07.05.2013 1

Upcoming Week of Obama Appointments: Perez, McCarthy, and the D.C. Circuit Court

By Willie Deutsch

As we look at the coming two weeks, there are a number of confirmation votes that are expected.  Gina McCarthy’s appointment to head the Environmental Protection Agency and Thomas Perez’s appointment to head the Department of Labor are the two high profile administration appointments.

Americans for Limited Government has written extensively about both of these nominees over the previous months.  “Exploding Car” Gina McCarthy is a key part of Obama’s radical green agenda, who has very little understanding of the science behind her “environmentally friendly” solutions.

Thomas Perez is someone who seems to think he is above the law, but since he is in the pocket of the union lobby, a very aggressive effort is being waged to make sure he is confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Labor.  Thankfully conservatives like Marco Rubio have been fighting against Perez’s confirmation and hopefully in the coming weeks Republican’s will follow Senate Democrats’ lead and reject Obama’s nominees.

Also of interest are the three appointments to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  The D.C. Circuit is important because it is the court that generally hears challenges to regulatory actions.  This makes it a crucial court in the battle over Obama’s regulatory agenda.

One thing is incredibly telling about this confirmation fight, namely the Democrat hypocrisy in how they approach the confirmation of judges.  This is seen in both the judgeships they feel are important, and in what they think of the filibuster.  Both of these are things Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch lays out thoroughly in his USA Today OpEd, and floor speech on the topic which is well worth watching.

Hatch’s oped begins by quoting the Democrat position on filling the same court back in 2006:

 “The Senate should not consider another nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit until the need to fill this vacancy is clear and while more pressing vacancies on other courts have not been filled.” 

This was stated at a time when President Bush was just trying to get one judge confirmed to the D.C. Circuit.  Today the D.C. Circuit has the lowest case load, handling 40 percent fewer cases than judges on the next busiest circuit, and the number of vacancies labeled ‘judicial emergencies’ has skyrocketed. Hatch added, “Democrats in 2006 objected to another D.C. Circuit appointment even though President Bush had made nominations to 12 of 20 judicial emergencies. Democrats today demand three additional even though President Obama has made nominations to only eight of 33 judicial emergencies.”

The other area of hypocrisy is on the issue of filibusters.  Hatch notes in his floor speech that the number of filibusters are way down, and the number of confirmations have skyrocketed:

“The Senate confirmed a higher percentage of President Obama’s first-term appeals court nominees, and did so faster, than it had for President Bush.  The 111 judges confirmed in the previous Congress was the highest total in more than 20 years.

“Now we are at the beginning of President Obama’s second term.  The Senate is on a faster second-term confirmation pace than under any President in American history.  And by the way, we have already confirmed more judges as the Democratic majority allowed to be confirmed in all of 2005, the first year of President Bush’s second term.

“Or we can look specifically at nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals.  The six appeals court nominees already confirmed this year are more than 60 percent above the average annual confirmation pace during the entire time I have been in the Senate.  In fact, the Senate confirmed more appeals court nominees by this time in only eight of those 36 years.”

Yet, Democrats, including President Obama who attempted to filibuster one of the current Supreme Court justices are complaining about the number of filibusters.  Democrats are only able to claim the number of filibusters have increased recently because, as Hatch notes, “The little secret behind those wild claims of filibusters in the hundreds is that Democrats are counting cloture motions, not filibusters.”

This is an intentional effort to pad the number of filibusters for future rhetorical flourishes about Republican obstructionism.

Doug Kendall, who heads the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center, wrote that “the president’s best hope for advancing his agenda is through executive action, and that runs through the D.C. Circuit.”  However, to quote Sen. Hatch “There is no more need than in 2006 to fill these vacancies, and there is a greater need to fill certain vacancies on other courts. That would be a better course than a trumped up confrontation that will further politicize the confirmation process.”

Willie Deutsch is Editor-in-Chief for NetRightDaily.com, and Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government. You can follow him on twitter @williedeutsch.

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