Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

Today in Texas History – October 30

From the Annals of the Big Thicket –  In 1984,President Ronald Reagan signed a bill that established five wilderness areas in East Texas. The five were the Big Slough Wilderness Area, Indian Mounds Wilderness Area, Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area, Turkey Hill Wilderness Area and Upland Island Wilderness Area.  Red fondly remembers the time when Republicans at least used to pretend that they gave a damn about the environment.

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Is There Anything Ted Cruz Doesn’t Lie About (cont.)?

Sen. Ted Cruz (TP-Texas) has determined that the Senate should refuse to engage in its Constitutional role in confirming a nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia.  In support of this obstructionism, the Tea Party stalwart declared that the decision should be left for the next president. “We have 80 years of precedent of not confirming Supreme Court Justices in an election year.”  Interesting, but as usual completely false.

President Ronald Reagan nominated Justice Anthony Kennedy to a vacant Supreme Court seat in November of 1987. Kennedy’s nomination received bipartisan support and he was confirmed in a 97-0 vote by the Senate in February 1988.   Red and others (but apparently not the Junior Senator from Texas and self-styled always smartest man in the room) remember that 1988 was an election year and that February of 1988 was less than a year before Reagan left office.  One wonders what Ronnie would think of bald-faced liar like Cruz.

And since Cruz fancies himself as an originalist and or strict constructionist, it might be interesting to look back at other Supreme Court justices who were confirmed in election years.

Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth – appointed by Washington – confirmed March 4, 1796

Justice Samuel Chase – appointed by Washington – confirmed January 26, 1796

Justice Alfred Moore – appointed by Adams – confirmed April 21, 1800

Justice William Johnson – appointed by Jefferson – confirmed May 7, 1804

Justice Roger Taney – appointed by Jackson – confirmed March 15, 1836

Justice Philip P. Barbour – appointed by Jackson – confirmed March 15, 1836

Justice Lucius Lamar – appointed by Cleveland – confirmed January 15, 1888

Chief Justice Melville Fuller – appointed by Cleveland – confirmed July 20, 1888

Justice George Shiras – appointed by Harrison – confirmed July 26, 1892

Justice Mahlon Pitney – appointed by Taft – confirmed March 13, 1912

Justice Louis Brandeis – appointed by Wilson – confirmed Jun 1, 1916

Justice John Clarke – appointed by Wilson – confirmed July 24, 1916

Justice Benjamin Cardozo – appointed by Roosevelt – confirmed March 1, 1932

Justice Frank Murphy – appointed by Roosevelt – confirmed January 16, 1940

It appears that Sen. Cruz and his ilk have little or no appreciation for the considerable precedent of the Senate actually doing its job and putting aside election year politics to act on Supreme Court nominations. But what else would you expect?

 

 

 

Today in Texas History – October 30

From the Annals of the Wilds –  In 1984, Pres. Ronald Reagan signed the Texas Wilderness Act of 1984 establishing five new wilderness areas in East Texas. The five were the Big Slough Wilderness Area, Indian Mounds Wilderness Area, Little Lake Creek Wilderness Area, Turkey Hill Wilderness Area and Upland Island Wilderness Area.  These areas were preserved from logging and development and now serve as islands of wilderness in Texas’ National Forests.  In 1979, the  Secretary of Agriculture had recommended the establishment of three wilderness areas totaling 10,712 acres. Texas congressman John Bryant sponsored legislation that would have set up ten wilderness areas in Texas covering 65,000 acres, but the bill went nowhere until citizen support expanded in the district of Congressman Charles Wilson, where three of the wildernesses lie. Wilson agreed to a compromise of five wilderness areas totaling 34,700 acres. That compromise was made possible by the willingness of lumber giant Temple-Eastex to trade some of its land inside Upland Island and Indian Mounds for Forest Service land outside.

Imagine a Republican President today signing a bill that creates wilderness areas.