The Koch network’s faux-intellectual cover for the GOP-controlled Senate’s Supreme Court obstructionism reached a new pinnacle today. Cato Institute Senior Fellow Ilya Shapiro penned a piece arguing that–following a Clinton electoral victory–the Senate should, “vote against essentially every judicial nominee she names.” Shapiro laughably described this approach as “decent” and “honorable.” Shapiro’s editorial crescendoed to the claim that the Senate, “is fully within its powers to let the Supreme Court die out, literally.”
This is far from the first time that Koch-funded Cato has provided cover for McConnell’s refusal to even consider Supreme Court nominations. In February, Cato Institute Director of Health Policy Studies Michael Canon argued that the Senate didn’t have a responsibility to consider an Obama nomination and that the body can “withhold its consent anyway it wants.”
Fully pulling the mask away on the Cato Institute’s willingness to politicize the Court, Research Fellow Trevor Burrus suggested that the nomination process should be “incredibly political” and that the Senate should consider confirming Merrick Garland if a Clinton presidency appeared inevitable; music to McConnell’s ears. Today’s Shapiro strategy of indefinite obstruction is simply the logical outgrowth of Cato’s attempts to legitimize Senate leadership’s firmly obstructionist response to the Garland nomination.
Beyond the Cato Institute, other conduits of the Koch political empire have sought to provide cover for the Senate’s strict obstructionist posture. The Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) spent millions protecting Republican incumbents–including Kelly Ayote, Pat Toomey, and Rob Portman–who adopted McConnell’s position of refusing to meet with Garland.
This position stands in stark contrast to the JCN’s stated position in 2008 that called on “Senators to oppose the obstruction of judicial nominees, to denounce the ‘fear and smear’ campaigns led by extremist groups against nominees, and recognize the right of every nominee sent to the full Senate to receive a full and fair up-or-down vote.” But hey, when Koch puppets are at risk, intellectual honesty is merely collateral damage.
It’s apparent from this disconnect that the Kochs’ agenda isn’t about some fidelity to Constitutional principles but rather about protecting their Republican puppets in the Senate while they continue obstructing nominees who would threaten the Kochs’ radical agenda.
Read more about the Kochs’ Court antics:
MARCH 18, 2016
As the Supreme Court nomination fight heats up, keep an eye out for some of the Senate Republicans’ notable accomplices—backed by conservative billionaire funders—who are colluding with Republicans in this unprecedented obstruction.
MARCH 31, 2016
In spite of the coordinated attacks by anti-worker forces, led by those in the Koch Network, public employees were handed a major–if temporary–victory with the Supreme Court’s 4-4 ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association.
APRIL 4, 2016
Over the weekend, Concerned Women for America (CWA) once again helped the ranks of right-wing Koch allies attacking the Democrats and pushing for strict obstructionism in the Supreme Court nomination fight. In an op-ed for the Sioux City Journal, CWA’s Iowa state director Tamara Scott argued in favor of Senator Chuck Grassley and Mitch McConnell’s refusal to do their jobs: