Many liberal sites like to compare the confirmation process of Obama’s judicial nominees to those of George Bush’s, claiming that Republicans are holding up the process, calling them hypocrites. They site GW’s first term compared to Obama’s where GW’s appointees had a shorter confirmation time, yet they completely disregard that by his second term, many of those appointees were still waiting. By 2008, he had over 180 waiting; approximately half had waited over 100 days, more than 30 had been waiting a year or more and 9 waiting for more than 2 years for an up or down vote.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he intends to force a vote this week on the nomination of Cornelia Pillard to the DC Circuit court. This is a regulatory court yet, the second most important court in the country, which Democrats and Obama supporters have claimed has been ‘too rightwing’. Apparently they have been deemed too radical because they ruled against Obama’s a decision that he could appoint officials without Senate confirmation based on his decision that the Senate had been in “recess” during which Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And then there was the ruling against the EPA when that agency over stepped its authority in regulating interstate pollutant emissions; and the FDA when it was ruled that the agency violated the First Amendment by requiring tobacco companies to place graphic depictions of the effects of smoking on cigarette packs. According to the left, these decisions were,in the words of the Washington Post headline, judicial jihad.
It’s also been reported that a federal judge has ruled that the U.S. government’s “Internet kill switch,” a plan to deactivate wireless communications networks in a crisis, is not protected by secrecy laws and must be disclosed to the public. The Judge ordered the DHS to turn over SOP 303 to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which brought the Freedom of Information Act case, within 30 days, although the Government has a chance to appeal the ruling before having to comply.
Obama wants to stack the courts with progressives, but of course the left claims these appointees are middle left. At a DSCC fundraiser in Texas last week, Obama in his own words said, they are “remaking the courts”. He also said he is “intent on squeezing every last bit of possibility to make sure that we’re moving this country forward.”
He is trying to lay blame on Republicans for blocking his nominees, even though Democrats have Senate control. The Heritage Foundation has made a case showing that while Obama is planning to stack the courts, the slow pace of confirmation can be laid on Senate Democrats and Harry Reid. How he is working towards stacking the DC court, according to Heritage, is that “currently there are 91 vacancies in the federal courts, and Obama has made nominations to roughly half of those vacancies. Of the current vacancies, 37 have been declared judicial “emergencies,” yet Obama has made nominations for only 18 of those 37 emergencies. Rather than address all of the emergency vacancies, Obama has paid a disproportionate amount of attention to the D.C. Circuit, nominating several individuals to the court despite the fact that it has a decreasing caseload.”
Obama and the democrats are not just playing the typical liberal game of forcing a vote and threatening republicans if they continue to block. These tactics have worked before, so they expect them to work now, but this is another example of Obama’s promise of transforming America.
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