Slate calls it “Extraordinary Hypocrisy” yesterday when Republicans finally played tit-for-tat with Democrats and filibustered one of Obama’s judicial nominees. It’s more accurately said to be “about time” Republicans found a little backbone. Slate’s charge of hypocrisy is nonsense. The bully on the playground always cries for his mama when given a dose of his own medicine.
The blocked nominee is Berkley law professor Goodwin Liu, nominated by Obama to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote to end the filibuster was 52-43, falling short of the necessary 60 to end the filibuster. All Republicans except Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against Liu and all Democrats except Ben Nelson of Nebraska for Liu. Nelson is facing a tough re-election next year after angering his cornhusker constituents with his Christmas Eve 2009 vote for Obamacare. Murkowski shows herself as a solid liberal with this vote and no where near the conservative she claims to be. Goodwin Liu is likely the most left-wing judicial nominee Obama has sent up yet, so much so that even Snowe and Collins of Maine voted against him. Liu’s many radical positions have been well documented. He has no experience as a judge and has never practiced law. Liu would reinforce on the 9th Circuit an already disgusting use of politically-correct psychobabble designed to hide judicial activism. The “living Constitution” is even now the dominant view on a court that holds the honor of having more of its decisions overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court than any other court in the Federal system.
This is the first time Republicans have ever blocked a judicial nominee by filibuster. No less than ten (10) of George Bush’s nominees were blocked by Democrat filibusters. In another one of his very excellent columns in The Washington Examiner Byron York says, “Once Democrats crossed the line to filibuster those Bush nominees, you could bet Republicans would strike back. And now they have.” I’d say it was never a sure bet the Republicans would respond in kind given their past history of timidness and lack of conviction. It’s damned refreshing they did it right this time. Now if they’ll just keep it up.