Oklahoma

John Benefiel's Prayers Caused Record Flooding And Protected Oklahoma City From Recession

John Benefiel returned to "God Knows" for a fourth episode in which he explained to Cindy and Mike Jacobs how he and Chuck Pierce broke Baal's control over Texas, Kansas, and Missouri back in 2007, which resulted in massive amounts of rainfall across the region and subsequent flooding.

"Literally the day after we used this Ball divorce decree in 2007," Benefiel explained, "the rains came and we ended up having more rain between February and June of 2007 than any other twelve month period in history."

On top of that, Benefiel's efforts to divorce Baal also ended up protecting Oklahoma City from the global recession that hit in 2008.

"That is not an accident," he said. "That's God's blessings":

John Benefiel Reveals His Close Ties To Top-Level Oklahoma Governmental Leaders

Last week, we posted a video of self-appointed "apostle" John Benefiel, who believes that the Statue of Liberty is a demonic idol, telling Cindy and Mike Jacobs that America is under a curse because ancient Egyptians dedicated this land to Baal thousands of years ago.

On this week's episode of "God Knows," Benefiel revealed that, back in 2004, he and a group of prayer warriors were given access to the Oklahoma House chamber where they broke Baal's hold over the state by praying over all of the desks and anointing all the chairs with oil. Four months later, Benefiel reported, conservative Christians gained control of the state House of Representatives. 

Two years later, Benefiel and crew were given access to the Senate chamber and did the same thing, with similar results.

By 2010, all of the state's executive branch officials were "all born-again Christians who love the Lord" and who had deep ties to Benefiel and his ministry.

Benefiel reported that his group led Gov. Mary Fallin "in the baptism of the Holy Spirit years ago" and that Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb is also a close friend who joined them recently and was prayed over by intercessors, as are both the state's Attorney General and Speaker of the House:

Weeks Later, Rep. Bridenstine Finally Responds To Supporter Who Called For Obama's Death

Back in January, the Tulsa 9:12 group posted video on YouTube — which they have since removed — of a celebratory event with Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) where a woman in the audience demanded that President Obama be killed.

“Obama, he’s not president, as far as I’m concerned, he should be executed as an enemy combatant,” she said as part of a larger rant about how Obama is supposedly “shipping” Muslims into the country.

As we reported at the time, the congressman responded to her call to violence against the President not being condemning her remarks but by going into a rant about Obama’s supposed “lawlessness.”

The Oklahoma Democratic Party responded with this statement:

Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) recently held an event at which a supporter called the President a traitor who should be executed. Bridenstine’s supporter can be heard calling the President derogatory names and several references to the Muslim community as well.

“Just three days ago, someone was arrested for threatening to kill President George Bush. It is absolutely astonishing that a sitting United States Congressman would encourage and support that type of behavior. As an Oklahoman I am appalled that someone would threaten the Commander-in-Chief–Republican or Democrat. Congressman Bridenstine owes the President an apology, the country an apology and the people of Oklahoma an apology,” said ODP Chairman Wallace Collins.

Now several weeks later and only after he has been criticized for his response — or lack thereof — to the incident, Bridenstine finally responded to the activist’s deranged comments:  

A public figure cannot control what people say in open meetings. I obviously did not condone and I do not approve of grossly inappropriate language. It is outrageous that irresponsible parties would attribute another person’s reckless remarks to me.

Keyes: Rebel Against Marriage Equality Before It Harms Straight People & Leads To The 'Nation's Demise'

In his weekly column for WorldNetDaily, Alan Keyes today claims that the judge who overturned Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the rights of straight people and paved the way for the destruction of America.

Keyes, who has warned that marriage equality will lead to “the murder of the masses,” contends that judges who rule in favor of marriage equality should be impeached and removed from their positions since the legalization of same-sex marriage will “overthrow America’s historically exceptional government.”

“The will to resist such abuses called the American people into existence as a nation. If today that will has failed, its failure will be the headstone that marks our nation’s demise,” Keyes writes. “Be advised, this tragic conclusion is the purpose of the whole ‘gay marriage’ maneuver.”

Keyes even claims that gay marriage undermines the “unalienable rights retained by the people (e.g., the heterosexual couple’s exclusive prerogative of procreation, which gives rise to the institution of marriage and its attendant rights.)”

We’re not exactly sure how allowing same-sex couples to marry will stop other couples from getting married and having children, but this is a recurring theme in Keyes’ nightmares of the coming gay dystopia.

The elitists’ push to legalize, and forbid disapproval of, homosexual relations is the most telling evidence of their hostility toward America’s way of life. It is also the key, in principle, to their thus far successful strategy to overthrow America’s historically exceptional government of, by, and for the people; and to restore unchallenged rule by and for the advantage of, the most powerful elitist clique.

The latest case in point is the ruling of U.S. District Judge Terrence C. Kern regarding same-sex marriage, overturning the amendment by which Oklahomans restricted the State’s recognition of marriage to heterosexual couples. Though the decision contained nothing new, both its content and the manner in which it was argued by both sides illustrate the deadly legal chicanery by which the elitist faction means to dissolve the moral, legal and institutional basis for just government, i.e., government aimed at securing the God-endowed unalienable rights of the people.



By contrast the judges and justices deny and disparage authoritatively antecedent unalienable rights retained by the people (e.g., the heterosexual couple’s exclusive prerogative of procreation, which gives rise to the institution of marriage and its attendant rights.) They seek to establish an unconstitutional regime of constraint upon one of the powers of government constitutionally reserved to the states, respectively, or the people (i.e., the power to make laws “respecting an establishment of religion.”) The will to resist such abuses called the American people into existence as a nation. If today that will has failed, its failure will be the headstone that marks our nation’s demise. Be advised, this tragic conclusion is the purpose of the whole “gay marriage” maneuver.

It is irrational to assume that the same Judiciary that has been the source of these abuses will now suddenly cease and desist. To stop their attack, we must implement the Constitution’s provisions for the impeachment/removal of civil officers who persistently violate their constitutional oath of office.

Oklahoma Pastor: Fight To Stop Gay Marriage Is The 'Same Thing' As Struggles Against Slavery, Nazi Germany

On Washington Watch yesterday, Family Research Council head Tony Perkins chatted with Oklahoma pastor Paul Blair of Reclaiming America for Christ about a federal judge’s decision to strike down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage, and the two Religious Right figures were unsurprisingly outraged.

Blair, who has claimed that the gay rights movement is a Satanic endeavor to destroy America and introduce communism, said that the movement to stop marriage equality is no different from the fights against slavery and Nazi Germany: “It’s time for us to stand with men like Charles Finney in opposition to slavery and with Dietrich Bonhoeffer to opposition to totalitarian government in Germany. We’re facing much the same thing.”

Blair: We had talked in years past when they made the change as far as the United States Military and just exactly where this is going to lead. Well, now this is on our front doorstep and it’s not just going to stop here. Ultimately, this will be forced upon pastors and our hiring practices and any Christian business within the state of Oklahoma. It’s up to us now to decide that along with our forefather pastors, “resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.” It’s time for us to stand with men like Charles Finney in opposition to slavery and with Dietrich Bonhoeffer to opposition to totalitarian government in Germany, we’re facing much the same thing. The answer really is simple, if we will just adhere to what the rule of law is, the Declaration and the Constitution are very clear. If we follow the rules, this union would function beautifully; unfortunately, we haven’t followed the rules in almost seventy-five years.

Because we all know how “beautifully” America was functioning seventy-five years ago.

Blair also told Perkins that the Oklahoma judge, in his marriage equality ruling, “shook his fist in the face of God and defied natural law and he shook his fist in the face of 6,000 years of human history.” He claimed that the decision was part of a growing “omnipotent, national dictatorship,” and urged Oklahoma to simply ignore the judge’s “illegal acts.”

Perkins, apparently unaware that gay people live in Oklahoma, said that the legal challenge to the state’s anti-gay laws is part of a “strategy” to “go into the heart of the conservative part of the country and force this redefinition on the people.”

Blair: It seems that any time the federal-anything acts, the citizens of the country need to shake and tremble. Not only did this guy throw out the will of 76 percent of the voters in Oklahoma from 2004, but he shook his fist in the face of God and defied natural law and he shook his fist in the face of 6,000 years of human history in stating that he knows better about how civil society should function than what God, history or the citizens of the state of Oklahoma know.

Perkins: Pastor Blair, it’s not even a question in Oklahoma, 76 percent of voters affirmed the marriage amendment. I grew up in Oklahoma and went to high school there, this is the reddest of red states. I think the strategy here is to try to go into the heart of the conservative part of the country and force this redefinition on the people. What is going to be the response, in your opinion, from Oklahomans to this decision?

Blair: We’ve already been responding to some of the other things, quite frankly beginning the travesty of Obamacare, we have been acting. But the bottom line is this, Tony: the Tenth Amendment is not going to defend itself. In the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution we didn’t establish an omnipotent, national dictatorship to rule over us. Article 1, Section 8, We the People of the United States created this federal government, we only delegated seventeen legally defined and limited responsibilities, and quite frankly the federal government is running roughshod over those limitations. Unless the states simply say we are not going to enforce your illegal acts, they’re going to continue to do whatever they want to do.

Breaking: Federal Judge Rules Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Oklahoma Unconstitutional

Today a federal judge found Oklahoma’s ban on marriages for same-sex couples to be unconstitutional. While this is great news, same-sex couples are not yet able to marry in the state because the decision is stayed – in other words, on hold – pending appeal.

As victories for marriage equality continue to stack up across the country, it is increasingly clear that the march toward full equality nationwide cannot be halted. Congratulations, Oklahoma!
 

PFAW Foundation

Beck: 'We Get Our Laws From The Laws Of Moses'

On his radio broadcast today, Glenn Beck spent a segment complaining about government-provided subsidies to purchase health insurance under Obamacare, declaring that such subsidies are nothing more than theft and are therefore fundamentally immoral.

Somehow, the immorality of these subsidies prompted Beck to start railing against the effort by a group of Satanists to place a monument outside the state capitol in Oklahoma, declaring that it is okay for monument of the Ten Commandments to be placed on government grounds because that is where we get out laws.

"I'm sorry, but we are a Christian-Judeo nation," Beck said. "We are based on Judeo-Christian values. That is not a religion, that is just how we put our laws together. So putting the Ten Commandments up is just a monument of where we got our laws."

Declaring that a Satanic monument has no right to be placed on government grounds because "we don't get our laws from Satan," Beck asserted that "we get our laws from the laws of Moses."

"It's truly insanity":

Religious Right Activists Protest Play Over LGBT Themes

Anti-LGBT activists in Dallas and Oklahoma City are trying to shut down performances Paul Rudnick’s “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told,” a play that includes gay characters and takes a humorous look at Bible stories.

America Needs Fatima, a project of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property, is organizing a “public Rosary of Reparation against the blasphemous play” in Dallas this weekend.

Join our public Rosary of Reparation against the blasphemous play 'The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told' scheduled to show as “holiday fare” at the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, TX, on December 8...

…because “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” refers to Our Lady as a lesbian!



This is blasphemy.

I ask -- will God bless those who allow His Holy Mother to be dragged into the dirt of lesbian insults? Will He allow the Immaculate Conception to be turned into a homosexual party game?

A group of Oklahoma City pastors are going one step further and asking for a performance of the play in their area to be cancelled. The group, led by Paul Blair and Steve Kern , whose wife State Rep. Sally Kern claimed that homosexuality is “more dangerous” than terrorism, sent a letter [PDF] to state officials demanding that they stop the performance because “it is quite possible that this production meets the definition of obscenity and might be in violation of Federal and State obscenity laws.”

The pastors said that the government should “cease funding the Arts Council” until the play — which is produced by a nonprofit theater company — is pulled. The theater company producing the show says it already lost a $5,000 state arts council grant after Religious Right activists started complaining about the play.

A First Amendment law professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law told The Oklahoman that he
didn't see enough data in the ministers' letter to conclude that an obscenity prosecution was possible or plausible.”

Supreme Court Won't Hear Abortion Rights Challenge

The Court won't review an Oklahoma court's ruling striking down limitations on how women can use medications to terminate early pregnancies.
PFAW Foundation

GOP Congressman: Tornado Relief Different Than Sandy Aid Because Oklahomans Showed 'Self-Responsibility'

When Moore, Oklahoma, was hit with a devastating tornado last spring, a number of Oklahoma lawmakers were put in a tough position. While both Oklahoma senators and Reps. Jim Bridenstone, Markwayne Mullin and James Lankford had voted against a $50 billion aid package to provide disaster relief to the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy, they had no problem with asking for federal aid for their own state. Ultimately, affected communities in Oklahoma ended up receiving over $25 million in federal aid.

But that hasn’t stopped Oklahoma Republicans from downplaying the role the federal government played in disaster relief in Moore. Like Sen. Jim Inhofe, who said that federal aid to Moore would be “totally different” than Sandy relief, Rep. Mullin told a town hall meeting this summer that the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornado, unlike Sandy, showed the triumph of “self-responsibility.” The tornado in Oklahoma actually “proved my point” on Sandy relief, he said, because unlike those affected by Sandy, “we started taking care of ourselves, neighbor taking care of neighbors, and that’s what we had to do.”

This may come as a surprise to the many Sandy survivors who lent helping hands to their neighbors during and after the storm.

Mullin’s remarks came in response to a question about the Patriot Act and NSA surveillance, which he used as a pivot to talk about the role of government in disaster relief.

“At some point, like I say, we’ve got to be responsible for ourselves,” he said. “So, I can’t tell you exactly how I’ll vote on [Patriot Act repeal] because I haven’t seen it, but I can tell you what I’ll refer back to: self-responsibility. I’m ok with voting no on some of this stuff, but I’m also ok with knowing I’ve got to stand on my own two feet.”

Anti-Sharia Activist: Oklahoma Judge 'Went Out Of Her Way To Side With The Minorities'

In an interview with Janet Mefferd Friday, the chief advocate of Oklahoma’s Sharia law ban lashed out at federal judge Vicki Miles LaGrange for her ruling striking down the 2010 amendment. Rex Duncan, a former Republican state representative and now a district attorney, told Mefferd that the judge, who is African American, was upset by the prohibition on any “special treatment for a minority ideology or religion” because of her past support for “preferential treatment for minorities.”

“She just went out of her way to side with the minorities and make up a reason for it,” Duncan charged.

Somewhere in the recesses of her liberal mind she arrived at, and this is just my opinion, she arrived at the disposition, quickly, that she wanted to get and then had to torture the logic to justify her, in my mind, pre-determined opinion. This lady, she’s a smart lady, but when she was a state senator in Oklahoma she was very liberal, she was known for the liberal causes that she authored, many of which established preferential treatment for minorities with quotas set aside for hiring contracts with preferential treatment for minorities. So it didn’t come as a great surprise that a constitutional amendment that in effect tried to close the door on special treatment for a minority ideology or religion would be seen as her as hostile and I think that’s how she saw it, as a threat to the founding principles of our country, and she just went out of her way to side with the minorities and make up a reason for it.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine: 'We Would Be Heroes' for Shutting Down Government to Defund Obamacare

Even though only thirty-four percent of Americans want to repeal health care reform (and even fewer support shutting down the government in order to do so), Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) confidently predicted that Americans — Republican and Democrat alike — will treat GOP members of Congress as “heroes” is they shut down the government over Obamacare funding.

“We would be heroes,” Bridenstine said while speaking with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, “you know somebody was showing me polling about government shutdown this and government shutdown that, we don’t want to shut down the government, we want to fund the government, we just want to have a limitation amendment that defunds Obamacare.”

The congressman’s remarks echoed those of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who believes that President Obama is actually the one threatening a government shut down because he won’t bend to his demands to defund the health care law.

Bridenstine added that Obama should be grateful that Republicans would support any resolution funding the government at all: “Look, we’re willing to reluctantly fund all of the rest of the government; all we’re asking for is this one item.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 5/21/13

Rep. Frank Lucas Wonders if There's an Obama 'Conspiracy to Buy Up All the Bullets So They're Not Available to Us'

Rep. Frank Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma and House sponsor of a bill that is feeding a right-wing conspiracy theory about ammunition purchases by the federal government, wondered Monday if the Obama administration is leading “a conspiracy to buy up all the bullets so they’re not available to us.”

In an interview with Steve Malzberg, Rep. Lucas claimed that bullets are being “rationed” and that his constituents “have been telling me for a year they cannot buy ammunition in the retail stores.” When Malzberg played a clip of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano refuting the conspiracy theory that the administration is buying up bullets to keep them from consumers, Rep. Lucas replied, “It’s hard to see in the mind of an Obama-appointed official. They tend to be a little different than the general public, they have a different perspective.”

“But this is the administration, remember, that’s super gun control, that really, really, really doesn’t trust people with firearms and obviously they don’t trust people with ammunition,” he continued. “Is this a conspiracy to buy up all the bullets so they’re not available to us? I don’t know.”

Rep. Lucas, along with Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, is sponsoring a bill that would cap the amount of ammunition non-Defense federal agencies are allowed to buy. The bill is a response to an Alex Jones-fueled right-wing conspiracy theory that even the NRA has debunked.
 

Senate at Last Confirms Bacharach, Example of GOP’s Extreme Obstruction

WASHINGTON – In a 93-0 vote today, the Senate confirmed Robert Bacharach of Oklahoma to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, almost nine months after the Judiciary Committee first sent his nomination to the full Senate. His nomination faced extraordinary delays despite public support from his homestate Republican senators James Inhofe and Tom Coburn.

People For the American Way Executive Vice President Marge Baker released the following statement:

“Robert Bacharach’s confirmation to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is good news for residents of Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, who will now see their justice system move a little more smoothly. Circuit courts have a tremendous influence on Americans’ pursuit of justice and the shape of American law, since the only higher court – the Supreme Court – hears so few cases. But the extraordinary delay in confirming Bacharach is a stark symbol of the dysfunction that Senate Republicans have brought to the judicial confirmations process.

“When President Obama nominated Bacharach in January 2012, his nomination was greeted enthusiastically by Sens. Inhofe and Coburn. In June, his nomination passed smoothly through the Judiciary Committee, where it was approved with broad bipartisan support. Then, Senate Republicans proceeded to stall his nomination on the Senate floor for no apparent reason. At the end of July, Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to hold a vote on Bacharach’s nomination, but was met with a purposeless GOP filibuster. Sen. Coburn had said such sabotage of his state’s nominee would be ‘stupid,’ but he and Sen. Inhofe ended up cooperating with their party’s leadership and refusing to help break the filibuster.

“I hope that today’s long-overdue confirmation of Bacharach signals a new willingness from the Senate GOP to work to quickly consider and vote on the president’s nominees. They have a lot of work to do. Three additional federal circuit court judges are awaiting votes from the full Senate: Caitlin Halligan, President Obama’s nominee to fill one of four vacancies on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, who was first approved by the Judiciary Committee in 2011; Third Circuit nominee Patty Shwartz, who has been on the Senate calendar for a year; and Federal Circuit nominee Richard Taranto, who has waited 11 months for a Senate vote.

“Last term, President Obama’s confirmed federal judicial nominees waited an average of three times as long between committee approval and confirmation as did President Bush’s first-term nominees. As the nation suffers the consequences of a federal courts vacancy crisis that it the Senate GOP has helped to perpetuate, Republicans can and must do better.”

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Inhofe: Obama 'Has Tried to Destroy Every Institution that Makes America Great'

Today, Sen. James Inhofe stopped by "Focal Point" to give Bryan Fischer his predication about next week's election, saying he wanted it on the record that not only is Mitt Romney was going to win "by a substantial margin," but that Republicans will also win control of the Senate because, even though people don't want to say it, "they realize this president has tried to destroy every institution that makes America great." 

"This is still America and they can't get by with that," Inhofe declared, before predicting that Todd Akin would win the Missouri Senate race because his "legitimate rape" gaffe "was a long time ago":

Sally Kern, Who Says Homosexuality is 'More Dangerous' than Terrorism, to Headline Conservative Conference

Oklahoma Republican state representative Sally Kern made national news several years ago when she claimed that the “homosexual agenda” is “the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.” While she argued that her remarks were taken out of context, Kern just last year charged that homosexuality is “more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation.” Homosexuality is something we “have to deal with every day,” Kern said, “Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day.”

She has also maintained that homosexuality should be criminalized and will lead to bestiality and pedophilia, along with destroying America. “We do have an enemy who wants to destroy us,” she told Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, “They are using sexual perversion to destroy the future of America, the future of our children, and we don’t have a minute to lose.”

All of these extremist anti-gay statements have made Kern a good fit for Concerned Women for America’s “Take a Stand” rally [PDF] at Oklahoma City’s Rock Church. Also speaking will be Rep. James Lankford, who said that homosexuality is a choice and employers should be able to fire someone simply for being gay, and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

Listen as Kern maintains that homosexuality is America’s “biggest threat” and “more dangerous” than terrorism:

You know if you just look at it in practical terms, which has destroyed and ended the life of more people? Terrorism attack here in America or HIV/AIDS? In the last twenty years, fifteen to twenty years, we’ve had maybe three terrorist attacks on our soil with a little over 5,000 people regrettably losing their lives. In the same time frame, there have been hundreds of thousands who have died because of having AIDS. So which one’s the biggest threat? And you know, every day our young people, adults too, but especially our young people, are bombarded at school, in movies, in music, on TV, in the mall, in magazines, they’re bombarded with ‘homosexuality is normal and natural.’ It’s something they have to deal with every day. Fortunately we don’t have to deal with a terrorist attack every day, and that’s what I mean.



It’s more dangerous, and yes I think that it’s also more dangerous because it will tear down the moral fiber of this nation. We were founded as a nation upon the principles of religion and morality, if we take those out from under our society we will lose what has made us a great nation, we will no longer be a virtuous people, which we see happening already. And without virtue this nation will not survive.

Barber: Personhood Amendments are Just Like Efforts to Free the Slaves

Earlier this year, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously struck down efforts to place a personhood amendment on the ballot that would declare embryos to be "persons" from the moment of conception, ruling that it was "clearly unconstitutional." That decision prompted Liberty Counsel to file a petition with the United States Supreme Court asking the Court to hear the case because it "presents an historic opportunity for the Court to address the issue of a state’s right to amend its own constitution to acknowledge what science has long recognized."

Today, in discussing the legal efforts that Liberty Counsel is undertaking on behalf of this effort, Matt Barber explained that efforts to pass "personhood" amendments is just like effort to end slavery because "this merely does what we did in freeing the slaves; this frees these little people from the overhanging threat of abortion homicide": 

Senate Republicans Block Appeals Court Nominee They Support, Setting Obstruction Record

Washington, DC – The Senate GOP set an obstruction record today, for the first time in history successfully filibustering a federal appeals court nominee who had come out of the Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support. In a 56 to 34 vote, a partisan minority prevented the Senate majority from ending the filibuster of the nomination of Oklahoma’s Robert Bacharach to become a judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. No senator has actually spoken against Bacharach’s nomination, and he has received the strong support of both his home-state senators, Republicans Tom Coburn and James Inhofe. In an interview in June, Coburn called plans to block Bacharach’s nomination “stupid.” But even Coburn and Inhofe’s support evaporated when McConnell gave the command to filibuster: both Oklahoma senators voted "present," which in the case of a filibuster is the same as a "no" vote.

“If you need any further proof of the Senate GOP’s blind dedication to obstruction, this is it,” said Paul Gordon of People For the American Way. “Robert Bacharach should have been a shoe-in for a federal judgeship. His superior qualifications aren’t in dispute. His home-state senators, both conservative Republicans, fully support his nomination. Republicans aren’t even bothering to pretend he is controversial. For the first time in American history, we see a successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved by committee with bipartisan support – all because Sen. McConnell and his party are more interested in playing politics than in doing their jobs. So Americans in six states remain stuck with a circuit court without enough judges to deliver justice efficiently.

“With nearly 80 current vacancies in the federal courts, the Senate GOP should be doing everything in its power to help clear the nominations backlog, rather than making flimsy excuses for further obstruction. This absurd gamesmanship is not what Americans are paying our Senate to do.”

###

Last week, People For the American Way circulated this fact sheet on Bacharach’s nomination:

There has never been a successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved in committee with bipartisan support. A failed cloture vote on Tenth Circuit nominee Robert Bacharach would represent a massive escalation in obstruction.

Robert Bacharach should be a shoe-in

  • The ABA panel that evaluates judicial nominees unanimously found Bacharach well qualified, its highest possible evaluation. He has been a magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma for over a decade.
  • He was approved by the Judiciary Committee with near-unanimous bipartisan support (the one “no” vote was from Sen. Mike Lee, who is voting against all President Obama’s judicial nominees to protest an unrelated issue).
  • He has the support of President Obama and both of Oklahoma’s Republican senators.
  • As Sen. Inhofe said, “it is kind of rare that the Obama White House and I agree on anything.”
  • Sen. Coburn said in June that it would be “stupid” for his party to block a vote on Bacharach.

The “Thurmond Rule” is no excuse for blocking Bacharach

  •  In the past 5 presidential election years, Senate Democrats have never denied an up-or-down vote to any circuit court nominee of a Republican president who received bipartisan support in the Judiciary Committee.
  • In the past 5 presidential election years, only 4 circuit nominees reported with bipartisan support have been denied an up-or-down vote on the Senate Floor, and all 4 were nominated by President Clinton.

This is part of the GOP’s ongoing campaign of obstruction against consensus nominees

  •  Of the 5 circuit court nominees that have been confirmed this year, the Majority Leader had to file cloture on 3 of those nominees in order to secure an up-or-down vote.
  • All 3 circuit court nominees for whom the Majority Leader had to file cloture were nominated to fill judicial emergency vacancies and were rated unanimously “well qualified” by the nonpartisan ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, the highest possible rating. Two of the circuit court nominees who required cloture – Adalberto Jordan of Florida and Andrew Hurwitz of Arizona both had the support of their Republican home state senators (and the third was from California, which has two Democratic senators).

Vacancies are taking a toll on the Tenth Circuit (Oklahoma, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado)

  • Of the 12 active judgeships on this circuit, 2 are vacant.
  • This seat has been vacant for more than two years, when the previous judge retired (as opposed to taking senior status).
  • The slack is being picked up by several senior judges, including an 89 year-old LBJ nominee and a 96 year-old Nixon nominee.

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On Obstructing Judges, Senate Republicans Get Even Worse

Republicans are seeking the first ever successful filibuster of a circuit court nominee who was approved in committee with bipartisan support.
PFAW
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