JUDICIAL NOMINEES. President Obama has attempted to shift the public’s focus from the scandals in his administration, the IRS, Benghazi, and the DOJ to judicial nominees; he would like to emphasize so-called Republican “obstructionism” if Republicans should oppose his nominees. Obama decided to nominate three more judges to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the second most powerful court in the nation, a move that is seen as “deliberately provocative” by Republicans:
The decision to appoint new judges is a clear indication that the White House is closely working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Nevada Democrat has repeatedly expressed frustration this year with GOP tactics, and is considering changing the upper chamber’s procedures for judicial nominees.
The new nominees, who have yet to be named, could decide the fate of Obama’s two biggest legislative accomplishments — the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act — which fall under the D.C. Circuit’s jurisdiction. The court is also expected to handle Obama’s anticipated attempt to combat climate change through regulations, which will attract a slew of legal challenges.
Democratic operatives say Obama needs to move past the controversies over the IRS and the Departments of State and Justice, which they argue have been largely trumped up by Republicans.
Republicans think the maneuver has another aim: to build public support for triggering the nuclear option, a controversial tactic to change the Senate’s rules with a simple majority vote.
If Republicans use filibusters to stymie the appellate court nominees — along with the nominations of Richard Cordray, Obama’s choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Gina McCarthy, his pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Tom Perez, the nominee for Labor secretary — Democrats say they will be justified in changing the rules by a party-line vote.
This morning, several senators debated the merits and Constitutionality of the gun control legislation proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). It proved to be a somewhat heated and emotionally driven discussion for Sen. Feinstein.
However, in response to Sen. Feinstein and some of the other liberal senators in the discussion such as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Cruz responded with some key points asking that reason and data be the drivers behind the debate rather than passions.
He questioned both the Constitutionality and the effectiveness of the Sen. Feinstein’s legislation and asserted that there are more effective policy proposals for reducing gun violence and punishing violent criminals, which at the same time would maintain a greater and more appropriate level of respect for our Second Amendment rights.
GUNS. Tensions between gun control advocates and those who fear for their Second Amendment rights are coming to a boil inside and outside the beltway:
The centerpiece of President Obama’s gun violence agenda is in peril amid a deadlock among Senate negotiators over how to implement and enforce a proposal requiring background checks for private gun sales.
With time running out for talks, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) remains optimistic about reaching an agreement.
Schumer argues — and gun control groups agree — that records must be kept to ensure background checks are conducted before private transactions. Otherwise, any expansion of background checks would be unenforceable, they assert.
When you’re debating about guns in a constitutional republic that has a constitution protecting a citizen’s right to bear arms, it helps to know what’s in the Constitution and what is not in the Constitution so you don’t make an embarrassing mistake like this:
This Democrat “strategist” was pretty flustered when the Constitution was brought into the debate. Lacking an appropriate rebuttal, he simply thanked his opponent for his contribution before changing to another talking point.
On Friday, President Obama gave a gun control speech in Chicago, home to some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws… and a place where there has been an explosion of gun violence. Perhaps the connection is lost on the President. Indeed about 87 percent of the 506 homicides that occurred in Chicago in 2012 were gun related deaths.
One proposed solution from gun control proponents is another assault weapons ban, and the President has suggested that this proposal be taken into consideration.
But this CNN (yes, CNN) video demonstrates why that’s unlikely to work, just as the 1994 assault weapons ban failed to reduce gun violence:
President Obama has stated “we’ve got to be respectful of regional differences” when it comes to gun laws and has said that he doesn’t think we should ban handguns. But he has also said that Congress ought to at least consider an assault weapons ban. Such a ban would not bode well for respecting regional differences. Nor would it, as the video points out, really address the majority of gun deaths.
Although the President reemphasized for the need for stricter gun control laws during his State of the Union address, he and his supporters are naïve to believe that they can reduce violence (gun or otherwise) with a mere piece of legislation. The real solution will be found in understanding the cultural and familial issues that lead to violence, and then allowing local and state governments to respond to the needs of their particular communities.