Crunch time for David Barron and for those of us who oppose him

We are approaching the moment of truth for David Barron, President Obama’s ultra-leftist nominee for the First Circuit Court of Appeals. With Republicans solidly aligned against Barron, he would be unconfirmable under the longstanding rules on filibustering. But Harry Reid changed those rules, and thus needs only 50 votes to break Rand Paul’s filibuster.

Fortunately, Barron has alienated some Senate Democrats due to his authorship of the memo providing legal justification for killing an American terrorist via a drone strike. In addition, Red State Dems who are up for reelection this year may well be hesitant just now to support a nominee with a radical paper trail.

The battle to defeat Barron takes on extra importance to the extent that Barron may be on the short list for a future nomination to the Supreme Court. The flak he is drawing now provides some reason to believe that a Hillary Clinton, to pick the name of a possible future president, might shy away from Barron.

But actually defeating Barron would (1) presumably remove him from consideration altogether and (2) provide a lesson to a future Democratic president — be it Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, or anyone else — that she can’t count on 50 votes for far left judicial nominees even when the Dems control the Senate. (And make no mistake, at the opportune moment a majority Democrat Senate will change the rules again so that fewer than 50 Senators can’t block a Supreme Court nominee).

Who, then, are the Democratic Senators whose votes Barron needs but may not be able to count on? As I make it out, the list includes Mark Begich (AK), Joe Donnelly (IN), Kay Hagan (NC), Heidi Heitkamp (ND), Joe Manchin (WV), Mary Landrieu (LA), Mark Pryor (AR), John Walsh (MT), Mark Warner (VA), Mark Udall (CO), Jeff Merkley (OR), and Ron Wyden (OR).

If you have the misfortune of being represented by any of these Senators, it’s time to speak up. Their office telephone numbers are:

Begich: (202) 224-3004
Donelley: (202) 224-4814
Hagan: (202) 224-6342
Heitkamp: (202) 224-2043
Manchin: (202) 224-3954
Landrieu: (202) 224-5824
Pryor: (202) 224-4642
Walsh: (202) 224-2651
Warner: (202) 224-2023
Udall: (202) 224-6621
Merkley: (202) 224-3753
Wyden: (202) 224-5244

Please pass along the word.

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