Obama Urged to Put Qualifications Over Ideology on Court Pick


Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to put legal qualifications over ideology in picking a Supreme Court nominee, an approach that could put Republicans in a bind.  

Grassley: 'Why All This Outrage About a Hearing?'

Grassley, left, and Leahy, right, lead the Judiciary Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley on Thursday accused Democrats of playing politics with the Supreme Court nomination by calling for a hearing even though Republicans contend no candidate submitted by President Barack Obama would win the Senate's approval.  

"Why all this outrage about a hearing? Why the demands for a hearing that everyone knows would never result in a confirmation?" the Iowa Republican asked at his committee's first meeting to discuss the high court vacancy created by Antonin Scalia's death last month. "It’s because the other side is committed to using this process to score as many political points as possible. That’s it. Plain and simple."  

Ron Barber’s Past Has Him Fired Up About the Future

Barber speaks to supporters during a campaign rally with educators at Sam Hughes Elementary School in Tucson on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Victimized” is not how former Rep. Ron Barber has chosen to carry on his advocacy-oriented career. “Energized” would be a much better characterization of his life after Congress.  

“This chasm that’s developed between the two parties does not help the country,” the former lawmaker said of the current state of congressional affairs. “We need to break through that barrier.”  

RNC Lawsuit for Clinton Emails Splits Benghazi Committee More


The feud between Republicans and Democrats on the Benghazi Select Committee intensified Wednesday after the Republican National Committee announced it had filed a lawsuit to force the State Department to turn over all of Hillary Clinton's emails from her tenure as secretary as state.  

Supreme Court Fight Spills Into DOJ Hearing

From left, Leahy, Lynch and Grassley at the Wednesday hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The bitter standoff over the next Supreme Court nominee spilled into a Senate hearing on Wednesday, foreshadowing how the conflict could permeate the Judiciary Committee's business to come.  

Panel ranking member Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., used his opening remarks at a hearing on Department of Justice oversight to scold Republicans for deciding not to give President Barack Obama's upcoming Supreme Court nominee a hearing or vote. Republicans announced their decision shortly after Justice Antonin Scalia's death on Feb. 13, arguing the next president should fill the vacancy so that voters can have a say in the process.  

White House: 'Ample Time' for Senate to Confirm Court Pick

Activists demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Feb. 15, calling on Congress to give fair consideration to Obama’s coming nominee. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House on Tuesday rejected the notion that its effort to announce a Supreme Court nominee might leave the Senate with too few legislative days to take it up.  

Since Justice Antonin Scalia died on Feb. 13, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has advised reporters to expect President Barack Obama to spend four or five weeks studying materials prepared by his legal team before picking a nominee. He took roughly the same amount of time to select Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who were both confirmed.  

Democrats File Brief to Defend Obama's Immigration Policies

MIAMI, FL - Dian Alarcon, originally from Colombia, stands with others to protest a Texas court's preliminary injunction on Obama's action on immigration. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Congressional Democrats will file an amicus brief on Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend President Obama's immigration executive actions, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced.  

Obama's actions, which aim to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from being deported, "fall well within the legal and Constitutional precedents set by every Democratic and Republican president since Eisenhower,” the California and Nevada Democrats said in a joint statement. "In fact, in the absence of Congressional action, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush themselves took bold action to protect the spouses and children of people who received status under the IRCA of 1986."  

A Tenacious Governor Aims for Senate

Hassan is positioned to be a formidable opponent in the 2016 race against incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte, who trails Hassan in favorability but holds single-digit leads in polls. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Once Maggie Hassan has a goal in mind, she doesn’t seem to let up.

She lost her first bid for the New Hampshire Senate, but returned two years later and defeated the incumbent who had bested her.

Schumer Salutes Nancy Reagan's Advocacy on Guns

Schumer, seen here in 1996, stands behind Brady during a news conference outside the the U.S. Capitol building. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In mourning the passing of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Sen. Charles E. Schumer highlighted her support for landmark gun control legislation.  

The New York Democrat weighed in on the former first lady's death even before many Republicans, pointing to her advocacy for the measure named for James Brady, the assistant to the president and press secretary under President Ronald Reagan who was paralyzed after taking a bullet during the 1981 assassination attempt on the president.  

Medicaid Expands for Children, Pregnant Women Poisoned by Flint Water

Davarious Griffin, 5, who has had elevated levels of lead detected in his blood, plays outside of his house in Flint, Mich. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Thousand of children and pregnant women exposed to lead in the drinking water in Flint, Mich., will have access to health care, under an emergency Medicaid expansion announced Thursday.  

The Department of Health and Human Services said the measure would extent Medicaid eligibility to approximately 15,000 children and pregnant women exposed to contaminated water last year, when state and federal officials for months failed to inform the city's residents of elevated levels of lead and bacteria. The agreement would also provide extended coverage for approximately 30,000 Flint residents already eligible for Medicaid. HHS did not say how much the expanded services would cost.