Dems Eye Judicial Rubberstamp

Dems & Liberal Activists Are Aggressively Pursuing Control Of The D.C. Circuit Court, Call It ‘Best Hope For Advancing’ Obama’s Agenda


Dem Plan: ‘Switch The Majority,’ ‘Circumvent’ Elected Representatives

“Giving liberals a greater say on the D.C. Circuit is important for Obama as he looks for ways to circumvent the Republican-led House and a polarized Senate on a number of policy fronts through executive order and other administrative procedures.” (“Obama Seeks To Shift Conservative Tilt Of Key Court,” Washington Post, 4/2/13)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): ‘Switch the majority’ “‘People don’t focus much on the D.C. Circuit. It is, some say, more important than even the Supreme Court… We need at least one more. There’s three vacancies, we need at least one more and that will switch the majority.’” (“Reid Pushes To Flip Balance Of D.C. Circuit Court, Hints At Another Filibuster Battle,” Roll Call, 8/9/13)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): ‘We will fill up the D.C. Circuit’ “One other issue I bring to your attention, which isn’t on the radar screen, but we need the progressive community to be behind it.  We have a federal court system, and the second most important court in that system is the D.C. Court of Appeals because it controls all kinds of government decisions, and there are now four vacancies on that court… And so we have to fill – we have to fill the D.C. Circuit. ... And our strategy will be to nominate four more people for each of those vacancies and if they filibuster all of them it will give those of us who want to change the rules and not allow 60 votes to dominate the Senate but require a talking filibuster to prevail.  So, we will fill up the D.C. Circuit, one way or another.” (Sen. Schumer, Remarks, 3/13)

NAN ARON, Liberal Activist: “‘The court is critically important — the majority has made decisions that have frustrated the president’s agenda,’ said Nan Aron, a liberal activist who has called for Mr. Obama to be more aggressive in nominating judges. ‘Our view is that balance must be restored on that court, and the empty seats must be filled.’” (“Obama Plans 3 Nominations For Key Court,” The New York Times, 5/27/13)

DOUG KENDALL, Liberal Activist: “With legislative priorities gridlocked in Congress, the president’s best hope for advancing his agenda is through executive action, and that runs through the D.C. Circuit.” (“Obama Seeks To Shift Conservative Tilt Of Key Court,” Washington Post, 4/2/13)


Flashback: Dems Warned Against ‘Sure Votes For a Partisan Agenda’ In Courts

SEN. PAT LEAHY (D-VT): “Our Constitution establishes an independent Federal judiciary to be a bulwark of individual liberty against incursions or expansions of power by the political branches. That independence is what makes our judiciary the model for others around the world. That independence is at grave risk when a President seeks to pack the courts with activists from either side of the political spectrum. We need fair judges, not sure votes for a partisan agenda.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.7808, 6/30/05)

  • LEAHY: “When a President is nominating individuals to tip the balance, stack the deck, or to pack the courts with ideologues, the Senate would be abdicating its responsibilities to ignore the very criteria that led to selection of such a nominee.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.2797, 2/26/03)
  • LEAHY: “Our system was designed to ensure a balance and to protect against overreaching by any branch. A Democratic Senate stood up to one of the most popular and powerful Democratic Presidents of all time when it rejected President Franklin Roosevelt's court packing scheme. The Senate should not be a rubber stamp to this President's effort to pack the court with those who would give him unfettered leeway.” (Sen. Leahy, Congressional Record, S.49, 1/25/06)

SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): “It is important that we do not let another President try to pack the courts. The Senate cannot become merely a rubberstamp for any President. The independence of the courts is critical to protecting the Constitution and the rights of individuals. It is for this reason that preserving the right to open and free debate in the Senate is so important.” (Sen. Reed, Congressional Record, S.4468, 4/28/05)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): “This President doesn't believe in advice and consent. He does not believe in it. He looks at it as an annoyance. He should read the Constitution. Senators are supposed to be giving advice and consent--advice at the front end, consent when we have the vote. But, no, they want 100 percent. They want to pack the courts. They want to pack the courts with people who will hurt average Americans and stand up for the special interests...” (Sen. Boxer, Congressional Record, S.6085, 6/6/05)

  • BOXER: “…we know it is wrong to pack the courts. It is not right. We want an independent judiciary.” (Sen. Boxer, Congressional Record, S.5811, 5/23/05)