March 18, 2016 News & Press Releases · Press Releases and Announcements

Where have we heard this before? National GOP takes judicial obstruction page out of VA GOP playbook

by Democratic Party of Virginia

The unfolding standoff in Washington over Republican obstruction of a qualified nominee for the Supreme Court probably sounds familiar to many Virginians, who have just witnessed a similar cynical drama play out in Richmond. In both cases, Republicans put their partisan agenda ahead of the integrity of the judiciary system and what is best for the families they serve. Blocking qualified nominees for the bench is becoming a trend for the modern Republican Party, and a clear indicator that theirs is a party geared far more toward obstructionism than it is toward governing or making people's lives better.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is now using the “You started it” playground tactic to justify Senate Republicans ignoring their Constitutional obligation to hold a Supreme Court nomination hearing.  But they’re running into some predictable roadblocks:
    • The majority of Americans want President Obama to fill the vacancy and Americans are taking to calling and Senate Republicans engaging on Twitter with the ever-trending #DoYourJob hashtag
    • The move is a thinly-veiled effort to thwart President Obama’s legacy after Republicans were twice rebuked at the polls in 2008 and 2012.
  • Virginia’s Republican Congressional Delegation followed Senate Republicans’ obstructionist lead despite not having any Constitutional authority to confirm a Senate nominee. This exemplifies the extent of the political drama.
  • This brings us to Virginia Republicans and the similar tactics they used to remove a universally-respected judge from the State Supreme Court. 
    • From the Richmond-Times Disptach: “Republicans — perhaps mimicking the refusal of U.S. Senate Republicans to consider President Barack Obama’s choice for the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court — will have demonstrated on a grand scale that more important than protecting the independence of the judiciary is preserving their power over it.”
    • Ignoring the decisive election results in 2013, Republicans tried to force Ken Cuccinelli back on Virginians. They nominated a political demagogue and one that Virginians have already resoundingly rejected
  • The Virginia Republican who best exemplifies both Virginia and National Republicans' total cognitive dissonance on the Judicial Nomination procedure is Senator Glen Sturtevant.
    • Sturtevant was originally applauded after he came out against the GA Republicans who tried to remove Roush.  Saying,  “But at the end of the day, this really is about maintaining the independence of the judiciary, and politicization of the entire process is not good for the court, it’s not good for the General Assembly, it’s not good for Virginia — and I’m not willing to be a party to that.”
    • But when Ken Cuccinelli was nominated Sturtevant’s desire to uphold the integrity of his position disappeared.
    • Issuing a lengthy rambling statement attempting to justify his flip-flopping, Sturtevant seemed more interested in a good soundbite for his tough reelection than actually standing up for what he believes.