New York Times shows glaring hypocrisy on blocking judicial appointments

In its September 15 editorial, The New York Times supported what it called the "informal Senate practice [that] allows a senator to block the nomination of a judge from his or her home state by referring to sign off on a blue-colored form."  The editorial, titled "A Hypocritical Battle Over Blue Slip," was apparently prompted by the refusal of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to approve the nomination to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals of "David Stras, a well-respected but very conservative justice" on the Minnesota Supreme Court.  (The editorial also noted that "Oregon's two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley," were blocking Ryan Bounds, another appeals court appointee from President Trump.)

The editorial went on to assert that a president "who lost the popular vote by almost three million votes ... should take account of the wishes and concerns of senators of the opposing party.  The editorial ended with this warning to Senate Republicans: "No majority lasts forever."

At The New York Times, consistency does not last forever, either.  Providentially, this writer happened across a January 28, 2012 New York Times editorial in a stack of clippings.  The title of this editorial: "Filibustering Nominees Must End."

This editorial began:

The system for reviewing presidential appointments is broken. The Senate has a constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on the naming of judges and high-ranking executive branch officials. But process has been hijacked by cynical partisanship and cheap tricks.

The following statement, again quoting from the January 28, 2012 editorial – written, of course, when the president who named federal judges was Barack Obama – is stunning in its hypocrisy, in light of the September 15 editorial:

"It is time to end the ability of a single senator, or group of senators, to block the confirmation process by threatening a filibuster, which can be overcome only by the vote of 60 senators."  (Apparently, withholding the blue slip is tantamount to a veto over the appointment – even filibusters can be ended.)

The hypocrisy was only exacerbated by the following Times comment, more than five years ago: "the nation votes for a president, who needs to be able to appoint top officials and judges. The Senate needs to decide whether to give its consent or not.  We can only hope that the president and the Senate will do that job responsibly, especially when both are controlled by the same party."

Perhaps The New York Times should correct the last statement to allow that it refers, actually, only to when Democrats control the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.  When Republicans control the presidency and Congress, "cynical partisanship and cheap tricks" should burst forth.

Note, too, that for The New York Times, it is apparently not sufficient that a judicial nominee be "well-respected," as it acknowledged Justice Stras to be.  For the Times, apparently, a judicial nominee must be a "well-respected" leftist.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley, please take note.

In its September 15 editorial, The New York Times supported what it called the "informal Senate practice [that] allows a senator to block the nomination of a judge from his or her home state by referring to sign off on a blue-colored form."  The editorial, titled "A Hypocritical Battle Over Blue Slip," was apparently prompted by the refusal of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to approve the nomination to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals of "David Stras, a well-respected but very conservative justice" on the Minnesota Supreme Court.  (The editorial also noted that "Oregon's two Democratic senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley," were blocking Ryan Bounds, another appeals court appointee from President Trump.)

The editorial went on to assert that a president "who lost the popular vote by almost three million votes ... should take account of the wishes and concerns of senators of the opposing party.  The editorial ended with this warning to Senate Republicans: "No majority lasts forever."

At The New York Times, consistency does not last forever, either.  Providentially, this writer happened across a January 28, 2012 New York Times editorial in a stack of clippings.  The title of this editorial: "Filibustering Nominees Must End."

This editorial began:

The system for reviewing presidential appointments is broken. The Senate has a constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on the naming of judges and high-ranking executive branch officials. But process has been hijacked by cynical partisanship and cheap tricks.

The following statement, again quoting from the January 28, 2012 editorial – written, of course, when the president who named federal judges was Barack Obama – is stunning in its hypocrisy, in light of the September 15 editorial:

"It is time to end the ability of a single senator, or group of senators, to block the confirmation process by threatening a filibuster, which can be overcome only by the vote of 60 senators."  (Apparently, withholding the blue slip is tantamount to a veto over the appointment – even filibusters can be ended.)

The hypocrisy was only exacerbated by the following Times comment, more than five years ago: "the nation votes for a president, who needs to be able to appoint top officials and judges. The Senate needs to decide whether to give its consent or not.  We can only hope that the president and the Senate will do that job responsibly, especially when both are controlled by the same party."

Perhaps The New York Times should correct the last statement to allow that it refers, actually, only to when Democrats control the two ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.  When Republicans control the presidency and Congress, "cynical partisanship and cheap tricks" should burst forth.

Note, too, that for The New York Times, it is apparently not sufficient that a judicial nominee be "well-respected," as it acknowledged Justice Stras to be.  For the Times, apparently, a judicial nominee must be a "well-respected" leftist.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Senate judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley, please take note.