Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Constitutional Law with Jon Kyl

Sen. Jon Kyl on the propriety of Senate filibusters of judicial nominees:

"For 214 years it has been the tradition of the Senate to approve judicial nominees by a majority vote. Many of our judges and, for example, Clarence Thomas, people might recall, was approved by either fifty-one or fifty-two votes as I recall. It has never been the rule that a candidate for judgeship that had majority support was denied the ability to be confirmed once before the Senate. It has never happened before. So we're not changing the rules in the middle of the game. We're restoring the 214-year tradition of the Senate because in the last two years Democrats have begun to use this filibuster....

This is strictly about whether or not a minority of senators is going to prevent the president from being able to name and get confirmed judges that he chooses after he's been elected by the American people. And it's never been the case until the last two years that a minority could dictate to the majority what they could do." [NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Judicial Wars, 4/25/05].

But that was then, this is now:

Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl on Sunday refused to rule out a filibuster if President Barack Obama seeks a Supreme Court justice who decides cases based on "emotions or feelings or preconceived ideas."

The Senate's No. 2 Republican
made clear he would use the procedure if Obama follows through on his pledge to nominate someone who takes into account human suffering and employs "empathy" from the bench.

Kyl acknowledged that his party likely does not have enough votes to sustain a filibuster, but he said nonetheless he would try to delay or derail the nomination if Obama ventures outside the "mainstream."

It makes sense once you realize that instead of the Constitution, what Senator Kyl wishes to preserve, protect, and defend is the Republican Party of the United States. After all, wasn't that the holding of Marbury v. Madison, that it's OK if you're a Republican? Or was it "two wrongs make a right?" I can't remember, 2005 was so long ago.

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