re: SCOTUS Nomination, what is Obama's long game?

Sure, this is fair game as well.

I don’t think the President is playing a “game” here, so much as he’s smartly hedged his bets. Garland is liberal in all the ways Obama cares about, so if the Senate blinks then Garland on the court is a happy outcome for him, whereas if he’s picked some of the other choices he’d be less certain. The President doesn’t actually know what’s going to happen for sure(betting markets see a confirmation as close to 50-50), so sending up someone more conservative to show that he’s the reasonable guy would likely have backfired on him.

Garland is moderate enough that Republicans can’t plausibly block him, but liberal enough that he tilts the balance of the court on all but criminal justice issues.

As far as I can tell, the long game is to keep the base happy until the election by opposing everything Obama proposes. They must have figured out they’d rather keep the anti-Obama faction placated than try to expand their tent by being more accommodating to Obama. I don’t think it’s the right decision for them, but I’m happy they’re making it.

Rubio said he was completely unacceptable.

Ideologically, I agree, I just don’t think it’s acceptable to block candidates based on ideology if they are as well qualified as Garland is. I can feel free to grumble about it, but Garland should be confirmed.

How very reasonable of you! I quite agree. Although there’s a lot of wiggle room in the term “qualified,” isn’t there? Nonetheless, it’s hard to imagine anyone rational saying Garland is unqualified.

Garland is probably the most qualified person ever to be nominated. Most of the time a person with few decisions gets sent up to the Senate. Garland’s got a history and tons of experience. The downside(for Dems) is that he’s a little old.

I’m sure they have none that extends past November, at any rate. They – and American conservatism in general – are just fighting a holding action, trying not to lose ground more than an inch at a time, even though they see no way in the long run to any Reagan-Revolution kind of victory. They probably would not even hold the House without some careful and brazen gerrymandering, and they hear the clock softly but ominously ticking towards the next census.

ACTUALLY if Obama had any balls he would send Biden over to preside. Any Dem Senator could then ask for a Call of the House. Remember it is illegal for a Senator to be absent unless excused by the presiding officer. Biden of course excuses all Democrats but no Republicans. Send Marshals to arrest them in their own homes if necessary and drag them handcuffed onto the chamber floor to answer the charge. Hey you don’t want to recess then you WILL be in the Chamber.

To be pedantic, you actually need more Dems than Pubs to Call, but if it is a pro-forma session that should not be to difficult to pull off.

Actually, per the Senate rules, any pending nomination is returned without consent at the end of the session. So a pending nomination would become null and void on January 3, 2017 when the Senate ends one session and begins the new one.

Pending nominations are not returned just because a new president takes office. But the new president could withdraw a nomination previously made by the prior president.

There is nothing that would prohibit Obama from nominating Garland again to the new Senate.

The Vice President of the United States does serve as the president of the Senate. But that is a role without power to set the order of business. This scheme would not work.

Ummmm … yes it would. A Call of the House is not in the Order of Business, it is implied in Senate Rule 4(1) as part of the morning business which is NOT controlled by the majority leader and the procedure is Senate Rule 6. The Order of Business is in Rule 8

Obama cannot force a recess appointment. The Supreme Court unanimously decided in NLRB v Canning that the once every three days tap the gavel pro forma sessions are legally sufficient to prevent a recess appointment.

Per the Constitution, in order for the Senate to recess more than three days the House would have to consent. Which plays into a possible long game for the Republicans.

I have speculated that having the Senate recess and allowing Obama to make a recess appointment might be the way out of gridlock for the Republicans. Any nominee so seated would be temporary, only in office until the end of the next Senate session. That would permit such a nominee to hear and vote on cases starting as early as October. Such a justice would not have a say in any opinions not released by the end of the Senate term on January 3. Very few opinions are released so quickly - usually just ones from non-controversial cases.

The one wrinkle to this… it is not entirely clear if such nominee’s term would expire January 3, 2017 or January 3, 2019. The wording in the Constitution would likely be interpreted in light of NLRB v Canning and I *think *such nomination would expire January 3, 2017. Which would effectively kick the can down the road, putting off permanently filling the vacancy until after the election.

Straight from the US Senate:

The VP cannot just show up and take over.

Originally to wait out the clock, hope for a GOP presidential victory in Nov. and then replace Saclia with a similar Justice.

Of course, a Trump nomination looked less likely back when McConnell first declared they weren’t going to even consider an Obama nominee. Now a Hillary Presdiency looks more likely, and a Trump Presidency is at least plausible (who might nominate a Conservative, Liberal, or his horse to the bench, depending on how he feels that morning). So I’m not sure how much they’re now sticking with the original strategy, and how much is just that they want to have a last temper-tantrum about the fact that Obama is President before it’s too late.

Doesn’t the end of the old Congress automatically trigger a recess? Seems weird to say Congress is in session if it stops existing in January.

Have a do-over of the 2008 election, and then re-write the history books to completely eliminate Obama.

Yes. The end of the Congress is simultaneous with the beginning of the next. No gap in between to make an appointment.

And what happens if the next senate also refuses to even consider HRC’s appointment to the court. Sure they will drag out Bork, but there were long hearings on Bork and the full senate voted him down. Even if the Dems were to win back the senate (or tie it), they could filabuster till the cows came home (or till they jumped over the moon).

Then the next Senate will refuse to consider HRC’s appointment to the court. And pay whatever political price that costs.