Thursday, November 13, 2008

John Kyl: just kidding about the nuclear option

Wait! You mean all that talk about the need for an "up or down vote" was just a bunch of partisan B.S.?

November 2008
“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.

That didn't take long.

It seems like just yesterday Senator Kyl was wringing his hands over the thought that Democrats were destroying 214 years of "wise, carefully thought out" Senate tradition.

April 18, 2005
KWAME HOLMAN: But Sen. Kyl says the advise and consent role should include an up-or-down vote as well and changing the Senate rules may be the only way to guarantee it.

SEN. JON KYL: There may well come a Supreme Court vacancy soon. I just don't think the people of the country are going to stand by and let a minority dictate whether or not we're even going take a vote on a nominee.

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER: My strategy is to use every ounce of my energy to try to confirm President Bush's judges without going to the so-called "constitutional" or "nuclear option."

KWAME HOLMAN: But Sen. Kyl says Democrats may give Republicans no choice.

SEN. JON KYL: Our Democratic colleagues have to make a decision. Will they continue their filibuster or not? If they do, and they're not willing to discuss any kind of a compromise, then I don't see any alternative but to reestablish the tradition of the majority vote.

April 25, 2005
SEN. JOHN KYL: This is strictly about whether or not a minority of senators is going to prevent the president from being able to name and get confirmed judges that he chooses after he's been elected by the American people. And it's never been the case until the last two years that a minority could dictate to the majority what they could do.


SEN. JOHN KYL: Well, I'll tell you what is shutting down the judiciary is not filling vacancies. We have according to the commission on the courts several emergency judicial emergencies, situations in which we need to put judges in to vacant positions. They're not -- we're not being able to act on them. It really is true that justice delayed is justice denied. So we need to give these judges an up or down vote. That's all we're asking for, and if some of my colleagues think that they're too conservative or in some other way unqualified then vote against them.

May 19, 2005
SEN. JOHN KYL: The reality is that the Senate is now engaged in an historic effort to protect constitutional prerogatives and the proper checks and balances between the branches of government. Republicans seek to right a wrong that has undermined 214 years of tradition – wise, carefully thought-out tradition. The fact that the Senate rules theoretically allowed the filibuster of judicial nominations but were never used to that end is an important indicator of what is right, and why the precedent of allowing up-or-down votes is so well established. It is that precedent that has been attacked and which we seek to restore.

Fortunately, the Senate is not powerless to prevent a minority from running roughshod over its traditions. It has the power – and the obligation – to govern itself. As I will demonstrate today, that power to govern itself easily extends to that device that has come to be known as the “constitutional option.”

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