatically renew, but come back up for a vote
The interesting question is the vote on a renewal can be filibustered? I guess, theoretically yes, but did this ever happen?

quote:
Mmmm, Eisenhower, some 27 times
I was referring to more recent history. The other example of a somewhat timid attitude is not challenging close elections. While the Democrats are doing it a doing it as a standard operation procedure, GOP leadership chose not to challenge the peculiar SD senate vote.
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Doug64
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quote:
It's worth noting that recess appointments do not automatically renew, but come back up for a vote. The president COULD keep appointing the same guy, over and over, during the next recess (as I understand it), but that would be...well, knowing Bush, that would be par for the course.
I believe this is the first judicial recess appointment Bush has made. In fact, I can't think of another recess appointment of any sort. Can anyone else? As well, the appointment lasts until the end of the congressional session, so if Bush wants to make another recess appointment he'll have to win reelection first.

quote:
Republicans started fillibustering federal judge nominations, not democrats. *Shrug* The tradition made it 160 years before being killed.
I can't really say I know who first started filibustering judicial nominees, but I was under the impression it started during the Reagan years. I do know that this is the first time that judicial nominees for the circuit courts have been filibustered.

In honesty I should admit that I'm not wedded to tradition per se, just tradition that seems to make constitutional sense to me. For example, one tradition that I believe has fallen by the wayside during the Bush presidency that I'm happy to see go is the "blue-slip," requiring the approval of both senators of a state before appointing a judge to (or from, I'm not sure which) that state. That's hardly "advice and consent."

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velcro
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quote:

Out of interest, on which particular issue would you say that Republicans have made an effort -- any concessions of any kind, even -- to avoid confrontations?

quote:

Not making a recess appointment up to this point, for example.

Is that all you got?
Avoiding confrontations means poking someone in the eye with a stick later, rather than sooner?

It is clear that a large portion (no, not a majority) of the Senate feels that Pickering is not suitable for the bench. The Senate has approved 169 of Bush's nomnations, and blocked just 6, or a roughly 97% approval rate. A truly bipartisan President (as Bush promised to be), one who recognizes that he did not get a mandate in the elections, would withdraw the nomination.
Under Clinton, the Republican Senate approved only 80% of the Nominations.

BTW Wm, once again your facts are just plain wrong. Bush has made over a dozen recess appointments, although not judicial. See

http://www.ombwatch.org/article/articleview/272/1/79/

appointing Scalia's son as Solicitor of DOL.

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Doug64
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quote:
BTW Wm, once again your facts are just plain wrong. Bush has made over a dozen recess appointments, although not judicial.
I was the one who asked about recess appointment, not Wm. I had forgotten about Scalia's son; I would have to say that the rest of the recess appointments must not have been very important, because I don't recall hearing Democrats complain about it.

quote:
The Senate has approved 169 of Bush's nomnations, and blocked just 6, or a roughly 97% approval rate.
I'm afraid this rate isn't relevant, because I don't think the Liberals really care much about the judges on the lower-level courts - it's the Supreme Court and the circuit courts that worry them. what percentage of Bush's nominees to the circuit courts have been filibustered? (An honest question, I have no idea). Especially appointees to the 9th Circuit, the most liberal court in the country (and, coincidentally, the one most often overturned), and the one that the Liberals want to keep that way.

quote:
Out of interest, on which particular issue would you say that Republicans have made an effort -- any concessions of any kind, even -- to avoid confrontations?
I would say that compromise is one of the things about Bush I most have a problem with. Has he actually vetoed anything yet? I know he's threatened to veto some bills but I can't remember him actually doing so.
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TomDavidson
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Which bills has Bush HAD to veto?
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Enumclaw
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None, because he's simply used his political power to get pretty much what he wanted out of Congress- or at least what he could live with.

This, of course, either says that Congress and the President are seeing eye to eye on everything, or that Congress isn't nearly as independent as it should be, or that the Republicans are doing a much better job of keeping everyone toeing the party line than the Democrats did.

Or the final option, which is that the Democrats in the Senate are spineless turds who can't keep themselves together on a SINGLE issue well enough to filibuster it and force a compromise that would draw a veto.

I think it's a combo of all those factors.

Paul

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