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Monday, July 04, 2005

Biden on Brown

There's been some talk about the possibility that Bush will nominate Janice Rogers Brown to replace Justice O'Connor. Judge Brown was recently confirmed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals after having been filibustered by Democrats in the Senate. She was a key beneficiary of the 14-Senator deal to avert the nuclear option. She's also one of the more extreme people whom Bush has nominated (she likes to refer to liberal democracy as slavery, for instance).

One of the arguments I've heard righwingers make to bolster her case is that the Senate deal refers to "extraordinary circumstances", and since Judge Brown has now been confirmed, her nomination could not constitute an extraordinary circumstance.

Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) gave exactly the right answer when asked about this argument on CBS's Face The Nation Sunday. While saying he has "no intention of filibustering" (which is certainly the right attitude given that there is not yet a nominee!), Biden also said the following (see page 6 of the transcript):
Sen. BIDEN: Janice Rogers Brown ...(unintelligible).
ROBERTS: Wasn't she just confirmed, though? How do you invoke the...
Sen. BIDEN: Yes.
ROBERTS: ...extraordinary circumstances clause of the agreement of the Gang of 14 for
Sen. BIDEN: I'll tell you why.
ROBERTS: ...who's just been confirmed?
Sen. BIDEN: Because a circuit court a judge is bound by star decisis [this is a transcribing error; it should read stare decisis]. They don't get to make
new law. They have to abide by the--for example, she could not, in the...
ROBERTS: So what you're saying is the Supreme Court's different than the appellate...
Sen. BIDEN: Different ball game.
Sen. BIDEN: Totally different ball game.
Ms. GREENBURG: And is a filibuster...
Sen. BIDEN: Totally different ball game.

Go Joe.


Blogger strategery4 said...

One thing I don't understand about the debate over the Gang of 14 deal is why Dems don't bring up the two judges that the deal basically rejected (Myers and Saad) and the two left in limbo. Isn't that just as much of a precedent as Brown and Owens? If those rejected judges were unacceptable, doesn't that leave it pretty unclear what the standard for "extraordinary circumstances" is? (And if you've seen a copy of the deal document, what's up with Lincoln Chafee's "signature" in messy block letters? Did a 5 year old set up his auto pen?)

7/06/2005 10:39 AM  

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