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McConnell: Democrats Broke The Senate Rules to Rubberstamp Liberal Ideologues Like Nina Pillard

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor outlining his opposition to the confirmation of Nina Pillard to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit:

"Yesterday, I talked about the Left's ends-justify-the-means quest for power - and the lengths to which they're willing to go to satisfy it.

"The Obama Administration and its allies have done just about everything to get what they want, one way or the other - even fundamentally altering the contours of our democracy when they couldn't get their way playing by the rules.

"We saw the culmination of that with the Majority Leader's power grab in the Senate last month.

"The real-world consequences of that power-grab are most sharply illustrated by the nominee before us.

"Professor Pillard may be a fine person, but she is not someone who should receive a lifetime position on the second highest court in the land. She will be confirmed, however, because of the Democrat Majority's power grab.

"A review of her legal views makes one thing clear: the nominee before us is a liberal ideologue - in other words, just the kind of person this administration was looking for to rubber stamp its most radical legislative and regulatory proposals on the D.C. Circuit Court.

"Take the so-called Hosanna Tabor case.

"Last year, the Supreme Court reinforced a core First Amendment principle when it ruled unanimously that churches, rather than the government, could select their own leaders. Every single justice sided with the church's argument in that case - every single one. It just makes sense. Freedom of religion is a bedrock foundation of our democracy.

"I think every member of this body would agree that the government doesn't have any business picking a group's religious leaders for them.

"But Professor Pillard seems to have a different view.

"Prior to the court's unanimous decision, she said the notion that 'the Constitution requires deference to church decisions about who qualifies as a minister' in the case before the court seemed 'like a real stretch.'

"And she went even further than that. The position of the church in the Hosanna Tabor case, she said, represented a 'substantial threat to the American rule of law.'

"A 'substantial threat to the American rule of law'! On a case the Supreme Court decided 9-0.

"I mean, even the court's most liberal justices as I mentioned, disagreed with Professor Pillard on this one.

"One of them characterized that kind of position as 'amazing.'

"In other words, Professor Pillard must think even the furthest-left Supreme Court justice isn't far left enough for her.

"We rightly expect justices on our nation's highest courts to evaluate cases before them with a judge's even-handed mindset - not the absolutism of an ideologue. But just listen to the kinds of things Pillard has said.

"Professor Pillard has expressed sympathy with the idea that the rights of our Constitution - the same Constitution she would be charged with upholding - have 'just about run out,' and that this necessitates a shift toward international law.

"Pillard has said that abortion, essentially without limits, is necessary to avoid 'conscription into maternity,' and that even common-sense laws many American men and women support serve to 'enforce&incubation.'

"She's referred to the types of ultrasound images that are now available to so many proud moms and dads-to-be as 'deceptive images' perpetuated by the 'anti-choice movement.' In other words, she appears to think proud moms and dads-to-be shouldn't believe their own eyes when they look at the images science has made increasingly available to us over the past few decades.

"It's an understatement to say these sorts of views are worrying for someone the President wants to be one of our nation's top judges.

"In short, Professor Pillard does not seem like a person with the mindset or temperament of a judge. She seems like a person with the attitude and disposition of a left-wing academic, someone who seems to come to conclusions based on how well they support her own theories.

"Judges are charged with fairly evaluating the law that is before them, not the law as they wish it would be.

"So I will be voting against the Pillard nomination.

"And it's important to keep this is mind as well: Nearly every single Democrat Senator voted to enable the Majority Leader's power grab last month.

"Those senators are responsible for its consequences. That includes the confirmation of Ms. Pillard, regardless of how they vote on her nomination.

"So I'd urge you to rethink the kind of nominees you bring to the floor moving forward - because they're now all yours."

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Posted December 17, 2013
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