You are hereFeed aggregator

Feed aggregator

Sri Srinivasan: Supreme Court justice in the making?

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 26 min ago

It was just the latest chapter in a stellar legal career that has taken the 46-year-old litigator known as "Sri" to a seat on the nation's second most powerful court — and given him instant buzz as a potential Supreme Court justice himself.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Sunday Roundup

Huffington Post News - 4 hours 52 min ago

This week, the two men who finished first and second in New Hampshire offered the tale of two Republican parties. John Kasich's speech that night offered the starkest contrast to Donald Trump's triumphant ugliness, scapegoating and division. "We're going to solve the problems in America not by being extreme," he said, but by "reminding everybody that we are Americans dedicated to shining up America and fixing our problems." He declared that we are all meant to be "a part of the healing of this world." Kasich's speech was an alternate path forward for the GOP -- Trump's focused on our darkest fears, Kasich's on our better angels. As the campaign heads south, let's remember that presidential elections are about more than choosing the leader of the country. They are also about choosing what kind of country and people we want to be.

In the lead-up to the 2000 election, I interviewed historians and novelists about what we were looking for in a president. What they said then is just as relevant 16 years later. Here it is.

What Are We Looking For In A President?
October 13, 1999

To impose some order on the current chaotic state of presidential politics, I decided to go on my own listening tour of presidential historians and other assorted wise men and women.

"Every presidential election is a renewal," says David McCullough, Harry Truman's biographer. "Like spring, it brings up all the juices. The people are so tired of contrivance and fabrication and hokum. They really want to be stirred in their spirit. That's when we are at our best. The great presidents are people who caused those who follow them to do more than they thought they were capable of."

"The American people," says Cornel West, author of Race Matters, "want a statesman who will tell the truth about our collective life together, good and bad, up and down, vices and virtues. That is the ultimate act of respect for the American people."

The conventional wisdom holds that people want that which they don't have. So after the dark duplicity of Richard Nixon, we chose the grinning honesty of Jimmy Carter. And after the frugal malaise of Carter, we opted for the robust charisma of Ronald Reagan. Now, dizzy and nauseated from the spin-filled Clinton years, it's no wonder we crave authenticity.

"We want different things from presidents at different times," says historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. "There is a latent reserve of idealism in the American people, which presidents like Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson and Kennedy tapped. I think it's waiting to be tapped again despite the anesthesia of prosperity."

"What a successful president does," William F. Buckley Jr. agrees, "is transcend the usual marketplace collisions. FDR accomplished that, and so did Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. A successful president isn't necessarily one who takes us in a direction I applaud. But he is somebody who does get the country excited about a political purpose."

Add presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and one begins to see a consensus. "We need to get away from a political system that is so filled with minute public opinion polls and focus groups and the ability to know what the electorate is thinking at every moment," says Goodwin, "that the leader loses his instincts for boldness. The job is not simply to reflect current opinion but to challenge it, move it forward and shape it. The ability to just take a stand and know that you can move the country to that stand is a lost art we need to recapture."

So instead of a Chief Executive Officer to oversee what has become our country's sole measure of success -- the expanding economy -- are we looking for a leader who can inspire, educate and mobilize us? "The great thing about Kennedy," says McCullough, "is that he didn't say I'm going to make it easier for you. He said it's going to be harder. And he wasn't pandering to the less noble side of human nature. He was calling on us to give our best. I was one of those people -- and there were thousands of us who threw aside our jobs, whatever we were doing, to answer the call."

It is a call that transcends ideology. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) identified "the ability to inspire Americans" as the quality most needed at this moment. And he, too, reached back to that defining moment in our history -- JFK's speech proposing the Peace Corps: "Young people were willing to live in a village hut in Africa for years and dig irrigation ditches. Why were they willing to do that? Why were they in fact eager to do that? It's because he inspired them to do it." Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), who nearly ran for president this time, echoed the same feeling: "A great president is one who successfully calls on all Americans to be their own best selves."

So the emerging tension of campaign 2000 is between candidates from both parties vying for Guardian of the Good Times and the dawning recognition -- which has already shaken up the Gore campaign and transformed its rhetoric -- that small-caliber issuettes, which worked in 1992 and 1996, just aren't enough this time. As Jesse Jackson puts it, "What America needs now is a president who can define our national interest in terms broad enough to include the interests of all Americans." Norman Mailer agrees that the next president needs to redefine our national priorities to care for the least among us. "If we are the splendid Judeo-Christian nation we claim to be," he says, "then let's prove it by putting our money where our mouth is."

This emphasis on the public good is likely to become a dominant theme of campaign 2000, superseding the message of the '90s: "It's the booming economy, stupid." "All three front-runners have a sense that the American people want something beyond narrow individualism and crude materialism," says West. "The question is, who's gonna be real about it?"

"The old energizing myths have lost their power," says Gary Hart, "and the leaders who will be our mythmakers, our storytellers, our visionaries have not emerged yet. Both the Democratic myth in the ability of government to provide a social safety net and the Republican myth that the rising tide will lift all boats have atrophied. Neither offers a compelling vision of a greater future beyond consumption."

After many long years of unedifying, divisive campaigns that appealed only to our narrowest self-interest, isn't it time we recognized that our search for a great president is also a search for our better selves? So finally a litmus test that matters: Which presidential candidate can lead us to do more good than we think we're capable of?

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Here's Why The Audience Was So Raucous At Saturday's Republican Debate

Huffington Post News - 4 hours 58 min ago

The audience at Saturday's CBS News Republican presidential debate was more boisterous than unusual -- booing, clapping and generally making its feelings known during several exchanges between candidates on stage in Greenville, South Carolina.

At various points, attendees seemed to favor former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and to be very much against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and real estate mogul Donald Trump -- the two candidates currently leading the race.

The way the Republican National Committee distributed the tickets may have been behind the heightened reactions.

According to RNC spokesman Sean Spicer, 600 tickets -- of the available 1,600 seats in the Peace Center -- were reserved for the candidates' supporters and friends. That number is more generous than in previous debates. The RNC got 367 tickets, and 550 seats went to state GOP and local officials.

Moreover, local party officials apparently decided to forgo a lottery system in favor of giving loyal supporters tickets due to the venue size, according to Chad Groover, chairman of the Greenville County Republican party.

"You'll have a good mix of people who are donors, people who are donors and workers, and people who are just workers," Groover told local news station WYFF.

Depending on its reaction, a debate audience can have a powerful effect on how both at-home viewers and the media perceive candidate performance. Jeers against candidates are especially likely to draw headlines -- such as the boos Trump and Cruz received Saturday night. 

Campaigns are cognizant of the role an audience can play, and therefore engage in their own stagecraft by making sure supporters applaud their candidate -- or boo a rival -- when appropriate.

Trump complained during the last Republican debate that the audience was stacked against him with "donors and special interests." 

"You know who has the tickets? I'm talking to the television audience. Donors, special interests, the people that are putting up the money," Trump said in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The RNC, however, maintained that only 75 of the 1,000 audience members were donors. 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Hillary Clinton: Obama Has 'Plenty Of Time' To Nominate Scalia Successor

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 11:54pm

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fiercely defended President Barack Obama's constitutional right to appoint a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who was found dead Saturday morning.

“Barack Obama is president of the United States until Jan. 20, 2017, and that is a fact, my friends, whether the Republicans like it or not,” the Democratic presidential candidate told Colorado Democrats at a dinner Saturday night. "Elections have consequences." 

"Some might say that a confirmation process would take too long for this president to complete during his remaining days in office," she said. "But the longest successful confirmation in the past four decades was Clarence Thomas, and that took roughly 100 days."

If anyone needed a reminder of how important it is to elect a Democratic president, look at the Supreme Court.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 14, 2016

“There are 340 days until the next president takes office, so that is plenty of time,” Clinton said.

Clinton also pushed back against the idea that a Supreme Court judicial confirmation during an election year would be too politically difficult, noting that Justice Anthony Kennedy was confirmed in 1988 by a vote of 97-0.

The former secretary of state also attacked congressional Republicans, who have promised to block any nominee the president puts forth. “It is outrageous that Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail have already pledged to block any replacement that President Obama nominates,” Clinton said.

"To hear comments like those of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this evening is totally disappointing," she said, “and it's totally out of step with our history and our constitutional principles.”


Earlier in the day, Clinton praised Scalia's public service, but she had harsh words for Republicans. 

"I did not hold Justice Scalia’s views, but he was a dedicated public servant who brought energy and passion to the bench," she said. "The Republicans in the Senate and on the campaign trail who are calling for Justice Scalia’s seat to remain vacant dishonor our Constitution.

A former senator from New York, Clinton said the Senate "has a constitutional responsibility here that it cannot abdicate for partisan political reasons."

Obama on Saturday night announced that he plans to nominate a replacement for Scalia, calling his responsibilities as president "bigger than any one party."

"They are about our democracy, and they are about the institution to which Justice Scalia dedicated his professional life in making sure it continues to function as the beacon of justice that our founders envisioned," Obama said.

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Ben Carson Used His Closing Statement To Spread A Fake Stalin Quote

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 11:51pm

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson chose to cap his debate performance Saturday night with a warning that “our country is headed off the cliffs” and a quote from a famous dictator.

“Joseph Stalin said if you want to bring America down you have to undermine three things: our spiritual life, our patriotism and our morality,” Carson said.
But as the fact-checking website finds, there’s no evidence Stalin ever said anything of the sort.

“We have yet to find a presentation of this quotation that references a verifiable source for it. Nearly all reproductions of this quotation simply offer it as an undated, unsourced statement attributed to Stalin,” the Snopes authors write, noting that the quote "doesn't really sound like something Stalin would have said, as its subtext is praise for the strengths of American patriotism, morality, and spiritual life."

This isn't the first time Carson referenced the fake Stalin quote or his only run-in with apocryphal statements. In a previous debate, Carson used his closing statement to misquote the preamble to the Constitution. His supporters also distributed a leaflet with an imaginary Alexis de Tocqueville saying on morality during last year's Conservative Political Action Conference.

And Carson is far from the only offender. As MSNBC's Steve Benen pointed out last year, candidates this cycle have shared phony -- if pithy -- adages supposedly attributed to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Patrick Henry.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Everything Republicans Did Wrong During The GOP Debate They Should Have Learned In Kindergarten

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 11:41pm

Saturday night’s GOP debate was undoubtedly the punchiest, most-talk-over-your-competition shouting match of the entire campaign season. And among all the spirited back-and-forths, one particular exchange about businessman Donald Trump’s willingness to change his mind revealed a stunning lack of civility in a race that seems to be nosediving into name-calling.

CBS debate moderator John Dickerson asked Trump about his proclivity for changing his mind, and Trump had no qualms about admitting that he’s flexible.

“You have to have flexibility,” Trump said, offering up a quote that might actually be more effective in an attack ad than many of the racist or misogynist statements Trump has made.

But the conversation took a dramatic turn when Trump began accusing Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) of robocalls that, he said, are telling South Carolina voters the real estate mogul isn’t going to run.

“This is the same thing he did to [former neurosurgeon] Ben Carson,” Trump continued, referring to the controversy in Iowa. “This guy will say anything. Nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues” in the Senate.

As Cruz tried to begin to respond, Trump once again called him a “nasty guy,” but Cruz forged ahead.

“It is fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called him pathological and compared him to a child molester,” Cruz said, “both of which are offensive and wrong.”

As Trump again tried to talk over him, Cruz, who has been trying to present himself as the real conservative in the race, accused Trump of supporting Planned Parenthood funding when Republicans in Congress were trying to defund the organization.

“Donald has this weird pattern,” Cruz said, “when you point to his own record, he screams, ‘Liar! Liar! Liar!’”

“Where did I support it?” Trump repeatedly asked.

After Trump sufficiently interrupted Cruz enough to get a response -- “Excuse me! Excuse me!” Trump kept shouting -- Cruz said voters could watch Trump say nice things about Planned Parenthood on his website.

With Trump continuing to shout over Cruz about Planned Parenthood, Cruz moved on to his larger argument: that the next president will appoint a number of Supreme Court justices and that Trump doesn’t have the conservative record to show he’ll appoint judges to the satisfaction of Republicans.

“If Donald Trump is president, he will appoint liberals,” Cruz said.

“If Donald Trump is president,” Cruz continued, as Trump again started shouting over him, “your Second Amendment will --“

Cruz couldn’t even finish his thought as Trump hollered.

Dickerson, who seemed content much of the night to just let the GOP candidates fight among each other, tried to bring the conversation back from a screaming match.

“Hold on, gentlemen. I’m going to turn this car around!” Dickerson said.

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Replacing Antonin Scalia Could Mean The Biggest Supreme Court Shakeup In 25 Years

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 11:34pm

Filling a seat on the Supreme Court is always a big deal.

Filling the seat of Justice Antonin Scalia, the conservative icon who died on Saturday, will be an even bigger deal than usual. The appointment could shift the ideological direction of the court more than any other appointment in the last 25 years.

It all depends on who gets to appoint the next justice. Senate Republicans have already said they will not confirm a nominee from President Barack Obama. If they carry out that threat and a Republican wins the November election, then Scalia’s replacement will almost certainly be another conservative. In other words, the next justice would probably end up voting like Scalia did -- and would do so for years to come.

But if Obama somehow gets a nominee through, or if a Democrat wins the 2016 election and gets to appoint a justice, Scalia’s replacement will almost certainly be a liberal. It would arguably represent the sharpest shift in the court’s balance since 1991, when Justice Clarence Thomas, a staunch conservative, replaced Justice Thurgood Marshall, a staunch liberal.

Appointing a liberal to fill Scalia’s seat would mean that five justices -- in other words, a majority -- are Democratic appointees. That would also be a milestone, as Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University, told The Huffington Post.

"The last liberal Supreme Court ended when Earl Warren resigned and Abe Fortas’ nomination to replace him collapsed and Fortas resigned, giving [former President Richard] Nixon two vacancies to fill in his first year in office," he said. "We’d have a solid liberal majority for the first time since 1969."

Such a change could have profound consequences. It would likely mean a crucial fifth vote to protect the Voting Rights Act and abortion rights. It could also mean the court would be more supportive of efforts to regulate campaign contributions, greenhouse gas emissions and gun ownership. A fifth liberal vote could also result in more scrutiny of the death penalty.

Of course, justices don’t always vote in the way that presidents anticipate they will. When former President George H.W. Bush in 1990 appointed Justice David Souter to replace Justice William Brennan, who was among the most influential liberal justices in history, Bush’s chief of staff promised that Souter would be a "homerun" for conservatives. But Souter didn’t line up with conservatives like Scalia and Thomas and, over time, became a reliably liberal vote -- providing a key vote to uphold abortion rights, for example.

But Souter, whose prior service on the New Hampshire state Supreme Court hadn’t provided many clues about how he’d rule on national issues, may have been the last such appointment. Today both parties vet their appointees much more carefully. Conservatives actually adopted the motto "No More Souters."

That doesn’t mean appointees always vote in ways that please the parties that appointed them; Chief Justice John Roberts has infuriated Republicans twice in the last few years by voting to uphold the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. Overall, however, the justices that end up on the bench these days vote in the ways that the presidents who appointed them hoped.

"There have been only four Democratic appointments total since 1967," David Strauss, a law professor at the University of Chicago, noted on Saturday. "The Court moves slowly, but that kind of consistent pattern of appointments will definitely move it. … A Democratic majority could start a similar shift back in the other direction."

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Supreme Court FAQ: What Happens Next?

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:54pm

Gathered from select Twitter, Wikipedia, SCOTUSblog, and Google searches, here is a Supreme Court FAQ of what happens next following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Most of the information below was culled from this incredibly helpful report by the Congressional Research Service.

Q. How does Justice Scalia's death affect cases the court is in the middle of hearing?
A. They proceed as if nothing happened, unless the Chief Justice instructs differently.

Q. Since there are only 8 judges for a time, what happens to cases where the judges tie, 4-4?
A.The decision of the lower court stands, but does not hold weight as if it were precedent laid down by the Supreme Court. The risk of 4-4 ties is not unusual (though is obviously higher now), because Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from a number of cases that she worked on while serving as Solicitor General prior to her confirmation.

Some scholars are also suggesting they can hold the case until a nominee is confirmed. But this has to happen before the end of the session in which the case was heard.

Q. What's the longest it's taken to confirm a Supreme Court justice?
A. It depends on how you look at it. From nomination to confirmation, the longest time taken to confirm was the 125 days before Justice Louis Brandeis took the bench in 1916. But the longest vacancy on the court (meaning time elapsed between a judge stepping down and their replacement being named) happened during John Tyler's administration (1844-46). It took him two years to replace Justice Henry Baldwin, who died in office. President Obama has 342 days left in office.

Q. How long will it take President Obama to nominate a replacement?
A. No one knows, obviously, but his record on the two judges he has nominated (Justice Kagan and Justice Sonia Sotomayor) offers a glimpse. Obama took about a month to nominate Justice Kagan after Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. He took 26 days to nominate Justice Sotomayor after Justice David Souter's retirement plans leaked to the media.

The problem, of course, is that both Justice Stevens and Justice Souter announced they would retire at the end of the Court's term, so a vacancy wasn't technically created, unlike in this case, where Justice Scalia's death happens mid-term. That, combined with the approaching election, could expedite Obama's nomination.

Q. How can the GOP-controlled Senate block an Obama nomination?
A. Obama submits his nominee to the Senate Judiciary committee. Of the 114 nominations submitted to the committee since its creation, only 8 times have they not submitted the nominee to the full Senate for hearings + a vote. The committee can also delay the time between the receipt and the start of confirmation hearings. But the longest they have EVER delayed since public confirmation hearings began in 1916 is 82 days (remember, Obama has 342 days left in office). Between 1967 and 2005, it's taken an average of 50 days between receipt of nomination and final vote.
Most likely scenario? Delay of the magnitude necessary to carry the process into 2017 would be historically unprecedented. More likely than delay is that the confirmation hearings are a sham, and the GOP-controlled Senate rejects the nominee, which would bring a new nominee. Still, it would be unprecedented to reject nominees for just under a year (See John Tyler, who had 5 rejected and took 15 months to fill a vacancy).

Q. What's the history of a nominee being blocked/confirmed in an election year?
A. A Democrat controlled Senate confirmed Justice Kennedy in 1988, the final year of President Reagan's administration. Will Pres. Obama get the same respect from the GOP? The history before that is long, and goes both ways.

"The fact of the matter is that it's been standard practice over the last 80 years to not confirm Supreme Court nominees during a presidential election year," Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said.

Except for when Senator Grassley voted for the confirmation of Justice Kennedy in the 1988 election year just mentioned.

Q. Who does Obama nominate?
A. The most likely nominee seems to be Judge Sri Srinivasan, who has served two and a half years on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Srinivasan was confirmed in a unanimous 97-0 vote in the Senate. But fun fact  --  it took over a year between his nomination and confirmation, which is time President Obama doesn't have  --  and the Senate was controlled by Democrats.

To anyone who thinks a nominee block is likely and/or will happen, consider the following question, posed by Nick Confessore of the New York Times on Twitter:
What's the best argument for why a sitting president with almost a year left in his term shouldn't be allowed to name a replacement?

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Donald Trump's Plan To Save Social Security Is To... Eliminate Dead Recipients

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:51pm

GOP presidential debate moderator Kim Strassel asked businessman Donald Trump on Saturday night to account for his entitlement program proposals which, coupled with his other avowed financial policy plans, would lead to large deficits and the need for an almost impossible level of annual gross domestic product growth.

Trump has, in vague terms, vowed to "save Social Security," but like many other promises he's made, he's failed to elucidate how he would do it. And on his first attempt to answer, he did a lot of hedging, suggesting the problem would be solved by "bringing jobs back" from China, Mexico, Japan and Vietnam -- as well as reclaiming tax money that is currently sheltered offshore.

So Strassel went back in: "How would you actually do that?"

Trump offered, "There's tremendous waste, fraud and abuse. That, we're taking care of. It's tremendous. We have in Social Security right now thousands and thousand of people that are over 106 years old. Now, you know they don't exist. They don't exist. Tremendous waste, fraud and abuse, and we're gonna get it."

Trump has, in the past, suggested that an overwhelming amount of Social Security money is being paid out to people who have long been dead, and that this constitutes a significant amount of money that could be reclaimed to "save" Social Security.

At least his claims Saturday night are a bit closer to reality. On the stump, he's claimed that 6 million people over the age of 112 are getting benefits. But via Stephen Ohlemacher at PBS NewsHour, the facts lie betwixt and between:

Americans are getting older, but not this old: Social Security records show that 6.5 million people in the U.S. have reached the ripe old age of 112...

Only 13 of the people are still getting Social Security benefits, the report said. But for others, their Social Security numbers are still active, so a number could be used to report wages, open bank accounts, obtain credit cards or claim fraudulent tax refunds.

“That is a real problem,” said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. “When you have a fake Social Security number, that’s what allows you to fraudulently do all kinds things, claim things like the earned income tax credit or other tax benefits.”

While there are no documented instances of "fraudulent or improper payments to people using these Social Security numbers," the problem posed by not tending to these social security numbers is that it's ripe terrain for identity theft.

As PBS NewsHour reports, "IRS estimated it paid out $5.8 billion in fraudulent tax refunds in 2013 because of identity theft." That said, fixing this problem does not, in itself, retain revenue for the purpose of "saving Social Security." And it doesn't answer the original question -- how Trump would pull off all these amazing feats of budgetary derring-do without requiring an unheard-of level of GDP growth.

One last irony: Those who use the numbers fraudulently to get work permits, as some undocumented immigrants do, will pay into the Social Security system but not collect when they're older. So while getting rid of those numbers will eliminate a lot fraud for the IRS, they will actually make the Social Security trust fund worse off.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

GOP, You Can Not Wait -- The Three Reasons It Has to Be Kasich

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:50pm

The Republicans need to rally around John Kasich and they need to do it now if they have any hope of winning the general election. There is no time to wait until things play out, because the way things look they will play out badly for the GOP. Badly for the presidential election and badly down the line. The Senate will be gone and the House will be at risk.

How the Election Plays Out From Here:

Trump and Cruz will split the anger vote, which seems to be just around 45 percent, but Trump will edge Cruz out. The three establishment candidates will continue to hit each other and split the electability vote. All except for Governor Kasich have the resources to fight for months. In state after state they will each get in double digits. No one has enough support to win, but most have enough support to stay in, hoping for a one-on-one battle. Thus we will probably go to the convention with Trump leading in delegates, but not having enough to secure the nomination, the ensuing fight will lose the minority and independent vote for a generation.

I don't know if the establishment does conference calls, but if so they need to get together and rally behind the adult in the room asap. That adult is Governor John Kasich. I am talking to you Roger Ailes, Rush Limbaugh, Koch Brothers, Senator Mitchell, Speaker Ryan and Montgomery Burns. Here are our three reason why.

Jeb! is Never Going to Win But He Will Continue:

Jeb is hopelessly establishment in a time when that is simply unacceptable. The fact of the matter is that someone running on his record as Governor of Florida over a decade ago, with his personality, but a different last name, would not stand a chance. But he is a Bush, therefore has the money and infrastructure to keep going. His hope is that if it gets down to him and Trump he can win. So he will stick it out and continue to split the electability vote, but never will have enough appeal to win. For the good of the party, Jeb must just drop out now.

Rubio is Damaged Beyond Saving But He Will Continue:

Maybe it was Governor Christie's attack in the debate that Rubio is just a political stump speech with nice hair. Maybe it was Senator Santorum's 'well he hasn't actually accomplished anything' endorsement. But Rubio has money and he is a brilliant orator, and also thinks if it gets down to him and Trump he can win. However the line of attack on Senator Rubio is too clear and he has no rebuttal, because it is true. For the good of the party, Marco must drop out now. However, young, charismatic, latino from a swing state has VP written all over it...

Trump and Cruz Will Cause Havoc Down the Line and They Will Fight to Cleveland:
Neither Trump or Cruz can win. They both are big men in little tents. Their negative ratings are too high, their positions and approaches too divisive. However, neither will drop out for the good of the party as part of their appeal is that they hate the party. They will attack each other, they will attack the establishment, they will attack anything that they want, in a scorched earth approach that will leave Republican voters at home and independents flocking to the Democrats. They both have money and conviction, and will continue to Cleveland.

Thus GOP Must Unite ASAP Behind the Guy Who Can Win:

The only way to stop Cruz and Trump is to rally around the uninspiring, no-sound-byte, rather moderate and bridge building, boring Governor of Ohio. However, the sad reality is the in today's theatrical, big donor fueled political environment, Governor Kasich needs help and he needs it quickly. He needs super-donors to start funding him. I am talking to you Ken Griffin ($3 million to Marco), Hank Greenberg ($10 million to Jeb), Paul Singer ($3 million to Marco), Miguel Fernandez ($3 million to Jeb) and Norman Braman ($6 million to Marco). And of course to the most important uncommitted donors the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. For the fun of it let's get a Governor Mitt Romney endorsement. (To be clear, I think all the mass donations in politics is an abomination but it's what the law allows now and Governor Kasich needs it or he won't make it in this race).

If Kasich fades after SC, you will have four people that will split the vote, not drop out and bring the GOP to ruin. If you rally behind Kasich and he wins SC, Jeb and Marco will go and Kasich can beat Trump and Cruz and unite the party.

Sadly, Trump has probably done enough damage that you can't win swing states like New Mexico and Colorado anymore, and without them your path to the White House is pretty bleak. So it may all be for naught, but it's worth a shot and John Kasich is the only shot you got. Take it.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Ferndale motel could close after fatal heroin overdose - Detroit Free Press

Berkley Information from Google News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:49pm

Detroit Free Press

Ferndale motel could close after fatal heroin overdose
Detroit Free Press
What began with a fatal heroin overdose last summer on a lawn in Ferndale could soon cause another death: that of a landmark motel three blocks away, where the drug was allegedly sold. Through savvy police work, the overdose became a homicide.

Categories: Berkley Area News

Secret recording may play role in demolition fraud case - Detroit Free Press

Berkley Information from Google News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:49pm

Detroit Free Press

Secret recording may play role in demolition fraud case
Detroit Free Press
An Oakland County judge is expected to rule as early as next week on whether to proceed with a case that accuses a vendor involved in Detroit's demolition program with fraud. Defense lawyers for Barry Ellentuck, a demolition contractor facing felony ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

Obama Will Appoint Scalia Successor, but Who? Justice Biden or Even Justice Obama?

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:46pm

It is fair to say that no other single justice has had as great an impact on constitutional interpretation as Antonin Scalia. I was head of the office of legal counsel at the time Antonin Scalia was named by Pres. Reagan. When Warren Burger resigned in 1986, we Reagan lawyers thought we were very clever by having the president nominate the sitting Justice William Rehnquist to the Chief Justice position and then filling Rehnquist's vacancy with Scalia. It was a twofer. What we hadn't fully realized was that it was far more than that, because of the intellectual strengths and tenacity of Scalia's belief that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original understanding. At the time of his appointment, Scalia was seen as being the first Italian-American and by virtue of that his nomination was virtually unopposed. It is fair to say, had there been a re-confirmation vote after his judicial personality and intellect were revealed, that the Senate would have had a different view. While I didn't always agree with Justice Scalia, it would've been greatly unfortunate had we never had his service on the highest bench. Until the theory of original understanding, Supreme Court interpretation was more politics than law and one could see judges undertaking functions for which they had no special gift for resolving. Because not originalist outcomes were often good from the standpoint of policy or popularity, they seldom were challenged. What Scalia recognized was that the end does not justify the means, and constitutional interpretation must have a basis for legitimacy in order to be persuasive and long-lasting.

In terms of specific areas, justice Scalia will be remembered as a man of faith who -- sometimes quite controversially -- seemed to allow that faith to determine where he put the thumb on the scale. Scholars will recognize, however, that this is not entirely true because it was Antonin Scalia, who articulated the view that the free exercise of religion was necessarily subject to general laws that were neutrally drawn and that no person could use religion to become a law unto himself. It will be this interpretation by Justice Scalia that will in all likelihood, prevent local laws from being used to selectively disadvantage same-sex couples. A particular religion may claim that same-sex marriage is immoral, but because of Scalia's reasoning that a moral claim is not automatically entitled to a legislative exemption from the general requirement that equality apply to all. So, too, given the extent to which religion sometimes is used to hide subversion -- as is sometimes true with the violent fundamentalist conception of Islam -- laws of general applicability requiring public order will prove to be essential to the safety of our domestic order.

Justice Scalia was the head of the office of legal counsel, the chief presidential lawyer, in the Ford administration. It would be my honor to succeed him several times removed in the second term of the Reagan administration. Having studied his opinions closely both as presidential lawyer, appellate judge and on the Supreme Court, Scalia was an unwavering defender of the separation of powers as a way of reducing the likelihood of tyranny or abuse of authority. It was Scalia, who recognized the potential abuse of the independent counsel statute, long before it was misused to bring impeachment action based on personal failings against Pres. Clinton. It was Antonin Scalia's lone dissent in the case that upheld the constitutionality of independent counsel's that came to be recognized as the better outcome. A better outcome that ultimately was evidenced by Congress, allowing the law that had been so abused to expire.

It was my pleasure on several occasions as the Dean of a law school to host Antonin Scalia for lectures and other conversations. In these circumstances, one was never disappointed in the give-and-take, or the wit, or the spontaneity for which justice Scalia is thought and will long be remembered. He could be a moody man insisting that the clicks of the camera stopped before he spoke, but he was always a fair man, and one who recognized that the best way for the law to be fair was for it to be applied in an honest and open and accountable fashion.

While his temper as he aged might be said to have grown short, his contribution to the jurisprudence of the court was ample and no litigant or court watcher was ever shortchanged. Those who were his acolytes, and there are many, and those who were his counterpoints, will miss him with equal intensity. Anyone who knew him, as I did, will miss the essence of a man who was brave enough to speak his mind with clarity, if not in every case, charity. It was not that Antonin Scalia was not a charitable man. I am certain in his abundant family and with friends, he most certainly was. But being charitable on the bench? "No," Scalia would likely say, "not his job." His role was to give fair reading to the laws enacted by "we the people" whether we were charitable or not. In this, Scalia never enfeebled democracy, he vindicated it.

Now what?

The first thing that is true is that President Obama will not wait for a new president to be elected, Why should he? Some point to Republican edge in the Senate, but they are forgetting that if needed, Obama pursuant to recent precedent can recess appoint. The fact that the vacancy arose before the recess does not matter. Ironically, this was the view of Antonin Scalia who supported the judgment of the more liberal Justice Breyer over the dissenters (Roberts, Thomas and Alito) with whom Justice Scalia was rather consistently aligned.

Who might be on the short list?

Here, the president has a shrewd choice to make. Obviously, he will want to influence the long-time direction of the court, and with this third appointment to the high bench, Obama has that capacity. Replacing Scalia with even a slightly more liberal jurist is huuuge, as Bernie might say, since the Court with Scalia had a 5-4 conservative edge. Obama gets to flip that and in so doing can take a good deal of anxiety away from primarily Democratic voters -- e.g., less likely the Court will substantially cut back on abortion or health care or legislation designed to meet economic inequality. On the surface this looks like a democratic advantage, but wait -- could it make the choice of Clinton or Sanders less consequential? Not really, but there is now a risk of a touch of complacency if a progressive is appointed.

The Republican side is different. Losing the slim Court majority requires really thinking through whether conservatives can afford to put prospective vacancies of the also aging Breyer and Ginsburg into the hands of Donald Trump. While Ted Cruz as a one-time court advocate would clearly run circles around the Donald on the implications of Supreme Court opinion on free market/climate change regulation (recently enjoined by the Court) and religious freedom to mention two topics. Kasich and Rubio lose out on making the Court issue a difference for them, but it can be a bit of a minefield if they shoot from the hip.

Obama as selfie?

Mrs. Clinton had mildly suggested that a President Hillary Clinton would think highly of a Justice Obama. The mere thought runs cooties up the spine of the right, but could Obama make a self-nomination? Aside from the vainglory of it all, there is nothing in the Constitutional text to preclude it. It is said President William H. Taft had appointed the sickly Edward White to the Chief's spot anticipating that it would then be available to him, and that's pretty much what led to Chief Justice Taft. But if a self-nominated Obama is too much to bear or would cause voters to rethink party allegiance because it might reinforce the in-grown nature of the more traditional of the Democratic contenders and that specifically some see holding Mrs. Clinton's candidacy back. The President and Mrs. Clinton have not always seen eye to eye, but she is his principal defender in the campaign, and the President is not about to undercut his own legacy.

Justice Biden?

Joe Biden is another question. Having decided against running against Mrs. Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the vice president carried the Democratic cause for many years in the Judiciary Committee; he has good friends from those years and the VP might have enough friends to secure the seat without rancorous debate over the vacancy takes the campaign down unpredictable paths. Justice Biden could well be sitting pretty on the bench -- a fact that will calm the fears of either Sanders or Clinton supporters who worry that a divisive, but ultimately, indecisive primary contest would replicate nationally the too close to call victory of Mrs. Clinton in Iowa. Safely enrobing Joe on the high bench keeps his lurking possibility as a party savior under wraps.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Ted Cruz And Marco Rubio Spar Over Immigration… And Speaking Spanish

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:43pm

Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.) faced off about their competing immigration plans and their records during Saturday night's GOP debate.

Rubio argued that Cruz had supported a path to citizenship in the Senate despite Cruz’s claims now that he opposes it.

Meanwhile, Cruz accused Rubio of supporting citizenship for 12 million undocumented immigrants, and reiterated his opposition to that plan. Cruz promised to rescind President Barack Obama’s action on immigration. He then pointed to an interview Rubio did on Univision, in Spanish, as a contrast -- saying specifically that he would not rescind the executive order on immigration. 

Rubio responded, saying, “I don’t know how he knows what I said on Univision because he doesn’t speak Spanish!”

On cue, Cruz began addressing Rubio in Spanish, demonstrating that he does, in fact, speak at least a little Spanish.

The Cruz-Rubio divide on amnesty for undocumented immigrants is reflective of the divide among all Republicans. A fall 2015 study from Pew Research showed that only 32 percent of Republicans said undocumented immigrants should not be allowed to stay in the country, but much larger proportions support other restrictive immigration policies.

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Justice Scalia Is Dead, the Political Knives Are Out

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:39pm

The news was a surprise. The longest-serving justice on today's Supreme Court had died in his sleep.

For the political class, shock and sorrow was quickly replaced with schemes and ploys. President Obama is desperate to appoint his replacement. Republicans, especially the six men left standing in the GOP primary process, are just as desperate to keep that from happening. We can hear the knives being sharpened for battle, but history is on the side of the president.

In his final full year in office, 1796, President Washington appointed a Chief Justice, Oliver Ellsworth, and an Associate Justice, Samuel Chase. Both were confirmed by the Senate.

The second president, John Adams, appointed John Marshall to the seat of Chief Justice after Adams failed to win re-election in November 1800. Marshall went on to serve the Court until 1835 and stands today as one of the great Chief Justices in the Court's history.

Andrew Jackson appointed John Catron to the court on March 3, 1837, Jackson's final full day in office. The Senate confirmed the appointment five days later, after Jackson had been replaced by Martin Van Burn.

After losing re-election in 1840 and one week before his term ended in 1841, President Van Buren appointed Peter Daniel to the Court. He was confirmed within the week.

Four years later, during his final months in office, President John Tyler in 1845 appointed Samuel Nelson to the court.

In 1880, his last full year in office, Rutherford B. Hayes appointed William Woods as Associate Justice.

President Grover Cleveland appointed Melville W. Fuller as Chief Justice in July 1888, four months before Cleveland lost re-election to Benjamin Harrison.

In February 1893, after losing re-election in 1892 and one month before his presidency ended, Benjamin Harrison appointed Howell Jackson to the Court.

Justice Mahlon Pitney was appointed an Associate Justice 1912 -- an election year that saw incumbent William Howard Taft defeated and replaced by Woodrow Wilson.

In March 1932, another presidential election year, this one in the depths of the Great Depression, Herbert Hoover appointed Benjamin Cardozo to the Court.

And in November 1987, with just fourteen months left in his presidency, Ronald Reagan appointed Anthony Kennedy as an Associate Justice on the Court. Kennedy was unanimously confirmed in February 1988.

The Constitution (Article II, Section 2) confers on the president the right to appoint Supreme Court justices. It also confers on the U.S. Senate the right to give "advice and consent" regarding those appointments. It does not forbid appointments in the final year, or even in the final months, of a presidency -- not even during an election year. We fight wars and depressions and terrorists during election years -- and we appoint men and women to the federal bench.

If the Republican-dominated Senate, therefore, wishes to vote down one Obama appointment after another throughout all of 2016, it may do so. It may not, however, constitutionally, deny a vote to the man or woman appointed by President Obama to replace the late Justice Scalia.

Rodney Wilson teaches American political systems at a community college in Missouri.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

WSU offers students 30% break on spring, summer tuition - The Detroit News

Berkley Information from Google News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:38pm

The Detroit News

WSU offers students 30% break on spring, summer tuition
The Detroit News
walk to classes on the Wayne State University campus, Friday afternoon, February 12, 2016, as the college prepares to offer programs with discounted tuition and student housing for the 2016 spring and summer semesters. (Photo: Todd McInturf / The ...

Categories: Berkley Area News

After Antonin Scalia's Death, What's Next for the Supreme Court?

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:33pm

Justice Antonin Scalia is dead, and his passing is nothing less than a legal and political earthquake. It will have a huge impact, not only on the court's present term but on the course of constitutional law.

Beginning with his appointment to the high court in 1986, Scalia was the intellectual leader of what I and many other legal commentators have termed a conservative "judicial counterrevolution," aimed at wresting control of the nation's most powerful legal body from the legacy of the liberal jurists who rose to power in the 1950s and '60s under the leadership of then-Chief Justice Earl Warren.

Scalia was a key architect of the jurisprudential theories of original intent and textualism, and the author of numerous landmark opinions. Among his most important rulings was the 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which held for the first time that the Second Amendment protected an individual's right to bear arms.

But Scalia was also an unvarnished, intemperate and intolerant ideologue, railing against same-sex marriage, voting rights, Obamacare, affirmative action and other progressive causes. In recent years, often finding himself in dissent, he became unhinged at times, ridiculing his more moderate colleagues for engaging in what he called analytical "argle-bargle" and "interpretive jiggery pokery," and for doling out legal benefits to allegedly undeserving litigants that he called "pure applesauce."

The impact of Scalia's death will be felt immediately in a number of pending high-profile cases, transforming anticipated 5-4 conservative rulings into 4-4 stalemates. Under the court's rules, 4-4 decisions carry no precedential weight and leave intact the lower-court rulings under review.

This means that proponents of affirmative action (Fisher v. Texas), as well as public-employee unions (Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association), can expect constitutional reprieves, because the circuit court rulings issued in their favor will be allowed to stand. It also means that supporters of abortion rights (Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt) and immigration rights (United States v. Texas) will have an easier path toward overturning adverse lower-court decisions.

Scalia's passing will also alter the prospects for overturning some of the court's most conservative recent rulings -- not only on the Second Amendment but on campaign finance, environmental regulation and the constitutionality of the death penalty, among others.

Politically, Scalia's passing will unleash a pitched battle on two fronts: first, in the fight to name his successor, and second, as an issue in the upcoming presidential elections.

In the coming weeks and months, we can expect to hear a rising and increasingly hysterical chorus of Republicans demanding that President Obama refrain from nominating Scalia's successor. Indeed, if initial press reports are any indication, the trench warfare has already begun.

But with roughly 11 months remaining in his term, Obama undoubtedly will move forward. Anyone he names will surely be more liberal than Scalia, and anyone he names will tip the balance of the court. Those who remember the televised hearings on the nominations of Justice Clarence Thomas and former Solicitor General Robert Bork can expect clashes in the Senate Judiciary Committee (which conducts hearings on Supreme Court nominations) that will make those bygone proceedings seem genteel.

At the same time, the future of the Supreme Court -- always an issue in presidential campaigns -- will move front and center. Assuming that GOP senators will filibuster any Obama nomination -- as I think probable -- voters will be asked to contemplate what the future of America will look like with a court molded by a President Trump or Cruz, or a President Sanders or Clinton. The choice facing voters will be stark.

I take no joy in the death of Antonin Scalia. But speaking as a progressive and as a staunch defender of human rights and as one who believes our Constitution is a living document that must be read expansively over time, I can't say I will mourn his absence from the bench.

We have an opportunity to repair some of the damage Scalia and his right-wing brethren have done. Our task now is to take advantage of the opening.

[This column was first posted on]

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Donald Trump Accuses George W. Bush Of Lying To Invade Iraq

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:30pm

Donald Trump took former President George W. Bush to task Saturday night, accusing him of lying to get the country into the Iraq War and faulting him for not keeping America safe. 

"They lied," Trump said during the CBS News GOP presidential debate. "They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction."

Trump has been outspoken about his dislike of the war in Iraq (though he's fudged the facts about how early he was publicly speaking out against it). 

But his comments Saturday night went a step beyond his usual critique. Even Republican skeptics of the war argue that Bush acted with good intentions, so the fact that the Republican frontrunner is the one making the charge is remarkable. 

"We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives. ... Obviously, it was a mistake," Trump said. "George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East."

Jeb Bush has also called the war was a mistake -- although it took him a while to do so. Still, he has vehemently defended his brother for keeping America safe. 

"I'm sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he's had," the former Florida governor said Saturday. "And frankly, I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me. ... I am sick and tired of him going after my family."

Trump pointed out, as he has in the past, that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks happened on George W. Bush's watch. 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) chimed in that he's just happy Bush was in the White House on 9/11 instead of Democrat Al Gore, adding that he too believes Bush kept America safe. 

"How did he keep us safe when the World Trade Center came down? I lost hundreds of friends," Trump replied. "The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush. He kept us safe? That is not safe," he said, to boos from the audience.

"The World Trade Center came down because Bill Clinton didn't kill Osama bin Laden when he had the chance to kill him," Rubio shot back.

Trump said Bush also had the chance to kill bin Laden but didn't.  

The popularity of George W. Bush will be tested in the coming days, as he heads to South Carolina to campaign for his younger brother Monday. 

Polls show that Trump has a sizable lead in the run-up to Saturday's primaries in South Carolina.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynistbirther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

Want more updates from Amanda? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth.

Enter your email address:

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Donald Trump Booed During Debate Spat With Jeb Bush

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:08pm

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took a dig at businessman Donald Trump’s warm feelings toward Vladimir Putin during Saturday night's presidential debate, sparking an argument that ranged from the Iraq War to the makeup of the debate audience.

“Donald Trump brought up the fact that he would want to accommodate Russia,” Bush said, before criticizing Russia’s lack of effort against the so-called Islamic State. “It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this.”

“Let me just tell you this. Jeb is so wrong,” Trump said, before working in a jab at the audience who booed the comment.

“You know what that is? That's Jeb's special interests and lobbyists talking,” he said. After garnering a second round of boos for a jab at Lindsay Graham’s poll numbers, he added, “I only tell the truth, lobbyists." 

Trump and Bush later scuffled again over President George W. Bush’s foreign policy.

“Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right?” Trump said, arguing that Jeb Bush took too long to reach the same conclusion.

“Obviously, it was a mistake. George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq.”

“Frankly, I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me," Bush replied. "It's blood sport for him. He enjoys it, and I'm glad he's happy about it. He continued, “I'm sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind.”

The audience again audibly sided with Bush, marking just the latest in a series of debate moments where Trump has incurred the hostility of attendees.

At a rally in Manchester, N.H. on Monday, Trump told the crowd that the attendees are often well-connected people who can get tickets from the campaigns, such as lobbyists and deep-pocketed donors. Trump said that since he doesn't rely on these people, he doesn't always have the same base of support in the audience.

As CNN’s Brian Stelter notes, he has something of a point:

Per @SaraMurray: "of the 1,600 seats available, 600 went to the candidates for their guests" #GOPDebate

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) February 14, 2016

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynistbirther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Say Obama Shouldn't Get To Fill Supreme Court Vacancy

Huffington Post News - Sat, 02/13/2016 - 10:04pm

WASHINGTON -- None of the Republican presidential candidates in Saturday night's debate said they think President Barack Obama should be allowed to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by Justice Antonin Scalia, who had been found dead earlier in the day.

"I think it's up to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it. It's called delay, delay, delay," Donald Trump, the party's front-runner, said to cheers.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he hoped Obama would think about "not nominating somebody," and that he would be putting the country first by letting the next president pick Scalia's replacement in 2017.

"The people will understand what is at stake in that election," Kasich said.

Ben Carson agreed that Obama shouldn't get a Supreme Court pick because "we're not going to get healing" with whoever he nominates.

Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Texas), who will get to vote on whoever Obama nominates, both argued that it's been more than 80 years since a lame duck president picked a Supreme Court justice, so it shouldn't be any different this time. That's not true, though. The Senate confirmed Justice Anthony Kennedy in 1988, during President Ronald Reagan's final year in office. Every single Republican voted to confirm him, too.

Cruz stumbled when pressed on that point.

"But Kennedy was confirmed in '88," said debate moderator John Dickerson.

"No, Kennedy was confirmed in '87," Cruz replied, as Dickerson pointed out Kennedy was appointed in 1987 but confirmed in 1988. He asked Cruz if he was basing his statistic on when Kennedy was appointed or confirmed.

"In this case, it's both," Cruz finally said to more cheers.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at least conceded that the president has "every right" to nominate a Supreme Court justice. But he said Obama should have to put up a consensus nominee.

"There's no doubt in my mind that Barack Obama will not have a consensus pick when he submits that person to the Senate," Bush said.

Also on HuffPost:

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion