Saturday, February 22, 2014

Forget the ACA; If Obama Doesn't Fill the Courts With Lefties, He'll Have No Legacy At All

Don't be fooled by the recent decisions by federal district judges to make states stop discriminating: the federal judiciary is infested with reich-wing corporatists hell-bent on reversing a century of economic and social progress.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of vacancies in the federal court system, all of them begging for far, far, FAR left judges to counteract the anti-democratic drag of Smirky-Darth appointees.
Unfortunately, President Obama has no interest in correcting the right-wing judicial threat to the Constitution.


I wrote about the Michael Boggs nomination to the Federal bench earlier, but it's worth revisiting today as it seems likely to go forward. Remember, it isn't just him, it's three more totally unacceptable neanderthal wingnuts on the federal courts in exchange for a couple of moderates. This is a result of a "painstaking process of negotiations" --- which the president obviously lost.
The White House has not backed down from the nominations, arguing that the deal was part of a long, painstaking process of negotiations that they don’t want to toss out the window. According to The Hill, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told the Congressional Black Caucus at a meeting in early February that the administration wouldn’t be withdrawing the nominations. The Obama administration is also frustrated with what they see as inadequate recognition of the fact that the administration has nominated the most diverse slate of candidates for the federal bench in history — including one who would be the first openly gay black nominee —and that the Georgia delegation failed to weigh in on the process before the deal over the Georgia nominees was cut.
Just a reminder: Clarence Thomas is black. (Also, apropos of nothing, from Georgia.) Choosing more racial minorities, women and gays alone, while a worthy goal, is not enough for a Democratic president. This is especially true of one who has inexplicably failed to even nominate  enough judges to fill the available vacancies. It's just inexplicable that he would agree to "deals" in which Republicans get to put more far right ideologues on the court after the previous president already packed it with them to the fullest extent he possibly could. If there is one area in which ideology, temperament and political philosophy simply must be taken seriously, it's this one. If he can't do any better than this, he should leave the seats unfilled and hope his successor is a Democrat who has better negotiating skills.

Now it must be recognized that the Senate, especially judiciary chairman Patrick Leahy, are clinging to their Senatorial prerogatives and that's a problem. They don't get a pass. But the administration should recognize that a major component of any president's legacy is his federal court appointments and should not be so cavalier as to allow such far right ideologues to obtain lifetime appointment under his auspices.
Why should repugs get all the obstruction fun? I'd like to see Senator Bernie Sanders block any judicial nominee to the right of  Elizabeth Warren.

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