AP is reporting that Sen. Jon Kyl, the #2 Republican in the Senate and a member of the Judiciary Committee, is refusing to rule out a possible filibuster if Obama nominates someone for the Supreme Court that he doesn’t like:
The Senate’s No. 2 Republican on Sunday refused to rule out an effort to block confirmation if President Barack Obama seeks a Supreme Court justice who decides cases based on “emotions or feelings or preconceived ideas.”
Sen. Jon Kyl made clear he would use a filibuster, a procedural move to delay a final vote on a bill or nominee, if Obama follows through on his pledge to nominate someone who takes into account human suffering and employs empathy from the bench.
Let me remind you of what Kyl said on May 19, 2005, when he spoke in support of banning filibusters for judicial candidates on the floor of the Senate and boldly declared that he and his colleagues would never, ever change their minds if a Democrat was in the White House and they were in the minority and wanted to stop one of that president’s judicial nominees:
“Republicans seek to right a wrong that has undermined 214 years of tradition – wise, carefully thought-out tradition. The fact that the Senate rules theoretically allowed the filibuster of judicial nominations but were never used to that end is an important indicator of what is right, and why the precedent of allowing up-or-down votes is so well established. It is that precedent that has been attacked and which we seek to restore….
My friends argue that Republicans may want to filibuster a future Democratic President’s nominees. To that I say, I don’t think so, and even if true, I’m willing to give up that tool. It was never a power we thought we had in the past, and it is not one likely to be used in the future. I know some insist that we will someday want to block Democrat judges by filibuster. But I know my colleagues. I have heard them speak passionately, publicly and privately, about the injustice done to filibustered nominees. I think it highly unlikely that they will shift their views simply because the political worm has turned.”
I find it highly likely. And that Jon Kyl will be leading the hypocritical charge to do so despite his adamant denials a mere 4 years ago that he and other Republicans were just too gosh darn passionate to right the “injustice” of filibustering judicial nominees. And it took Kyl exactly two days after Obama’s election as the next president to reverse his bold position on the matter.