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Beltway Confidential

‘He called it courtpacking!!!’

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Beltway Confidential,Congress,Timothy P. Carney,Supreme Court,Appeals Courts,Democratic Party,Analysis

Here are two easy ways to upset Democrats, I’ve learned:

1) Say “Democrat Party” instead of “Democratic Party.”

2) Use the phrase “courtpacking” to describe anything other than FDR’s court-packing.

Just a reminder to those liberals, that Democrats, when Bush was in power, used that phrase all the time to attack Bush for nominating judges whom he liked.

A brief sampling from the Congressional Record:

  • “The vote today is whether we will take a stand against ideological courtpacking.” John Kerry, explaining his vote against Samuel Alito’s Supreme Court confirmation, January 30, 2006.
  • “While some may exalt at the packing of the Court with yet another reliable, extreme voice in the mold of Scalia and Thomas…” Chuck Schumer, 1/31/2006
  • “The Senate would do a disservice to the country if we allowed ideological courtpacking of the left or the right…” Pat Leahy, May 9, 2002.
  • “The American people have rejected courtpacking before and I believe they will again. We are united against the abuse of power known as this nuclear option….” Patty Murray, 5/17/2005
  • “These unprecedented court stripping bills are nothing more than modern day versions of  ‘courtpacking.’ Just as President Franklin Roosevelt’s efforts to control the outcome of the Supreme Court by packing it with loyalists was rejected by Congress in the 1930s, thereby preserving the independence of the federal judiciary, so too must this modern day effort to show the courts ‘who is boss’ fail as well.” John Conyers, 9/22/2004
  • Courtpacking by Presidents of either party is harmful….  The answer for handling the remaining controversial nominees is not reckless rhetoric or undermining the Senate’s independence by changing its rules so that the independence of the Federal judiciary can become a victim to partisan courtpacking…. [T]he independence of our federal courts should not be lost to ideological courtpacking by this administration.” Leahy, 5/19/2003
  • “Now that the shoe is on the other foot, the Republicans have backed away from the blue slip policy because they have a higher mission: packing the courts with right-wing ideologues. Not since President Roosevelt’s courtpacking plan in 1937 has this country seen a President who has played politics with the courts the way President Bush has.” Dick Durbin, 7/17/2003
  • “President Bush, more than perhaps any other President, has made it his goal to pack the courts with judges who will roll back basic Federal rights, including civil rights, workers’ rights, and environmental protections.” Ted Kennedy, 2/13/2003
  • “This administration is determined to pack the Court with justices…” Jerry Nadler, 10/2/2003
  • “I hope he will stop trying to pack the Federal courts with extremists such as Priscilla Owen. Until he does, I have no choice but to do my duty to uphold the Constitution and oppose them.” Frank Lautenberg, 5/25/2005
  • “If this White House had looked a little harder and were not so focused on packing the circuit court bench with a narrow ideology, it could have found many qualified nominees…” Leahy, Sept. 22, 2002.
  • “Sadly, they have many allies in high places–allies in the Senate who are willing to break the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate so that the far right can pack the Federal courts with judges more of their liking.” Durbin, 5/17/2005

If you push me, I’ll get more.

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