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  1. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    Finding a new SCOTUS judge

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Justin Rocket 2, Feb 14, 2016.

    I've received a couple of Democrat (United States) missives protesting that Republicans in the Senate are acting contrary to the US Constitution if they don't assent to POTUS' choice for new SCOTUS judge. This, despite the fact that the Senate has a Constitutional obligation to decide whether to give assent (as per Article 2 of the US Constitution).

    It is obligatory on POTUS to find a candidate whom both POTUS and LOTUS can both support. Failing to do that is dereliction of duties.

    To lay the blame solely on Republicans (and I assure you that I am not a Republican) is yet more political grandstanding.
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The Senate won't be derelict in its duty simply by failing to assent to a nominee. If that were the case, there would be no need for a confirmation process by a co-equal branch.
     
  3. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    I agree. But, will POTUS be derelict by failing to offer a candidate LOTUS can assent to?
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    No. I think tossing around accusations that people are somehow derelict in their duty is done a bit too frequently. The President can nominate whomever he wishes. That's his duty. If he sends up an nominee, he has done his job. The Senate's job is then to consent or not. Once can argue about whether or not keeping the nominee from a fully vote is a dereliction, but the Senate is a coordinate branch of government and so long as they're operating within their rules it is hard to make that case.
     
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  5. Justin Rocket 2
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    Justin Rocket 2 Contributing Member

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    I stand corrected. As per my earlier understanding, the Senate could unofficially refuse to agree on a nominee, sabotaging POTUS and weakening him politically. My earlier understanding was flawed.
     
  6. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I think its an open question as to whether the Senate refusing to confirm would damage Obama more or damage the Senate more. Who the nominee is would impact that, in my view.
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    Why did you put this thread in the lounge then start it off with an attack on the Democrats?
    Let me get this straight, McConnell said he'd block any nominee regardless. So how is Obama supposed to find a nominee "whom both POTUS and LOTUS can both support"?

    Yet and you claim in the OP that both sides are equally at fault?

    In addition the Republican POTUS candidates and McConnell are citing a faux tradition, one they just made up, about candidates not being nominated in an election year. There is no such tradition.

    The tradition, if you want to go that route, is that a POTUS isn't a lame duck until after the Nov election. It's not the second term of a POTUS or the last year in a term.

    Saying you will block any nominee is saying the LOTUS has the right to pick the nominee just as much as saying, otherwise the POTUS can appoint a judge without LOTUS consent.


    Fortunately Obama made his intention known that he would not defer the nomination. It may very well be the Republicans find their obstructionism backfires. You'd think they could see that, given both antiestablishment candidates are doing well in both primaries. McConnell apparently didn't spend much time thinking through his reaction.
     
  8. Justin Rocket 2
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    I don't know how tradition is relevant. I don't give a crap about tradition. What is relevant is the Constitution.

    I, also, believe that, if POTUS offered an appealing candidate, McConnell would go for it rather than risk a Clinton or Sanders appointment.

    Words are cheap. Here's hoping he backs his words up by appointing a candidate appealing to the Senate.
     
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  9. GingerCoffee
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    It's not that tradition was relevant, it's that the Republicans made it up and claimed it was the reason for their obstructing the Obama appointment.

    Obama is smart, I have a feeling he'll pick the best candidate. And one would hope McConnell will walk back his pledge.
     
  10. Justin Rocket 2
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    McConnell is a politician. Am I supposed to be surprised that he's grandstanding?

    One would hope that McConnell will support only candidates who appeal to him.
     
  11. GingerCoffee
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    So you think it's up to the Speaker of the House to pick the justices for the SCOTUS? I'm sorry @Justin Rocket but I don't understand your post.

    No one said McConnell shouldn't vote his conscience re the nominee. But when did this become McConnell's decision to block any Obama nominee regardless and instead decide it's up to the next POTUS? Will it also be OK if there is a Democratic POTUS elected in November and Republicans keep control of the Senate then choose to block all SCOTUS nominees until 2020?

    At what point to we get back to democracy where the majority in the country rules, not the Senators from the red states?
     
  12. Justin Rocket 2
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    No. It is up to POTUS to select a candidate that will appeal to the Senate (so that the Senate will choose to consent to appointing that candidate).

    As I said, I believe that McConnell will consent to an appealing candidate rather than risk a Clinton or Sanders appointment (with maybe a Democrat-led Senate). His claim to do otherwise is political flatulence

    That sounds like a complaint about the balance of powers. We're a Republic.
     
  13. GingerCoffee
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    So you are ignoring McConnell's own words then?

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/269389-mcconnell-dont-replace-scalia-until-after-election
    Ludicrous given Obama was elected twice.

    Or do you think "should" in that sentence is being misinterpreted and he really only meant it as a request of Obama?

    For the record, here's a quote from McConnell in 2005 when the shoe was on the other foot:
    And:
    Yet the OP claims:
    The blame is solely on the Republicans and they've been practicing an obstructionism that I can't believe the writers of the Constitution ever intended with their balance of powers design. Scalia would be rolling over in his grave if rolling over were possible.
     
  14. Justin Rocket 2
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    Yes, I am ignoring his own words. I thought I made that clear. He's grandstanding. It is what politicians do.

    Now, when (if?) Obama selects a candidate that is appealing to the Senate and the Senate still refuses to consent to the candidate's nomination (such refusal, as far as I can tell, would be a strategic blunder, but assuming they refused), then I'd clearly be wrong.
     
  15. Samurai Jack
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    November 4th, 2014, when Republicans gained the Senate majority with the lowest voter turnout in nearly a century, McConnell was given all the power.

    It will be okay when a Democratic POTUS has nominees blocked until 2020, or even 2024 if it comes to that.

    And it will be okay when a Republican POTUS has nominees blocked, should we get there.

    The gridlock is necessary.
     
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    :confused:

    Why?
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Samurai Jack
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    Gridlock is revealing exactly how partisan things have become. As each side becomes more entrenched, people like Sanders and Trump have a chance to come in and break the status-quo.

    And continued gridlock in the federal government allows states to have a greater voice in a lot of issues.

    I mean, it's built into the Constitution. There are more roadblocks to legislation in the United States than in any other country with a similar system.
     
  19. GingerCoffee
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    So you think we're somehow better off with a malfunctioning judicial system because obstructionist partisanship is blocking perfectly qualified appointments? The goal is to make Obama look back, not run the country competently.
     
  20. Justin Rocket 2
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    I guarantee you that, regardless of his grandstanding, if Obama offers an appealing candidate, the Senate will consent to that candidate's nomination. To do otherwise would be to risk a Clinton or Sanders nomination with a potentially Democrat-led Senate.

    Don't let the manufactured partisan bluster distract you from the real problems (such as oligarchy) in our country.
     
  21. Samurai Jack
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    I would prefer a functioning judicial system. I would prefer an end to obstructionist partisanship. I would prefer if the country was run competently.

    But since I do not think the majority of sitting Democrats or Republicans in the House and Senate, the current President, or a lot of what has come out of the Supreme Court recently is all that competent, I'm okay with the gridlock.
     
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    John Oliver BLASTS Republicans for Making Up Bullshit Supreme Court Rule
    McConnell said these words:
    You can watch the video on the link.

    Yes, I do blame the Republicans for trying to rule from the minority side by hypocritical if not unethical means. I don't believe that is how the balance of power is supposed to work.
     
  23. Justin Rocket 2
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    The Republican behavior is Constitutional. Again, if Obama is serious about getting a new judge on the bench, he should offer a candidate that will appeal to the Republicans. I'm waiting to see if he will do that.

    Another tactic would be for Obama to play the pity card "woe is me! Those big, mean bullies won't work with me!" in an attempt to stir up the left-wing for the coming election.

    The Republicans _could_ use a similar tactic to stir up the right-wing by giving Obama the middle finger. But, I think they stand to lose to much if they stick to that tactic.
     
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  24. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's Constitutional. Nomination and the Senate process are within the discretion of the two branches. The President can nominate whomever he likes, the Senate can do whatever they want with the nomination within their rules. It's not like nominees haven't been scuttled without being brought to a vote, and while the Framers of the Constitution actually looked at language that would force a vote or result in an automatic confirmation, they rejected that and left it to the discretion of the Senate. It's part of our system of checks and balances.

    While Constitutional, it could prove to be politically problematic for the GOP. The idea that Obama shouldn't nominate anyone is nonsense. That's what he is supposed to do when there is a vacancy.
     
  25. GingerCoffee
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    Why are you assuming Obama won't?

    Why are you assuming he won't look for the best candidate for the job? Do you know that Scalia actually recommended Justice Kagan, saying he would nominate someone like Kagan if he were Obama?

    Why is it just because the Republicans are acting as partisan as possible that it means there must be an equivalent action on the left?

    At what point will you consider you may be assuming a false equivalency?
     
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