Joe Biden and the Supreme Court Nomination Process

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Writing in today's Wall Street Journal, Collin Levy argues that Vice President Joe Biden will be in no position to complain if the Republicans try to derail President Barack Obama's forthcoming Supreme Court nominee. In addition to Biden's famous part in the Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas confirmation battles, Levy points out that

Under Mr. Biden's leadership, holding up nominations to the nation's appeals courts also became a routine exercise. In 1988, the Senate Judiciary Committee delayed 17 months before refusing to confirm law professor and scholar Bernard Siegan to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals because of his libertarian positions on economic issues. In 1992, Mr. Bush's nominee to the 11th Circuit, Edward Carnes, endured an eight-month delay and an attempted filibuster before finally being confirmed. By 1992, 64 judicial nominees were stuck in the senatorial muck waiting for the Judiciary Committee to give them a yea or nay.

Whole thing here. Earlier this month I discussed Biden's part in previous confirmation fights, including his attempt to discredit Clarence Thomas as a crazy libertarian follower of Richard Epstein.

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  1. No position to complain? Does the man really think pols need such a thing? No, they just need for the people and the MSM to have a short memory and/or a general disinterest in the details of history.

    Biden will complain. Things are COMPLETELY different now. Then, he was exercising due diligence to try to prevent dangerously out of touch jurists from being on the highest court. Now, Republican obstructionists are (will be) just trying to thwart the will of the people to put a decent, caring and responsible judge on the bench.

  2. You guys didn’t even list the worst one. What about when he held up the confirmation of Chief Justice John Jay? I seem to remember his face on the TV for months about that one.

  3. Thomas probably is the most libertarian judge on the SCOTUS. Of course, it’s not like he has much competition there.

    I hate to say it, but it’s a damn good thing Bork was derailed. He had a very expansive view of state power.

  4. Actually, I don’t hate to say that. It was a very good thing Bork was derailed, even if our special VP was the ringleader.

  5. What we don’t need from Obama: another Breyer:

    To those of us suffering under the delusion that the Constitution was supposed to “secure the Blessings of Liberty,” Breyer reveals that its purpose was “to create a framework for democratic government — a government that, while protecting basic individual liberties, permits citizens to govern themselves.” But how can it protect “individual liberties” when such protection is precisely what doesn’t allow “citizens to govern themselves”? Or is “basic” actually Breyerspeak for as few as possible?

    At this point a certain feeling may be creeping over many, an eerie kind of d?j? vu. It grows only stronger when [E.J.] Dionne reclaims the mic. “Breyer’s argument,” he explains, “leads not to judicial activism but to judicial humility. He insists that courts take care to figure out what the people’s representatives intended when they passed laws. You might say that justices should not behave like imperious English professors who insist they can interpret the true meaning of words better than those who actually wrote them.” Now that tore away the disguise, didn’t it? This isn’t the “living document”/”evolving Constitution” rhetoric that the Left’s been blaring all these years. The exalting of majoritarian democracy over individual liberty, the insistence that this view reflects the “intentions” of the Framers of the Constitution — who can mistake it? Who can still not see that behind the meek figure of Stephen Breyer looms — as his alter ego — the monstrous presence of …

    READ “The Strange Case of Justice Breyer and Mr. B.”

  6. I still have the same response to Joe Biden as VP as I did the day Obama picked him:
    WTF?

  7. Joe Biden should submit one name to president Obama: Joe Biden. As others have suggested on this tubez.

  8. This guy just oozes empathy. And he’s a minority.

  9. Charles Manson. He’s not an attorney, but he has a working familiarity with the appeals process.

  10. And he hates rich people.

  11. How’s his empathy.? I hear there’s an empathy litmus test.

    Wait a second. Empathy. Is Obama requiring that his nominees pass the Voight-Kampff Empathy Test? Maybe he’s not being as silly as I first thought. . .not if he’s trying to keep replicants off the bench.

  12. Isn’t Mary Beth Buchanan looking for work? She’s a lawyer AND she has a vagina; talk about qualified!

  13. PL,

    I think it is more like an Andy Kaufman empathy test.

  14. His empathy score might be a little weak.

    However, there is always the possibility he might bite Biden’s nose off during the interview. That’s worth something.

  15. Bill Ayers. He has a lot of expierence in the criminal system and has spent years working for kids in Chicago. Come on BO, go back to your roots.

  16. He has a lot of expierence in the criminal system and has spent years working for kids in Chicago.

    Shouldn’t that be a lot of years avoiding the criminal justice system?

  17. How about Diane Neal? If her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit credentials don’t impress, her dad is a real-life federal attorney.

    Did I mention she’s hot?

  18. Mister DNA,

    Can there be a swim suit portion of the confirmation hearings?

  19. Can there be a swim suit portion of the confirmation hearings?

    NOOOOO! Must!End!Pain!

    Damned molded-in razor blades….ah! A gun! Oh, happy Ruger!

    *BLAM*

  20. John hasn’t yet received the memo that explains that the Bill Ayers sideshow is long over, and that anyone still peddling that right-wing bullshit should be embarrassed for himself.

  21. Knowing stuff you’ve been instructed not to is totally right-wing.

  22. Mr. Levy seems to have forgotten, because he doesn’t mention it, that Democrats held the majority in the Senate when they blocked or voted down Republican judicial nominees. There is nothing unconstitutional about the majority of the Senate refusing to support a judicial nominee.

    Does anyone wish that Bork were on the Court? As for poor Clarence Thomas, Levy quotes Mr. Self-Pity on his trials, but omits Biden’s side of the story entirely. Spare me the Republican propaganda.

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  24. John hasn’t yet received the memo that explains that the Bill Ayers sideshow is long over,

    Au contraire. Now that we have a community-organizer-in-chief, funneling billions to ACORN, I think the Bill Ayers sideshow has moved into the Big Top.

  25. John hasn’t yet received the memo that explains that the Bill Ayers sideshow is long over, and that anyone still peddling that right-wing bullshit should be embarrassed for himself.

    To: Right Wing Fellowship
    Re: Bill Ayers sideshow

    Mention not Bill Ayers, lest you be the subject of Tony’s mockery, oh horror of horrors.

    Don’t forget to file your TPS reports.

    The Management

  26. Alan Vanneman – it is a fact that only one party has made SCOTUS nominations contentious. Compare the vote totals for Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito vis-a-vis Ginsburg.

  27. There’s no doubt in my mind that overall, the Dems have treated Repub nominees unfairly, especially the SCOTUS nominees.

    With that said, the grass roots, so-con Repubs need to be called out for their focus on the SCOTUS. Their strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade has been to keep the WH in Repub hands so vacancies will be filled with justices that they hope will, one day, overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s the main reason for all this ugliness. Perhaps if the pro-lifers pursued an amendment on abortion vs. their current strategy, the Dems might have acted differently these past 3+ decades.

    And I agree with BakedPenguin, I’m glad Bork was Borked, although I wasn’t at the time.

  28. The great thing about Biden is that he is such an utterly vile, venal vector of putrefaction that he makes Obama appear competent and empathetic.

    “Yes, we can!”

  29. God, I miss Joe.

    I think Joe was a Democratic “operative” placed on H&R brain wash us. Now that America has finally embraced the light, Joe’s work is done.

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  32. Although infuriating, Joe was one of the most interesting guys on H&R, TAO.

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