And how did their favoring For-Profit "Media Machine" react to these statements? Right Wing "flame thrower" Breitbart.com's Ken Klukowski wrote "President Barack Obama is finalizing an aggressive strategy to pack a court." He adds, "Obama cannot enact major liberal legislation now that he’s lost the House and might also lose the Senate next year. Instead, he’s trying to declare law by executive fiat. Whether he gets away with it likely turns on whether he can change Senate rules and then pack the D.C. Circuit with sympathetic judges."
What headline does the Washington Times write for this story? "Republicans prepare to clash with Obama over court ‘packing." But is the nomination of three judges to a federal court an attempt to "pack" a court?
Let it be understood, the D.C. Circuit Court is not like any other Federal Court. The D.C. Court rules on actions of of the Executive as they maintain jurisdiction over actions undertaken by the President. You may recall, it was the D.C. Circuit Court that recently ruled Obama's effort to make "recess appointment" was "Unconstitutional" because the Executive cannot determine when the Senate is in recess and that only the Senate can determine that point. But isn't it universally understood that elections come with obvious consequences, and one of the major consequences of winning the presidency is the Constitutional authority to appoint judges favorable to the elected President's ideology? Hasn't every president enjoyed the right under Article II of the Constitution to appoint justices favorable to their policies? Wasn't it Washington that nominated Federalist judges to the courts, to the ire of his opponents? Wasn't it John Adams that attempted to complete appointments of "federalist" judges before midnight on the last night of his term as president (see Marbury v. Madison)? Wasn't it Ronald Reagan that took the opportunity to fill Supreme Court vacancies by appointing justices favorable to his ideology by nominating William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy? Can anyone doubt George H.W. Bush's appointment of Clarence Thomas was guided by ideology? Ah, but you might expect a retort that they did not nominate more than one justice at a time, right? Wrong! President George W. Bush nominated John Roberts to serve as Chief Justice on September 5, 2005 and Samuel Alito to serve as Associate Justice on October 31, 2005. Okay, not exactly at the same time, but within weeks of each other! But did Washington, Adams, Reagan and Bush engage in an effort to "Pack" the Supreme Court? Of course not! But truth be damned when it comes to Barack Obama! And the Republicans cannot understand why moderate Americans grow more and more disgusted with them. If the Republicans continue to "overreach" on every issue before them, they run a serious risk of having their limbs fall off.
"Packing" a Court is defined as an effort by an Executive (either a President, Governor or Legislature) by expanding or contracting the number of Judges on a Court's bench. The most famous example of presidential efforts to "pack" a Court was FDR and his attempt to convince Congress to expand the number of Justices on the Supreme Court. The basis for that effort? To tilt the balance in favor of his programs by appointing justices favorable to his depression-era policies. A more recent example of attempts to "Pack" the Court was undertaken by Tea Party Florida Governor Rick Scott, who proposed a measure to the Florida legislature that would split the Florida Supreme Court into two separate divisions, one handling exclusively criminal matters and the other exclusively civil ones. It was no secret that Scott wanted to move the existing justices appointed by Democratic Governors and retained by the electoral process to the "new" criminal division and then appoint "new" justices acceptable to the Tea Party to the "new" civil division. Attempts to add or deduct seats on an existing Court is the only way efforts can be undertaken to "Pack" a Court. But nominating judges to fill vacancies?
McConnell, Grassley and those pushing talking points that Obama is "trying to declare law by executive fiat" are, and I don't take this comment lightly....lying and they should be ashamed of themselves! At a time when we recently had GOP Representative Darrell Issa calling out White House Jay Carney for being a "paid liar" and Fox News reporting that Tom Donilon, National Security Adviser is a "Liar" (heard that one today), perhaps it is high time folks start calling out those in Congress for being "Pinocchios" as well? Remember when Fox News was reporting Hillary Clinton was faking her concussion by claiming she was suffering "Benghazi Fever" instead? Soon thereafter, they went on to claim she was lying about suffering from a blood clot because only a clot close to the brain would require her to continue to stay in the hospital, when she really should have been testifying about her role in the Benghazi non-"scandal." Remember? Remember Right Wing Media claiming they had proof Clinton was seen entering a limo proving she was in fact not hospitalized as claimed? Of course you do. Do you remember hearing apologies from Fox News and their "talking heads" when it was reported Clinton actually was suffering from a blood clot behind her ear requiring her to remain hospitalized? Of course not! Just today they aired a GOP Senator claiming Clinton was "personally responsible for the death trap in Benghazi." Now they claim she had a hand in the murder of Americans? Really? And not a word from the Fox anchor, none!
Am I the only one sick and tired of Media on both sides of the political spectrum creating news out of whole cloth? Am I the only one concerned Media is no longer dedicated to reporting news and educating audiences? As Thomas Jefferson once said, "The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper. We should expect the truth and only the truth from our President, our Senate, our House of Representatives, our Governors, our State Houses and at the very least, our Media. Isn't it time America demand we be taken for a ride only on the "high road?"