Thought I was droned. We lost power here on the island for a bit. Appears there are lots of teachers resident here. Very impressed with the quality of the discussions. Sorry if I've upset anyone. Did not expect Augustus Macrae to make an appearance. Never know who's listening. You're one of my heroes, sir. I'll shut up now.
DocWho I stand corrected. I should have known better. When has a Republican Congress done anything timely or otherwise? :-)
Does anyone honestly believe that if the situation was reversed, the Dems wouldn't do the same thing?
Nice to see the lively discussion going strong. Does nobody see anything fundamentally wrong with having a justice system appointed by a political party?
Het HK are you OK mate, need cheering up? We've got a new deputy prime minister - Barnaby Joyce. Colourful character who is n't on Johny Depps christmas card list.
drwho: promptness is certainly implied with "The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session." The only interpretation of that clause is that the founders expected the positions to be filled while the Senate was in session.
etcmoore: Ginsberg withdrew after there were questions raised about his truthfulness and ethics, and Reagan pressured him to withdraw. Dems had little, if anything, to do with it. Reagan was embarrassed. Bork was extremely polarizing. For me, I hope that Obama's nomination isn't as polarizing as Bork was.
As for timing: Justice Powell retired in late June, 1987. Kennedy (after the Bork debacle and the Ginsberg brief nomination) was confirmed in mid-February, 1988. The seat was thus vacant for fewer than 8 months. Obama has more than 11 months left in his term.
Phil: It's true that federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate - necessarily political. But if you look at the history of the US judiciary (especially the Supremes), you'll find that a number of appointments have not exactly panned out as the appointer might have wished. For example, Earl Warren - one of the greatest Chief Justices in our history, who expanded many rights of the accused, was appointment by Republican President Eisenhower. Justice Brennan, also appointed by Eisenhower, is another example.
I much prefer the federal system (president appoints/senate confirms) to elected judgeships, which many states have. THAT's political.
What's astounding this go-around: the near-unanimous statements of republicans to reject ANY nominee the President may put forth. I would be as critical of the dems if they tried such shenanigans.
One final comment (for today): Bork was rejected by the full Senate, 58-42, and the "nay" vote included 6 Republicans.
And the "Yea" vote included 2 Dems. Very non-partisan by todays standards. The point I was trying to make was that the Dems managed to drag out Reagans SC nominations, just as the Reps are threatening now. This is totally my opinion and would get me blasted in any other forum - but based Pres. Obama's record, I can't see how any nomination he put forward would be anything but disastrous for the freedom and sustained Democracy of this country. Again - IMHO.
Diane: precedent for the Senate blocking the appointment of justices to the Supreme Court goes back a long way.Of course the senate can reject the nominee and they have done that 11 times in the past. They can also vote to postpone the confirmation, which means they never confirm or decline the candidate. They have done that
3 times in the past.
They can choose to take no action (no vote, no nothing). They have done that 11 times in the past.
It would not be unprecedented for the Republicans to stick it to Obama and reject his nominee (or postpone indefinitely, or take no action). Of course if the first nominee is rejected Obama will put up another one and I suspect you are right that it would be hard to justify continuing to reject all appointments for the remainder of Obama's term.
Still, I know I would like to see them do it, and I suspect that most of the Republican base would be heartened to see the Republicans actually take a stand on something important.
If Obama's appointments are all rejected or ignored, even that would not be totally unprecedented. Poor John Tyler put up 8 candidates and it took over a year to finally get the 8th confirmed.
In fact Tyler had 2 vacancies to fill and only managed to get 1 filled. The 2nd vacancy was filled by his successor (Jame Polk) who took 2 tries to get it right.
I serve as an election judge. At voting time, many people do not even bother to vote for judges because they have no idea who the heck they are! So Sad.
Phil, pal - I ALWAYS need cheering up -keep up the good work!