Saturday, November 23, 2013
Why do you think the Democrats elected to vote on the nuclear option? The answer is simple. GOP obstructionism. Now you might say that it is not a secret now-a-days that the Republicans want to stop all Democratic legislation in its tracks, especially if it benefits Barack Obama. When they (Republicans) became familiar with all the downfalls of the ObamaCare website at HeathCare.gov, they couldn't be more happy. Instead of assisting the Democrats with the fix of the website, they constantly have opposed it, hoping day-by-day that it will just fail. But, let's get to the issue at hand, why the Democrats had to run with what is called the 'Nuclear Option'.
There have been Judicial and Executive branch filibusters since the sixties, but under the watch of Barack Obama, there have been at least 10 times more filibusters for judicial nominees for U.S. Circuit Courts than the last president George W. Bush. What is happening right now is apparently a new thing, as Republicans seem to have saved this obstruction for the current President Barack Obama. One of the reasons why the Republicans are doing this is because of their majority of Supreme Court Justices, and they will do everything in their power not to loose that control in the Supreme Court. But they learned just recently when ObamaCare rang up the latter to the Supreme Court that one of their very own Conservative judges named Roberts, voted for the ObamaCare bill to allow it to become law.
In a recent Texas abortion ruling for example, out of a total of 9 judges, 5 of them voted to close the clinics and 4 voted to keep them open, so now even if it is legal in the United States to have an abortion, it is not legal in the state of Texas. Can you guess which political affiliation the judges are? You would be right in saying that the 5 that supported closing the clinics were Republicans, and the 4 that voted to keep the clinics open were Democrats.
This past week, the Republicans tried another variance of their blocking nominations of Barack Obama to Federal Courts. But they are especially critical and do their best to make sure that President Obama gets none of his nominees to the 'Appeals' court in Washington D.C.. This court votes on the constitutionality of laws and rules by the Federal government. Presently, there are 3 vacancies in the 'Appeals' court, and one of them happens to be one of the seats that was vacated by Justice 'John Roberts' when he became a member of the Supreme Court. The Republicans again will do everything they can to make sure that President Obama does not put one of his nominees on this court. Recently, the Republicans now want the 3 vacancies not to exist, just so that President Obama cannot appoint any Democrats or people of his liking to that court. By doing this, the court will stay conservative and their problems would be solved.
One of the most fundamental things that presidents do is to nominate judges. Normally what happens, the President in power chooses people normally from his party for vacant seats in Federal courts. But for this president, the Republicans are doing everything they can so that this president is not allowed to put anyone on the bench.
The three blocked judicial nominees by the GOP were Patricia Millett, Nina Pillard, and Robert L. Wilkins by filibustering in the vote on these same nominees. When this happened, the Democrats finally had enough. The Democrats called for an appeal on a parliamentary ruling on the floor of the Senate by majority vote, as they overturned the parliamentary ruling so that politicians cannot block any U.S. judges anymore. They can be blocked on an up or down vote, a simple majority, and no filibuster vote needed, just that majority.
In short, the Republicans must have lost their minds about this. What I mean is that they never thought that the Democrats would ever pass a bill to do exactly just that. In matter of fact, they were challenged by the Republicans, saying that they would never do this. The Republicans mis-calculated. The Democrats previously told the Republicans that they would pull the trigger on this if this obstruction kept happening, and when they blocked the 3 nominations for the D.C. Court, that was the last straw and the Democrats reacted, in the dismay of the Republicans. Mitch McConnell(Republican) said that it would not happen. He said that the Democrats would never follow through on this.
As an example as to what sparked this, as of Nov. 20, 2013 here are the totals of Federal judges. There are exactly 390 Democratic and 390 Republican Federal judges on the bench as of November 1, 2013. President Obama was trying to add 3 more Democratic nominees to that list, but the Republicans said 'NO'. They have no objections of these judges as people, but it's just they do not want any appointed by Barack Obama and do not want the Democrats to gain a majority. Presently, there are 93 vacancies on the Federal bench, and nominees, especially by this President are being blocked. The Democrats just had enough and needed to put the record straight. They were not joking when they would fix the problem of the GOP obstructionism. For their stubborn thinking, if they could have just given on on those 3 nominees to become Federal judges, the Democrats most likely would have never acted and passed the 'Nuclear Option'. But now that it is passed, the three nominees will surely become Federal judges, and the vacancies will now drop to 90, and the Republicans can no longer stop the Presidents nominations to the Federal Court. The GOP actions caused the law to be changed, and now the 90 seats that are vacant can be filled by Barack Obama. There is absolutely no reason why he should not fill them. This new law also applies to Executive branch nominations. An example, the Republicans filibusters a candidate for Secretary of Defense, and they did it in a time of war, but eventually the nominee was elected. They didn't care what could be affected by not having a Secretary of Defense, just that they did not want Barack Obama to be credited for the nomination. The vote to stop the filibuster in the U.S. Senate was huge, and the Republicans vow that the tide will turn someday when they gain power in the Senate and keep the House. When likely will that happen. I'm here to say that it will never happen in my life time, and I'm age 61. The next President, most likely to be a Democrat, will not change the laws, and in fact will continue to nominate Federal court appointees.
Maybe this is a wakeup call for the Republicans, but it just may be too late for them to do anything constructive to gain a majority in the Executive Branch to do anything concrete as far as 'Conservatism' in the U.S. Congress, especially if they loose the House, which is a very good possibility, considering how the members of the GOP continue to act against the will of the American People and work against Federal laws that are in force today.
Chock up another victory for the Democrats, and the Republicans will just have to watch democracy work as it is supposed to in Washington D.C. for a change, with no chance of obstructing anything with their negative votes.