President Obama set a confrontation with Senate Republicans in motion on Tuesday morning by naming a slate of judges to a top appeals court and daring his rivals to block their confirmations.
In a formal Rose Garden ceremony normally reserved for Supreme Court nominees and prominent cabinet members, Mr. Obama announced plans to nominate three people to fill the remaining vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The president called on Republicans to abandon what he called partisan obstruction of his judicial nominees and approve his nominees quickly.
“This is not about principled opposition. It’s about partisan obstruction,” Mr. Obama said. “What’s happening now is unprecedented. For the good of the American people it has to stop.”
“What I’m doing today is my job,” Mr. Obama said as he announced the nominations. “What I need is the Senate to do its job.”
By nominating the judges as a group, the president is trying to restore what his allies consider to be ideological balance on a crucial court that has overturned some important parts of his first-term agenda. And he hopes to heighten public anger at Republicans for repeatedly using the threat of filibuster to block his choices for the cabinet and the courts.
The effort could culminate this summer in a legislative collision between the two parties as the Democratic and Republican leadership clash over how and whether to rewrite long-standing procedural rules that could permanently change the dynamic in the chamber.
Only in the Beltway Media could the President doing his constitutionally approved duties be considered picking a fight. But, you know, both sides do it, so, let’s just move along.
Nothing is going to change if Republicans continue to be rewarded for their obstructionist tactics and slash and burn approach to governance. And as long as the stenographers keep writing vapid pieces like this, they are just going to keep on keeping on.