Archive for judicial nominees

Republicans Accuse Obama of Court Packing While They're Guilty Of Packing By Unpacking



Remember George Castanza in Seinfeld. He was embarrased when Jerry's girlfriend Rachel walks in on him and his naked "manhood?" He tried to explain he just got out of a cold swim and he was experiencing "SHRINKAGE."

Well, this week the Republicans tried to cause the country to feel a cold shrinkage. What they were trying to do was convince the senate that there was no need for filling the three vacancies on the second most important court in the land, The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, aka DC Circuit Court.

Normally 11 members, they've experienced shrinkage, resulting in only 8 justices covering the workload for the full contingency. Despite the Republicans claiming there isn't enough work to keep the 11 judges busy, the court has had to pull in retired justices to keep the courts head above water. So in fact, the GOP argument doesn't hold -- yup, you've got it, water.

Now this is the court that gave us Chief Justice Roberts. Since his promotion to the SCOTUS, his seat on the DC Circuit Court bench has been sitting vacant, collecting dust.

Of the 8 justices currently serving, 5 were appointed by conservative Republican presidents. The other 3 were Democratic appointments. So one could argue this makes this court conservative leaning, 5-3. And that's the way the GOP wants it to stay.

Back in 1937, FDR tried to add 6 additional SCOTUS justices to the bench which had then and still has now, 9 members. That became knows as his attempt at COURT PACKING, changing the conservative court more liberal by adding new seats. Obama only attempts to fill vacant ones. So the argument of court packing is again, a blatant falsehood.

What is true is the Republicans are guilty of COURT UNPACKING, leaving vacant seats unfilled so they have a philosophical majority. If Obama fills those three seats, as he will, the court will swing balance 6-5 favoring  Democratic appointments on that court.

But that's not all that's at stake here with the Republicans. Currently there are an equal number of Republican and Democratic appointed Federal Judges -- 390 apiece. There are 93 openings to be filled. Because the Republicans obstruction and the now approved nuclear option, a simple majority will be all that's required of the Senate to approve the President's nominees. Here's the rest of the story.

Lesson here is Mitch McConnell, don't fool with Mother Nature OR the senior senator from Nevada. You go, Harry!!!


Appeals court decision, written by Bush appointee, rules against #Obamacare contraception coverage mandate


church state Religion and Politics

Just the other day I posted about a column written for the Los Angeles Times by Michael Hiltzik: What next? Ruling that corporations can pray? Brace yourselves:

SCOTUS will get to decide if corporations can impose their own religious beliefs on their employees, AKA a giant conscience clause. What's left of separation of church and state could become a distant memory.

Michael Hiltzik's column in the Los Angeles Times rightly states, "The implications of granting corporations the right to free expression of religion are horrific."

Today Roll Call has just added to my jitters. Next stop, Supreme Court:

A federal appeals court has ruled the contraception coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates the free exercise of religion.

The ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit adds to the debate about a provision that factored heavily in the 2012 presidential election and comes amid an effort by President Barack Obama to fill three open slots on the powerful D.C. Circuit with his own nominees. Senate Republicans are blocking those picks, which has Democrats considering whether to use the “nuclear option” to install Obama’s judges.

If there was ever a question about why judicial picks are important, and why elections matter, this should put that to rest.

By the way, the decision was 2-1 and was written by Janice Rogers Brown, an appointee of GW Bush.

I rest my case.


"What a sad caricature our democracy has become."



Today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Deficit extremists, blind to data, are doing active economic harm," Column, June 12

It is so refreshing to read Michael Hiltzik's explanation of how Congress' ill-timed obsession with deficit reduction actually retards economic growth. Other priorities, especially job creation, deserve much greater emphasis.

But Hiltzik makes another valuable point that merits wider discussion: With current interest rates so low, this is an ideal time to start digging ourselves out of our backlog in infrastructure maintenance.

In its "2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure," the American Society of Civil Engineers gives America a "D+" for the state of our dams, levees, roads and schools, among others. Just one of many distressing examples: The National Park Service struggles with an $11 billion maintenance backlog.

To create jobs, grow the economy and remedy this shameful underfunding, we need investment in infrastructure now.

Grace Bertalot



Re "A restrained state budget," Editorial, and "A longer day in court," June 13

Shame on the governor, the Legislature and, frankly, The Times' editorial board. The dismantling of the California legal system, our third branch of government, continues with the new proposed state budget. Your editorial makes no mention of our courts, where citizens wait too long for justice.

The California courthouse infrastructure, especially in Los Angeles County, was built from decades of prudent decisions, and now many locations are being closed down. We have a transportation infrastructure built over decades with billions of dollars. Would we shut down the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine to save money? Of course not; that would be stupid and silly.

So is the closing of our courthouses.

Clayton Anderson

San Clemente


Re "Warning on greenhouse gases," June 11

The International Energy Agency, "an independent research group established by the world's most-industrialized nations," has sounded a warning on the perils of climate change if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. The lying, greedy conspiracy of climate scientists has obviously gotten to them.

Congress remains uninterested, but a miraculous reversal in interest would suddenly manifest if only the scientific community could outmatch the fossil fuel industry's kickbacks to lawmakers loyally blocking any action. What a sad caricature our democracy has become.

Wendy Blais

North Hills


"New definition of a consensus nominee is someone who Republicans like, Dems can stomach..."


wtf moment in progress


Judicial nominations have been moving at a snail’s pace, and of course, Republicans have blocked the president every step of the way. The courts have been overloaded, backed up, cannot function properly, and so they are unable to handle cases as judges are unavailable to preside over court proceedings. Trying to get your day in court has become as challenging as passing Democratic legislation in our current Congress.


To make matters worse, many Bush judges are already in place, which explains so many decisions that make Progressive heads explode.


Which brings us to the good news and bad news.


The good news: President Obama has found himself a judicial nominee that appeals to Republicans.


The bad news: President Obama has found himself a judicial nominee that appeals to Republicans.


Via the Los Angeles Times:


President Obama, who has seen court nominees run into Republican roadblocks, may have found a winning strategy for putting a judge on the powerful U.S. appeals court here: He chose a highly regarded corporate lawyer whose resume suggests he could have been a Republican nominee.

Sri Srinivasan, 46, was a law clerk for two Republican-appointed judges after graduating from Stanford University, and he worked in the George W. Bush Justice Department for five years before joining the Obama team as deputy U.S. solicitor general.


This man, per the Times, is likely to be confirmed. Bush's guy. From the Bush Justice Department, which, by the way, is an oxymoron.


More bad news: Senator Ted Cruz likes him. He and Srinivasan were law clerks in Virginia and at the Supreme Court together.


More good news: He would be the first South Asian native to serve on a U.S. appeals court.


More bad news:  He could be a leading candidate for the Supreme Court if and when a vacancy opens up.


More good news: He's a good listener and open-minded, per a colleague.


More bad news:


Liberal activists, unions and human rights groups refused to support him. Most of them say they decided to remain silent, not wanting to upset the White House or stand in the way of an Obama nominee.... The strongest opposition to Srinivasan has come from human rights advocates who have sued multinational corporations.


Are you getting nervous yet? No? Let me nudge you along:


Marco Simons, legal director for Earth Rights International, wrote to the Senate Judiciary Committee complaining of Srinivasan's "propensity for pro-corporate, anti-human rights judicial activism." As a lawyer in Washington, Srinivasan has "built a practice around defending powerful multinational companies against allegations of human rights abuses such as war crimes, torture and summary execution," Simons wrote... "The new definition of a consensus nominee is someone who the Republicans like and the Democrats can stomach because they don't want to defy the president," he said.


There's your "liberal" president, GOP.