An advance look at the Republican opposition

AN ADVANCE LOOK AT THE REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION…. It’s only been a couple of days since Barack Obama was declared the president-elect, but it’s hard not to notice that congressional Republicans are already striking a confrontational pose. Take these ridiculous comments from Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

Jon Kyl, the second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate, warned president-elect Barack Obama that he would filibuster U.S. Supreme Court appointments if those nominees were too liberal.

Kyl, Arizona’s junior senator, expects Obama to appoint judges in the mold of U.S Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and Stephen Breyer. Those justices take a liberal view on cases related to social, law and order and business issues, Kyl said.

“He believes in justices that have empathy,” said Kyl, speaking at a Federalist Society meeting in Phoenix. The attorneys group promotes conservative legal principles.

Kyl said if Obama goes with empathetic judges who do not base their decisions on the rule of law and legal precedents but instead the factors in each case, he would try to block those picks via filibuster.

Think about that. The second highest ranking Republican in the Senate, just a few days after the election, is already talking about blocking Supreme Court nominations that haven’t been named, in response to Supreme Court vacancies that don’t exist.

I’d add, by the way, that Kyl was one of the conservative Republicans who, in 2005, supported the “nuclear option,” which would have declared that filibustering a judicial nominee was against congressional rules. That, of course, was when Bush nominees were in jeopardy.

At the risk of stepping on Atrios’ toes, Jon Kyl is a pretty serious wanker.