In a “Critical Judiciary Alert” released today on Facebook (where else?), Senator Jeff Sessions went on the attack against five of President Obama’s judicial nominees that the GOP has worked overtime to obstruct.
The whole piece is a fine example of the out of context scare quotes and blatant distortions that are the stock in trade for Senate Republicans trying to block President Obama’s judges. But it seems that Senator Sessions can’t even keep his arguments in line for the length of one piece.
Take for instance, his attacks against Jack McConnell, a nominee for the District of Rhode Island.
After McConnell’s questionable theory of liability against lead paint manufacturers was unanimously rejected by the Rhode Island Supreme Court, he publicly attacked the decision as letting “wrongdoers off the hook,” revealing a preference for outcome-driven judicial decisions.
Setting aside the fact that fighting against the ingestion of lead paint by children is apparently not a good thing in the eyes of the GOP, Sessions clearly doesn’t like “outcome-driven” judicial decisions (although any lawyer not looking for a positive outcome for his client, as McConnell was doing, seems like a pretty poor attorney to me.) Got it. Outcome driven rulings = bad.
But then, take a gander at Sessions’ attack on Louis Butler, a nominee for the Second Circuit and a former state judge.
In one case, he held that a manufacturer could be held liable for injuries from a product that, as the dissent explained it, the manufacturer “may or may not have produced, which may or may not have caused the plaintiff’s injuries, based on conduct that may have occurred over 100 years ago when some of the defendants were not even part of the relevant market.”
Why, it sounds like Sessions doesn’t like the outcome! And this unhappy outcome is apparently reason to think the judge is doing a poor job. Outcome driven rulings = good?
So what does Senator Sessions want? Outcomes that go his way, or judges who ignore political pressure to rule according to the law?
Of course, there might be a third option: It doesn’t matter. Senator Sessions will say whatever it takes to block judges nominated by President Obama.