Dean of the Senate Women

Not About Anything But Democrats, According to Republicans

Judge Merrick Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals is introduced as a Supreme Court nominee, at the White House Rose Garden in Washington, D.C., 16 March 2016.  (Detail of photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

“Naturally, I would like to have him treated fairly, but a lot depends on who’s elected, a lot depends on who’s going to be president.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Via Reuters:

Two key U.S. Senate Republicans signaled they would be open to considering after the Nov. 8 presidential election President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nomination of Merrick Garland, the centrist judge who was set on Thursday to begin meeting with senators.

The comments by Utah’s Orrin Hatch and Arizona’s Jeff Flake, members of the Judiciary Committee that would hold any confirmation hearings, came a day after Obama nominated Garland to the lifetime position on the high court to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died on Feb. 13.

Senate Republican leaders have vowed not to hold confirmation hearings or an up-or-down vote on any Supreme Court nominee put forward by Obama, whose term ends in January. They want the next president to make the selection, hoping a Republican wins November’s election.

Flake said while Republican leaders were “fully justified” in delaying action on confirmation, if the Republicans lose the White House race the Republican-led Senate “ought to look at this nomination in a lame-duck session in November.”

And while it’s true that something goes here about the futility of predicting conservative behavior, it’s worth reminding that part of the reason for this is that even Republicans aren’t paying attention.

This is the problem: They’re not even trying.

(more…)

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The Barbaras

Via the one and only Meredith Shiner:

Such reflections come on the heels of news that Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) will retire at age seventy-eight, after a thirty-year run in the upper chamber:

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced Monday she will not seek another term in the Senate.

Speaking at a press conference, the Maryland Democrat said she asked herself: “Do I spend my time raising money, or do I spend my time raising hell?”

Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA; left) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), in undated, uncredited photo via Instagram.Mikulski, 78, is the longest serving woman in Congress. She has been in the Senate since 1987, after serving 10 years in the House.

Her retirement will likely launch a feeding frenzy among candidates eager to run for a rare open Senate seat in Maryland. Both party campaign committees quickly released statements arguing the seat’s competitiveness in a state Democrats have dominated statewide in federal races ....

.... Mikulski is the second senator to announce she is retiring next year, following California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer.

(Levinson and Lesniewski)

2016 will be an interesting cycle, to say the least.

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Image note: Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA; left) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), in undated, uncredited photo via Instagram.

Shiner, Meredith. “omg this pic”. Twitter. 2 March 2015.

Levinson, Alexis and Niels Lesniewski. “Mikulski Will Not Seek Another Term (Updated)”. At the Races. 2 March 2015.