Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Democrats Are Already Set On A Filibuster

Please get the notion out of you mind, if it exists, that the Democrats are not going to filibuster the President's selection to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. Unless Bush nominates someone like Laurence Tribe, this will be a war.

This Morning on Fox News Sunday, I was surprised to hear Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) opening the door to it without anyone having even been nominated. In the exchange between Chris Wallace, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), she interjected this little bit in the end:

The Senate is out, the Senate is out for this week. The Senate will be out for the entire month of August.

So this impacts the timetable. As I understand it, Justice O'Connor has agreed to serve until her replacement is in place, so there is not going to be a gap.

I think it's important that we have the time to do what we need to do. No body knows who the president is going to appoint -- whether it's someone that doesn't need much due diligence or someone that's unknown that may.

Therefore, I think to set any arbitrary timetable at this point is certainly a mistake.

Then Mitch McConnell dutifully reminded Sen. Feinstein of the traditional timetable:

Let me respond to Dianne. The average time from nomination to confirmation is 72 days. We have 92 days between the vacancy and the time of the first Monday in October.

We're not talking about speeding the process up. We're talking about handling it like it's normally handled, which gives us plenty of time to get a new justice on the courts when they start their terms.

Feinstein seems to be implying not as much that they don't want to rush the nominee through the Senate, but that this person may sit in the dock for quite some time, especially in light of the comment that O'Connor will pinch hit until her successor is confirmed. O'Connor may be sitting for some time.

(As an aside , Feinstein's rejection of an "arbitrary timetable" for the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice stands in direct contrast with her party's demand for just such a timetable in Iraq, a much, much more important matter that deals with future global stability, but I digress.)

This veiled threat to the administration means that the Dems will maintain their abuse of the filibuster if Bush fails to appoint someone who they like, and that they will continue it until such person bails because of the truly inappropriate treatment the Dems will smear upon them.

The "advice and consent" of the Senate is all we seem to hear about from the Dems, but that's not what they are requiring of the President. They are requiring the approval of the Senate minority.

Back in November, we had a very significant election. President Bush was re-elected. A significantly more Republican Senate was installed. If the President were to offer any originalist conservative nominee to the Supreme Court, a majority of the Senate would confirm them without question. But "advice and consent" does not mean kowtowing to an oppositionist minority. The full Senate would give its approval if a vote were permitted.

Harry Reid and his infantile caucus are prepared to hold this matter up for as long as it takes to get what they want. Which means that the Republican leadership in the form of the Jell-O spined majority leader, Bill Frist, needs to call a vote and demand (and I mean really demand, not just ask politely) loyalty from the entire Republican Conference on a vote to reduce the required vote to limit debate on judges and Administration appointees to 50 votes--the nuclear option. If they abuse the power, they need to experience what happens when they lose it.

This is getting exciting. And if the Administration is wise, they will allow Harry Reid to hang his caucus out to dry for the 2006 midterms.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush's numbers are dropping as fast as CNN's ratings; gallup has more than 50% of American's wanting a consensus candidate; Bush has two options. Force the Democrats hand at a Filibuster, which nobody (read: less than 50%) wants. There have been filibusters of Supreme Court nominees in the past. The was a compromise b/w 14 senators which was designed to require that the Senate got to "advise and consent" so as to protect less popular opinions from being bulldozed for a promise to a religious fringe. There's room for middle ground here.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Elisa said...

Boxer is calling for a filibuster of any nominee who is pro-life:

8:20 PM  

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