Friday, July 26, 2013

GOP DC Circuit Strategy, Revisited

Glenn Sugameli writes to me after I wrote this one, saying:
I watched Pillard’s hearing, and read all of the broad-ranging letters to the Senate on her nomination, and every article, opinion piece, blog post, and Senator Statement on her nomination, and as a result I agree with much of your post , but strongly disagree with this portion: “with lots of hot-button issues in her writings for them to attack. …. Pillard, however, will have serious opposition, and it's probably more likely than not that she'll be killed by filibuster.”

At her hearing, only three Judiciary Committee Republicans (Grassley, Lee and Cruz) really grilled Pillard (and ignored how their misconceptions and distortions that were dispelled by her testimony and prior writings).  Sen. Flake asked good questions and seemed pretty satisfied with her answers.

I strongly conclude that there NOT are “lots of hot-button issues in her writings for them to attack.” [...]

As for a filibuster, Sen. Murkowski [R-AK] always opposes them on judicial nominees, McCain, THE key player on filibusters has disavowed filibusters on the D.C.  Circuit nominees and one cosponsor of Grassley’s bill (Collins) wrote an Op-Ed that she would not filibuster on that basis and another (Graham) said he is uncertain.
He sends along too a link to his extremely thorough and helpful site.

First, to clarify: when I say that there are hot-button issues, I'm not saying that critics are correct -- or even that critics are basing their complaints on anything real. Only that opponents have raised (bogus or not) the kinds of issues which tend to be difficult for other Republicans to ignore.

But second: I take the vote-counting here seriously. If Flake in particular is satisfied with Pillard, or at least satisfied enough that he would vote for cloture, then he's going to be confirmed.

Or, to put it another way: I may have been totally wrong on this one. I'll keep watching, of course.

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