Up | March 09, 2013
>>> dan was just doubting whether the pastries are real. it's a question that you at home are asking.
>> discriminating against gluten intolerance.
>> i know, we get a lot of comments about that. nan, you're saying it's not about guns, it's about this broader obstruction strategy. a percentage of judicial nominees confirmed three of the last three presidents in the first term, bill clinton , 82%. george bush , 90%. and president obama 's first term 225 days to get confirmed. vacancies went up under his first term as opposed to down as they did in president bush 's first term. so we're seeing something fairly unprecedented, it seems to me.
>> we are seeing the result of decades-long battle for control of the federal judiciary . for decades now, republicans have sought to appoint judges who will carry out their missions, once they become federal judges . and of course, once they're federal judges , they're there for life. when democrats are in the white house , republicans' effort is solely focused on keeping as few of their judges confirmed.
>> judicial nominees confirmed. and we are seeing that, really, this battle, gone on for years, being played out right now.
>> why is there any symmetry -- why is this asymmetry of intensity? let's remember, when some judicial nominees that president george bush -- george w. bush were filibustered by democrats . there was a massive outcry by republican senators and they precipitated a crisis. to use the constitution to get rid of that. they brought that cots, did the justice sunday. organizing. this is a montage, just to give a flavor of what that look like when everyone agreed on the republican side that every nominee deserved an up or down vote. take a look.
>> it's high time to make sure that all judges receive fair up or down votes on the senate floor.
>> any president's nominees, whether they be republican or democrat, if they have the support of the majority of the senate, they will get an up or down vote in the senate.
>> regardless of party, any president's judicial nominees after full debate deserve a simple up or down vote.
>> there no not be a litmus test for nominees. he or should should be confirmed.
>> caitlin halligan filibustered this week i'm sure would have loved that. what came out of that, this gang of 14 deal. there's only three republican senators left from that group. john mccain , lindsey graham and suzanne collins . you only get to filibuster in extraordinary circumstances. and the three remaining parties to that deal in the senate this week, all voted to filibuster. caitlin halligan, saying extraordinary circumstances.
>> do not get me started. because this deal that was entered into by republicans and democrats enabled republican nominees to be sent to the d.c. circuit . and we now have the situation where we've got the d.c. circuit in the hands of republican-pointed judges. this is important because we see --
>> after five years of a democratic --
>> we see invalidated air pollution rules. invalidated warning labels on cigarette packages, invalidated s.e.c. labels. republicans know that their judges on the d.c. circuit are going to do their bidding. it's plain and simple. and therefore, they are going to block any candidate to the d.c. circuit . it's a matter of maintaining --
>> so why are they winning? why do they win? why do they get more?
>> because democrats are undisciplined. seriously. we just don't bring the fight. over and over .
>> i think it goes back to some of the personality differences between conservatives and liberals we talked about in the last segment. conservatives, study after study, tend to believe in an eye for an eye . democrats tend to say, hey, let's figure out a way to solve this problem.
>> and this process obsession, right?
>> yes. and you and i have had this argument debate before. is this problem here process or substance? it's like, i don't care. this is will to power politics. this is like there's a world view that liberals have. and there's a world view that conservatives have. and judges have it somewhere between . i'm just going to say it. conservatives feel the same way so you fight within any means necessary within the boundaries of the rules.
>> we saw that being played out recently in the effort to revise the rules. so as make it more difficult for republicans to engage in filibusters. what we saw some of my favorite senators, carl evans, rules were formed, to make itfilibuster.
>> and it's going to make it harder for democrats to filibuster.
>> that's what they say. the minute the republican democrats take control of the senate, that the republicans will take over.
>> -- i disagree on that.
>> two, even when democrats have the filibuster, they don't really use it that much.
>> i want to talk about that deal because this was the big moment where, again, we have the last crisis we had with filibuster was 2005 specifically over judicial nominees and precipitated and aggravated by the republican majority, right? and that resolved in this gang of 14 solution which is not a solution. and miguel estrada did not get named to the appeals circuit. and then we have this crisis at the beginning of this term and there was a deal struck because democrats basically wimped out. this is dick durbin , when we come back, lamenting the fact that the approach on the filibuster may not have the force that