Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Republicans cede judicial nominations to NRA

Posted By on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 7:30 AM

NRA TARGET: The gun lobbys opposition to Justice Sonia Sotomayor failed, but it was the beginning of more judicial politicking.
  • NRA TARGET: The gun lobby's opposition to Justice Sonia Sotomayor failed, but it was the beginning of more judicial politicking.
The gun nuts do more than try to influence the electoral process. In recent years, they've expanded their politicking on judicial appointnents. This has moved beyond opposition of Supreme Court nominees with virtuallly blank records on gun issues to lower court appointnents.

Interesting backgrounder from Linda Greenhouse of the New York Times.

In short, you can't get a Republican senator to vote for a judicial appointment without the NRA seal of approval (a factor the GOP's Lisa Murkowski expressed some misgivings about even as she fell in line).

Greenhouse writes:

... The N.R.A. has embedded itself so deeply into the culture of Republican politics that it would take a cataclysm to break the bonds of money and fear that keep Republican office holders captive to the gun lobby’s agenda.

Well, a cataclysm just occurred, a few dozen miles from my office at Yale Law School. (My late father-in-law was born on a farm in the Sandy Hook neighborhood of Newtown.) There will be legislative proposals, and members of the Senate and House will debate them, maybe even enact a few, and people back home can decide what they think. How to get a handle on the gun problem is not my point. Rather, I want to offer the judicial nomination story as a canary in the mine, a warning about the depths to which the power of the gun lobby has brought the political system.

My point is this: It is totally unacceptable for the N.R.A., desperate to hang on to its mission and its members after achieving its Second Amendment triumph at the Supreme Court four years ago, to be calling the tune on judicial nominations for an entire political party. Free the Republican caucus. Follow Lisa Murkowski’s lead. Recognize a naked power play for what it is. Voters who think they care about the crisis of gun violence in America are part of the problem, not the solution — they are enablers if they aren’t willing to help their elected representatives cast off the N.R.A.’s chains. Call for an end to the cowardly filibuster against Caitlin Halligan, whose nomination the president resubmitted in September. The next time a senator announces opposition to a judicial nominee, demand something other than incoherent mumbo-jumbo. Tell the senator to fill in the blank: “I oppose this nominee because ____.” If there’s an answer of substance, fine. That’s advise-and-consent democracy. But if, upon inspection, the real answer is “because the N.R.A. told me to,” we have a problem. Based on these last few years, I think we do.

Tags: , ,

Speaking of...

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The homeward bound open line

    I'm off to the airport for a flight home to Little Rock. See you in the morning.
    • Dec 27, 2014
  • The lonely progressives

    A Nebraska liberal writes of the plight of the lonely progressives in a state dominated by Republicans. Sound familiar?
    • Dec 27, 2014
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Humanists sue over Baxter County nativity scene. Looks like another winner

    The Baxter Bulletin reported today on a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Baxter County resident over the Nativity scene that has been erected on the Baxter County Courthouse lawn for decades by local lawyer Rick Spencer.
  • Opinions split within GOP on "law and order" issues. Where will Asa stand?

    The New York Times reports that some Republicans are trending away from the lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key approach to criminal justice embraced by the party's old guard, in part out of a recognition that minority votes matter now more than ever. Asa Hutchinson wants to reach out to black voters — what better place to start?
  • U.S. growth rate highest in ten years; Arkansas economy also looking up

    National GDP grew by 5 percent in the third quarter, according to a revised figure by the U.S. Commerce Department. Arkansas Business reported yesterday that forecasters also predict a strong year of growth ahead for Arkansas. We're still waiting for Obamacare to deliver its promised economic implosion.
  • Here's to Hutchinson, McCain and American revulsion at torture

    On Nov. 16, 1776, Gen. George Washington stood on the Jersey Palisades and peered across the Hudson River through his telescope as the British tortured American militiamen who had surrendered and then put them to the sword. Hearing the screams of his men, according to an aide, Washington turned and sobbed "with the tenderness of a child."
  • Easy on the pay raises

    An independent commission appointed by the governor, legislative leaders and the chief justice began work last week to fulfill part of Issue 3, the constitutional amendment that eased term limits, banned lobbyist gifts to legislators (sort of) and provided a mechanism for pay raises.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2014 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation