No Justice in Republican Obstruction


courthouse (2)

Harris County Courthouse, Texas. 1943. FSA/LOC.

“The only way the Republicans can come out ahead in a public conversation about this particular nominee is by not having it.”

Nominee suppression, idea suppression, speech suppression, voter suppression, science suppression, government suppression….the list never ends for Republicans on suppressing American democracy.

Sedition is the entire Republican Party platform.”

As always, a great piece by Linda Greenhouse, the best legal writer about the Supreme Court in journalism today (although retired!). But the headline is misleading: to evolve Bork’s name in bold type creates a false comparison. Bork was deeply ideological. This fight–a refusal to engage–is about whether stalling or refusing to act on a President’s nomination to the Supreme Court, delaying until he (one day, she) is out of office is a legitimate use of power or an overreach that breaches tradition, exceeds unwritten standards of duty and a sworn allegiance to one of the world’s oldest democratic constitutions to quash a President’s choice purely for and by reasons of partisan politics in a fight over power, when the Constitution provides a path and orderly process to refuse (or affirm) President Obama’s nominee.

In abandoning Constitutional procedure and tradition, in passively resisting carrying out the orderly work of advise and consent, Republican senators are seeking to end the President’s powers and his term nearly a year before its official end. This is grab for power on two fronts: to expand partisanship to a new extreme and to render the Executive feeble and ineffective by Senatorial indifference (in the name of the American people–who elected the President twice for 4 year terms). The Times quoted Pres. Obama as saying, “it is tempting to make the confirmation process “an extension of our divided politics.” But he warned, “to go down that path would be wrong.”

This is not the Bork Battle all over again. This is the Obama Battle all over again.

If the Republicans have been consistent about anything, it is about their hatred–and I do mean hatred–of President Obama. Nothing has changed with this nomination. I believe that if even Scalia were resurrected and nominated that the Senate Republicans would still hold firm in their obstructionism. Indeed, that is the conversation that this nomination should stimulate: Are there no limits to Republican obstructionism?

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