A thuggish threat in battle over Supreme Court

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Earlier this week, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn issued a threat to anyone who might accept President Obama’s nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. By the time Senate Republicans are finished with such a nominee, Cornyn warned, that person “will bear some resemblance to a piñata.”

“What I don’t understand is how someone who actually wants to be confirmed to the Supreme Court would actually allow themselves to be used by the administration in a political fight that’s going to last from now until the end of the year,” Cornyn said. “Because there is no guarantee, certainly, after that time they’re going to look as good as they did going in.”

Note that Cornyn’s threat was a blanket threat, issued against all potential nominees regardless of qualification. He intimated pretty clearly that anyone accepting Obama’s offer would be trashed and dragged through the mud.

In other words, “Helluva good reputation you have there; it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.” Charming.

Presumably, Cornyn’s threat applies to Judge Sri Srinivasan, who now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Just three years ago, after vetting him and considering his qualifications, character and intellect, the Senate voted to confirm Srinivasan to that post by a vote of 97-0. Cornyn voted for him; Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz voted for him. Srinivasan had earned that bipartisan support in part by working in the U.S. Solicitor General’s office under Presidents Bush and Obama, and top Republican legal figures such as Kenneth Starr and Paul Clement signed a letter endorsing Srinivasan.

Now that very same Senate threatens to beat him like a pinata.

The threat also would appear to apply to Jane Kelly, whom the Senate confirmed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals with a vote of 98-0. Kelly hails from Iowa, the same state as Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley.  Three years ago, on the floor of the Senate, Grassley extolled the merits of Kelly to his colleagues, reading a letter from a Republican judge in Iowa describing Kelly as “a forthright woman of high integrity and honest character” with “exceptionally keen intellect”.

That’s the woman they threaten to treat as a pinata.

It will come as no surprise that Cornyn and other GOP senators have attempted to justify their thuggish behavior by raising the name of Robert Bork, a Supreme Court nominee whom the Senate considered and ultimately rejected almost 30 years ago. Even though six Republicans had joined in rejecting Bork as too extreme, the party has elevated him to permanent martyr status and still takes great pleasure in nursing resentment over his fate.

In crafting that mythology, however, they always write out the part about Bork being rejected for reasons that were specific to Bork. By voting 42-58 against him, the Senate wasn’t acting out some political vendetta against the president at the time, who happened to be Ronald Reagan; it judged and rejected Bork on his own merits, concluding that Bork was unqualified based on his poor judicial temperament and extreme legal philosophy.

If you doubt that, look at the record: Before rejecting Bork, the Senate had voted unanimously — 98-0 — to confirm a Reagan nominee by the name of Antonin Scalia, probably the most conservative jurist in the modern era. The Senate also voted unanimously — 97-0 — to confirm the Reagan nominee following Bork, now-Justice Anthony Kennedy. Back then, the Senate didn’t refuse to do its constitutional duty to advise and consent; it didn’t issue a blanket rejection of all Reagan nominees, regardless of qualification. It certainly didn’t try to intimidate potential nominees to our nation’s highest court by threatening them with character assassination, sight unseen.

No, that act of thuggishness is on Cornyn and his colleagues.

Reader Comments 0

1993 comments
Peachs
Peachs

Trump was thrown out of Chicago, now we see why the populated ,urban areas, go last, they aren't afraid of thugs ,like Trump, and know how to handle him. 


I think if you had the system go to places like Chicago, first, you wouldn't have the two most unpopular candidates leading their parties. 


To put the south in such an important role, when it is the most impoverished and unsuccessful of the country, is nuts, their decisions are always heavy on bigotry and light on substance. 

ByteMe
ByteMe

Does this ever end well?

(CNN)Scientists in Japan have discovered a strain of bacteria that can eat plastic, a finding that might help solve the world's fast-growing plastic pollution problem.

The species fully breaks down one of the most common kinds of plastic called Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It's the type often used to package bottled drinks, cosmetics and household cleaners.

rimsky
rimsky

@ByteMe Bigger problem is Polypropylene and Polyethylene.  Among plastics by far these plastics are used the most.

rimsky
rimsky

@ByteMe Guess what most of the diapers in the landfills are made from Polypropylene.  They will be there for a long, long time.

Peachs
Peachs

@ByteMe they have a bacteria that does this for oil pollution too, supposedly..


What scares me it this could be like kudzu, and show up in you medicine cabinet, or pantry. 

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

far enough downthread - ok

Ok, Spring Breakers - be careful on I-16, it's dangerous and the hallmark of under-attended infrastructure of the yeehaws you put in govt by not showing up to vote.

2nd - we want some creative mischief this year, not just painting  'Hammertime!' on the Stop sign. Let's get creative.

Speed limit is 25, and that's too fast, mon. 

Watch for Hoverounds and lost people in Oldsmobiles.

And if you're drinkin & drivin....don't forget your car.

Don't 'go to sleep'/pass out near the water, there are things called tides - you might wake up in Bermuda.

ByteMe
ByteMe

(CNN)The FBI used techniques reminiscent of Cold-War spy tactics to eavesdrop on Russian intelligence agents in New York City: bugging binders full of "confidential" industry information, court documents revealed this week.

The covert practice was revealed in filings for the trial of Evgeny Buryakov on Tuesday, who was arrested in January 2015. Prosecutors allege that Buryakov posed as an employee for a Russian Bank in New York City but was actually working for the Russian foreign intelligence agency, SVR.

But then comes the funny part:

The audio recordings caught moments in which some of the men were not impressed with their work for the intelligence agency, envisioning that it would be a bit more Hollywood, the court documents reveal.

Podobnyy thought the work "would be just slightly more down to earth than in the movies about James Bond," like using a false identity, the court documents say.

Sporyshev agreed, saying that he thought he would travel abroad with a "different passport."

ByteMe
ByteMe

IMHO: He got what he deserved. 

Radical Islamists say the same thing about you and your religion.  Funny how you run in the same direction as them.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Headley Lammar 

You are a walking embodiment not just of the intellectual decay of liberalism, but of its moral rot as well as it has moved ever further to the right.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

“Next time we see him, we might have to kill him!” 78-year-old John McGraw told “Inside Edition” Wednesday after landing the brutal blow.


“We don’t know who he is,” he said. “He might be with a terrorist organization.”


I'm betting this genius represents your typical Trump voter


Hey dummy. Its a black kid. Probably in college. Not a terrorist.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@Hedley_Lammar 

I'm betting this genius represents your typical Trump voter / 

Pay attention, liberal. You're on the verge of missing the point.

foo2u
foo2u

Brutal elbow... please...

It was brutish and thuggish no doubt, but it was not brutal...

About like today's wingnuts...

ByteMe
ByteMe

@KUTGF You heard Trump: he never settles cases.  Paying the bond would be "settling".

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Hedley_Lammar And despite Trumps promises to defend any of his supporters who attack protestors at a rally and a small ($2500 or so) bond, the man sits in jail and the Trump campaign says it has nothing to do with them.

td1234
td1234

@Hedley_Lammar A "black kid" that was yelling at the crowd and flipping all them off while going up the stairs. 


IMHO: He got what he deserved. 

honested
honested

@td1234 @Hedley_Lammar 

Maybe you should run for elective office......

So you can come to grips with how the Constitution and the will of the majority work.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Of course in your view free speech you don't like translates into "deserving" being assaulted.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Of course in your view free speech means you should cold-cocked by a 78-year-old, right.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Assault is a crime either way.  Tell us how Islamists deserve to beat you for voicing what you believe.

td1234
td1234

@honested Tell us how the Constitution actually works with PRIVATE events not government events? 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Hedley_Lammar

Hey dummy. Its a black kid. 

I thought a Florida jury determined that's reason enough to use deadly force.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@td1234 Tell us how assault works even at private events.

td1234
td1234

@ByteMe @td1234 Free speech is a right of the people to speak out against the GOVERNMENT. Until you are an elected official then you are not part of the government but a private individual. 

lvg
lvg

Talking of thuggery- when are they going to hand out brown shirts at Donald rallies?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@lvg It would be the next logical step.


Maybe armbands too. Black and Gold with the word Trump on them ?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@lvg

When are they going to unironically start playing "Working for the Clampdown"?

breckenridge
breckenridge

I'm pretty sure we've reached the saturation point on the debate thing.  It's time for the season finale, followed by 12 months off, and then the 2020 debate reality series can start.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Put this one in the ol' time capsule. Our J-Reb, from 11 March, 2016:

I'm saying the Republican turnout in November will be a record and demonstrate once and for all who truly is the majority in this Nation. 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Visual_Cortex Heard that one before.


I usually file that one in my " Just you wait " file.


With all the other Clinton indictments, Obama impeachments etc.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

I know it's too little too late from Marco Rubio to really help him much, politically, but I do want to give him some props for speaking somewhat sensibly in reply to Donald Trump's horrifyingly stupid "I think Islam hates us" business,

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/10/politics/republican-debate-transcript-full-text/index.html

especially this.

See, I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm not interested in being politically correct. I'm interested in being correct.

(APPLAUSE)

RUBIO: And in order to be correct on this issue, here's the bottom line. We do work. There is -- Islam has a major problem on its hands. It has a significant percentage of its adherents, particular in the Sunni faith but also in the Shia, who have been radicalized. And are willing to fly planes into a building and kill innocent people.

There is no doubt about that. It is also true if you look around the world at the challenges we face, we are going to have to work together with other -- with Muslims, who do not -- who are not radicals.

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@Visual_Cortex 

I hear ya but I can't stand Rubio. His transition to a cushy post on K Street can't come quick enough.