Does anyone remember Judge Bork's nomination? It begat the word, Borking, which means (according to Wiki): To defeat a judicial nomination through a concerted attack on the nominee's character, background and philosophy
It was done again with the nomination of Justice Thomas. Now, we have a President who, supposedly campaigned on Bi-partisanship and Post-partisanship. Did President Obama live close to his rhetoric?
Because he was in the Senate, and not a Governor or Vice President, we can actually see how he voted when President Bush offered two nominees. Let's look:
Chief Justice John Roberts: Senator Obama voted NO;
Justice Alito: Senator Obama voted NO.
How do we return the favor?
William Jacobson, genius that he is, of Legal Insurrection , discovered something that can be used in the Judiciary Committee against Judge Sotomayor and every other judge that passes through Committee. It could not be done without Senator Specter flipping parties (a win-win in my book).
To Quote Mr. Jacobson:
But ironically, Specter's defection may give Republicans the ability to filibuster judicial nominees at the Judiciary Committee level, so the nominees never get out of committee.Huh, you say. Here's the explanation, from Professor Michael Dorf of Cornell Law School at his excellent blog, Dorf on Law, written two days ago before Souter's retirement was in play:
Does Arlen Specter's defection from R to D strengthen the President's hand in Congress?
Perhaps overall but not on judicial appointments because breaking (the equivalent of) a filibuster in the Senate Judiciary Committee requires the consent of at least one member of the minority. Before today, Specter was likely to be that one Republican. Now what? The link in Dorf's post is to Congress Matters, which has the Senate Judiciary Committee rule:
IV. BRINGING A MATTER TO A VOTE
The Chairman shall entertain a non-debatable motion to bring a matter before the Committee to a vote. If there is objection to bring the matter to a vote without further debate, a roll call vote of the Committee shall be taken, and debate shall be terminated if the motion to bring the matter to a vote without further debate passes with ten votes in the affirmative, one of which must be cast by the minority. Now this is interesting. Specter could allow a nominee out of committee if Specter was a member of the Republican minority, but as part of the majority, he's just another vote. Here are the other Republicans: Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Jon Kyl, Jeff Sessions, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Tom Coburn
Another reason to hold Judge Sotomayor's nomination? Other then the fact she believes a Judicial ruling is better then Legislative action?
How were President Bush's Minority Judicial nominees treated?
Miguel Estrada was stopped; And Alberto Gonzalez was Borked (remember that word?). So was Judge Janice Rodgers Brown, an African American. Let's not forget Deborah Cook and Priscilla Owen. The full list is here.
The Republican Senators on the Judicial Committee should put a "Hold," on every Judicial nomination coming from this White House. If President Obama is really Bi-partisan, he will make sure the Senate Democrats follow through on every former President Bush Judicial nominee.
It's a fair trade. Remember, Senator Obama voted down both of President Bush's Supreme Court nominees, so we on the Right owe him the same courtesy.
Am I wrong?