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POLITICS: Frist Speaks Out Against Judicial Filibusters

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posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 04:04 PM
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) spoke in an event sponsored by Christian groups today about the situation surrounding the Senate's inability to vote on several Bush judicial nominees due to filibusters by Democrats. Frist said that it's not "radical" to ask the Senate to give up or down votes on the President's judicial picks. But he also distanced himself from more hardline comments from some Republicans who demanded investigations and even impeachment of activist liberal judges.
WASHINGTON Apr 24, 2005 — Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday it was not "radical" to ask senators to vote on judicial nominees as he hardened his effort to strip Democrats of their power to stall President Bush's picks for the federal court.

Frist, speaking at an event organized by Christian groups trying to rally churchgoers to support an end to judicial filibusters, also said judges deserve "respect, not retaliation," no matter how they rule.

A potential candidate for the White House in 2008, the Tennessee Republican made no overt mention of religion in the brief address, Ky., according to a text of his videotaped remarks released before the event in Louisville, Ky.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I agree that the Senate should give an up or down vote on these nominees. 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.

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 04:42 PM
How about this...

Frist made no overt mention of religion while pre-taping a spot to lend credibility to a highly controversial Religion laden pre-emptive filibuster-filibuster being broadcast into extreme fundamentalist churches nationwide today, as organized by James Dobson's Family Research Council.

The event using religion to attack a political party using a legitimate parlimentary procedure often used by the Republican Party itself is called "Justice Sunday -- Stopping The Filibuster Against People of Faith."

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.

While confirming over 200 Bush nominees already...

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.

...Meaning of the remaining 12 the GOP is unwilling to debate on the Senate floor, seven were blocked once already. What's wrong? Run out of extremist activist Judges to appoint Bush? :shk:

... 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."

Which AP points out is a total lie (meaning Frist will even lie in Church)...

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.

Not that it takes anyone over the age of 20 to know what a liar Frist and the GOP's entire position of "filibusters" is these days. Frist himself voted in favor of filibustering Judge Paez. Many of the current GOP senators have done it. And Jesse Helms is still filibustering AIDS research (in his head) to this day.

[edit on 24-4-2005 by RANT]

posted on Apr, 24 2005 @ 06:39 PM
If the Clinton nominees eventually were confirmed (or at least given a floor vote), then what he said was technically true.

But perhaps we should also look at committee process in the Senate's advice and consent role. Maybe a committee vote shouldn't be allowed to keep a nominee from a full floor vote, and they should just conduct the hearings and report to the floor without a vote.

[edit on 4/24/2005 by djohnsto77]

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 12:38 PM

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

And the advise of the senate at this point is, don't give us these guys, we're not even going to vote on them.

Procedure allows the filibuster. There's no reason to change procedure for this. It also sets a bad precedent. What else will people not be able to filibuster over? What other issues will procedure be changed for when the party in power wants to do it?

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 04:20 PM
The filibuster I think is pretty unfair and undemocratic. Usually in a democratic system, a simple majority is needed to agree on something. There are cases in the Constitution where a supermajority is needed such as passing a Constitutional Amendment but confirmation of appointments is not one of them. While the Constitution does allow the Senate to make its own rules it doesn't allow those rules to be unconstitutional, and I believe the filibuster in the case of the advice and consent role is unconstitutional.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 04:31 PM
Well is a reason why some of these people has been stop for being considered, I suggest you do what I did, and research on the candidates, after reading what they are up to and their resume I tell you I would not vote for them in a million years.

Perhaps their records should be brough up to the public and let the public decide.

Trust me it has nothing to do with "people of faith" like the propaganda said.

Is about money, profits and power for people like Frist and his buddies.

[edit on 25-4-2005 by marg6043]

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 04:38 PM
Frist speaking out, I think I speak for everyone when I say, "Huh?".

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 05:01 PM
What RANT said

Frist is just spouting. The Repubs did the same thing when they needed to. filibusters are part of the give and take. This way the minority party at least has some power to negotiate other wants/needs without having to sit silently while a party machine rolls over them.

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 08:34 PM
If it was good enough for the Republicans when Clinton was in office it should be good enough for them when Bush is in office.

Can you say 'Hypocracy'?

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 08:42 PM
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]

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 09:12 PM

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]

Whats the difference? Isn't blocking also holding up?

posted on Apr, 25 2005 @ 09:30 PM
Republicans have nothing to lose by ending filibusters of judicial nominees. Each Senator will be responsible for his vote.

Democrats know they are on the losing side of this as Joe Biden is already willing to compromise. He is offering to let 5 of the 7 renominated get past committee and only block 2 of the most extreme. (Hey Joe, I thought they where all extreme?)

One lesson that Republicans should never forget is "Never compromise with democrats." George HW Bush compromised with democrats on his "Read my lips, no new taxes" pledge, and look what happened to him. For those of you who forgot about this here is a breakdown.

"In order to pass a fiscal year 1990 budget, Bush entered negotiations with the Democrats. After several weeks at the end of June Bush agreed that the next budget would include tax increases as one of the components of a deficit reduction program. Eventually taxes were raised in the new budget, most notably by a five cent increase on the federal gas tax. His Chief of Staff John Sununu first described the new budget as containing "tax revenue increasing" measures. The first journalists to read this vague statement did not interpret it as a tax increase. Soon however the Democrats, led by George J. Mitchell and Dick Gephardt, released their spin on the budget and clearly emphasized that there would be new taxes. Soon the broken pledge became the leading news story."

"The issue quickly faded from prominence, however. The tax increase attracted little criticism from the Democrats, who supported the move itself and had lobbied Bush to agree to it."

Another part of the compromise was Democrats where to reduce spending, but of course this didn't happen.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:05 PM
Family Research Council on Filibustering?

It's as American as apple, pie, Jimmy Stewart and gay bashing.

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."

MSNBC Transcripts

These people and the Republican french poodles that do their bidding (Fristie and DeLay) are full of lePoo. They struck down the very ethics accountability rules they voted in to punish Democrats as soon as the tables were turned... and this is no different.

Fristie already publicly turned down the "compromise" too, which was so superbly played by Reid, the GOP still doesn't even know it just lost a game of chicken.

Democrats: Let's work together.
Frist: NO! All or nothing. Crash and burn baby!

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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.

I guess he has seen how well religious groups work when it comes to financing "political candidates"

"Money is of none Importance" these groups have it plenty, perhaps we should demand that churches pay their taxes like everybody else.

Democrats should bring the senate to a stand still, and see what Cheney does about it.

I am afraid that the "Reconstrutionist" have taken over our country politics and government, so be ready for the theocratic government.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:23 PM

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.

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.

Frist/DeLay are dying on the vine. Or cross rather.

[edit on 26-4-2005 by RANT]

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 01:37 PM
Maybe some on the side of getting rid of these judicial filibusters are being hypocritical, but certainly no more than Democrats on this issue:

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

Also, marg, you think Frist is the desperate one? Look at this:

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

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 02:33 PM
Yes I am aware of the news and guess what, I will like to see how far this is all heading, see you let this fundamentalist in, to take hold of our politics and law making under their version of the will of god is going to take hold of our lives and our private business.

This people are not your regular conservative Christian or you regular religious groups, this are the radical version of it the ones that are in a mission "of God" or at least their vesion of it and they careless how you thing about it.

If you don't know what a reconstructionist is, we have a nice thread that explains what their agenda is and what they are aiming for, once they either control the judiciary system or they get rid of it altogether who is going to stop them.

One thing is to play dirty politics and another the new concept of doing it under the "will of God" and under the propaganda of "people of faith"

What they never will tell you is what type of "will of God and profits" and "people of faith and comerce"

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 03:27 PM
I want them to interrupt primetime tv and televise the confirmation hearings on all the mainstream tv stations...

let the people judge for themselves the quality (and fine upstanding chirstian standing) of these judges.

I hope the dems make sure there's lots of publicity on these judges.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 06:01 PM

Originally posted by djohnsto77
you think Frist is the desperate one?


Frist *has* to keep kowtowing to the hardline religious right; he's banking on them for the prez nomination in '08. These guys want their Rove-picked judges in place in order to push *their* "values" on the rest of us; Frist knows he has to come across to keep their support.

Harry Reid has done a hell of a job on this particular issue. Two-thirds of the American people don't want the Senate rules changed solely to accomodate Bush's nominees, and that number is due largely to Reid's efforts to get this matter into public view. Reid gambled on a compromise, which Frist *had* to reject.

66% of the American people have caught a glimpse of the man behind the GOP curtain, and they are not amused.

posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 09:49 PM

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.

Actually this poll was quite misleading and never even mentioned the word "filibuster". Here's the question that was asked:

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)

There's an NBC poll that actually used the word filibuster

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?
4/05 2/05
Should maintain the filibuster........... 50 48
Should eliminate the filibuster.......... 40 39
Not sure................................. 10 13

NBC/Wall Street Journal Poll Data (PDF File)

Obviously the numbers are a lot tighter when the question is asked more fairly.

Now if I got to choose the question, it'd be like 70%/30% in favor of squashing it!


Actually, there is an internal GOP Poll. Here's the question asked and the results:

Even if they disagree with a judge, Senate Democrats should at least allow the President’s nominations to be voted on.

Agree: 81%
Disagree: 18%

Source: Republican Memo

[edit on 4/26/2005 by djohnsto77]

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