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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Senate Dems Use Nuclear Option To Confirm 'Most Left-Wing Judge In History Of The Republic'

Today in Washington, D.C. - Dec. 12, 2013
The Senate has been in session all night and continues as Democrats use the nuclear option to push through liberal nominees designed to rubberstamp President Obama’s agenda. Republicans are using Senate procedure to slow these votes to a crawl, but majority Democrats have the votes to jam these nominations through, now that they broke Senate rules to change them.

At 12:45, the Senate voted 79-19 to confirm Landya McCafferty to be U.S. District Judge for the District of New Hampshire and then voted for cloture (to cut off debate) on the nomination of Patricia Wald to be a Member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board.

Last night, shortly after 1 AM, Democrats confirmed controversial liberal Georgetown Law professor Nina Pillard to a seat on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals by a vote of 51-44.

The Senate then voted 57-39 to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on the controversial nomination of Chai Feldblum to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Around 9:30, the Senate voted 54-41 to confirm the Feldblum nomination and then voted 55-41 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Elizabeth Wolford to be U.S. District Judge for the Western District of New York. After Republicans used all possible time, the Senate voted 70-29 to confirm the Wolford nomination and 58-40 to invoke cloture on the McCafferty nomination.

The House convened at 10 AM. Yesterday, the House passed the following bills:
H.R. 2019 (295-103) — "To eliminate taxpayer financing of presidential campaigns and party conventions and reprogram savings to provide for a 10-year pediatric research initiative through the Common Fund administered by the National Institutes of Health, and for other purposes."
H.R. 2319 (398-0) — "To clarify certain provisions of the Native American Veterans' Memorial Establishment Act of 1994."
S. 1471 (398-1) - "To authorize the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Secretary of the Army to reconsider decisions to inter or honor the memory of a person in a national cemetery, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3212 (398-0) — "To ensure compliance with the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction by countries with which the United States enjoys reciprocal obligations, to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1992 (399-0) — "To amend the requirements relating to assessment of Israel's qualitative military edge over military threats, and for other purposes."

Today the House will focus on the The Budget Conference Committee proposal presented yesterday. The House Speaker is going to violate the promised 72 Hour pledge for Representative to read and review bills.  In addition, the House will also consider the following bills:
H.R. 3695 — "To provide a temporary extension of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 and amendments made by that Act, as previously extended and amended and with certain additional modifications and exceptions, to suspend permanent price support authorities, and for other purposes."
H.R. 1447 — "To encourage States to report to the Attorney General certain information regarding the deaths of individuals in the custody of law enforcement agencies, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3509 — "To direct the Secretary of State to submit to Congress a report on the status of post-earthquake recovery and development efforts in Haiti."
H. Res. 441 — "Providing for the concurrence by the House in the Senate amendments to H.R. 3304, with an amendment."

Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens expressed criticism  for the speed with which the budget deal is being rushed through the House of Representatives. Meherns said, "In order to prevent anybody from even having an opportunity to analyze and comment on this budget deal, it is being rushed through the House in a day. This is how Nancy Pelosi ran the House, and Republicans swore up and down they would be different. How good does that promise look now?

"The Republican Pledge to America has again been broken. You get 72 hours to read a bill before it's voted on? No. They're going to cut $100 billion? Since 2010, outlays are only down by $3 billion, and that is only thanks to the sequester. Now, this budget deal will increase spending by $57 billion over the next two years, canceling roughly a third of the sequester in 2014 and 2015. It allows funding for Obamacare to continue. These are the types of policies Republicans opposed while in the minority. This continued breach of faith with those who entrusted them with power is wrong.

"At least going into the 2014 elections, the American people should not be deluded into believing that anyone who votes for this bill truly is seeking to cut the size and scope of government. Without this central promise, it is hard to imagine what incumbent Republicans have to offer in November besides a vague warning that it could have been worse.

"There will be those who point to the fact that government spending in real terms has been reduced since 2010 by about $3 billion. This good news is now being negated by a compromise enthusiastically embraced by Senate Democrats and President Obama, which now sets the stage for more of the sequester to be rolled back down the road.

"Is it any wonder why a president determined to grow government would herald the Ryan compromise that reverses a three year trend of cutting the size of government? Taxpayers would have been better off with a basic continuing resolution that changed nothing."

In the Senate, as soon as Democrats turned the key on the nuclear option, they started jamming through extreme liberal nominees. And of course they waited until 1 AM on Thursday night to force through one of the most out of the mainstream nominees, Georgetown law professor Nina Pillard. Pillard is so problematic that three Senate Democrats wouldn’t even vote to confirm her.

Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, pointed out just some of Pillard’s extreme positions. “The Obama Administration and its allies have done just about everything to get what they want, one way or the other – even fundamentally altering the contours of our democracy when they couldn’t get their way playing by the rules. We saw the culmination of that with the Majority Leader’s power grab in the Senate last month. The real-world consequences of that power-grab are most sharply illustrated by the nominee before us. Professor Pillard may be a fine person, but she is not someone who should receive a lifetime position on the second highest court in the land. She will be confirmed, however, because of the Democrat Majority’s power grab. A review of her legal views makes one thing clear: the nominee before us is a liberal ideologue — in other words, just the kind of person this administration was looking for to rubber stamp its most radical legislative and regulatory proposals on the D.C. Circuit Court.

“Take the so-called Hosanna Tabor case. Last year, the Supreme Court reinforced a core First Amendment principle when it ruled unanimously that churches, rather than the government, could select their own leaders. Every single justice sided with the church’s argument in that case — every single one. It just makes sense. Freedom of religion is a bedrock foundation of our democracy.  . . .  But Professor Pillard seems to have a different view. Prior to the court’s unanimous decision, she said the notion that ‘the Constitution requires deference to church decisions about who qualifies as a minister’ in the case before the court seemed ‘like a real stretch.’ And she went even further than that. The position of the church in the Hosanna Tabor case, she said, represented a ‘substantial threat to the American rule of law.’ A ‘substantial threat to the American rule of law’! On a case the Supreme Court decided 9-0. I mean, even the court’s most liberal justices as I mentioned, disagreed with Professor Pillard on this one. One of them characterized that kind of position as ‘amazing.’ In other words, Professor Pillard must think even the furthest-left Supreme Court justice isn’t far left enough for her.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Writing at National Review Online, Ed Whelan of the Ethics and Public Policy Center said of Pillard, “[F]olks who know Pillard well have described her to me . . . as someone who threatens to be ‘the most left-wing judge in the history of the Republic.’” Pillard has suggested American legal thinking needs to look to international law, writing that “the need for governments to collaborate to regulate increasingly mobile people, money and goods all point toward legal transnationalism.” She suggested that “[a] rights-based approach has normative and strategic benefits for progressive legal change” and noted “promise in international human rights as a potential source of social rights in the United States.”

Pillard wrote in 2007 that “the rights to… abortion, play a central role in freeing women from historically routine conscription into maternity.” And, she said, limiting abortion “reinforces broader patterns of discrimination against women as a class of presumptive breeders….”

Leader McConnell added, “Pillard has said that abortion, essentially without limits, is necessary to avoid ‘conscription into maternity,’ and that even common-sense laws many American men and women support serve to ‘enforce…incubation.’ She’s referred to the types of ultrasound images that are now available to so many proud moms and dads-to-be as ‘deceptive images’ perpetuated by the ‘anti-choice movement.’ In other words, she appears to think proud moms and dads-to-be shouldn’t believe their own eyes when they look at the images science has made increasingly available to us over the past few decades. It’s an understatement to say these sorts of views are worrying for someone the President wants to be one of our nation’s top judges.”

He summarized, “We rightly expect justices on our nation’s highest courts to evaluate cases before them with a judge’s even-handed mindset — not the absolutism of an ideologue. . . . In short, Professor Pillard does not seem like a person with the mindset or temperament of a judge. She seems like a person with the attitude and disposition of a left-wing academic, someone who seems to come to conclusions based on how well they support her own theories. Judges are charged with fairly evaluating the law that is before them, not the law as they wish it would be.”

Indeed, this is precisely the kind of view that Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) have said should disqualify a judicial nominee. In March of this year, Schumer declared that “judges at the extremes, whichever extreme, tend to want to make law, not interpret law. The best judges are those who see things clearly and fairly, not through an ideological lens, whether that lens is colored red or blue.” But of course Schumer voted for the nuclear option to force Pillard’s nomination through and then voted to confirm Pillard.

As Leader McConnell said to Senate Democrats, “it’s important to keep this is mind as well: Nearly every single Democrat Senator voted to enable the Majority Leader’s power grab last month. Those senators are responsible for its consequences. That includes the confirmation of Ms. Pillard, regardless of how they vote on her nomination. So I’d urge you to rethink the kind of nominees you bring to the floor moving forward – because they’re now all yours.”

Tags: US Senate, Nina Pillard, federal court nominee, extreme liberal, US House, budget deal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:59 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Vicki Strickler said...

Shared. Working very hard at Getting Obama Out of Office.


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