Episode #165: Advise and Consent
It was history in the making in the Senate, as Betsy DeVos was confirmed as secretary of education thanks to a tiebreaking vote by Vice President Pence. It was the first time that a member of the Cabinet was decided by the vote of a VP. Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post notes, however, that if Democrats couldn’t defeat DeVos, they are not likely to halt the confirmation of any other Trump nominee.
Cathleen Decker of the Los Angeles Times talks about what’s at stake for California in the wake of President Trump’s interview with Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, where he hinted of financial retribution if the state continues to pursue status as a sanctuary for those undocumented immigrants who would face deportation.
The drama in the Senate over the DeVos nomination — a tight vote and a vice president standing by in case of a tie — was exactly the plot of the 1962 movie “Advise and Consent.” Playwright and author Murray Horwitz discusses the film and helps draw parallels to what is happening in the current Senate.
And we go back 80 years to this week in 1937, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched his plan to pack the Supreme Court with jurists who agreed with his policies. Historian Jeff Shesol, the author of a definitive account of that time, reconstructs the events that ultimately ended in a big defeat for FDR.
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