April 19, 2012

Nominations & Obama’s SCOTUS Challenge

Tomorrow, CFJ Executive Director Curt Levey will be addressing President Obama’s recent, controversial challenge to the Supreme Court’s authority to declare statutes – such as ObamaCare – unconstitutional. The Fifth’s Circuit’s reaction to that challenge, and Obama’s earlier rebuke of the Court’s Citizens United decision while the Justices sat in the audience, will also be discussed.

Levey’s remarks will be part of a 9:00 am plenary panel, titled “The Leahy Rule and Obama’s Challenge to the Courts,” at the Republican National Lawyer's Association’s April 20 Annual Policy Conference in Washington, DC.

The Leahy Rule describes the customary, though sometimes controversial, practice whereby the Judiciary Committee and full Senate stop acting on contested judicial nominees after April 1 of a presidential election year. “Contested” is defined as lacking the support of the Senate Majority Leader, the Minority Leader, the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, or its Ranking Member.

The practice, which originated when Ted Kennedy chaired the Judiciary Committee and Senator Thurmond was its Ranking Member, was originally referred to as the Thurmond Rule. It was renamed after current Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D – Vt.) after he pledged to abide by it in a December 2006 speech.

Discussing the Leahy Rule tomorrow will be Carrie Severino, the Chief Counsel & Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network. Scott McCandless, the RNLA’s Vice President for Washington Operations, will moderate.