CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin joined anchor Wolf Blitzer on Thursday shortly after Senate Democrats passed the “nuclear option” to reform the filibuster rules and prevent Republicans from blocking President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees. Toobin said that appointing justices is “almost as important” as the Affordable Care Act as a measure of the impact Obama will have on American politics after he leaves office.
“This is close, not as important, but it is close to as important as Obamacare is for Barack Obama’s legacy, because this means he will be able to confirm judges on some of the most important courts in the country who will serve for decades after President Obama leaves the Oval Office,” Toobin said.
He noted that the D.C. Circuit court serves as a “farm team” for the United States Supreme Court. “Barack Obama has had five nominees, four of them have been filibustered,” Toobin added. “Three of them will now get votes and now presumably be confirmed. It’s really a very important day.”
Republicans in Congress had argued that the court in question can afford to be vacant because it does not have much casework to decide on. Toobin dismissed this argument.
“The idea that a president couldn’t fill vacant seats on a court because some senators think the court isn’t busy enough was an unprecedented argument,” he added. “Was it an unprecedented enough argument to have the rules changed? I suspect we’ll have that debate for a very long time.”
Toobin said that Republicans “overplayed their hand” and did not believe the Democrats would invoke the “nuclear option.”
Watch the clip below via CNN:
[Photo via screen grab ]
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