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For months, Frist has threatened to take action that would shut down the Democrats' practice of subjecting a small number of judicial appointees to filibusters. Barring a last-minute compromise, a showdown is expected this spring or summer. While a majority of the Senate is sufficient to confirm a judge, it takes 60 votes under Senate rules to overcome a filibuster and force a final vote. Rather than change the rules directly, Frist and other Republicans have threatened to seek an internal Senate ruling that would declare that filibusters are not permitted against judicial nominees.
Democrats blocked 10 appointments in Bush's first term. The president has renominated seven of the 10 since he won re-election, and Democrats have threatened to filibuster them again. Republicans pushed two of the nominees -- including Texas Supreme Court Judge Priscilla Owen -- from the Senate Judiciary Committee last week on party-line votes.
... Frist also said that the Democrats' filibuster against Bush's nominees was the first time ever that "a judicial nominee with majority support had been denied an up-or-down vote."
Republicans held a Senate majority for six of President Clinton's eight years in office and frequently prevented votes on his court appointments by bottling them up in the committee, knowing the nominees would be confirmed if allowed to go to a vote by the full Senate.
One nominee, Richard Paez, a district court judge when he was nominated, waited more than four years before being confirmed to the appeals court.
The Constitution mandates that the Senate provide 'advice and consent' to the President on such appointments. Any child knows that he/she deserves a 'yes' or 'no' from a parent when they ask consent to do something, not endless debate
Originally posted by djohnsto77
The Republicans never blocked a Clinton or other President's nominee using the filibuster. They did hold some up in committee though.
[edit on 4/25/2005 by djohnsto77]
As a last measure of the defense of the minority, it has had many supporters over the years, like the very people of faith who sponsored yesterday`s Justice Sunday, the group Family Research Council.
Yesterday it was opposed to filibusters. Seven years ago, it was in favor of them. That`s when Clinton and a then-Democratic plurality in the Senate wanted a man named James Hormel to become the ambassador to Luxembourg. Hormel, of the Spam and other meats Hormels, was gay, as the Senate minority bottled up Hormel`s nomination with filibusters and threats of filibusters, minority relative to cloture, to breaking up a filibuster.
They did that for a year and a half. The Family Research Council`s senior writer, Steven Schwartz, appeared on National Public Radio at the time and explained the value, even the necessity, of the filibuster.
"The Senate," he said, "is not a majoritarian institution, like the House of Representatives is. It is a deliberative body, and it`s got a number of checks and balances built into our government. The filibuster is one of those checks in which a majority cannot just sheerly force its will, even if they have a majority of votes in some cases. That`s why there are things like filibusters, and other things that give minorities in the Senate some power to slow things up, to hold things up, and let things be aired properly."
Originally posted by marg6043
Funny for some reason Frist seems more desperate than anything else, he have to win this one for the "Religious right" so he can get his campaign and his shot to "presidential candidate" in his back pocket.
What do the deregulation of natural gas, the attachment of legislative amendments to appropriations bills, a defense authorization bill and the nomination of a U.S. ambassador to El Salvador have in common?
Answer: They all were resolved by a simple majority vote in the U.S. Senate under procedures altered by then-Majority Leader Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.
In 1977, Byrd cut off a filibuster led by two members of his own party, Sens. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, and James Abourezk, D-S.D., on a proposal to deregulate natural gas prices. He initiated a maneuver empowering the chair to disqualify amendments under certain circumstances. He then used his recognition rights to foreclose the possibility of appeal. Byrd created a precedent that enabled him to break the filibuster and used it with stunning force.
Two years later, Byrd again manipulated the Senate rules by establishing a precedent to curb the practice of adding legislative amendments to appropriation bills. Byrd's victim that time was Sen. William Armstrong, R-Colo., who had offered an amendment to raise a cap on military pay. In 1980, Byrd was back at it, changing Senate procedures to prevent a filibuster on a motion to consider the nomination of Robert E. White as ambassador to El Salvador. Republican Jesse Helms, R-N.C., was the target of Byrd's third tactic. His point of order against Byrd's maneuver was sustained by the chairman, but Byrd prevailed on a party-line 54-38 appeal.
Byrd's fourth change of Senate procedure came in 1987 against Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who was attempting to prevent a vote on a defense authorization bill. Byrd rolled over the GOP's delaying tactics by imposing new precedents through a slew of simple majority votes that ran almost entirely along party lines.
Byrd, who recently trumpeted "the Senate was never intended to be a majoritarian body," made the Senate just that on four occasions when it suited his ends.
Ten years ago, a group of Democratic senators called for an end to the filibuster for any purpose, including legislation. Their proposal received 19 votes, all from their own party. Among those still serving who voted for that change are Kennedy, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Tom Harkin of Iowa, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Barbara Boxer of California, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
Full Article: Houston Chronicle
WASHINGTON Apr 26, 2005 — Reacting to a Democratic offer in the fight over filibusters, Republican leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he isn't interested in any deal that fails to ensure Senate confirmation for all of President Bush's judicial nominees.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid had been quietly talking with Frist about confirming at least two of Bush's blocked nominees from Michigan in exchange for withdrawing a third nominee. This would have been part of a compromise that would have the GOP back away from a showdown over changing Senate rules to prevent Democrats from using the filibuster to block Bush's nominees.
But Frist, in a rare news conference conducted on the Senate floor, said he would not accept any deal that keeps his Republican majority from confirming judicial nominees that have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Are we going to step back from that principle? The answer to that is no," Frist said.
Source: ABC News
Originally posted by djohnsto77
you think Frist is the desperate one?
Originally posted by RANT
It's a really desperate move against the grain of America. Even before turning down the bi-partisan deal the latest polling showed the GOP position with a failing minority of support (around 26%) and two-thirds of Americans (half among just Republicans) opposed to changing Senate rules just for Bush's appointees.
Would you support or oppose changing Senate rules to make it easier for the Republicans to confirm Bush's judicial nominees?
Washington Post/ABC Poll Data (PDF File)
As you may know, in the last term of Congress some senators used a procedure called a filibuster when it came to some of President Bush's judicial nominees. When this happens, it takes the votes of sixty senators instead of fifty-one to end debate and hold a confirmation vote for a nominee. In your opinion, should the Senate maintain the filibuster rule or eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations?
Should maintain the filibuster........... 50 48
Should eliminate the filibuster.......... 40 39
Not sure................................. 10 13
NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll Data (PDF File)
Even if they disagree with a judge, Senate Democrats should at least allow the President’s nominations to be voted on.
Source: Republican Memo