Posts Tagged ‘arlen specter’

Glenn Reynolds links to this post at Cato concerning Specter’s questioning of Kagan and dissatisfaction with her answers.

The most memorable part of today’s first session of questioning (9am till after 1pm) was undoubtedly Arlen Specter pressing the nominee to answer questions about various lawsuits of special concern to him … Specter was extremely dissatisfied, to the point where his vote is legitimately in doubt.

Why is this so interesting? Well Specter’s time in the senate will be over in January. He has been rejected by democratic primary voters and no longer needs to please him and can’t and won’t get anything from Republicans. Thus for the first time in decades has absolutely no political skin in the game.

This vote will likely be one of the few times where he will be voting solely on what he actually thinks. I don’t know if anyone really cares but it will be interesting to see.

I’ve been mentioning how Morning Joe and Politico et/al seemed to have suddenly discovered Pa-12 when the polls were trending in their direction:

the plan apparently is to set the race now that the polls favor the dems as a possible or probable loss, so if they win, it becomes a HUGE win for democrats and if they lose, well it was a tight race in a conservative district. This is spin.

This weekend I touched on SEIU money and Mark Critz having to worry about Scott Brown being in the house, but I hit the sack without seeing Brinkley’s Robert Stacy’s latest post reporting on the latest poll, quite a difference:

The special election to replace John Murtha looks to be headed for a photo finish, with Republican Tim Burns leading Democrat Mark Critz 48-47 in PPP’s final poll of the race.

And Stacy had this to say about the numbers:

Sestak’s surge in the Senate race is the probably the only reason Critz isn’t trailing significantly in PA-12. In early April, a Quinnipiac poll showed Specter leading by 21 points and Sestak trailed in every poll through the end of April. Five of the six most recent polls, however, show Sestak leading, so Democrats have a lot more incentive to turn out.

With the latest poll showing a 1 pt difference with only a day left we would expect Morning Joe to mention the race again…

…you would be wrong. They talked about PA all right but only about the Senate race, they discussed it in each segment and even brought in Gov Rendell who talked up Arlen Specter. Not a single word about Pa-12, and Rush would say, zip zero nada.

It couldn’t be that seeing the new poll they decided to focus on the Senate race to bump up democratic turnout in the district could it?

How does the congress prevent Arlen Specter’s defection from allowing republicans from blocking judicial nominations? You change the rules of course but Legal Insurrection says not so fast:

I don’t think it is likely that the Rules will be amended for a particular nomination. First, the rule requiring a minority vote only comes into play if Republicans decide to fight a nominee to the bitter end. Assuming Souter is replaced with a roughly equivalent moderate liberal, I don’t see Republicans picking this fight. The existence of the rule itself should have a moderating effect on the choice made.

Second, changing the rules mid-session would itself be the cause of opposition to a candidate, and would taint any nomination before a vote of the full Senate. Remember, as of now the Democrats still do not have a filibuster-proof majority in the entire Senate, and even if Al Franken eventually gets seated, it would take only one of the handful of moderate Democrats to oppose a nominee for the filibuster to succeed. By forcing a nominee through committee by changing the rules, the administration would be increasing the likelihood of a problem.

Third, Harry Reid shot himself in the foot on rule changes by insisting that Roland Burris could not be seated without presenting the necessary Secretary of State certification. Reid’s words about the sanctity of Senate Rules would come back to haunt him if the Senate changed the Judiciary Committee Rules just to force through a nomination.points out this is a statement that Harry Reid should have taken to heart.

Harry should have taken President Coolidge’s words to heart but the real killer is #1. Every left wing pressure group will be looking for the big payoff in judicial nominations. They will be pushing the president to nominate someone as far left as possible. That increases the chances that republicans with frankly nothing to lose will play every card they have in the deck.