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June 03, 2005


Some of this "raft" of nominations may have been anchored offshore waiting to see what the market would bear, and how close the customs inspectors were looking under the tarps.

Others may have been withheld to manipulate the market, creating artificial scarcity.

Recall in the Nuclear run-up, Reid offered immediate action on 3 or 4 of the "obstructed" nominations ... and the GOP staved off Reid's effort to square the tally.

Hatch buckled down to keep his statistical load of fertilizer uncontaminated by gift-ponies. "65% confirmation of Bush appellate nominations"? Wouldn't want that bumped up any, either by voting on Reid's free passes, or releasing any fast-track choices. Wouldn't want to bump the Dem's "95% confirmed" up to 96 or 97. Wouldn't want the "judicial emergency" vacancy rate ground down in advance of the Nuke Option debate, would we?

Anyway, we'll see soon enough what the judge-mongers have in store. Pull that raft up to the dock, spring those Hatch-covers, and we'll know by the smell.

OK, RonK, what do you recommend for getting the orange juice out of the interstices of my keyboard?

I think they've been keeping this pack of nominees somewhere in a freezer, rather than offshore below decks - do rafts have decks? - given that most of them seem to be Originalists not as regards the Constitution but based on pre-Enlightenment sources. We're going to be reduced to searching for the tiniest hope that this nominee is better than that one because s/he once half-disagreed with Justice Scalia on whether the Third German Reich was a product of separation of church and state. If the Democrats behaved the way I would like, "Extraordinary Circumstances" would be a rubberstamp on the desk of every Senator on the left side of the aisle. Fat chance.

I'll tell you one thing, MB, it'd be really interesting to see what the Republican seven do if every one of the Democratic seven (or even six of the seven) together agree that some nomination in the future represents extraordinary circumstances.

The natural inclination for the 48 other Republicans, of course, will be to say that this is a clear violation of the agreement. But after all that talk about deep trust, soul searching and whatnot, some of the Republican seven -- about three of them, probably -- are going to have a difficult time explaining why the unanimous agreement of their seven trusted brethren (and, uh, sis..tren?) isn't in itself an extraordinary circumstance.

[Dramatic pause.]

But then everyone will wake up from the dream and call each other fascists and blow the whole place up like we knew they were going to in the first place. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Wasn't one of the things that might make an "extraordinary circumstance" the failure of BushCo to consult on nominees? Certainly with respect to Supreme Court nominees.

And just where does this all fit into the June schedule among the votes on the budget and tax cuts, dealing with the Iran attack or pretend attack and concomtant continued high gasoline prices, and the continuing deterioration in the economic numbers?

Talk about overextending your forces . . . .

Let's get specific. "Extraordinary circumstances" means whatever Lindsey Graham and Mike DeWine think it means. (And maybe one more of the GOP seven - but most of the others are bluish-state moderates.)

I don't know much about DeWine. Graham seemed like a nutcase during the impeachment, but he occasionally strays off the reservation in odd ways. The one thing we know for sure about the GOP seven, though, is that none of them WANT to go nuclear - otherwise they would never have signed onto the deal in the first place.

It would be better if the nuclear confrontation came on a SCOTUS nomination, to give a name and face to the underlying issue - lower-court nominations, even to circuit courts, are faceless commodities to the broad electorate. Unfortunately that is not in our hands, because there's only so far that we can hold noses on some of those people.

Still, the GOP losts its BEST chance to go nuclear, because once someone blinks they are more likely to blink again, and Bush's numbers aren't getting better.

-- Rick Robinson

Orange juice, eh? Hmmm. Tried vodka?

Personally, I'm concerned that the judge-mongers may have been experimenting with reproductive cloning and worse, in some secret offshore laboratory ... maybe on a tropical island utopia created by the libertarian wing of the FedeRalIST Society.

Q: What do you get when you cross an Originalist with an Octopus?

A: I dunno, but it'd better keep its slimy tentacles off my 28-foot tall Social Security gorilla.

Rick -- They're getting blinkier all the time.

It really seems to me that their argument that owen, Pryor and Brown are the standard is crazy. It is also so incredibly easy to refute.

It obviously took an extraordinary process -- threatening the nuclear option -- to get them their vote. That's a clear cut example of an 'extraordinary' case.

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