A Job Opening


There’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court because of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I could join in the analysis, but while I was getting a good night’s sleep, Bookworm Room put up a post that says pretty much what I think about the situation. I’ll add these few thoughts:

I believe that the President should nominate a new justice to the court quickly and that the Senate should confirm the new justice expeditiously, before the election. The court should be intact in case it is called upon to handle election recount issues similar to Bush v. Gore. Joe Biden could try to take that issue off the table by promising not to engage in the kind of vote harvesting and election theft the Democrats are obviously planning for this November, but it would be foolish for President Trump and Senator McConnell to trust such a promise. The President and the Senate should act to eliminate the possibility of a 4-4 decision by the Court.

Or maybe not. The court is now 5-3. The Chief Justice might be a reliable vote if he is concerned about the Democrats’ threats to engage in court packing.

Things are about to get interesting.

Hiding from the Light


Juleanna Glover has a post over at Politico fantasizing that there is a method to allow Senators to dodge be held accountable for a vote on impeachment. She thinks that all the Democrats would have to do is get 3 Republican to vote for a rule change allowing for a secret ballot on the matter. A brilliant plan! But there’s a small problem. You see, that pesky old Constitution says,

… and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

—Art. I, § 5, cl. 3

So if 20 Senators want a recorded vote, each Senator’s vote will be recorded.

Democracy dies in darkness.

Senate Votes Down The Green Nude Eel


As noted in the Babylon Bee, Republicans colluded with Reality to defeat the Green Nude Eel. The vote was 0-57. All of the Republicans voted against it, as did three Democrats and one Independent. All the other Democrats and the other Independent voted “present.” That included the bill’s sponsor and all its cosponsors. It included all the senators who had endorsed the Green Nude Eel in connection with their candidacies for the party’s 2020 presidential nomination.

These remarks by Senator Lee (R-UT) are a fair summary of the Republican objections to the bill.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics was available for comment and noted, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.”

Today’s Hearing


‘Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’

UPDATE—As Alice watches from Wonderland, Stacy McCain offers these observations about Brett Kavanaugh’s journey through The Twilight Zone.

The Kavanaugh Nomination


Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen, i.e., chaotically.

The Democrats are now sufficiently panicked that they are throwing up every obstacle they can imagine, whether it help them or not. The Republicans are trying to appear to proceed fairly within the Committee’s and the Senate’s Rules. Some random event will determine whether the Republicans and vulnerable Democrats hang together and pass the nomination. Meanwhile, the press and the pundits will spin away while a decent man’s life is trashed.

The 2016 election was in large part about Supreme Court nominations. This fall’s election should be, at least in part, a referendum on how those nominations were handled.

Spoiled Brat Mode?


Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been making his rounds of Capitol Hill for meetings with Senators. To date, no Democrat has met with him. Such treatment of a Supreme Court nominee is unprecedented, and it looks to me like a snit fit by disappointed losers.

The choice of Antonin Scalia’s replacement and subsequent nominees to the Court was an issue in the 2016 elections. Trump won; Clinton lost. The Republican’s failure to confirm Merrick Garland to the Court was an issue in the 2016 elections. The Republicans retained control of the Senate; the Democrats lost. Schumer haz sad! What he and his fellow Democrats don’t have is the raw power to stop the Kavanaugh nomination.

It looks as if the Senate will advise and consent to the nomination with very few votes from Democrats. The Republicans have the votes to do it and to do it before the end of this Congress. It may be that the Democrats will flip the Senate in the next election, but that will be too late. Scalia and Kennedy will have been replaced with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. If the Democrats flip the Senate, they will have some say in the choice of the replacement for the next vacancy (Ginsburg? Breyer?), but they will have to win some elections first. Do they really think that acting like spoiled brats will help them do that?

The GOP Senate: A New Utopia?


The Republicans have won the Senate, and they surely won’t screw it up this time. Right?

P. J. O’Rourke has some thoughts on the matter.

I look forward to a golden sunset for the Obama years, a peaceful twilight of across-the-aisle cooperation and mutual respect and esteem from the Noble Capital at one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the People’s House at the other.

Read the whole thing.

Quitting in Protest


I’m still on the road, but here’s another staff post from a member of the Vast Hogewash Research Organization:

Something is rotten in the Democratic Party. Jay Rockefeller from West Virginia and Tom Harkin from Iowa will be retiring from the Senate. There is even word that Carl Levin of Michigan, Tim Johnson of South Dakota and Dick Durbin of Illinois might be considering retirement. John Kerry of Massachusetts is also leaving the Senate to take Hillary Clinton’s place as Secretary of Embassy Terror Attacks. Not to mention, with Robert Menendez of New Jersey recently being nominated by the FBI as Underage Prostitution Czar, his seat might open up without his consent. So what is going on?

Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post thinks she knows. She speculates that the Democrats are jumping ship as a result of Harry Reid’s leadership. Rubin could be right. Nothing is getting accomplished and a budget hasn’t been passed in an unprecedented three years. So some some Democrats are looking at greener pastures. Of course others might be looking at prison.

Perhaps there are some Democrats who are just as fed up with Reid as the rest of us.

1000 Days …


… and counting since the Democrats in the Senate put forward a budget.

UPDATE–It looks as if the President intends to run against the “Do-Nothing” Congress as part of his reelection campaign. But the chamber that isn’t doing much is controlled by his party. I’m not sure that I understand the reasoning behind such a plan, but I don’t understand the reasoning behind much of the President’s programs.

Oh, and lots of bloggers are noting this 1000 day milestone. Roger Morse has this at PJ Media. Kate Havard comments at The Weekly Standard’s blog.

UPDATE 2–The Heritage Foundation has posted this video on its blog.

A Do-Nothing Appointment


Conservatives are in an uproar over President Obama’s use of a recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Meh.

It’s a do-nothing job. The Dodd-Frank bill vests no authority in the position until the appointee is “confirmed by the Senate.” A recess appointment is not Senate conformation, so Mr. Cordray cannot legally do anything as head of the Bureau. Unless, of course, the Senate were to confirm the appointment.

Care to guess about the possibility of a filibuster?

Has anyone in the White House actually read the Dodd-Frank law?

UDATE–Daniel Foster in The Corner agrees that the President looks unpresidential with this appointment.

Mark Calabria has some interesting points as well.

UPDATE 2–

The Secretary is authorized to perform the functions of the Bureau under this part until the Director of the Bureau is confirmed by the Senate in accordance with section 5491 of this title.

–12 USC 5586(a)

UPDATE 3—Harry Reid thinks pro forma sessions only prevent Republican presidents from making recess appointments.

2008: “I had to keep the Senate in pro-forma session to block the Bradbury appointment. That necessarily meant no recess appointments could be made.”

2012: “I support President Obama’s decision.”

UPDATE 4—(H/T, PJ Tatler) Then Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote to the Supreme Court on 26 April, 2010:

Although a President may fill such vacancies through the use of his recess appointment power … the Senate may act to foreclose this option by declining to recess for more than two or three days at a time over a lengthy period. For example, the Senate did not recess intrasession for more than three days at a time for over a year beginning in late 2007.