Flashback: Obama Tried to Filibuster Bush’s Supreme Court Pick
President Barack Obama is planning on nominating a replacement to Justice Antonin Scalia and is starting to mount pressure against Senate Republicans to confirm his nominee. However, Obama once attempted to filibuster one of President George W. Bush's Supreme Court nominees.
In a 2006 appearance on ABC's This Week, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) criticized Democrats for being unable to effectively articulate the case against then-Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. Obama then expressed support for then-Sen. John Kerry's (D-MA) efforts to filibuster Alito.
"I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values," Obama said. "When you look at his decisions--in particular, during times of war--we need a court that is independent and is going to provide some check on the executive branch."
While Obama did criticize "the merits of a filibuster," Obama was firm in his support for filibustering Alito. Then-Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs doubled down on this, telling the Chicago Tribune that Obama views Alito as "a bad addition to the Supreme Court." Kerry was thrilled, and commended Obama in a statement for "taking a stand on principle." Alito ultimately was confirmed by the Senate.
On Saturday, Obama called on the Senate to "fulfill its responsibility to give that person a fair hearing and a timely vote."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has threatened to filibuster any of Obama's Supreme Court nominees:
“This should be a decision for the people,” Cruz said on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos” on Sunday. “Let the election decide. If the Democrats want to replace [Scalia], they need to win the election. But I don’t think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties. I don’t think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, partial-birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification, and I don’t think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution.”
"I will be supporting the filibuster because I think Judge Alito, in fact, is somebody who is contrary to core American values, not just liberal values."
Barack Obama, 2006, doing exactly what he now accuses the GOP of planning
If Obama criticizes Cruz for this, then Cruz only has to point out that Obama himself supported filibustering Alito in 2006.