(You can get all the links here.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), who I think is the only senator speaking out strongly against the banks or even attempting to find out what’s going on with a fixed trade deal like TPP — that’s because the money men have nice seats at the table already — is doing one more thing that makes me love her albeit somewhat conditionally. Today she made a rather obvious point: if the president doesn’t fight for the courts then it will be owned by Big Business, which is actually the case now.
Here’s what Salon is reporting that she said:
“Above all, we must make judicial nominations a priority. It’s time for a new generation of judges, judges whose life experience extends beyond big firms, federal prosecution, and whitecollar defense,” she said in a speech before the American Constitution Society.
“We need sustained pressure to get those judges in front of the Senate. Pressure — pressure on our President, pressure on Senators, pressure in the press,” she added.
By the way, if you’re watching at home and you’re wondering what the president can do given an insanely regressive house and a senate that requires a super-majority — and if you think the dems are bought off this would be your proof or why would a majority allow the minority to control the legislative dialogue (Just try imagining John Boehner giving away the GOP majority with a handshake…) — then you should know that his only real legacy will probably be appointments. And this is a window that may close in 2014 if the Republicans take over the U.S. Senate. Some of us are hoping that The Tea Party will nominate insane people again but how often does lightning strike twice?
Because of the slow pace of appointment confirmations the president may need two terms to appoint as many judges as the previous two presidents have done in one term. And its not just the quantity that we need to worry about. Take a look at that quote again from Sen. Warren and think about the quality of the appointments. That line about “white collar defense” rings very true. Nominate someone from labor or the civil liberties community at least once.
In other words, in order to counter the right wing influence of the courts you need to nominate someone like Vince Warren and not a guy who used to work with republicans. And if you do you shouldn’t count that as a victory. When you get a fight between Hard Crazy Right and Center Right you don’t get moderation. You get center right victories. On the other hand, the Penny Pritzker/Monsanto/Big Bank coalition that runs the White House will be thrilled I’m sure. Perhaps that’s the point.
Related: One thing you can do is sign this petition to reform the filibuster by the Daily Kos. I would even be happy if you could just end the filibuster for court appointments and nominees. I really think this will be the most important thing the president can do unless he wants to make his big donors happy. Big donors who tend to be republican in their worldview. I’m going to put this on a t-shirt: “Big Money pays the Republicans to win and the Democrats to lose.” Please just say no to the Penny Pritzker/Monsanto/Big Bank coalition. Somewhat related: Yes I have a personal stake in this. My dispute with Gidas Flowers and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) won’t have a happy ending if I can’t find a decent judge, or I lose if I get this judge. And she’s not alone at either the state or federal level. Related to Somewhat Related: You can read the whole story here about the shoddy work of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) here.
Caricature from DonkeyHotey licensed under Creative Commons