Author Topic: Gorsuch and the nuclear option  (Read 3994 times)

Seriati

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Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« on: April 03, 2017, 12:24:35 PM »
First, let me say, there is literally no legitimate reason to vote no to Judge Gorsuch.  He's clearly qualified for the position.  Whether you can legitimately filibuster a candidate whose qualified is a lot greyer, but if he gets a vote then every Senator who votes no, is effectively signing a list of Senators that refuse to do their job when it's inconvenient from a partisan standpoint.

That's why Garland never got a vote, there were too many Republicans that would have felt obligated to vote yes to put him on the Supreme Court.  It was a brilliant if highly questionable tactic to never give him a vote at all.

I can not see any reason the Republicans shouldn't finish off the filibuster for judicial nominations, and exercise the nuclear option even though I am still opposed to it ever being used in the first place.  If the Democrat's won't vote for a qualified nominee then there is no reason to keep going back to the well.  For comparison, Kagan and Sotomeyer are the two most partisan justices currently empaneled and they were confirmed (63-37) and (68-31).  They expressly made clear they would decide cases based on who the litigants were rather than the law. 

Gorsuch's "partisanship"?   He believes the law has to be respected and its up to Congress to change the law.  The horror!  Every judge should have that view.

LetterRip

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 12:44:19 PM »
The failure of the senate to advise and consent seems a legitimate reason to me.  All of Trump's proposed candidates should be rejected until the previous President's candidate has been voted on.

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 12:50:11 PM »
It's an interesting question, but I don't actually think he's still a legitimate candidate.  He'd have to be re-nominated to be considered.  Anyone know anything definitive?

In any event, the idea that you should reject this candidate because of an affront to another candidate is a bizarre argument.

TheDrake

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 01:20:21 PM »
The idea that you should reject a judge for any reason other than failure to apply the law in a consistent manner is wrong, and yet the status quo for the supreme court. I don't see any reason why the Democrats shouldn't apply the same twisted logic as the republicans and delay until there is a new administration.

I have mixed feelings about the filibuster. I've never liked the abuse of the unlimited debate rules that started in the 1850s and was used to block the Civil Rights Act for 60 days in 1964. I suspect we will see the end of unlimited debate in the Senate during our lifetimes.

Of course any actual debate died off long ago, replaced by grandstanding for cameras. They might as well phone in the confirmation vote.

Gaoics79

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 01:25:24 PM »
TheDrake I too have mixed feelings about it. Personally I'd be okay with it if this was still the real fillibuster - i.e. camping out in the Senate reading from a phone book. That to me at least takes conviction and some spine. So of course they abolished this in favour of the bloodless modern iteration. It may seem silly or crazy to force a politician to camp out in the Senate, but that's the point - a fillibuster is *supposed* to be the nuclear option, not some everyday tool of obstructionism.

linuxfreakus

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 02:28:41 PM »
His history on big business/campaign finance related issues as related to the rampant corruption which is currently ruling the USA are showstoppers for me.  Not that it will matter to the people who will vote for him for that reason specifically.  He's pretty much a shoo-in IMO despite all the pretend objections.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 02:31:34 PM by linuxfreakus »

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 02:31:59 PM »
The idea that you should reject a judge for any reason other than failure to apply the law in a consistent manner is wrong, and yet the status quo for the supreme court.

Status quo?  Really?  When was the last Democratic nominee rejected for political reasons?  You can find multiple Republican nominees that were excluded.

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I don't see any reason why the Democrats shouldn't apply the same twisted logic as the republicans and delay until there is a new administration.

They can try to filibuster (procedural), but voting against him is unjustifiable.  There wouldn't have been legitimate grounds to vote against Garland either.

LetterRip

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2017, 02:39:25 PM »
It's an interesting question, but I don't actually think he's still a legitimate candidate.  He'd have to be re-nominated to be considered.  Anyone know anything definitive?

In any event, the idea that you should reject this candidate because of an affront to another candidate is a bizarre argument.

Either the previous candidate was rejected for political reasons and it is thus (equally un)reasonable to do so for this candidate.  Or the other candidate should be considered first, and thus it isn't reasonable to have put forward a candidate for a position for which there is already another candidate waiting for consideration.

TheDeamon

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2017, 02:55:33 PM »
The failure of the senate to advise and consent seems a legitimate reason to me.  All of Trump's proposed candidates should be rejected until the previous President's candidate has been voted on.

The Previous President no longer has "standing" with which to pursue said nomination, and the current President, the one who does have "standing" did not desire to continue to pursue said nomination. So that matter is dead.

Besides which, to my understanding of things:

The "historically unusual" thing about Obama's SCotUS nomination in 2016 was that he made one in the first place. Had the Senate actually gone ahead and confirmed his nominee, it would be without a recent precedent. "Traditionally speaking" in the event of a SCotUS vacancy happening during what is understood to be a Presidents last year in office(8th year), the seat will remain vacant until the next President is elected and assumes office and makes their own nomination.

This isn't the first time a SCotUS Justice died during the 8th year of a President's tenure folks.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2017, 02:58:37 PM by TheDeamon »

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2017, 03:04:28 PM »
It's an interesting question, but I don't actually think he's still a legitimate candidate.  He'd have to be re-nominated to be considered.  Anyone know anything definitive?

In any event, the idea that you should reject this candidate because of an affront to another candidate is a bizarre argument.

Either the previous candidate was rejected for political reasons and it is thus (equally un)reasonable to do so for this candidate.

I agree the previous candidate was rejected for political reasons.  Is that a mystery?  But he was rejected against a back stop of a President nominating a candidate to a Senate that was majority controlled by the other side.  He had to have substantial cross aisle support to have a hope of making that appointment.

Here?  Not so much.  There is literally no way for the Democrats to win with a filibuster game so long as the nuclear option is available.  Best you can argue is that they are playing a long tactical game and that they want the Republicans to do the dirty work for them in anticipation of a future where they have control.  Silly tactic though, cause they would pay no price for going nuclear in that hypothetical world with a friendly media.

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Or the other candidate should be considered first, and thus it isn't reasonable to have put forward a candidate for a position for which there is already another candidate waiting for consideration.

I don't think I was clear enough.  I don't think he can be considered, unless Trump re-nominated him.  Traditionally, he would have withdrawn his nomination, but I think it died none-the-less.

TheDeamon

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2017, 04:04:44 PM »
Either the previous candidate was rejected for political reasons and it is thus (equally un)reasonable to do so for this candidate.

I agree the previous candidate was rejected for political reasons.  Is that a mystery?  But he was rejected against a back stop of a President nominating a candidate to a Senate that was majority controlled by the other side.  He had to have substantial cross aisle support to have a hope of making that appointment.

It gets murkier when past practices(traditions) are considered on the matter, and given that. It makes the Democrats retaliating as they are the truly "without precedent" behavior in all of this. But of course, the media is in their pocket in general, so that's being ignored.

LetterRip

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2017, 04:21:17 PM »
Seriati,

1) He doesn't need to be resubmitted, he was never withdrawn from consideration, there is no 'expiration' date
2) Even if he does need to be resubmitted, fine.  Trump can withdraw this submission, resubmit Obama's and then once a vote occurs, if the candidate fails to be accepted he can then submit his candidate.  Of course if the Republicans then formally reject a well qualified centrist for political reasons, then it would also be reasonable for the Democrats to reject the conservative candidate on similar grounds.

If the Republicans use the 'nuclear option' then that is their prerogative, I don't think it is a precedent that they will care for in the future.  The Republicans aren't being 'forced' to do so.  They can instead find a more centrist candidate.

The Democrats filibustering is perfectly reasonable given the failure to advise and consent on the previous candidate.

You seem to want one set of rules when what you want to happen is at stake, but another set of rules when what you don't want is at stake.

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2017, 05:49:55 PM »
Seriati,

1) He doesn't need to be resubmitted, he was never withdrawn from consideration, there is no 'expiration' date

Actually I think there is.  When the Congressional Session ended his nomination expired.

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2) Even if he does need to be resubmitted, fine.  Trump can withdraw this submission, resubmit Obama's and then once a vote occurs, if the candidate fails to be accepted he can then submit his candidate.

Why would they do that?  While their at it, we can go back in time and unBork Bork, and get Harry Reid to allow Republican amendments and bills a vote on the Senate floor.

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Of course if the Republicans then formally reject a well qualified centrist for political reasons, then it would also be reasonable for the Democrats to reject the conservative candidate on similar grounds.

True, which is exactly why they never let the vote be held.  A tactic well learned from Harry Reid's iron fisted prevention of Republican ideas from  ever getting to the floor.

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If the Republicans use the 'nuclear option' then that is their prerogative, I don't think it is a precedent that they will care for in the future.

I agree.  No one is going to be less happy with this change than Republicans once the Democrats have free reign to put complete partisans on the bench.  Of course, I think they recognize that this is inevitable because there is no way Dems will fail to do it in the of future Republican "obstructionism."

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The Republicans aren't being 'forced' to do so.  They can instead find a more centrist candidate.

The idea that a Justice that values the actual laws as drafted and expects the political branches to fix them as needed is not "centrist" is beyond insane.  All this proves, is that the only "centrist" candidates the Dems will agree to are actually candidates on the soft left.

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The Democrats filibustering is perfectly reasonable given the failure to advise and consent on the previous candidate.

The two acts are not actually linked. The Dems filibustering is actually just petty given what is going to happen.

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You seem to want one set of rules when what you want to happen is at stake, but another set of rules when what you don't want is at stake.

No.  I just want people to recognize that the Dems only believe in rules being mandatory when they restrict the other side.  Once the started the nuclear process it continuing became inevitable.

Wayward Son

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2017, 05:56:08 PM »
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The "historically unusual" thing about Obama's SCotUS nomination in 2016 was that he made one in the first place. Had the Senate actually gone ahead and confirmed his nominee, it would be without a recent precedent. "Traditionally speaking" in the event of a SCotUS vacancy happening during what is understood to be a Presidents last year in office(8th year), the seat will remain vacant until the next President is elected and assumes office and makes their own nomination.

This is a "tradition" that was made up by Republicans as a smokescreen for their partisan obstructionism.

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In the past century, there have been 25 presidential elections. Just four Supreme Court seats opened up in those election years. In three of those instances, the Senate confirmed the president’s nominee, and just once — the only election-year court opening in the past 80 years — did the Senate refuse a nominee...

In June 1968, Chief Justice Earl Warren told President Lyndon Johnson he planned to retire. Johnson nominated sitting justice Abe Fortas to succeed Warren as chief. Fortas hit strong bipartisan Senate opposition and asked that his name be withdrawn for chief justice (though he stayed on the court as an associate justice). Johnson had also nominated Homer Thornberry to take Fortas’ place on the court. But that nomination, too, was withdrawn, as Fortas never became chief justice.

While there was some opposition to the Fortas nomination based on the fact that Johnson was a lame duck, Fortas’ failed confirmation primarily resulted from ethical questions over fees he received, his prior decisions and his closeness with Johnson. In any case, the Senate’s decision not to confirm didn’t actually leave a vacant seat on the court because Warren chose to stay on the bench.

There are more examples in the past century of the Senate confirming Supreme Court nominees for seats that open up in election years, though it is still a rare occasion. You have to go back about 80 years, as McConnell correctly noted on Fox News Sunday.

In 1932, President Herbert Hoover nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Benjamin Cardozo. In 1916, Woodrow Wilson nominated John Clarke and Louis Brandeis, and they both made it through the Senate.

McConnell’s talking point also ignores the two instances in the past century when the Senate confirmed Supreme Court nominees in election years, even though the seat opened up in the year prior. In 1988, the Senate confirmed Ronald Reagan’s nominee, Anthony Kennedy, though the seat became vacant in 1987. And in 1940, the Senate confirmed Franklin Roosevelt’s nominee, Frank Murphy, though the seat became vacant in 1939...

Maltese found that since the country’s founding, soon-to-depart presidents have made 32 Supreme Court nominations. Those nominations came within a period ranging from within 365 days of a successor’s election through the successor’s inauguration. Of those 32 nominations, the Senate confirmed 18 — hardly proving that McConnell or his Democratic opponents have reason to claim tradition.

The record shows that Republicans’ inaction on Obama’s nominee is not rooted in some longstanding tradition, especially in the past century.

All of the previous nominees received at least a hearing, if not a vote.

It would have been "historically unusual" if Obama hadn't nominated a SCOTUS justice.  And it is highly unusual, and blatantly partisan, for the Senate to not even hold a hearing for Garland.

Fairness dictates that Garland should at least get a vote, IMHO.

yossarian22c

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2017, 11:27:52 PM »
The senate is playing tit-for-tat and generally spiraling downward from an institution that was deliberative and had some respect for the minority to a 100 member version of the house where the minority has no power.  Although the change in filibuster rules made this somewhat inevitable.  What used to require an extreme effort by the minority to sustain a filibuster was changed to basically no effort (simply one senator has to stay on the floor to prevent unanimous voice votes).  Which made using it too easy, parties started using it to oppose anything they object too, not just the extreme things they objected too.  The numbers bear this out showing a steady increase over the years, then a doubling during the Obama years.  At that rate of usage it is unsustainable long term.  For a graphical representation see link.

http://www.npr.org/2017/04/04/522598965/going-nuclear-how-we-got-here

The question is how long the republicans will allow the filibuster on anything.  I'm guessing it will be gone by 2018 if the Democrats use it even half as much as the Republicans did during Obama's second term.  The Republicans seem to have escalated this quickly, I'm a little surprised they didn't let the nomination at least sit for a few months and see if they could pressure/shame some democrats into allowing a vote. 

TheDeamon

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2017, 12:00:48 AM »
Supreme Court makeup currently leans moderate/left, that isn't a circumstance the Republicans want to persist for long. It's also why they threw up all the roadblocks on Obama's nomination pick.

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2017, 11:27:58 AM »

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In the past century, there have been 25 presidential elections. Just four Supreme Court seats opened up in those election years. In three of those instances, the Senate confirmed the president’s nominee, and just once — the only election-year court opening in the past 80 years — did the Senate refuse a nominee...

In June 1968, Chief Justice Earl Warren told President Lyndon Johnson he planned to retire. Johnson nominated sitting justice Abe Fortas to succeed Warren as chief. Fortas hit strong bipartisan Senate opposition and asked that his name be withdrawn for chief justice (though he stayed on the court as an associate justice). Johnson had also nominated Homer Thornberry to take Fortas’ place on the court. But that nomination, too, was withdrawn, as Fortas never became chief justice.

While there was some opposition to the Fortas nomination based on the fact that Johnson was a lame duck, Fortas’ failed confirmation primarily resulted from ethical questions over fees he received, his prior decisions and his closeness with Johnson. In any case, the Senate’s decision not to confirm didn’t actually leave a vacant seat on the court because Warren chose to stay on the bench.

All of the previous nominees received at least a hearing, if not a vote.

It's interesting that you mention Fortas in the context of "precedent," cause you know what would really be without precedent?  Filibustering a Supreme Court nomination.  The only time it's even arguably happened was with Fortas and he was already on the Supreme Court at the time.  So what's the "grand history" behind the first ever filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in our history?  When there's no legitimate disagreement on qualifications its even worse.

When the only real disagreement of any sort is that this candidate believes he has to interpret the law as written and its up to Congress to change the law, and the Democrats want, instead, for him to pre-agree to decide cases based on their political desires for the outcome.

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It would have been "historically unusual" if Obama hadn't nominated a SCOTUS justice.  And it is highly unusual, and blatantly partisan, for the Senate to not even hold a hearing for Garland.

I never disagreed with any of that.

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Fairness dictates that Garland should at least get a vote, IMHO.

Except he can't have a vote cause his nomination is dead.  He's not unique in the annuals of Supreme Court history for not getting a vote.

Wayward Son

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2017, 05:15:08 PM »
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So what's the "grand history" behind the first ever filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in our history?  When there's no legitimate disagreement on qualifications its even worse.

Well, there was no legitimate disagreement on the qualification of Garland, either, but the Republicans had no qualms about "filibustering" him by refusing to consider him based on a bogus "tradition."

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I never disagreed with any of that.

That might have something to do with my response not being to one of your posts. :)

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Except he can't have a vote cause his nomination is dead.  He's not unique in the annuals of Supreme Court history for not getting a vote.

While it is true that he is not the first candidate to not get a vote, I don't think there is a rule or "tradition" as to when a nomination becomes "dead."  So I don't think there is any deadline when he could no longer be considered. :)

Perhaps the Democrats can make a deal with the Republicans, though.  Perhaps they should only filibuster Gorsuch for the same 200-some-odd days that Garland was ignored.  I mean, Republicans have already shown they are not concerned that a Supreme Court seat is vacant for 7 months or so.  So what's another 7 months?  By that time, we'll know if this Russian connection amounts to anything.  After all, who would want to take the chance that a Supreme Court justice was seated by a Russian spy? ;)

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2017, 06:24:45 PM »
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So what's the "grand history" behind the first ever filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in our history?  When there's no legitimate disagreement on qualifications its even worse.

Well, there was no legitimate disagreement on the qualification of Garland, either, but the Republicans had no qualms about "filibustering" him by refusing to consider him based on a bogus "tradition."

Like I said before, they specifically did not consider his nomination so that he would not have to be filibustered (upon which they would properly have been called for abusing the filibuster) or voted down (upon which they would have been called out for being hypocrites for  making a political vote).  It was procedural nastiness.  If it had been the Dems in the same position they would never have let the Justice make it to the SC either.

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Except he can't have a vote cause his nomination is dead.  He's not unique in the annuals of Supreme Court history for not getting a vote.

While it is true that he is not the first candidate to not get a vote, I don't think there is a rule or "tradition" as to when a nomination becomes "dead."  So I don't think there is any deadline when he could no longer be considered. :)

There is actually.  Any nominations or bills that are under consideration when Congress adjourns are dead and have to be re-proposed in the next Congress.  Garland's nomination was no more at that point and he would have to be re-nominated to be considered.

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Perhaps the Democrats can make a deal with the Republicans, though.  Perhaps they should only filibuster Gorsuch for the same 200-some-odd days that Garland was ignored.  I mean, Republicans have already shown they are not concerned that a Supreme Court seat is vacant for 7 months or so.  So what's another 7 months?  By that time, we'll know if this Russian connection amounts to anything.  After all, who would want to take the chance that a Supreme Court justice was seated by a Russian spy? ;)

They have no leverage.  They don't haven't had a majority since Reid used the nuclear option the last time. 

There's no chance Trump is a Russian spy.  There's virtually no chance that the Russian angle pans out.  However, if you want to propose that standard, I'd be happy to reconsider the prior two life appointments if it turns out that the prior administration engaged in illegal spying and people get brought up on Treason charges (which even if they are guilty as sin will never happen).

LetterRip

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2017, 07:21:40 PM »
Lack of consideration is morally the same as a fillibuster or voting down for political reasons.  It is mere hair splitting.  The Democrats are fully morally justified in fillibustering.  That fact that you fail to see this makes you so blinded by partisanship as to make it pointless to discuss with you.

yossarian22c

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2017, 08:53:58 PM »
I wouldn't use morally justified but I would say that the Democrats are responding in kind to what the Republicans did.

Wayward Son

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #21 on: April 06, 2017, 01:49:48 AM »

Like I said before, they specifically did not consider his nomination so that he would not have to be filibustered (upon which they would properly have been called for abusing the filibuster) or voted down (upon which they would have been called out for being hypocrites for  making a political vote).  It was procedural nastiness.  If it had been the Dems in the same position they would never have let the Justice make it to the SC either.

Cool.  So you agree that the Democrats are being no more nasty than the Republicans were, and are just as justified.  So no one has anything to complain about, and any accusations about the Democrats being worse is just baloney.

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There's no chance Trump is a Russian spy.  There's virtually no chance that the Russian angle pans out.  However, if you want to propose that standard, I'd be happy to reconsider the prior two life appointments if it turns out that the prior administration engaged in illegal spying and people get brought up on Treason charges (which even if they are guilty as sin will never happen).

"Russian spy" is just an exaggeration, like not being born in Hawaii. :)  There is a chance of collusion, I suspect, especially because of the stonewalling, but we'll have to see.  A half-dozen investigations for a few million dollars should put the issue to rest, don't you think? ;)

Welcome to the new politics, in the bed the Republicans made.  I hope they enjoy it, after nuking any chance for them to filibuster a SCOTUS nominee in the future.

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2017, 09:50:06 AM »
Lack of consideration is morally the same as a fillibuster or voting down for political reasons.  It is mere hair splitting.  The Democrats are fully morally justified in fillibustering.  That fact that you fail to see this makes you so blinded by partisanship as to make it pointless to discuss with you.

Fail to see what?  I think you're reading more into my position than I expressed.

NobleHunter

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2017, 10:42:09 AM »
I think the difference between Gorsuch and Garland is that the Dems haven't said they'll filibuster any nominee Trump proposes, just this one. There is room for the GOP and the administration to negotiate. With Garland, the GOP said they wouldn't vote on anyone and then made noises about refusing to vote for anyone Clinton might have nominated. That's why Obama only nominated Garland instead of trying again because no matter who he chose, the GOP wouldn't have voted on them. That left a vacancy on the Supreme Court for an unprecedented period of time.

TheDrake

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2017, 11:44:04 AM »
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That left a vacancy on the Supreme Court for an unprecedented period of time.

Not really unprecedented, just unusual. It took 841 days to replace Baldwin who died in 1844. President Tyler started his attempts, but his term ran out on him. After a change of president, and one more rejection, he finally got replaced.

Behind him was 781 days for Daniel in 1860. This also spanned administrations.

The primary difference was that the delays included hearings and votes.

Great story - click now!

TheDeamon

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2017, 12:16:42 PM »
That left a vacancy on the Supreme Court for an unprecedented period of time.

...It could also be pointed out that unlike the Senate or the Presidency, the constitution doesn't stipulate a size for the Supreme Court. The only reason there is an expectation of it being 9 Justices is because of tradition, nothing else. It could just as easily be 3 or 19. Something a certain Democrat by the initials FDR pointed out back during the "New Deal" era when the court kept handing out rulings he disliked.

In summation: The "proper size" of the Supreme Court is whatever the Senate decides it should be at the time, so long as the executive branch is able/willing to supply the relevant "acceptable" nominations.

NobleHunter

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #26 on: April 06, 2017, 01:09:52 PM »
...It could also be pointed out that unlike the Senate or the Presidency, the constitution doesn't stipulate a size for the Supreme Court. The only reason there is an expectation of it being 9 Justices is because of tradition, nothing else. It could just as easily be 3 or 19. Something a certain Democrat by the initials FDR pointed out back during the "New Deal" era when the court kept handing out rulings he disliked.

In summation: The "proper size" of the Supreme Court is whatever the Senate decides it should be at the time, so long as the executive branch is able/willing to supply the relevant "acceptable" nominations.
Except the Senate clearly doesn't believe 8 is the right number since they're about to confirm a ninth justice.


Not really unprecedented, just unusual. It took 841 days to replace Baldwin who died in 1844. President Tyler started his attempts, but his term ran out on him. After a change of president, and one more rejection, he finally got replaced.

Behind him was 781 days for Daniel in 1860. This also spanned administrations.

The primary difference was that the delays included hearings and votes.

Great story - click now!
Whoops. I hope wherever I heard that factoid had a "since the 19th century" qualifier because I clearly didn't remember one.

DJQuag

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #27 on: April 06, 2017, 07:28:45 PM »
Russia has a state sponsered, global reaching PR arm. It's called RT. If you read RT, you should be aware that you are reading Russian propaganda and act accordingly.

Russia wants to weaken Nato and the EU because they have a Presidente for life that wants to reinstate the USSR. He's already gotten away with annexing part of the Ukraine; can we blame Baltic nations or others for *censored*ting their pants over this?

He absolutely wanted Trump as President because Trump is a dumbass weathervane who will do whatever the person blowing him the best at the moment convinces him is the better idea.

Putin is a chess grandmaster, and Trump is someone who has played checkers a couple of times. It's going to be really, really ugly.

Wayward Son

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #28 on: April 07, 2017, 03:55:07 PM »
Going back to the original subject, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has an interesting take on the now-exploded Nuclear Option.

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In practice, Republicans abolished the Supreme Court filibuster in 2005...

Back in 2005, when now-Justices Roberts and Alito came up for confirmation in rapid succession, Republicans made it very clear that the they would resort to the 'nuclear option' if Democrats tried to block either nomination. In response Democrats worked out a deal which amounted to preserving the Supreme Court filibuster on condition that they never use it. In other words, it was abolished...

I checked Wikipedia, and they seem to confirm it.

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These Senators, dubbed the "Gang of 14", signed an agreement, pertaining to the 109th Congress only. The seven Democrats agreed that they would vote for cloture on some of the current filibustered judicial nominees and any future filibustered nominees (except in "extraordinary circumstances," as defined by each individual Senator).[2] In return, the seven Republicans agreed they would not vote to carry out the "nuclear option."

So back in 2005, Republicans were going to use the Nuclear Option.  But in the agreement, Republicans wouldn't use the option, and Democrats wouldn't filibuster judicial nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

Then the Democrats got in charge.  The Republicans routinely filibustered judicial nominees, so the Democrats used the Nuclear Option for everyone but Supreme Court nominees.  Then Republicans got in charge again, and effectively filibustered a Supreme Court nominee with the excuse of a made-up "tradition."  Thus, now, Democrats tried to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee.  And McConnell has removed the last pretense of bipartisanship.

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As Rep. Adam Schiff put it yesterday on Twitter, Mitch McConnell's historically unprecedented and constitutionally illegitimate decision to block President Obama from nominating anyone a year before he left office was the real nuclear option. The rest is simply fallout. Senate Republicans had the power to do this. But that doesn't make it legitimate. The seat was stolen. Therefore Gorsuch's nomination is itself illegitimate since it is the fruit of the poisoned tree.

The agreement of 2005 had been broken long before Gorsuch.  With the Hastur Rule making sure only one party's agenda ever gets voted on, we've lost all sense of cooperation in the Senate.  It's now winner take all, loser be damned.

It's going to be a rocky ride for us in the next few decades, at least until we have an external threat to rally around.  I just hope we don't shake ourselves apart before we realize again that we can only stand together. :(

Gaoics79

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2017, 01:42:27 PM »
Wayward forgive me if I find none of this back and forth partisan hackery compelling. Both sides are filthy on this topic - only a hopeless partisan would care one whit about rationalizing one side or the other. Have no fear, your team will get their shot. The wheel will turn.

JoshCrow

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2017, 11:47:52 PM »
Wayward forgive me if I find none of this back and forth partisan hackery compelling. Both sides are filthy on this topic - only a hopeless partisan would care one whit about rationalizing one side or the other. Have no fear, your team will get their shot. The wheel will turn.

Both sides are *not* equal in what they'll stoop to. There's no sense equivocating - the Republicans have the market cornered on shameless hypocrisy and political posturing. They have lowered the bar over and over, and what they did to Garland was the real "nuclear" option of simply pretending they didn't have a job to do. I will not defend Democratic stunts and shenanigans like sitting on the floor of Congress, but the business with Garland's nomination has left the ultimate foul taste in my mouth, and frankly I want blood to spill over it. They should not get away with it - period. I will love when the nuclear option blows up in their own stupid faces in a few years. Yes, I can be patient for that.

Wayward Son

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2017, 02:00:20 PM »
I have to agree with Josh here.  While both sides have resorted to plenty of dirty tricks in the recent past, the Republicans have been more egregious.

As the article pointed out, the whole agreement hinged on neither side abusing their power.  As long as Democrats didn't filibuster too many judicial nominees, the Republicans wouldn't resort to the nuclear option.

But then Republicans started filibustering a vast majority of Democratic judicial nominees, breaking the agreement.  So they used the nuclear option for all judicial nominees except the Supreme Court.

But then the Republicans in effect "filibustered" Obama's Supreme Court nominee by refusing to even have a hearing for Garland.  So Democrats filibustered Gorsuch, and Republicans pulled the trigger.

It reminds me of one of the funniest things I heard about the recent AHCA debacle.

During the negotiations for the ACA, I heard that Democrats made some compromises with Republicans, including some of their requests in the legislation.

The result:  no votes from Republicans for the ACA.  In spite of some concessions, Democrats did not gain a single vote.

Then on the day before the AHCA got pulled, I heard on NPR that Trump and Ryan made some concessions to the Freedom Caucus in the legislation.  Changes that alienated some moderate Republicans.

The result:  not votes from the Freedom Caucus for the AHCA.  In spite of the concessions, they did not gain a single vote, and lost some from moderate Republicans.

I could have told them that would've happened. ;D

Republicans have been more intransigent than Democrats in recent years.  They're even intransigent with their fellow Republicans! :)

The problem is that we can't function as a nation with intransigent parties.  National policy, domestic agenda and laws will whip as two parties alternate control.  It has to stop.

Somehow. :(

Fenring

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2017, 04:56:36 PM »
Well, it looks like it didn't go nuclear after all. Since I don't really know anything about Justice Gorsuch, is anyone here upset at his assignment to the SC?

LetterRip

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2017, 07:22:44 PM »
Fenring,

they did indeed use the 'nuclear option'.  As to Gorsuch - I'm not 'upset' that he particularly is the SC Justice, but I think that the Constitution was subverted by the failure to advise and consent on Obama's nominee.  I think he will be a long term harm to our country, but I think that would be the case for any SC Justice favored by the Republican party.

yossarian22c

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2017, 10:50:22 PM »
I wonder what the time limit on the party with the majority in the Senate of a different party of the president will have for not considering nominees.  The Republicans have already basically said nothing in the last year and there were several who ahead of the elections said they would not consider anyone for 4 years if Clinton won.  The SC may end up having < 9 members for a much larger percentage of the time in the future.

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2017, 11:56:57 AM »
Going back to the original subject, Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has an interesting take on the now-exploded Nuclear Option.

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In practice, Republicans abolished the Supreme Court filibuster in 2005...

Back in 2005, when now-Justices Roberts and Alito came up for confirmation in rapid succession, Republicans made it very clear that the they would resort to the 'nuclear option' if Democrats tried to block either nomination. In response Democrats worked out a deal which amounted to preserving the Supreme Court filibuster on condition that they never use it. In other words, it was abolished...

And why did you start there?  Just cause it's self serving.  Go back 8 years earlier and you discover the beginnings of the routine use of procedural tricks and the filibuster to stop judicial nominations when the Dems decided to limit Bush's impact on the courts.  Jason's right partisans can go back and forth all day, but I still get sick of you guys pretending like the Democrat's contributions are irrelevant.

And to the rest of you the idea that the Republicans are "worse" is pure nonsense and only something that you can make a plausible case on because of the one-sided media coverage of these issues. 

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2017, 12:06:08 PM »
I have to agree with Josh here.  While both sides have resorted to plenty of dirty tricks in the recent past, the Republicans have been more egregious.

As the article pointed out, the whole agreement hinged on neither side abusing their power.  As long as Democrats didn't filibuster too many judicial nominees, the Republicans wouldn't resort to the nuclear option.

But then Republicans started filibustering a vast majority of Democratic judicial nominees, breaking the agreement.  So they used the nuclear option for all judicial nominees except the Supreme Court.

And why did they need the "agreement"?  Again, cause the Democrats had started routinely filibustering nominees for purely ideological reasons.  Introducing political judges to the court is expressly a Democratic goal.  For goodness sakes, Gorsuch is "unacceptably outside the mainstream" because he believes judges should enforce the law as written and leave Congress to fix its mistakes.  It's almost irrational to argue against that judicial philosophy.

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But then the Republicans in effect "filibustered" Obama's Supreme Court nominee by refusing to even have a hearing for Garland.  So Democrats filibustered Gorsuch, and Republicans pulled the trigger.

They used a procedural trick, not a filibuster.   Dems also used procedural tricks in the past - ie killing people in committee - and they weren't called filibusters either.  I'm very opposed to pretending one thing is another thing just to try and claim a moral equivalence.  If you want to assert the equivalence do it directly.

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Republicans have been more intransigent than Democrats in recent years.  They're even intransigent with their fellow Republicans! :)

This is sorta true.  Democrats voted more on party lines than Republicans - which is a measure of intransigent - they just happened to agree with the prior administration more often (well virtually always whether or not the administration's actions were legal).

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The problem is that we can't function as a nation with intransigent parties.  National policy, domestic agenda and laws will whip as two parties alternate control.  It has to stop.

Somehow. :(

That's true.  However, while I used to think we all had a commonality of understanding of what this country was and we just differed on our goals and the raw data that was fed into the model, I've changed my view recently.  This election made me realize that many people have no understanding of why policies work or don't work and only a surface understanding of the issues involved.  I don't think we can reach a common understanding anymore.

Wayward Son

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2017, 06:34:20 PM »
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And why did you start there?  Just cause it's self serving.  Go back 8 years earlier and you discover the beginnings of the routine use of procedural tricks and the filibuster to stop judicial nominations when the Dems decided to limit Bush's impact on the courts.

That's hardly the start of "routine" use of procedural tricks.  Take a look at the chart in this article.  The real start of the routine use of the filibuster was 1974, when clotures invoked broke 50.  The next jump was in 1992, when they were routinely playing footsie with 75, finally breaking it in 1998.  They broke 100 in 2002, lulled a few years, then broke 150 (skipping over 125) in 2007, and staying over 125 except for a brief reprieve in 2011.  You can fill in the years 2014 - 2016 if you'd like.

The big, consistent jump started in 2007.

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And to the rest of you the idea that the Republicans are "worse" is pure nonsense and only something that you can make a plausible case on because of the one-sided media coverage of these issues.

Does that mean you can't make a plausible case because there isn't another side?  I'd rather hear the case than to just hear the declaration.

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Introducing political judges to the court is expressly a Democratic goal.  For goodness sakes, Gorsuch is "unacceptably outside the mainstream" because he believes judges should enforce the law as written and leave Congress to fix its mistakes.  It's almost irrational to argue against that judicial philosophy.

It would make a better case if you actually quoted the reasons given rather than giving a colored summary. :)

But don't give that "political judges to the court is expressly a Democratic goal" business.  As if Republicans haven't been driven by politics, either.  Or would you like to make the case that Garland was somehow more political than Gorsuch?

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They used a procedural trick, not a filibuster.   Dems also used procedural tricks in the past - ie killing people in committee - and they weren't called filibusters either.  I'm very opposed to pretending one thing is another thing just to try and claim a moral equivalence.  If you want to assert the equivalence do it directly.

OK.  Keeping a nominee in committee is exactly like a filibuster, only it's used by a minority in the majority party, rather than by the minority party.  Care to argue that? ;)

And what do mean by "killing people in committee?"  You're speaking metaphorically, I hope.

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Democrats voted more on party lines than Republicans - which is a measure of intransigent - they just happened to agree with the prior administration more often (well virtually always whether or not the administration's actions were legal).

What??  You mean you never noticed Republicans being threaten with primary challenges if they didn't vote the right way?  Where were you the last couple of decades?

When the heck did Republicans not vote "along party lines?."  I missed that.

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This election made me realize that many people have no understanding of why policies work or don't work and only a surface understanding of the issues involved.  I don't think we can reach a common understanding anymore.

That very well may be true.  When a major party elects a President who is dumber than they are, with less understanding of the issues than most of the voters, I too despair. :(

Pete at Home

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2017, 08:41:55 PM »
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Keeping a nominee in committee is exactly like a filibuster, only it's used by a minority in the majority party, rather than by the minority party.

That's kind of like saying that kidnappings are "exactly like" lawful arrests except that they are by private individuals rather than by the government. :P  To be sure, there's an analogy to be made, but "exactly" is exactly the wrong word.

Seriati

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Re: Gorsuch and the nuclear option
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2017, 11:23:28 AM »
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And why did you start there?  Just cause it's self serving.  Go back 8 years earlier and you discover the beginnings of the routine use of procedural tricks and the filibuster to stop judicial nominations when the Dems decided to limit Bush's impact on the courts.

That's hardly the start of "routine" use of procedural tricks.  Take a look at the chart in this article.  The real start of the routine use of the filibuster was 1974, when clotures invoked broke 50.  The next jump was in 1992, when they were routinely playing footsie with 75, finally breaking it in 1998.  They broke 100 in 2002, lulled a few years, then broke 150 (skipping over 125) in 2007, and staying over 125 except for a brief reprieve in 2011.  You can fill in the years 2014 - 2016 if you'd like.

That's hugely non-responsive. We're talking about filibusters of nominations not filibusters generally.

Here's a great resource for this:  https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/83d4b792-d34b-4215-be6d-4a3c4e976d2b.pdf

You would have had a better argument to claim it started with Clinton, though if you look starting at CRS 6, through CRS 10 about what they say about the 108th Congress you'll see exactly what I was getting at.  The Democrats changed the entire character of what was going on with the filibuster of nominees in that Congress.  Granted this is about cloture, which is an indirect measure of the filibuster, but way more on point than what you cited.

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The big, consistent jump started in 2007.

The big jump in what we are talking about - ie judicial nominees being filibustered for purely ideological reasons started with the 108th Congress in 2003 (the 1993 Congress foreshadowed this for Clinton but less so on the judicial side).

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And to the rest of you the idea that the Republicans are "worse" is pure nonsense and only something that you can make a plausible case on because of the one-sided media coverage of these issues.

Does that mean you can't make a plausible case because there isn't another side?  I'd rather hear the case than to just hear the declaration.

You don't seem to insist on any evidence in the other direction.  We've played this game before.  And I've made that case before, if it sank in you'd already know it wouldn't you?

Still I guess I'm game to try again, what do you actually want me to demonstrate?  The statistics on party line votes are widely available.  The statistics on what Republican voters actually wanted their representatives to do on the Obamacare votes are as well (I note, a large number of Democratic voters particularly in certain states also wanted their reps to vote it down).  The idea that the Dems self negotiations - remember they had to bribe then threaten the last handful of Democrats to get them onboard - was a meaningful concession to the Republicans is just partisan fantasy.  It's only believed because its been echo chambered so many times that you've heard it from "credible" sources.

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Introducing political judges to the court is expressly a Democratic goal.  For goodness sakes, Gorsuch is "unacceptably outside the mainstream" because he believes judges should enforce the law as written and leave Congress to fix its mistakes.  It's almost irrational to argue against that judicial philosophy.

It would make a better case if you actually quoted the reasons given rather than giving a colored summary. :)

Reasons for what?  Did you read any of his opinions or listen to any of his answers.  His judicial philosophy was clear as day.  You really have to line up against believing Congress should make and fix the laws to think he's an extremist.

Or do you want evidence that the Dems routinely appoint political judges?  How about 90%+ of the questions they asked in the nomination being attempts to test political correctness and almost zero percent there to actually find out or establish anything about judicial philosophy?  Why don't you pick the Democratic Senator you think focused on judicial philosophy and cite from their transcript.

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But don't give that "political judges to the court is expressly a Democratic goal" business.  As if Republicans haven't been driven by politics, either.  Or would you like to make the case that Garland was somehow more political than Gorsuch?

Not at all, the only issue I had with Garland is that his opinions show he's a rabid deferrer to the expansion of the administrative state.  He's an "ideal" middle of the line candidate for a Democrat to appoint.  However, putting him on "parity" with Gorsuch, only proves my point.  Obama made THREE appointments, and the only one you can point to as neutral is the one he tried to appoint to a Senate majority controlled by the other party that told him not to nominate anyone.  When he had the opportunity he put two justices who don't believe that justice should be blind, but rather that it's important to balance the equities between the parties in a way that literally undermines the rule of law.

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OK.  Keeping a nominee in committee is exactly like a filibuster, only it's used by a minority in the majority party, rather than by the minority party.  Care to argue that? ;)

Care to explain what a simile and a metaphor are and why we have different words for them?  I think Pete got you on this.

Well killing things in committee is used in more contexts than you imply, but not sure it's really all that relevant.

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Democrats voted more on party lines than Republicans - which is a measure of intransigent - they just happened to agree with the prior administration more often (well virtually always whether or not the administration's actions were legal).

What??  You mean you never noticed Republicans being threaten with primary challenges if they didn't vote the right way?  Where were you the last couple of decades?

That's non-responsive.  I specifically said Democrats vote party lines more often than Republicans.  Saying Republicans face primary challenges doesn't respond to that or refute it.  At best, it appears that rather than trying to make a factual counter, you'd like to just repeat something you've read on liberal talking points and imply that there is an underlying fact to consider.

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When the heck did Republicans not vote "along party lines?."  I missed that.

And where did you look?

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This election made me realize that many people have no understanding of why policies work or don't work and only a surface understanding of the issues involved.  I don't think we can reach a common understanding anymore.

That very well may be true.  When a major party elects a President who is dumber than they are, with less understanding of the issues than most of the voters, I too despair. :(

Or you could look at it that one party gave us an option to elect someone who's not a politician, while the other put up the ultimate party insider.  When government is broken as a direct result of us putting politicians back into the same offices, maybe you should reconsider if you really have a good handle on the situation.  Isn't there a saying about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing and expecting different results?