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*** UPDATED x1 - Duckworth wants more *** Kirk wants “fair and thorough hearing” on Scalia replacement

Monday, Feb 22, 2016

* US Sen. Mark Kirk has been whacked by Democrats for not saying whether he supports his party leadership’s rejection of the notion that the President ought to be able to appoint Justice Scalia’s successor. Kirk has an op-ed in the Sun-Times on this topic

As a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a United States senator, I swore an oath to protect and uphold the constitution. That oath is to our constitution, not to a party or any one individual, but to the ideals that bind our nation.

In that role, I recognize the right of the president, be it Republican or Democrat, to place before the Senate a nominee for the Supreme Court and I fully expect and look forward to President Barack Obama advancing a nominee for the Senate to consider.

I also recognize my duty as a senator to either vote in support or opposition to that nominee following a fair and thorough hearing along with a complete and transparent release of all requested information. The Senate’s role in providing advice and consent is as important and significant as the president’s role in proposing a nominee.

A partisan or extreme nominee would not be prudent nor would it provide a steady, scholarly hand to guide the constitutional ship of state.

My sincerest hope is that President Obama nominates someone who captures the sentiment he spoke about before the Illinois General Assembly this month — a nominee who can bridge differences, a nominee who finds common ground and a nominee who does not speak or act in the extreme.

Such a selection by the president would demonstrate a break from the rancor and partisanship of Washington and a real commitment to a new beginning even as his own term nears its end.

*** UPDATE *** Duckworth campaign…

“I’m pleased Sen. Kirk has chosen under pressure to do the right thing and support the President’s constitutional duty to nominate a Supreme Court nominee. He should go a step further, however, and demand Senators McConnell and Grassley end their obstruction and hold hearings and allow a vote on a nominee.” — Tammy Duckworth

* Related…

* Kirk: Tammy Duckworth is a fool

- Posted by Rich Miller        


40 Comments
  1. - Boone's is Back - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    Good politics for Kirk. Notice that he isn’t saying he’ll support said nominee though.


  2. - hisgirlfriday - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    Nice juxtaposition there with Kirk’s op-ed’s highminded rhetoric of avoiding partisanship and rancor with him calling his likely general election opponent a “fool.”


  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’m not sure why he waited so long to say exactly this. It’s hardly controversial, and very Illinois.

    Well done Senator.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Artl,

    You keep him here, make sure Kirk doesn’t waver, and irbil pay big dividends and blunt harsh criticism.

    This is good public policy and really good politics at play for a member of the Senate… just plum doing the job as described in the constitution.

    Keep Kirk doing his constitutional duties, and Kirk can ride this out.

    Good luck,

    OW


  5. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    Senator Kirk is a model legislator who is willing to be fair to both sides. Interesting how this contrasts with Senators Schumer and Bidens comments about how the Senate should not consider a nomination during the final year of a Republican administration.


  6. - H.L. - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:13 pm:

    A full and fair hearing before I vote no.


  7. - Mama - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    “a nominee who can bridge differences, a nominee who finds common ground and a nominee who does not speak or act in the extreme.”

    When such a nominee is appointed, will the Senators be able to recognize such a person with those qualities?


  8. - Tenth Dem - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    Klassic Kirk. Let’s see if he’s smart enough to vote for the nominee.


  9. - Carhartt Representative - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:17 pm:

    We’ll have a fair trial and then we’ll hang him.


  10. - wordslinger - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:20 pm:

    If Kirk is going to have a chance in November, he can’t be among those who would block consideration of an Obama nominee.

    But it won’t be his call as to whether that happens.


  11. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:24 pm:

    Just curious Mark, what do you consider “partisan” or “extreme”?


  12. - Nope, Nope, Nope - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    Pretty predictable move, but insignificant. Kirk voted to put the yahoos in charge of the Senate, and if they play games with something this important, Illinois voters will hold him responsible.


  13. - Independent retiree/lawyer/journalist - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:26 pm:

    “Nice juxtaposition there with Kirk’s op-ed’s highminded rhetoric of avoiding partisanship and rancor with him calling his likely general election opponent a “fool.””
    True. But Kirk is nothing if not a political animal. You don’t have his record for winning elections where he’s won them by failing to straddle fences well.
    That said, he has merely kicked the decisional can down the road. If the President smartly nominates a moderate, we’ll see if Kirk votes the right way…or the correct way.


  14. - G'Kar - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    My take is that both articles are well written and well articulated except for one sentence. Kirk could have made his point w/o using the sentence “Tammy Duckworth is a fool.”


  15. - cdog - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    “I swore an oath to protect and uphold the constitution.”

    That’s refreshing from a member of the GOP. /s
    I guess the conservative bullies grabbing the national microphones within hours of Scalia’s passing, forgot that the Constitution speaks to this process very clearly. I would trust that even Judge Scalia, abiding with his legacy of Originalism, would agree.

    I also agree with Kirk about radical Muslims, “Koran Originalism”(if I may), and the urgency of a little American protectionism in this area.

    If you have been through an international airport in recent years, and not been under a rock, you know that our visa entry/exit system is a hot mess.

    From Proverbs — the simple, the fool, and the mocker, listed from least to most severe.
    I guess Kirk exercised a little self control not using “mocker.” /s

    (It does seem that the IL Review struck a tone with Kirk. But, then again, they probably thought the demands that the President can only nominate a SCOTUS replacement in the first three years of a term were Constitutionally valid demands. /s)


  16. - Lucky Pierre - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:32 pm:

    Both sides play games with something this important. How can Kirk promise to vote for a nominee before he knows who it is?


  17. - Jack Stephens - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    @cdog:

    I feel the same way about Radical Xtians “Biblical Extremism”….if I may.

    I live in a Secular Nation….the United States of America….how about you?


  18. - GA Watcher - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:36 pm:

    Too bad the staff who advised Senator Kirk on this statement weren’t the people who joined the Governor’s administration. Well played, Senator Kirk.


  19. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:38 pm:

    Kirk will energize his base with a keen eye towards the 2nd amendment. Everything to gain. Nothing to lose. May not be enough to overcome the damage the RAUN Man has done to GOP candidates statewide.


  20. - sideline watcher - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    I agree with GA Watcher @2:36

    Well done Senator Kirk.


  21. - SAP - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:41 pm:

    //


  22. - Chicago Cynic - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:44 pm:

    He really had no choice. It would go completely against his brand to say anything else.


  23. - Dilemma - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:46 pm:

    @Lucky - He said he would vote, not “how” he would vote. The point is that the Constitution gives the President the power to nominate, and the Senate the power to advise and consent. That means holding a vote (not a filibuster).


  24. - siriusly - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:50 pm:

    //


  25. - cdog - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:57 pm:

    @Jack
    I absolutely agree with you about Christian extremism.

    This country may have been founded with a heavy influence of christian principles, but it is not a Christian Nation.

    And, just to have a little more fun with Scalia’s Originalism, the Constitution explicitly declined to establish or endorse a certain religion.

    @SAP // (that’s hilarious!)


  26. - A guy - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    === 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 2:02 pm:

    I’m not sure why he waited so long to say exactly this. It’s hardly controversial, and very Illinois.

    Well done Senator. ===

    Seriously and respectfully: he found it in poor taste that these discussions were taking place while the arrangements for Justice Scalia and his Wake and Burial had not occurred. He waited out of respect for that to occur. And today, we got a statement.

    I’m not a huge Kirk fan. I will be supporting him strongly against Rep. Duckworth (who I personally like, but politically differ from greatly) or Ms. Zopp (who I also like. Don’t know her, but appreciate her background)

    All things considered, Senator Kirk was extremely statesmanlike on hearing the news, during the services, and afterward. He exercised his military training here and it served him well.


  27. - 47th Ward - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 3:38 pm:

    Wow, I really put the ball on the tee for you A Guy. For someone who isn’t a big fan of his, you sure seem to have a lot of very good things to say about him. Glad I could help.

    Now, is it too early for Kirk to issue a public statement criticizing Senators McConnell, Grassley, Rubio, Cruz, etc., for stomping on the still-warm grave of the departed Justice Scalia, and call on them to end their obstructionism?

    I’ll hang up and wait for my answer.


  28. - Retired FF - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 3:41 pm:

    The Senate has no Constitutional duty to vote on a nomination. They have the right to not consider it. The Constitution says the “(the President)shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court”. If the Senate ADVISES the President now is not a good time to nominate, they have done their job.


  29. - ArchPundit - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 3:58 pm:

    ====Judges of the Supreme Court”. If the Senate ADVISES the President now is not a good time to nominate, they have done their job.

    Publius is crying all over Federalist 76-78.


  30. - VanillaMan - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 4:46 pm:

    Duckworth’s response is pathetic.


  31. - Blue dog dem - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 5:05 pm:

    I don’t know who I will be voting for senate position yet, but if Duckworth throws unconditional support to a yet unnamed nominee, then she is just another political hack.


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 5:07 pm:

    ===”…He should go a step further, however, and demand Senators McConnell and Grassley end their obstruction and hold hearings and allow a vote on a nominee.”===

    Here’s where a candidate makes a call to governmental duty political grandstanding.

    Duckworth shoulda let Kirk “win” today, then, when it’s relevant to isolate Kirk and the political, you state this very specific sentence.

    The timing is poor by the Duckworth Crew.

    Why go “here” with no visuals of GOP “obstruction”? Why play this “now”?

    What’s the rush? Ugh.


  33. - Independent retiree/lawyer/journalist - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 5:33 pm:

    —Retired FF
    Comment:
    The Senate has no Constitutional duty to vote on a nomination. They have the right to not consider it. The Constitution says the “(the President)shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint…Judges of the Supreme Court”. If the Senate ADVISES the President now is not a good time to nominate, they have done their job.—
    Only by the tortured logic of the guerilla warrior who believes that by obstruction and obfuscation there is performance.


  34. - Generation X - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 6:52 pm:

    Typical Kirk mush response.

    The correct response would be that I agree with the President, Vice President, Outgoing Senate Minority Leader and incoming Senate Minority leader on this issue.

    But that’s why Kirk is going to get trounced by Duckworth


  35. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 6:58 pm:

    “Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 3:38 pm:”

    No need 47th

    Duckworth would never say anything against her fellow Democrates.

    You are not being fair to Kirk


  36. - Anonymous - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 7:03 pm:

    “- Independent retiree/lawyer/journalist - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 5:33 pm:”

    They are just following the Democrates past dealings with the Supreme Court nominations.

    You do not seem like you are really independent if you can’t see that.


  37. - Independent retiree/lawyer/journalist - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 7:31 pm:

    —Anonymous - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 7:03 pm:
    “- Independent retiree/lawyer/journalist - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 5:33 pm:”
    They are just following the Democrates past dealings with the Supreme Court nominations.
    You do not seem like you are really independent if you can’t see that.—

    Even if you were right–which you’re not–that wouldn’t make it right for the Republicans to do the same thing, would it? Or do you prefer to honor the tortured logic that two wrongs make a right?


  38. - Former State Employee - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 7:56 pm:

    Mitch McConnell needs to take these guys off the hook. Don’t let it proceed anywhere near a vote


  39. - mokenavince - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 8:47 pm:

    Kirks words all equal a no vote for any candidate selected by Obama.McConnell is some leader.


  40. - cannon649 - Monday, Feb 22, 16 @ 9:13 pm:

    Duckworth is really a hack.

    Kirk answer tell me he is vote is for sale.

    Mitch should put an end to this - do not let proceed Ried would


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