Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kyl Set To Block Obama's Non-Existent Court Nominees

I've been wondering since last Tuesday what it will feel like to be on defense for the next four years with a Democratic president and Congress and I think Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) is letting us know way before Barack Obama even assumes the office and the 111th Congress convenes.

With thanks to my friends at Crooks and Liars for the tip, I find out today that Kyl is already making noise about how, with no Supreme Court seats open and nobody on Team Obama even remotely talking about possible future nominees, he'll fight tooth and nail to see that President Obama's nominees are not confirmed.

Here's an excerpt from the Phoenix Business Journal:
Jon Kyl, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, warned president-elect Barack Obama that he would filibuster U.S. Supreme Court appointments if those nominees were too liberal.

Kyl, Arizona’s junior senator, expects Obama to appoint judges in the mold of U.S Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and Stephen Breyer. Those justices take a liberal view on cases related to social, law and order and business issues, Kyl said.

“He believes in justices that have empathy,” said Kyl, speaking at a Federalist Society meeting in Phoenix. The attorneys group promotes conservative legal principles.

Kyl said if Obama goes with empathetic judges who do not base their decisions on the rule of law and legal precedents but instead the factors in each case, he would try to block those picks via filibuster.
Wow. This may be the first time a new president's "honeymoon" period with Congress ends in the November before inauguration.

With the Democratic caucus sitting at 57 seats before the Senate races in Minnesota, Georgia and Alaska are even decided and with the prospect of having to oppose what might be a very popular president, Kyl's ludicrous comments have the empty ring of the chicken saying he is going to eat the fox.

But as one who has watched the Senate for many years, I will say that President-elect Obama should know that any hand he or Senate Democrats reach across the aisle will likely be bitten or urinated upon.

In other words, we have our feet on Congressional Republicans throats. This kind of talk from Kyl should reinforce the need to step down harder way before giving in to any foolish urge to let up.