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​ 🏛️ ​Official Supreme Court nomination thread - Amy Coney Barrett


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36 minutes ago, gianmarco said:

That's what it has come to mean in a political sense.

But the actual words "pro-life" just aren't appropriate, IMO, when the policies the same group typically are in favor of do not support the well-being of those lives. Whether that's through lack of funding for basic needs like food and housing or by policies that tear apart those lives from their families, the term "Pro-birth" seems more applicable.

Especially when viewed in the context of being a Christian position when these other policies from the same politicians aren't very Christian. That's the hypocrisy for me.

And while I understand they are separate issues, they typically go together from a political standpoint.

I just wish those that so vehemently protest at abortion clinics the "right to life" would similarly vehemently oppose children going hungry in this country, for example.

This seems pretty un-nuanced.

I wish pro-choicers would stop the charade and characterize themselves as pro-death and agree we should eliminate lives that might cause us burden.

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3 hours ago, rcam said:

I mean, if we are being intellectually honest here then you need to lay the blame at McConnell's feet who filibustered everything, then once in the majority, prevented anything from going through. Now, he is planning to seat a justice in an election year. Let's not lay this at the Dem's feet. 

You can't have it both ways.  You are pro filibuster or against it.  You absolve Reid of getting rid of it for his purposes prior to McConnell I take it.  If so, what's the problem now with McConnell going with simple majority for the Supreme Court?  Neither party is in the clear in these things so if you can't see that I don't really know what else to tell you.

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9 hours ago, Shula-holic said:

Yeah Harry Reid just did it for all other executive branch nominees so let’s blame McConnell. At least be intellectually honest here. 

Yeah, he did that despite there being any other mechanism to get nominees confirmed while McConnell et al refused to confirm anyone for anything. One of his ambassadors literally died waiting to be confirmed. At least be intellectually honest there, too. 
We can take it back as many steps as you want. But the actual mechanism that made it possible wasn’t any of them. It was 2017. 

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10 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

If you think I suggested that judicial decisions aren't rendered in the context of particular cases, you misunderstood what I wrote. I'm not sure whether I can explain it better, but I'll try a different angle.

I have a fictional friend named Lenny. A crime organization once tried to hire Lenny as a hit man, but he declined the position because he's morally opposed to murdering people.

Lenny subsequently accepted a position in the United States Air Force and flied some bombing missions in Iraq in accordance with his orders.

The guy who previously tried to hire him as a hit man was stunned. "You said you were opposed to murdering people!"

"I am. I don't see bombing missions as murder, but as collateral damage. I'm not trying to kill anyone in particular; I'm clumsily trying to uphold world order. I know that I'll end up killing people, and that's unfortunate, but that's part of the overall system of how countries prosecute important disputes, and it's an overall system I don't have a better alternative to. When it comes to assassinating someone as a hit man, though, there's an obviously better alternative: don't do it."

"Maybe in academia it makes sense to talk of collateral damage. But in the real world, every bombing mission in populated areas involves actual deaths. You can't separate the bombing from the deaths."

"I'm not saying that deaths won't occur, or that bombings are merely abstract occurrences divorced from real-world consequences. I'm saying that there's a big moral difference, to me anyway, between, on the one hand, participating dutifully in the overall system of prosecuting international conflicts (with unfortunate deaths as a side effect), and, on the other hand, murdering someone whose death is the intended effect. The overall system of prosecuting international conflicts -- and specifically prosecuting the current conflict in my own nation's favor -- is more important than avoiding however many deaths will occur in the process."

"I take issue with the suggestion that a soldier can do an abstract bombing unrelated to the deaths he causes."

"Let me offer an analogy. Suppose I were a judge and I had to make a ruling about whether there's a constitutional right to abortion."

"I have no idea where this is going."

"I'm pro-life, right? So I definitely don't want any fetuses to be aborted. If I were a doctor and someone tried to hire me to abort her fetus, I would decline. But I'm not a doctor in this analogy; I'm a judge. As a judge, my job isn't to abort anyone and I'm certainly not trying to cause the abortion of thousands of fetuses in my jurisdiction. If I find that the constitution forbids states from prohibiting abortion, and thousands of fetuses die as a consequence of my ruling, it's an unfortunate side effect. But what I'm really trying to do is to uphold the overall system of law in our constitutional democracy. That's more important than avoiding however many abortions might occur as a result."

"I'm not convinced that makes sense."

"Think of it this way. Just as a soldier follows orders from his commander as part of the overall process of protecting national security, a judge follows orders from the constitution as part of the overall process of protecting the rule of law. In both cases, collateral damage might result, but national security and the rule of law are more important in the grand scheme of things. I could intentionally misunderstand my commander's orders if I don't want bombing-related deaths to occur, and I could intentionally misread the constitution if I don't want abortions to occur, but both of those practices would be shortsighted. My personal morality does not require me to be shortsighted."

"Then I don't understand why you'd decline to perform an abortion as a doctor. Isn't that part of upholding the overall system of medicine? For that matter, isn't assassinating people part of the overall system of resolving interpersonal conflicts?"

"No, I think those things are different. I approve of the legal system as a whole, and I believe that the constitution should be followed even when I don't like a specific result. I can't opt out of just one part of following the constitution -- the whole point of the rule of law is that we don't get to pick and choose which constitutional provisions we give effect to based on our personal preferences. It's all or nothing, because if judges start ignoring constitutional provisions they don't like, the whole legal system falls apart. As a doctor, though, I can opt out of just performing abortions without making the whole system fall apart. If every doctor opted out of performing abortions, I would approve of the result. If every conflict-resolution-specialist opted out of doing assassinations, I would also approve of that result."

"You can't imagine any situation in which a judge should refuse to enforce an evil law?"

"I can, but that's not our current predicament in my analogy. We're not talking about an evil constitution that should be rebelled against. We're talking about a good constitution that may not be perfect, but throwing it out would be worse -- and lawlessly chipping away at it amounts to throwing it out. Similarly, I can imagine receiving military orders that should be disobeyed. But the bombing missions I was ordered to run were not in that category."

"So your personal morality would prevent you from assassinating someone but not from bombing innocent civilians?"

"If the civilians aren't the targets, yes, just like my morality would prevent me from personally performing or ordering an abortion on its own merits, but would not prevent me from acknowledging that abortions are legal. When I strike down restrictions on abortion, I understand that it will result in the deaths of specific fetuses -- but those fetuses are not targets."

"They're mere abstractions then?"

"They're not abstractions. They are individual human lives. I could never decide that their deaths are good in and of themselves. I could never decide that their deaths are deserved. If that were the question before me as a judge, I would have to recuse myself because I am unable to give a fair hearing to the pro-death position. But on the question of whether their deaths are legal, I can give an objective answer that is not unduly colored by my personal views. I can follow the normal test for deciding whether a law passes constitutional muster; whether I think a particular fetus's death is good or is deserved is not a prong of that test."

"And if you were judging a capital murder case? Affirming that a defendant deserves the death penalty is like being a hit man while affirming that the death penalty is constitutionally permissible is like being a soldier?"

"Something like that."

"Sounds dumb."

"Sorry."

Cool story. I’m glad you didn’t take the actual point she actually made in her actual law review article and turn it into something ridiculous instead of just saying “I understand you were making a different point than I was addressing and I see how this would conflict with her previous positions.”  That would have been just nutty. 

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7 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

Cool story. I’m glad you didn’t take the actual point she actually made in her actual law review article and turn it into something ridiculous instead of just saying “I understand you were making a different point than I was addressing and I see how this would conflict with her previous positions.”  That would have been just nutty. 

Yeah, I kind of figured I was wasting my time.

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14 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:
14 hours ago, Bottomfeeder Sports said:

How does society effectively get involved into protecting the life of a fetus without redistributing income to that cause?

How does society prevent your neighbor from shooting you without redistributing income your way?

Prohibition of abortion is not similar to prohibition of murder when you consider I said "effective".  And I didn't say redistribute to me directly.

14 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

Pass a law saying it's unlawful to terminate the life of a fetus?

This, statistically speaking will make the termination more, not less likely.   Though this is of course an oversimplification.   The real cause is that nations with prohibition tend to be conservative (i.e. dishonest) in attitudes towards sex, have little social safety nets, etc.   

Of course that is the whole problem with the pro life movement.  Some argue that abortion is their number one issue and then they actively support an entire menu of other positions that have shown to increase the abortion rate.   This is because there is no logic to these positions.  It is all faith based and in contradiction to reality.  A reality that "passing a law" will at best have little to  no effect on saving fetus from abortions (at least in aggregate) while stronger social safety net for those that are alive will reduce such demand.

But that wasn't even where I was going yesterday.   Passing such a law is still meaningless without some enforcement mechanism, unless of course the law is prohibiting something that isn't happening anyway.  When we prohibit murder we redistribute income to law enforcement, to prison complex, etc.  Even if the prison itself is not "private" we still redistribute to construction firms, to those that make monitoring equipment, whatever.  Now you might argue that this is different than say housing vouchers which redistribute income to land lords, or food stamps which redirect income to big agriculture, or healthcare which redirect income health care providers, because maybe it passes through the recipients hands and maybe some portion is cash but its all taking income from those that earn it and distributing to someone else.  (And replacing income tax with other forms of taxation doesn't change this by making it a step or two more indirect.)

So while sure it is logical recognize that someone might hold such positions - because we know they exists.   Those positions can't be held by one that is both logical and informed at the same time.  

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13 hours ago, djmich said:
14 hours ago, gianmarco said:

I just wish those that so vehemently protest at abortion clinics the "right to life" would similarly vehemently oppose children going hungry in this country, for example.

This seems pretty un-nuanced.

Children going hungry is one of the main reasons that there are those walking into abortion clinics.  

13 hours ago, djmich said:

I wish pro-choicers would stop the charade and characterize themselves as pro-death and agree we should eliminate lives that might cause us burden.

I'm pro killing two birds with one stone.  Close enough?

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14 hours ago, Shula-holic said:

You can't have it both ways.  You are pro filibuster or against it.  You absolve Reid of getting rid of it for his purposes prior to McConnell I take it.  If so, what's the problem now with McConnell going with simple majority for the Supreme Court?  Neither party is in the clear in these things so if you can't see that I don't really know what else to tell you.

Not really. I have no issues with the power of Presidential pardons - but I do have a problem with that power being abused and, let's say, the President pardoning himself and/or his friends. Same thing with the filibuster. Prior to Obama, the filibuster was a tool that was used to gain a greater bipartisan consensus in the Senate regarding major issues (broad strokes here). With McConnell in charge of the reds it became a tool for obstruction - of everything.

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7 minutes ago, rcam said:

Prior to Obama, the filibuster was a tool that was used to gain a greater bipartisan consensus in the Senate regarding major issues (broad strokes here). 

I can see where a person might think that if he or she were born in 2008.  Those of us who lived through the W administration remember things a wee bit differently.

More generally, the problem with the filibuster dates back to the 1970s, when the senate started allowing people to "filibuster" legislation without actually standing up in front of the podium and speaking.  That had the completely predictable effect of making filibusters way more common than they used to be and it resulted in today's de fact 60-vote requirement for anything substantive to pass (except through reconciliation).  At a bare minimum, this practice needs to be dialed way back.  I'd prefer to see it abolished altogether.

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2 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I have to admit though that I literally laughed out loud at the suggestion that the days before Obama were a halcyon era of bipartisan comity.  That's so cute. 

True, but it does seem like in general discourse was more civil and norms were more respected vs. now. Even if that means they were simply better at disguising it back then. 

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16 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I don't link to Vox very often, but I think this article does a pretty good job of breaking down most arguments in favor of the filibuster.  I'm not a majoritarian.  I support the bill of rights, bicameralism, the presidential veto, and judicial review.  But I also think the new filibuster -- where everything just automatically takes 60 votes to get through the senate -- is taking counter-majoritarianism too far.  

Automatically taking 60 votes isn't really filibuster though. If we changed the rules to make it inconvenient to filibuster again and it was used sparingly it would be a good and moderating tool.

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5 minutes ago, Grace Under Pressure said:
10 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I have to admit though that I literally laughed out loud at the suggestion that the days before Obama were a halcyon era of bipartisan comity.  That's so cute. 

True, but it does seem like in general discourse was more civil and norms were more respected vs. now. Even if that means they were simply better at disguising it back then. 

I am not sure that is true.

 

Time has a tendency to smooth over all the rough edges - so that the memory is more pleasant.

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11 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I can see where a person might think that if he or she were born in 2008.  Those of us who lived through the W administration remember things a wee bit differently.

More generally, the problem with the filibuster dates back to the 1970s, when the senate started allowing people to "filibuster" legislation without actually standing up in front of the podium and speaking.  That had the completely predictable effect of making filibusters way more common than they used to be and it resulted in today's de fact 60-vote requirement for anything substantive to pass (except through reconciliation).  At a bare minimum, this practice needs to be dialed way back.  I'd prefer to see it abolished altogether.

Again, broad strokes, IMO, the true fall of our political discourse started during the Clinton administration and there are several reasons I think that is the case. And I agree with you, you should still have to stand up there and talk if you want to filibuster. As far as the W administration - there was some significant filibustering by the dems *but* the two sides came to an agreement to stop filibustering unless in the most extreme of cases - which is how it should be. Once McConnell became the shot caller that agreement was torn up practically *everything* was filibustered. The frequency in which Obama appointees were filibustered was historic and it wasn't like McConnell was coy about the obstruction.

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BREAKING: Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins, who was at the WH SCOTUS announcement on Saturday and was criticized for not wearing a mask and shaking hands, has tested positive for COVID-19. This was just sent out to the campus.

Unclear if he had it during the WH event.

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A Senate GOP aide, on background, tells the Post that some Rs are now discussing asking Leader McConnell to "take the Senate out of session next week" before the ACB hearings start in mid-October. "If some in the Republican caucus get sick, we are screwed," the aide says.

 

 

This, may be the only thing that could derail this nomination.

Senate business requires a quorum - 51 senators to be present on the Senate floor.  The Dems could call for a quorum call, and then leave the floor - requiring all GOP senators to be present on the floor to conduct business.

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1 minute ago, Sinn Fein said:

Patient Zero?

 

Breaking WaPo: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this year but has since recovered, three officials familiar with her diagnosis told The Washington Post.

How early in the year though?  Can't imagine she'd be contagious afterward

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11 minutes ago, Hugh Jass said:

How early in the year though?  Can't imagine she'd be contagious afterward

I was kidding - just interesting that this had not been mentioned before, and we still don't really know the long-term ramifications of contracting the virus.

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

A Senate GOP aide, on background, tells the Post that some Rs are now discussing asking Leader McConnell to "take the Senate out of session next week" before the ACB hearings start in mid-October. "If some in the Republican caucus get sick, we are screwed," the aide says.

 

 

This, may be the only thing that could derail this nomination.

Senate business requires a quorum - 51 senators to be present on the Senate floor.  The Dems could call for a quorum call, and then leave the floor - requiring all GOP senators to be present on the floor to conduct business.

They will delay any other Senate business to ensure they get to her hearings.  I mean...what hasn't he already put on hold or ignored to further his/Trump's agenda?

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3 hours ago, IvanKaramazov said:

I can see where a person might think that if he or she were born in 2008.  Those of us who lived through the W administration remember things a wee bit differently.

More generally, the problem with the filibuster dates back to the 1970s, when the senate started allowing people to "filibuster" legislation without actually standing up in front of the podium and speaking.  That had the completely predictable effect of making filibusters way more common than they used to be and it resulted in today's de fact 60-vote requirement for anything substantive to pass (except through reconciliation).  At a bare minimum, this practice needs to be dialed way back.  I'd prefer to see it abolished altogether.

Was going to post this but you beat me to it.  To me, there is nothing wrong with the  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington style filibuster.  How long is one person or even group of people really going to be able to talk and hold the floor?  Are they actually going to be willing to spend 48 hours straight talking to keep Joseph P. Livingconstitution off of the 5th circuit?  The "gentleman's" filibuster where we just ask for cloture and you can say no and we change the subject is stupid and deserves to die.

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17 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

Yeah, he did that despite there being any other mechanism to get nominees confirmed while McConnell et al refused to confirm anyone for anything. One of his ambassadors literally died waiting to be confirmed. At least be intellectually honest there, too. 
We can take it back as many steps as you want. But the actual mechanism that made it possible wasn’t any of them. It was 2017. 

Right.  McConnell used the filibuster and Reid decided to "nuke" it.  McConnell extended that to the Supreme Court.  I've been honest about it from the get-go.  Next time, Schumer or whoever will go farther, then McConnell or who follows will go beyond that.  I'm not holding McConnell out as some pious individual, but acting like Harry Reid's actions didn't help precipitate it all is preposterous.

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Just now, timschochet said:

Are they really going to be able to confirm Barrett before the election now? 

Mitch will try to force it through, but with 2 members of the Judiciary Committee testing positive to COVID and being under quarantine, it makes it less likely.

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Just now, squistion said:

Mitch will try to force it through, but with 2 members of the Judiciary Committee testing positive to COVID and being under quarantine, it makes it less likely.

Interesting. 
I wrote last week that no matter what Republicans say now, if there is no vote before November 3  and if Trump and Republicans get trounced, everything changes. So unless they do it before the election, it’s still in doubt. 

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11 minutes ago, timschochet said:

Interesting. 
I wrote last week that no matter what Republicans say now, if there is no vote before November 3  and if Trump and Republicans get trounced, everything changes. So unless they do it before the election, it’s still in doubt. 

I agree that this nomination is a lot more problematic in a lame duck session.  I expect McConnell will move it along before the election.

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Right or wrong....one of the first things I thought of when I heard all these judiciary committee people catching covid was "I wonder if they are going to relent on their demands that the Senators/Reps should be there in person to legislate.  This has been a consistent talking point for months now.  

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27 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Right or wrong....one of the first things I thought of when I heard all these judiciary committee people catching covid was "I wonder if they are going to relent on their demands that the Senators/Reps should be there in person to legislate.  This has been a consistent talking point for months now.  

Dems will probably switch sides also - and now insist on in-person voting.

 

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33 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Right or wrong....one of the first things I thought of when I heard all these judiciary committee people catching covid was "I wonder if they are going to relent on their demands that the Senators/Reps should be there in person to legislate.  This has been a consistent talking point for months now.  

This is a rule that really should change -- requiring in-person voting during a pandemic is dumb.

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Marianne LeVine@marianne_levine · 38s

Dems are signaling Senate will be out until 10/19, per aides

 

That certainly shortens the time frame to get a nominee done before the election.  Obviously not impossible, by any stretch, but not leaving much margin for error.

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53 minutes ago, IvanKaramazov said:

This is a rule that really should change -- requiring in-person voting during a pandemic is dumb.

See, I don't even know if they followed through on it or not.  I just remember them making a big stink over being on Capitol Hill, in person.  I don't know if they went so far as to make actual rules or not.  I found it some mind-numbingly stupid that they were throwing those tantrums that I just began ignoring it.

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15 minutes ago, The Commish said:

Probably...they have shown time and again they can't get out of their own way.

I think in this case, they are trying to prevent the GOP from having a quorum - which would delay everything.

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39 minutes ago, The Commish said:

See, I don't even know if they followed through on it or not.  I just remember them making a big stink over being on Capitol Hill, in person.  I don't know if they went so far as to make actual rules or not.  I found it some mind-numbingly stupid that they were throwing those tantrums that I just began ignoring it.

That is literally exactly what I did too.  It went right into the "this is stupid but there's no reason for me to care about it either" folder for me.

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

Marianne LeVine@marianne_levine · 38s

Dems are signaling Senate will be out until 10/19, per aides

 

That certainly shortens the time frame to get a nominee done before the election.  Obviously not impossible, by any stretch, but not leaving much margin for error.

The Judiciary was suppose to start hearing on the 12th and I think vote her out of committee on the 19th (I think that was the timeline).  If the Republicans still think they need a week, that basically gives them a week for a full Senate vote.  That seems tenuous at best, but McConnell will certainly try.

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1 minute ago, Sammy3469 said:

The Judiciary was suppose to start hearing on the 12th and I think vote her out of committee on the 19th (I think that was the timeline).  If the Republicans still think they need a week, that basically gives them a week for a full Senate vote.  That seems tenuous at best, but McConnell will certainly try.

Rs would have to change another informal rule - that allows anyone on the committee to hold over any nominee for one-week - i.e. it will take 2 weeks in committee.

 

I don't know the answer - but can committees work if the Senate is not in session?  Also at least two Rs are on the Judiciary Committee, and if they have to quarantine - they would not get a quorum in the committee.

 

This is going to be a very tight schedule - even if nothing else crops up.

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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday that all Senate floor activity would be rescheduled until after October 19, but committee work, like the confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, would continue.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-senate/u-s-senate-floor-activity-rescheduled-but-supreme-court-nominee-hearing-to-continue-mcconnell-idUSKBN26O0S7?il=0

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3 hours ago, Sinn Fein said:

I think in this case, they are trying to prevent the GOP from having a quorum - which would delay everything.

Fine...say that.  Don't pretend that it's some high and mighty nobel cause and/or some crappy "OMG, you're such hypocrites".  We're tired of it.  We can see exactly what's going on and we will vote accordingly.  

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