Knowing that an argument on the merits of either the need for another judge on the under worked DC Circuit or on Ms. Pillard where dubious at best, Democrats instead tried to play the gender card.
Democrats used Tuesday's vote to assail Republicans for opposing female nominees to the D.C. circuit. Republicans have blocked votes on two other Obama nominees to the same court this year, attorneys Patricia Millett and Caitlin Halligan.
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Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, top Republican on the Judiciary panel, called such arguments "offensive," adding that Democrats' "last line of defense is to accuse Republicans of opposing nominees based upon gender or race."
Kudos to Senator Grassley for his leadership on this issue.
Senate Democrats are not done on their efforts to pack the DC Circuit. Since Republicans won't be intimidated by playing the gender card, Senate Democrats are now threatening to blow up the Senate and destroy the rights of the minority party; all to support President Obama's effort at court packing.
Tuesday's vote prompted Democrats to threaten anew to unilaterally rewrite Senate rules to make it harder for the chamber's minority party to block nominations. Democrats could do that by curbing a minority's ability to require 60 votes to end procedural delays called filibusters.
Of course the Democrats true motive for this fight right now has an additional not- too-transparent political element.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the Pillard vote "a political exercise designed to distract the American people from the mess that is Obamacare," a reference to major enrollment problems with the 2010 health care law.
This sums up the problem. Judges are not political tools. Thank you to Senate Republicans for standing up to Democrat efforts to make them into exactly that.