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POLITICS: Judicial Confirmation Showdown Begins in Senate

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posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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The U.S. Senate has taken up the confirmation of several judges nominated by President George W. Bush to U.S. Courts of Appeals who were blocked in the last Congress by Democrats using a procedural tactic known as the filibuster. Democrats have already moved to shutdown all other Senate business, including committee hearings and meetings, while the judge issue is resolved. Republicans vow to change Senate rules to allow the judges to be confirmed on a simple majority vote if Democrats try to use the filibuster again.
 



www.nytimes.com
WASHINGTON, May 18 - The Senate opened a long-awaited debate today to decide if the minority can block a president's federal court nominees through filibuster, beginning intense exchanges over the separation of powers, the intricate rules of the Senate and the qualifications of candidates kept off the bench through Democratic procedural tactics.

"I don't rise for party," said Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, as he called up the stalled nomination of Priscilla R. Owen, a justice on the Texas Supreme Court who was first put forward for an appeals court four years ago. "I rise for principle. I rise for the principle that the judicial nominees with the support of the majority of senators deserve up or down votes on this floor."

Within minutes of the Senate beginning a showdown that has been building for years, Democrats sought to counter the Republican move, setting off a series of exchanges that could go on for days.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader who has been fruitlessly negotiating a compromise with Dr. Frist, urged the majority leader to instead move to less contentious judges whom Democrats are willing to allow to receive votes. He also invoked a rule to cancel committee meetings while the debate was under way, a taste of how Democrats could slow Senate business if Republicans adopt a new rule banning filibusters against nominees.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The Republicans have the better argument here, the Constitution requires the Senate to give advice and consent and these judges clearly have majority support. Using the filibuster against these judges is wrong morally and against the spirit and letter of Constitution. While there is still chance of a comprimise, or of Democrats giving in on these judges to save the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees, I think it's likely that this will come to a head next week and the filibuster will come to an end for appeals and Supreme Court nominees.

Related News Links:
abcnews.go.com




posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:20 PM
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Hmmm, why would they go against a judge who let a KKK guy off for burning to death three "Darkies" as the judge refers to them. I wonder why...

Also, the Filibuster record is held by a republican.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:37 PM
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Can whoever wrote this really be ignorant of the 60 judges the Republican's blocked when Clinton ruled?, Or the filibustering of Clinton's ambassadorial and Justice Department appointments?

In fact, Majority Leader Bill Frist unsucessfully called for a filibuster of Clinton's judges, and nowhe thinks it's wrong when it doesn't help him? He wants to change the rules now? Laughable.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:42 PM
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No Clinton nominee that enjoyed majority support was ever prevented from getting a final vote. Some were delayed, but all that had the votes were eventually confirmed.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:45 PM
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Escept for the 60 that were..... Sorry DJ, double standards are wrong. On both sides.

Question, when will the "Dems/independants can only speak when spoken to by a holy man, I mean republican." bill come up for vote?



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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It is my understanding that no Clinton nominee that had majority support in the Senate was ever denied an up or down vote. I know that some were delayed, a few for a long time, but they were all eventually confirmed. I do think, however, it would also be fair to prevent them from dying in committee as well. The new rule should be that all Presidential nominees are guaranteed a full floor up or down vote.

[edit on 5/18/2005 by djohnsto77]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 01:59 PM
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At the time the republicans had the political power to stop them in commitee. Its in the same spirit as a fillibuster. Its ridiculous partisan rhetoric and semantics, both sides do it no matter what name they want to attach to it IMO.

[edit on 18-5-2005 by Rren]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 02:26 PM
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The Republicans have the better argument here, the Constitution requires the Senate to give advice and consent and these judges clearly have majority support. Using the filibuster against these judges is wrong morally and against the spirit and letter of Constitution.

No its not. This is still advice and consent, its per the Senate Rules. The Constitution doesn't say that they have to approve people. They give advise, the Consensus and Deliberative Nature of the Senate dictates that the minority party still have Big Powers. The Filibuster is a manifestation of that. They can't vote a judge down, but the Senate can still advise that a person isn't acceptable. If the Founders wanted a straigh up or down vote, then they'd've relegated the Vote to the House of Representatives. The whole idea behind the Senate, espeically when you remember that its members were originally Gubernatorial Appointees, is not to have "Majoritarian" Politics, but to have a deliberative body. This is perfectly in accord with the Consitution.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77
No Clinton nominee that enjoyed majority support was ever prevented from getting a final vote. Some were delayed, but all that had the votes were eventually confirmed.

Does that mean that there were appointees, and that there were attempts at a filibuster, but that there were enough votes to close the filibuster?

The new rule should be that all Presidential nominees are guaranteed a full floor up or down vote.

Why?

[edit on 18-5-2005 by Nygdan]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 02:30 PM
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Clinton's nominees were held in committee, not by filibuster. There may have been some attempts at delaying cloture vote, but they weren't used in a systematic way to withold nominees from confirmation.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 02:40 PM
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Funny how many of us tend to forget that the filibuster has been used by both side when the oposite is in power.

I have a problem with most of the judges too, after researching into their backgrounds and that should be done by anybody that wants to know what the fuss is all about.

Better get to know the people that one day may be ruling in the supreme court and into our lives.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by djohnsto77 Using the filibuster against these judges is wrong morally and against the spirit and letter of Constitution.


I've never seen those letters in the Constitution. Nygdan is right--"advice and consent"...

If the Republicans in the Senate weren't so busy pandering to the radical right, it wouldn't have to come to this. The unsuitability of these nominees wouldn't even be in question.

We aren't talking about a question of broad or narrow interpretation of the Constitution with these nominees---they throw it out the window for their special interests.

Individuals, on the other hand, don't have a chance if the bench is stacked with these radicals. The overwhelming majority of decisions made by these judges have been in favor of corporate interests. From writing decisions supporting the rights of corporations to pollute the local water supply, to ruling against anti-discrimination laws, to blatantly supporting campaign donors when they were in the wrong, these nominees are a sorry lot.

Why would any American want to put in place a judge that thinks that property use-permits should be outlawed (Brown), that doesn't believe that corporations are at fault for any negligence (Owen), and who is on a crusade to challenge the Constitutionality of every individual protection law enacted from the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Violence Against Women Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Clean Water Act (Pryor)?

Every single person reading this has been protected by one or more of the above at some point in your life, whether you know it your not. If it was up to these nominees, these protections would not exist. We would all be living next to nuclear power plants, drinking toxic sludge, getting fired from work when we got pregnant, and driving around in exploding cars.

That is the kind of America Bill Frist and the radical right are fighting for. Which side are you on?

More here...
politics.abovetopsecret.com...'



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 03:39 PM
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From everything I read, these judges seem supremely qualified and it would be a loss to the nation for them to not be confirmed.

Elections have consequences, and Bush won this election. If they have majority support in the Senate, his choices for judicial positions need to confirmed.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 04:38 PM
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Exactly the point and the problem

Partisanship is what's killing America.
Too bad it can't be listed as a "terrorist act".


Originally posted by Rren
At the time the republicans had the political power to stop them in commitee. Its in the same spirit as a fillibuster. Its ridiculous partisan rhetoric and semantics, both sides do it no matter what name they want to attach to it IMO.

[edit on 18-5-2005 by Rren]



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 04:44 PM
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Did the judge really say "darkie?" Wow.

Sean Hannity's purchased opinion on this is that the Senate Dems are being obstructionists and are "stopping any business from getting done."

I guess there was no business to do during the Clinton blow-job deal.



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 09:09 PM
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I think what everyone is forgetting here is that when the Republican's want something it is by "the will of the people" and due to the fact that "the Presidet has a 1% mandate."

However, when Democrats want something it is "selfish," "unpatriotic," "obstructionist," "unmoral," and "anti-American."

I don't know... I mean, I always thought the Senate rules were supposed to protect the rights of the minority. The House is the winner takes all, might makes right, majority rules part of Congress. The Senate was structured to allow for the minority to be able to put their foot down on a few rare occasions if they truly didn't agree with something.

What I don't get is that hasn't the Senate approved like 99% of all of Bush's nominee's? Pretty much without a problem. Why is it that the minority can't be allowed to say no to these? I think the whole point is that if Bush, Clinton, or whomever is next takes the time to appoint judges who are more in line with the interests of both sides, and not a big time leaner either way, they won't run into the problem.

However, until that day comes, it is important for the Right to be able to stop the Left, and the Left to be able to stop the Right, when it comes to judges. These are positions for life, not something that can just be changed when the country swings in another direction after an election or two.

-O



posted on May, 18 2005 @ 10:32 PM
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OK, so when Frist, and 52 other Republicans tried to filibuster Clinton's Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Richard Paez, that was ok. Now Frist thinks filibstering is wrong. Kind of like how the Republicans want to change a rule that punished a Democrat, in order to protect Tom Delay.

Man, I need a new tin foil hat. This stuff is starting to make sense.



posted on May, 23 2005 @ 05:03 PM
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The "nuclear option" could be invoked sometime tomorrow and Senators are preparing for a full night of debate by bring out sleeping cots to rest within the Capitol between votes:



WASHINGTON -- In a sign they were getting serious, senators on Monday prepared for a midnight nap.

Capitol custodians wheeled a half-dozen cots in the north door of the building just as the Senate was being gaveled into session for a planned all-night debate on the rights of the minority to filibuster judicial nominations.

Tourists turned to the racket created by bed wheels running over the uneven floor tiles, and some took pictures. The custodians weren't sure where to go, some gruffly telling onlookers to move before heading down the wrong hallway.



Source: Washington Post


[edit on 5/23/2005 by djohnsto77]



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