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Author Topic: Uber-Conservative Bill Kristol is Against Filibustering Supreme Court Appointmen  (Read 1552 times)
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oldiebutgoodie
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« on: May 02, 2009, 12:47:51 PM »

He says it is "obstructionist."  Will his statements come back to haunt him? From an old interview on Fox News:

Quote
Bill Kristol Vowed "Let's Have A Referendum...In 2006 And 2008" On Supreme Court Nominations

Fox News Sunday's regular group panel weighs in on the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito. As you can see, not much has changed! Juan Williams is still framed mostly in the traditional two-shot that allows Bill Kristol to smirk snidely at him while he speaks, and Brit Hume is the harrumphing Napoleon Dynamite figure we still love today. But, okay, the substance!

Worth remembering about these bygone days was the ridicule Kristol heaped on the Democrats' objections to Samuel Alito, and the way he sets up the rules of engagement: that a man of Alito's baseline qualities shouldn't be threatened with a filibuster! And heavens to Betsy! To block the nomination en masse, would just be obstructionist! "If the Republicans exploit this," Kristol warns, "The Republicans can make the case that the Democratic party is the party that stands against men like Alito being judges." Mind you, I don't think anyone seriously believes that they shouldn't be girding themselves for a knock-down drag-out fight over Souter's replacement -- the GOP has already officially deemed a potential SCOTUS fight to be the magical pony silver lining of Specter bolting the party.

The key exchange, however, is this:

WILLIAMS: But here's the thing. I think that when you think about Kerry's position, I think, Bill Kristol, you know, you have to acknowledge that Samuel Alito is not President Bush's choice. He's not Alberto Gonzales. He's not Harriet Miers. It was an ideological selection made by the president to satisfy -- you talk about the left-wing base -- to satisfy the right-wing base. And I think that's what we've got now, and that's why you've got most Democrats -- you know, half of the Democrats said OK to John Roberts. That's not the case here.

KRISTOL: Because Roberts was replacing Rehnquist. And Alito will move the court a click back in the conservative or constitutional direction. And let's have a referendum on that.

[crosstalk]

KRISTOL: Let's have a referendum on that in 2006 and 2008. Do they want a liberal Supreme Court, or do they want a moderately conservative Supreme Court?

WILLIAMS: That's called a presidential election. So he gets to make the choice
, unless, of course, he's forced by his base, which is what he was forced to do with Alito.

Bill Kristol was making his case that the Democratic Party was threatening to destroy itself by "obstructing" Alito's appointment and he stated that the 2006 and 2008 elections would turn out to be a referendum of the American people on Bush and his policies, including his Supreme Court appointments. Kristol was trying to scare the Democrats into being submissive... or else.

Well, looks like Mr. Kristol got his referendum, after all. LOL. The American voting public certainly couldn't have been any clearer.

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oldiebutgoodie
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2009, 04:24:52 PM »

It seems Mr. Kristol is not the only conservative against filibustering:

On the March 2, 2005, edition of Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity said:  "I believe it's unconstitutional to filibuster. It is not about advice and consent now to ask for a supermajority on judicial nominations. I believe that is not constitutional." Similarly, on the February 18, 2005, edition of Hannity & Colmes, Hannity asserted of the possibility of a Supreme Court nomination: "We're about to have one of the great political battles of our time. And we have this issue ... there are seven specific instances where we need a supermajority. Advice and consent is not one of those instances. But yet the Democrats continue to filibuster the president's judicial selections. When the Supreme Court vacancy occurs, the Democrats for sure are going to filibuster. What should the Republicans do?"
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oldiebutgoodie
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2009, 04:26:20 PM »

More from Mr. Kristol:  In a May 9, 2005, Weekly Standard column headlined "Break the Filibuster," Fox News contributor and Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol asserted: "More important, perhaps, the customary practice of not filibustering presidential nominees -- whether for the judiciary or the executive branch -- is not a mere matter of custom. It is rooted in the structure of the Constitution. While the filibuster of judges is not, in a judicially enforceable sense, unconstitutional, it is contrary to the logic of the constitutional separation of powers."
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oldiebutgoodie
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2009, 04:27:35 PM »

In an April 28, 2005, Washington Times column, chief political correspondent Donald Lambro asserted: "But applying the filibuster rule to prevent the Senate from carrying out its constitutionally granted authority to approve or disapprove each judicial nominee clearly violates our nation's governing document."
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oldiebutgoodie
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2009, 04:59:18 PM »

From the December 24, 2004, edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

"This filibuster, as you know, they're filibustering these nominations which requires essentially 60 votes for a judge to be confirmed. The Constitution says nothing about this. The Constitution says simple majority, 51 votes. But because they're invoking the filibuster, which, you know, the Senate can make up its own rules but not when they impose on the Constitution and not when they impose on the legislative branch. Separation of powers here. But if nobody stops them, they're going to keep getting away with it. It's up to the Senate Republicans to stop them."

AND:

"...If the Senate, which has the constitutional right to make its own rules, decides that it wants to require a super-majority vote to pass certain bills such as tax bills -- and they can do that. They can write those rules all day long -- such a rule would not infringe on presidential power. But to do so when it affects a presidential power, which takes us into a separation of powers issue, like the appointment of judges, that is unconstitutional..."

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