How to Undo the Obama Presidency by Blocking Judges

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 25 2013 9:06 AM

How to Undo the Obama Presidency by Blocking Judges

164449865
President Barack Obama walks toward the White House on March 23, 2012 in Washington, DC after returning from his travel to the Middle East.

Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

The news broke late on Friday, and it didn't even come up on the Sunday shows. Caitlin Halligan, the former New York solicitor general, withdrew as a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The casus belli for a Republican filibuster was Halligan's work for New York on a gun rights case. The NRA opposed her; the NRA usually gets what it wants in cases like these.

The result, this time, saved one of the beachheads of conservative/libertarian resistence to Obama. No judge has been confirmed to the court since Barack Obama took office. That's left the court with four vacancies, four Republican-appointed judges, and three Democrat-appointed judges, and that's boosted conservative odds of blocking Obama's executive moves. It was a D.C. circuit panel that ruled against Obama's recess appointments to the NLRB. Republicans have cited that decision to call Obama's nominees "unconstitutional," and pre-announce that they'd filibuster any nominee to lead the CFPB. It's helped in other ways, which are named in this very good Haley Edwards piece about the lobbying that's blocking Dodd-Frank.

In September 2012, the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned the CFTC’s rule. In the decision, the court wrote that the commission lacked a “clear and unambiguous mandate” to set position limits without first demonstrating that they were necessary and appropriate. And with that, more than two years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, there were still no federally administered position limits for any commodities except grain, and the CFTC was back to square one.
Advertisement

For years, Democrats tried to keep the D.C. circuit skewed by blocking Bush nominees. They made one compromise: Allowing Janice Rogers Brown to evade a filibuster and make it on the court. Republicans have returned that favor with filibusters and a status quo that favors them.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

Republicans Want the Government to Listen to the American Public on Ebola. That’s a Horrible Idea.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 21 2014 11:27 AM There Is Now a Real-life Hoverboard You Can Preorder for $10,000
  Life
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 21 2014 12:40 PM Asamkirche: The Rococo Church Where Death Hides in Plain Sight
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don’t Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.