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Could Obama's Supreme Court pick kill climate-change bill?

Sens. John Kerry, left, and Lindsey Graham
File photo -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), right, accompanied by one of his partners on climate change legislation, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.). (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has a warning for President Obama -- pick your next Supreme Court nominee wisely, or else you might not get a climate-change bill this year.

Graham was asked yesterday whether the high court confirmation process would harm the effort to pass a climate bill this year. His answer: If Obama “picks somebody that is going to be controversial, yeah; if he picks somebody that is genuinely believed to be acceptable to a wide range of people, no.” Sounds almost threatening.

I have to feel for Graham. He is uncomfortably in the middle of both the effort to pass a compromise climate and energy bill in the Senate and the brewing battle over Obama’s next high court nominee, since he voted to confirm Sonia Sotomayor in the Judiciary Committee last year. And I don’t think he was trying to threaten the president with his comments.

But for whatever reason Graham is probably overestimating the benefits -- in terms of minimizing the damage to the climate effort -- Obama would see if someone considered less “controversial” got the nod.

The White House is wisely preparing for a battle no matter whom the president nominates. Even if it’s the relatively moderate Merrick Garland, there will be at least a week of confirmation hearings and related cable-news obsession, which is a lot of time in legislative terms. And even then, in this election year the Mitch McConnells of the world have little incentive beyond the hinting of conscience to let Obama’s nominee slide through without a fight. Either way it’s probably a time sink -- and yet another problem for Graham and his partners in the climate-change effort, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Which is among the reasons it’s a good idea to simply decouple the two issues: so that fence-sitting lawmakers aren’t encouraged to apply any disappointment they might have over Obama’s nominee to the energy debate.

By Stephen Stromberg  | April 14, 2010; 3:13 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Comments

the people want this candidate vetted...
after all wapo did a great job vetting obama and look at what we got as president...
bring the confirmation wars on...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 14, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

nobody gets paid in washington to roll over for no one...

Posted by: DwightCollins | April 14, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Lindsey's my boy for fighting for a clean energy & climate bill, but ... didn't he make this exact same threat over health insurance reform? How many times does he get to play this same "Obama has to give up ___ or he won't get a climate bill" card?

Posted by: TheGreenMiles | April 14, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

the people want this candidate vetted...
after all wapo did a great job vetting obama and look at what we got as president...
bring the confirmation wars on...
____________

What we got was a President who 1) got an (imperfect) health care bill passed. 2)Is going to get us out of Iraq and hopefully Afghanistan. 3) Has reached a new arms control agreement with Russia.

Posted by: DwightCollins

Posted by: pessimist46 | April 14, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Dwight, I didn't mean to make you sound reasonable.

Posted by: pessimist46 | April 14, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Well what's Graham's definition of acceptable? He voted against Sotomayor, didn't he, despite the fact that she was eminently qualified and had anything but a liberal judicial record. I suppose the Republican idea of non-controversial would be Glenn Beck.

Posted by: tboyer33 | April 14, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

to all,

BHO & all his works are DONE in NOV 2010, when we DUMP the DIMocRATS from both houses & the DUMMIES return home.

BHO will be GONE himself as POTUS, on Jan 20, 2013 - the DIMocRATS are FINISHED (likely forever) too.
(when 65% of voters oppose ANYTHING passed into law, as they do "obama's healthcare reform", the party itself is DONE & their "stand-bearer is also FINISHED.)

PITY that the DIMocRAT lunatics, who compose MOST of the "posters" here, don't know that.

your president is D.O.N.E.- DONE. = he is seen as a COMPLETE FAILURE by most people outside of the Beltway & frankly, "a damn fool".
(i'm from a formerly "yellow dog democrat county" in east TX & neither BHO or any other DIMocRAT could win dogcatcher in 2010 or 2012, there.- even the union members have turned against him/them.)

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 14, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead and kill the climate bill, if it means we get a person fighting for disabled rights on the Supreme Court, because let's be honest here, the Democrats in coal country are going to do more damage than Mr. Graham.

Posted by: bflaherty5 | April 15, 2010 12:50 AM | Report abuse

bflaherty5,

DON'T you GET IT? = BHO isn't going to get to seat ANY LEFTIST on the USSC, because the GOP will fillibuster his choice until after the new Congress convenes.

then, he won't HAVE the votes to confirm ANYBODY, who is in the least LEFTIST/"progressive"/statist, because the NOV election will be a DUMPING of the DIMocRATS in BOTH houses.
(we TPP will finish taking out the liberal trash in 2012, including BHO. = the DIMocRATS are DONE.)

i predict that: Reid, Boxer, Landreu, Lincoln & 4-6 other DIMs will be beaten to a pulp in the GOP LANDSLIDE & the DIMs will LOSE 50 seats or MORE in the HoR.

yours, Otter

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 15, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

We need to kill this bill which sadly only adds to the economic downturn in this country. We don't need to give advice to the President since he wont listen to good counsel as evidenced by his lackluster performance such as giving away our balistic missiles, healthcare, the flawed policy on detainees and the myopic vision for the war in afghanistan and Iraq. This man has done nothing but give away the farm and weaken our security.

Posted by: minuramsey | April 15, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

This bill should die in the vine since all it will do is further increase our economic woes/unemployment roles. There is nothing this president can do that is right! we pussilanimously gave away our national defense, and continue to pursue the wrong policies with our detainees and the wars in Afghanistan and Irak, while endangering our standing in the world.

Posted by: minuramsey | April 15, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

This bill should die in the vine since all it will do is further increase our economic woes/unemployment roles. There is nothing this president can do that is right! we pussilanimously gave away our national defense, and continue to pursue the wrong policies with our detainees and the wars in Afghanistan and Irak, while endangering our standing in the world.

Posted by: minuramsey | April 15, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Not quite three months ago, in a five-to-four decision that is sure to have a seriously negative effect on democracy, the United States Supreme Court ruled that corporations, in effect, had all the legal rights as you and I; that they could pervert the electoral process with unlimited amounts of cash. What we need is a FIRE-BREATHING, LEFT WING EXTREMIST as a counterweight to the plutocratic lackeys who now sit on that court. You know who they are:

John Roberts
Anthony Kennedy
Antonin Scalia
Samuel Alito
Clarence "Yes, Massah" Thomas

All of them appointees of either Reagan or the two Bushes. The damage those three presidents did to this republic thanks to those horrible appointments will be felt for generations. The Republicans are already warning their clueless masses that Obama plans on nominating a judicial activist. Just what do they think the five mentioned above are? If you don't define giving a corporation full citizenship as "activism", I've got some property on one of Saturn's moons that I'd like to sell you. By the way (and I'm sure this never even crossed the minds of these knuckleheads) that atrocious ruling leaves the door open for foreign corporations to influence American elections. Chew on that for a little bit. If you think the system is corrupt now - Oh, Brother! Just wait and see what it looks like in three or four years!

http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

Tom Degan
Goshen NY

Posted by: tomdeganfrontiernetnet | April 15, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

There is no actual harm intended with the passage of a global warming tax law but it beggards the imagination to claim its purpose has anything to do with its proported subject. The excuse of climate change opens new revenue streams which are exploited by perceptive legislators who feel the public which would balk at a straight forward approach at raising taxes can be hoodwinked by cloaking it in the guise of an envoirmental measure.

Posted by: almorganiv | April 15, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Almorganiv:
Yes this has nothing to do with the global warming but it's another way to gather revenues, on the back of the middle class which ultimately will absorb the cost of this "new taxes" in the form of higher utilities. It will lead to more money for unwanted expenditures, and less money in our pockets.

Posted by: minuramsey | April 15, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Ton Degan; all,

get used to the idea: there will NOT BE any "FIRE-BREATHING LEFTWING EXTREMIST" confirmed to the federal courts at ANY level, as the NEW GOP-controlled Senate will BLOCK such persons, starting in Jan 2011.

if necessary, we conservatives will block EVERY judicial nominee until BHO leaves office (with his tail between his legs) in Jan 2013 & a new/CONSERVATIVE POTUS`will appoint another believer in "the original intent of" the CONSTITUTION.

btw, as a NON-WHITE citizen, i consider your comment about Justice Thomas to be the ranting of a RACIST & a FOOL.
(since the DIMocRAT party has a sitting US Senator who is a filthy, stinking KLANSMAN & CURRENT national officer of the KKK, i don't find the RACIST views of any DIMocRAT to be unusual. TOLERATING a KLANSMAN in your party is exactly as EVIL as BEING one.)

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 15, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Actually, in response to another post, Graham did vote for Sotomayor. I still don't think he should hold legislation hostage depending on who Obama nominates for the SC. Bush got to pick two extremely conservative justices with no thought of compromise, but if Obama dares to pick a liberal, well ....... it just HORRIBLE.

Posted by: creatia52 | April 15, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Actually, in response to another post, Graham did vote for Sotomayor. I still don't think he should hold legislation hostage depending on who Obama nominates for the SC. Bush got to pick two extremely conservative justices with no thought of compromise, but if Obama dares to pick a liberal, well ....... it just HORRIBLE.

Posted by: creatia52 | April 15, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

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