New Sen. Minority Leader Threatens Filibuster Over Judges

Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader-elect, says:

Forty-nine is not a bad number of Senators to have, in a chamber that requires sixty to control. And I can assure you that our Democratic friends will give President Bush's judicial nominees a floor vote - if they want to get anything done, in a chamber that requires 60 to control.

< 3 Guantanamo Detainees Freed | New Report on Guantanamo Review Hearings >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    So much for the phony calls for... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Bill Arnett on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 12:20:21 PM EST

    Mitch McConnell, IMO, is one of the biggest weasels in the Senate.

    Besides, just as the dems sometimes agreed not to filibuster some things in return for a vote on democratic amendments that otherwise would not make it to the floor, I'm sure the rethugs will do the same, and I'd bet a dollar to a donut that Harry Reid learned well how to treat the minority.

    Besides, let them break every vow they made for up/down votes and filibuster GOOD BILLS that the public desires and let 'em see how the public rewards their intransigence come the '08 elections.

    They were just slapped hard, and it proves the PUBLIC is tired of their corrupt antics, so they pursue THIS course at their own peril.

    It's a beautiful thing.

    Ignore all threats. (4.50 / 2) (#1)
    by lilybart on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 11:55:03 AM EST
    We have to oppose these terrible, unqualified judge nominations.  Ignore all threats.

    REJECTING judges like this is why the Dems were put back in control.

    The legislation we will introduce will be centrist. Restoring Habeus Corpus and killing the warrantless wiretapping bill protects our constitutional rights. That is not a far left idea. Unless the Bill of Rights is now considered a leftist ideology.

    And raising the minimum wage will save a few of those REP congressman's jobs in 2008.

    Ignore them. Oppose ALL Bush appointments.

    What's McConnell going to do? (4.00 / 1) (#3)
    by rhbrandon on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 12:31:18 PM EST
    Filibuster that he can't get Dubya's unqualified nominees out of committee?

    That'll make a great impression on the American electorate.

    "Vote for the GOP: we throw temper tantrums when we don't get our way. Voter fraud, too!"

    sometimes you have to call the bluff (4.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Deconstructionist on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 08:30:53 AM EST

      If the Rrepublicans want to do that, let them. We need to time it so the bills the Republicans must obstruct are ones for which they will pay a political price. Force the Republicans to hold legislation with broad appeal to the middle class hostage  to make good on theitr threats.

      Then the Republicans have to either back down or go on the record with opposition to legislation for purely partisan reasons. For example, push a  bill increasing funds for mine safety inspections to help prevent more deaths and injuries and make McConnell explain why he he is williong to place the lives of Kentucky miners in jeopardy over a judicial nominee from Califirnia, etc.

    Laughing (1.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 04:25:43 PM EST
    I love it. Two years ago you guys were explaining filibusters were great and democratic and moaning about the dictatorship of the majority...

    Now you claiming that filibusters are terrible and how the majority should rule.

    Look up the word hypocrite in the dictionary. Your pictures will be beside it.

    Dumb (none / 0) (#5)
    by aw on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 04:59:31 PM EST
    if they want to get anything done

    It sounds to me like they are threatening to block everything the Dems want to do.

    I guessing that giving the finger to the electorate (keeping  in mind the dems represent a greater number of people than the repubs) is not going to have the rest of the country laughing, PPJ.


    People aren't stupid. (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 07:37:46 PM EST
    aw - Look, the Demos position is hypocritical to the max, because first they threaten to block judical nominations, and then complain when the Repubs threaten to do the same.

    People aren't stupid and will figure that out in a heart beat.

    The real issue in 2008 will be if the Repub base figures out that they lost by staying home. By and large minimum wage, gay rights, women's rights, etc., are not issues that they will support. (I do btw.) So by blocking them the Repubs will score quality points.

    I also supported the Repubs right to bring their nominees to the floor. If they are bad, it should be easy to find a couple of Repubs to shut them down. If you can't do that, they should be put on the bench.


    Dream on (4.00 / 1) (#8)
    by aw on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 08:17:24 AM EST
    When Republicans gained the Senate majority in 1995, President Clinton continued his efforts to work with Senators from both parties, often asking Senate Republicans to help him identify prospective nominees and conferring with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R--Utah.  Notwithstanding this high level of consultation, the Senate's most conservative Republicans began to foreclose all avenues to Senate confirmation for many of President Clinton's nominees.   Blue slips, holds, and unnecessary debate were the tools most often employed to slow or stop confirmations.  

    Who are the hypocrites again?

    BTW:  The "base" is shrinking.  They (and you) can dream, though.


    not one whit (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 08:07:02 PM EST
    aw - Did you not read:

    I also supported the Repubs right to bring their nominees to the floor. If they are bad, it should be easy to find a couple of Repubs to shut them down. If you can't do that, they should be put on the bench.

    The Demos have now reversed the position of only two years ago. I invite you to read  my response to Bill Arnett (Do you ever win?) And my links on the subject. Especially the one by TChris.

    As for the Repubs, I care not one whit what they may have, or may not have, done in '95.... And their base doesn't either. The question is whether or not the Demos will try and use the tired old argument that they have the right to keep a vote to come to the floor becayse NY has a greater population than Utah.

    Democracy in action, you know.


    false statement on Repub voting (none / 0) (#20)
    by get progressive on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:58:13 PM EST
    You repeat the completely false statement that the Repiglican base didn't come out. They voted in about the same numbers that they did in 2004. Independents  broke for the Dems and more Dems also came out this time. Playing to the base failed the Repiglicans this time and if they keep on pushing whacko extreme right wing policies (shrinking gov't until it can be drowned--interesting metaphor considering the Katrina debacle) they will lose even bigger in 2008.

    You really should name names, Jim... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 01:06:55 PM EST
    ...instead of doing the phony strawman arguments advanced so well by the administration.

    And you clearly have a confused view on the purpose of a filibuster. Filibusters PREVENT tyranny by majority rule by allowing the minority to stop the actions of the majority unless the majority can stop the filibuster with a super-majority of 60 votes.

    (And since Jeralyn JUST ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK that she was celebrating the 18th month  of blogging, your timeframe seems out-of-whack as well.)

    It IS ironic, however, that the rethug majority in the Senate actually represented far fewer people than the Democratic Senators did.

    I just don't recall anyone here talking about how terrible filibusters are, recently, so without specific examples your accusations fall flat.


    Bill, do you ever win? (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 07:47:12 PM EST
    Hmmm... well, I hit a time warp everynow and then but I believe that TalkLeft was around early in 2003... But hey, if you can prove me wrong... do so. In the meantime, we have this:

    TalkLeft  The Politics of Crime 11-2001

    And this:


    As for filibusters. If you can't remember the debates triggered by the Repubs threat to change the Senate rules...


    TChris 11-28-04

    You do know who TChis is, don't you? Bill?

    The filibuster protects the minority party from the tyranny of the majority party, and Republicans did not hesitate to use it (most famously, to keep Abe Fortas off the Supreme Court) when they were out of power.

    I wrote:

    I love it. Two years ago (almost to the day) you guys were explaining filibusters were great and democratic and moaning about the dictatorship of the majority...

    Now you claiming that filibusters are terrible and how the majority should rule.

    Bill, you suffer from a common afflication of the young. You believe that if you weren't there, it didn't happen.

    BTW - Did you ever tell us how and when you were wounded in Vietnam?


    fillibusters (none / 0) (#18)
    by get progressive on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:42:55 PM EST
    So far at least, I haven't heard the dems threatening to change Senate rules to bar fillibusters, so I think it is a bit early to get on your high horse and accuse the Dems of being more hypocritical than the Repiglicans.

    hypocrites all (none / 0) (#17)
    by get progressive on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:40:29 PM EST
    In the tit for tat world of Senate politics neither side is blameless. Personally I think that the Democrats were far more accomodating to Reagan's nominees than the Repiglicans were to Clinton's. Although Bill Lan Lee was not a judicial appointee, his confirmation was never allowed to go to a vote even though he was eminently qualified. As for Bush's nominees, they are from the most right wing of the right wing of US politics, and that is saying alot. I think Ginsberg or Breyer are centerists, wheeras Alito and Roberts are pretty far right. Now that the Dems have the majority, Repiglicans are equally as if not more hypocritical than the Dems are on whether or not Majority rules. It was in fact the Repiglicans that abused the committee system and stifled debate in ways that the Dems never did while they were in power. This is even more true in the House than in the Senate. I think that Polosi should run the house for a year as the Repiglicans did, not allowing any Repiglican ammendments to bills, slighting minority staffing, etc., just to prove a point, but she is at least pubically choosing to be gracious and allow the traditional deference to the minority party. Politically a mistake IMHO.

    judges (none / 0) (#7)
    by diogenes on Sat Nov 18, 2006 at 08:19:20 PM EST
    Hey--if Bush's nominees are turkeys, then the democratic majority can vote them down, right?  What is the problem with bringing people to floor votes now?  If democrats don't bring nominees to the floor to be rejected, they're the undemocratic, cynical hypocrites here.  If the nominees would win approval on the senate floor, let them win.  

    The dems are NOT in the majority... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Bill Arnett on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 01:16:21 PM EST
    ...until Jan 4, 2007, so that point is moot.

    As to WHY dems remember so well how Clinton's nominees were treated see aw's excellent posting above of an article that shows the utter hostility rethugs had for process when they were the minority, so if democrats are "cynical hypocrites" they are PIKERS and AMATEURS compared to the rethuglicans.

    Mornin', aw.


    What is good for the goose..... (none / 0) (#19)
    by get progressive on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:51:52 PM EST
    During the Clinton Administration, the Repiglicans were far worse bottling up mostly centerist (Clinton was no raving Commie afterall) judges and other appointees than the Dems were in the past or have been recently. The Repiglicans upped the ante dramatically during the Nineties. Now they must pay the piper for their lack of comity. BTW, Bork may have been a brilliant legal scholar but he was a nutcase, in terms of his views on civil liberties. In general, conservatives are all about judicial restraint and deference to original intent until something like the Florida recount comes up and then all of a sudden it is OK to overrule state courts.

    mistreated nominees (none / 0) (#12)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:59:10 PM EST
    The first highly qualified judge to be mistreated was Robert Bork--thus the newly coined verb, to "bork" a nominee.

    Refusal of the Senate to confirm... (none / 0) (#13)
    by Bill Arnett on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 04:10:58 PM EST
    ...a candidate is well within their rights and constitutional purview and hardly qualifies as "mistreatment".

    The coining of the term "to bork" was a construct out of the ether made by rethuglicans who wanted another radical appointed to the Supreme Court - sore losers, in other words.


    I thought they hated the idea of filibusters (none / 0) (#16)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:14:24 PM EST
    A year or two ago, these same people and their hacks on conservative and Christian radio were complaining that filibusters were undemocratic and unconstitutional and Frist was going to do everything he could to eliminate them.