Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Further Issues"

  The only way a U.S. Senator, on his own, can block a nominee for federal judge is if the nominee comes from the Senator's state.

There was no Senatorial "block" on Mike Green's nomination.

But the Democratic Senate sent it back anyway.
And the President said immediately, "No renomination."

All the other District Court nominees sent back to the White House were blocked by their own Senators.   But not Mike Green.   So that didn't stop his nomination.

  The Republican Senate minority can keep a nomination from a vote by filibustering.

No filibuster was attempted, or threatened, to stop Mike Green's nomination.

But the Democratic Senate sent back his nomination anyway.   And the President said immediately, "No renomination."

All the other nominees sent back to the White House, for both District and Appeals Courts, were either blocked by their Senators, or filibustered.   But not Mike Green.   So filibuster didn't stop his nomination.

Eight judicial nominations were sent back.   Five were blocked by home-state senators.   That left three.   Of the three, two lost floor votes to stop a filibuster.   That left one -- Mike Green.

Not blocked by home-state Senators.   Not blocked by a filibuster.   No procedural reason to not go forward.   Yet sent back anyway, by the Democratic leadership of the U.S. Senate.

That's the same Democratic leadership that brought to the floor those nominations it wanted to, even when they expected a filibuster.   It brought Appeals Court nominee Caitlin Halligan up for a vote.   She was filibustered, and lost a vote to stop the filibuster.

She, like others nominees sent back, might be renominated.   But not Green.  The President said immediately he wouldn't nominate Mike Green again.

Renominations happen a lot.   The President renominated 32 District Court nominees who were sent back to him a year ago, in December 2010.   It's on the Senate Judiciary Committee's website.   But the President won't renominate Mike Green.

As we asked the other day, W-H-Y-?

Specifically, what are the "further issues" that have "come to light," according to a Republican Senate staffer quoted in today's Democrat and Chronicle, that caused the return of Green's nomination to the White House?

Why didn't Senator Schumer and President Obama call out the staffer and the Republican Senator she works for, demanding to know just what "further issues" she was talking about?   You know: "How dare you make unspecified allegations against a nominee!" Instead, they gave up on Green pretty quickly.

Senator Schumer's staffer reportedly told Green "someone in Monroe County doesn't want you to be a judge."   The staffer didn't say "the Republicans" in Monroe County, which is how one political person would express it to another if that were the case.   The staffer said "someone."

Consider motivation.

The last thing the Monroe County Republican heirarchy wants is for Mike Green, a proven vote-getter, to be at liberty to challenge them in an election for state supreme court judge .   As we noted the other day, they wanted him confirmed -- kicked upstairs and out of their hair in future judicial elections.

For the Democrats controlling the U.S. Senate to send back a nominee of their own party, who was not blocked and not stopped by a filibuster, would take intervention from their own side.   That, and concern over embarrassment about what might come to light publicly if they proceeded.

Green got the judicial nod because County Democratic Chairman Joe Morelle wanted him to make way for Frank Geraci to become DA, as we've reported.   County Court Judge Geraci is a distinguished and respected jurist, despite being close to Joe Morelle.

Last Spring, Morelle asked Green to step down then, so Geraci could run for DA in the Fall with half-a-year's incumbency behind him.   Green refused.   During one of their conversations on this subject, Green is reported to have said to Morelle words to the effect, "I owe the Democratic Party nothing."   Joe was not amused.

Geraci declined to run as a non-incumbent with only one line on the ballot.   Which left Morelle, at the last minute, with no choice other than Sandra Doorley, who happened to be Green's own choice for a successor.

You know the rest.   Doorley won a convincing victory in November.   Green was out as DA.

Green had burned the local Democratic establishment and now they didn't need him, had no love for him and had no reason for Green to get his dream job on the federal bench.

Now Joe Morelle can arrrange a nomination that can help him politically, maybe nominating City Court Judge Theresa Johnson, to make David Gannt and other local Democratic leaders happy.

We've all read the articles the past few days and seen the news stories.   We've heard comments from Mr. Green, from Senator Schumer and others.   But the person who's become very conspicuous by saying hardly anything about the demise of the Green nomination is ... Joe Morelle.

The situation gives County Democrats a chance to pull off the perfect political crime:   sabatoging Green's nomination and having the Republicans blamed for it.   Frankly, for students of politics like us, there's a certain beauty to it.   They're good at what they do sometimes.

Since all of this leaves Green as a potential candidate for state supreme court, far better to blame partisanship than risk a public airing of the "further issues" about Green, "whose specifics," according to today's D&C, "haven't been disclosed."

The newspaper headlines today's story, "Green is not alone in rejection."   This precisely inverts the truth.   Green's rejection is utterly unique, for reasons specific to him.

And if you need final proof positive that the mysterious "further issues" have nothing to do with Monroe County Republicans, it's this:   D&C editor Karen Magnuson, de facto leader of the County Democratic Party, would have her reporters digging like mad to "specify" those "issues," if she thought they had anything to do with local Republicans trying to scuttle the nomination of Mike Green.

Instead, she won't touch it.   No way she'd print what would come out.

We invite those with information about the "further issues" to contact us at


Jax said...

Spot ON!

Morelle would be whelping to the media nanoseconds after the "announcement" that the Republicans "played politics" and stopped the nomination of Green.

The silence speaks volumes.

I wish the D&C understood the workings of the Senate enough to give such an astute analysis as you.

I do not believe it is purely intentional on their part (as in, trying to make the Republicans look bad - they are just parroting information from their "reliable" Dem sources). I do believe it is ignorance of how the Senate works....and that just makes me sad. :(

Anonymous said...

What is being lost in the discussion of Mike Green's failure to get this job is the fact that he wasn't that good at his last job. Despite a confession and DNA it took him 4 years to charge Marc Christie with the death of Viola Manville. Why? Because he had already made the grievous error of convicting the wrong man for that crime and was reluctant to admit his mistake. He was concerned about how he would appear for convicting an innocent man more so than convicting the real killer. And thus far he has curiously refused to prosecute the career criminal that falsely accused MCSD Captain Catherine Mclaughlin of rape. he has a slam dunk perjury case against this low-life for grand jury testimony his office has conceded was a lie and yet he has done nothing. Why? Once again because he does not want to look bad for again prosecuting an innocent person. How does he expect his office to have the support of law enforcement when he refuses to have their back?

Politicalman said...

The D&C argued that Green needed 60 votes and there are only 53 Dems in the Senate. Well, there are 8 GOP members of the Senate judiciary committee and 7 of them voted for Green. I imagine it is extremely rare to have someone vote one way in committee and then change the vote on the floor. Assuming this holds true, Green in fact had 60 votes.

Anonymous said...

I think what's being lost also is our democrat president had the chance to renominate and for some reason decided not to. I highly doubt that local Rochester republicans would be powerful enough to persuade the president. If so... I say kudos in keeping that lying cheat off the bench.

Anonymous said...

Green and doorely are not true democrats... That's why the party hates them. Both were registered republicans who jumped ship for political gain... Ie. the republicans (wisely) didn't want them. Nor would they run Green. As we have seen they have both proven to be selfish, impulsive, and not a true public servant but only self serving. The DA should be a prosecutor first and politician last... Sadly in our county prosecution takes a back seat to politics.

Anonymous said...

"I wish the D&C understood the workings of the Senate enough to give such an astute analysis as you."

They absolutely do. But they are doing their job to protect Democrats Mike Green, Chuck Schumer, Joe Morelle, et al to keep the public from learning the truth behind Green's dismissal.