More from the playbook on stalling federal judicial nominees

The U.S. Senate made history yesterday — recent history, at least. It confirmed Patty Shwartz, one of President Obama’s federal court nominees, as a judge on the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It only took 18 months to approve Shwartz, a U.S. Magistrate Judge in New Jersey. She was originally nominated in October 2011.

The vote had some Republican senators beaming with pride at the apparent speed with which they’d been recently approving the President’s nominees. Shortly before, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took a shot at the administration, saying that the President had yet to nominate anyone for 70 percent of the judicial vacancies.

“Quit complaining or get the nominees up here,” Grassley said.

And after, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wondered how his colleagues could be blamed at all for obstructing the President’s nominees for the bench:

We just today confirmed the 10th judicial nomination of President Obama’s second term. Today. The 10th judicial nomination of President Obama’s second term. . . . So we have treated the president’s judicial nominees very, very fairly by any objective standard.

Well, “objective standards” must be relative, because the facts relating to the Senate’s inaction on Obama nominees, as laid out by Steve Benen at the MaddowBlog, tell a starkly different story:

By objective standards, Obama’s district court nominees have to wait three times as long as Bush/Cheney nominees before receiving a confirmation vote, and Obama’s circuit court nominees have to wait four times as long as Bush/Cheney nominees.

By objective standards, one of Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees was rejected by a filibuster without cause, another D.C. Circuit nominee may soon face the same fate, and Senate Republicans have said they hope to prevent any Obama nominee from reaching this federal bench — at least until there’s a new president in 2017.

McConnell and his caucus blocked one Obama judicial nominee for 263 days, and then blocked another for 484 days, despite the fact that both enjoyed unanimous support in the Senate, which by “any objective standard” in insane.




  1. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    You guys should know, the Liberal playbook is what is being followed. This was the path taken on GW Bush if you remember.

  2. Chris

    April 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Doug, the article itself said that they had to wait 3 or 4 times longer than during Dubya’s tenure. So that makes your second sentence just a waste of bandwidth. As for your first, utilizing a “playbook” by those you ideologically oppose is outright ludicrous. It shows that justice is being denied because of pettiness— that alone is why the Republican Party should cease to exist.

  3. HunterC

    April 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    The Senate Democrats permit this kabuki. They’ve had multiple chances to change the filibuster (most recently this January) and they don’t.

    The slow pace of confirmations (and a host of other things) is completely at the feet of the Senate Democrats that refused to reform the filibuster.

    No sympathy from me.

  4. Chris

    April 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    HunterC, good point, and I grant extra points to you for referring to it as “kabuki”.

  5. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    We have just perfected the art. We learned it from the leftists.

  6. Chris

    April 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    It is hardly perfected looking at Congress’ low approval ratings and the fact the Republicans only hold the House due to gerrymandering, Doug. Blame it on others all you want, it rightfully earns the ire against that party, Congress itself, and the horrible Boomer generation.

  7. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    Congress has always had low approval ratings…although it seems most people continue to like their representatives.

    As far as gerrymandering….in this state the Dems perfected that long ago too. How do you think they held on for so long. Or do you believe those guys were as pure as the driven snow when that process came around. Just look at the maps now and compare to the maps of the past and you will find little digression between the way they are laid out. I bet if someone showed you 2010 vs 2005 vs. 1995 you would not be able to tell me which gerrymander is worse.

  8. Chris

    April 10, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Link me, Doug, to those maps.

    Meanwhile, Congress doesn’t always have low approval ratings, so that argument isn’t valid: http://media.gallup.com/poll/graphs/080513ApprovalsGraph2_swn98fna0.gif The Republican Party is a terrible party that is ruining this country. The Democrats aren’t helping, but at least they aren’t actively ruining… just passively ruining.

  9. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    I am should not have to do your research for you, it was my challenge to you. Just go to this thing called “google” and you can choose a year and legislative map at your convenience. To humor you though one of these is 2009 (Dem Controlled) map while the other is 2011. Have fun, and try not to look at the link to discern a date. i will tell you at the end.


    I see you are right on that Congress thing. It does seem to have gone downhill overall since the Democrats took over, and it seems Democrats don’t like Republicans or their own party. Who would have thought.

    Not a lot of difference eh? Lot of “snakes” on either side. Hello pot….this is kettle…you are black.

  10. david esmay

    April 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Doug the only thing Righty fascists have perfected is increasing debt, deficits, and corporate socialism.

  11. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    I think the powers that be deleted my last post that responded to your request. That is too bad as it was a good one. Although my main premise was that I should not have to do your heavy lifting for you, but for funsies I will go to google for you. Be back in a few

  12. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Ok, so one of these is 2009, one is 2011. Let me know which is which…. I will post in a bit which is which…..assuming this post is not deleted by the powers that be.


  13. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Ok Chris, I have now done your heavy lifting, I hope you made your determination based on just looking at the map. There may be some names etc that give it away so I hope you are honest. I will post my answers tomorrow to give you a chance

  14. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 10:22 pm

  15. Doug

    April 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Ok answer to the first post with the links


  16. Chris

    April 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I see no links and I didn’t see the alleged deleted post. However, the burden of proof is on the person making the assertion— so it isn’t my heavy lifting that you were allegedly doing but your own. It is bad form to make claims without sourcing them, otherwise you can just make stuff up and, when called on it, move the goal post to compensate for the fact you are making stuff up.

    That being said, I’m not losing any sleep over this if you fail to back up your tangent. The argument that “they did it first, but look how we do it” is a terrible argument when what is being done is despicable. You aren’t contributing to the country at that point, as evidenced by how broken this country is in the hands of people who aren’t fit to manage a local Taco Bell.

  17. Admin

    April 11, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Hi, if you have multiple links in your comment and you do not see them get posted, it may have been automatically directed to our moderation queue. This is a security measure against spam. We’ll try to get them approved as soon as possible but sometimes our small staff gets a little backlogged. Sorry for any inconvenience. I’ve approved your previous comments with the links, Doug.

  18. Doug

    April 11, 2013 at 9:43 am

    You gotta get a better browser….my page shows links from the NC general assembly approved maps from several years. If you want to dispute my claims, you need to do the reasearch. Maybe others on this page will actually click through.

  19. Doug

    April 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Thanks Admin. Sorry to post so many…but there were so many examples and I became enthusiastic…

  20. Chris

    April 11, 2013 at 10:40 am

    Don’t blame Google Chrome. It was the admin’s fault.

    If you want to have legitimate claims, you should have proof to back them up. That’s how the art of arguing works, because it is a genuine waste of the other person’s time to defend the opposition’s point— you don’t have to prove a negative.

    Besides, you said, “I bet if someone showed you 2010 vs 2005 vs. 1995 you would not be able to tell me which gerrymander is worse.” Finding it myself isn’t someone showing me anything, now is it?

    And this is all a mere distraction from my overall point which was never a defense for gerrymandering of any kind.

  21. Doug

    April 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Well you now have your links…..did you get the answer yet on the house maps?

    I did not see that you were against all gerrymandering, that was not evident from your posts. I definitely have not seen the media uproar in the past over the gerrymandered districts, but once it is done by the “wrong” people then every leftist comes out of the woodwork to decry the maps and call them gerrymandered…even though they look almost the same….even though they would defend the 12th NC House district to their deathbed. I guess my main point is that like many stories on this blog there is a commitment to hypocracy, whether it is on using the same tactics for judicial appointments that were used from say ~2001-2008, or gerrymandering districts in the same way as had been taken for 100+ years. I do agree, it should not only be bad when the other guys are doing the deed, but then again payback sometimes happens so you need to think about what you are doing.

  22. Chris

    April 11, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    I don’t defend bad policies. It is sad to realize the 12th district has been around that long. It HAS gotten worse— but it was bad to begin with. And my condemnation was rather vague— I intended to refer to gerrymandering as despicable in an earlier post, but I could see how it could have been parsed differently. My bad.

  23. Doug

    April 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    point taken .

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