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May 23, 2005
Not One Dime: Down To The Wire

In all probability, we are less than 24 hours from the Senate deciding whether to return to majority rule on confirmation of judicial nominees or an endorsement of the usurpation of nominating authority by the Senate minority. Various reports have moderates in both parties working towards compromises that might be acceptable to enough Senators in both parties to block the showdown on the Constitutionality of the filibuster as applied to judicial nominations, but time is quickly running out on such efforts. George Bush made his expectations clear this morning:

"My job is to pick people who will interpret the Constitution, not use the bench from which to write laws," Bush said from the White House. "And I expect them to get an up or down vote, that's what I expect. And I think the American people expect that as well people ought to have a fair hearing and they ought to get an up-or-down vote on the floor."

As Hugh Hewitt noted this morning, the latest Senator to display some wobbliness is Lindsay Graham. Graham complained that the Senate has acted like "we're in the third grade," and pressed the case for a middle-ground solution. However, as I explained earlier today, any compromise that includes an endorsement of judicial filibusters in the future under any conditions isn't middle ground but a radical rewriting of the relationship between the Legislature and the Executive -- in effect, declaring Senate rules to override the Constitution on interbranch activity.

Please call Senator Graham's office today at 202-225-3121 to remind him of the need to preserve the Constitution. Right now, the lines are busy, which indicates that a number of people have already decided to make those calls. I called Senator Hagel's office instead and spoke to a staffer named Kelly, a kind and gracious person who took my information. Be kind and gracious in return to whomever you speak. Tell them that Not One Dime will be forthcoming for any Republican Senator who sells out the Constitution for the path of least resistance.

The pressing deadline may convince the wobblies to cut a deal. Make sure they know the consequences of such an act.

UPDATE: I spoke to a staffer at Senator Lindsay Graham's office and warned her of my reference to her boss in this post, and that some of you may be calling today to let them know how you feel. You can call 202-224-5972 to reach Senator Graham's office directly.

UPDATE II: Second Wobbly sighting -- Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio, from last Thursday:

When the talks broke up on Thursday night, one of the bargainers, Sen. Mike DeWine, R- Ohio said he wanted to reach an accord with Democrats so that both parties would stop using the filibuster.

But the tactic should remain on the shelf, he said, to be used only "in very extraordinary circumstances."

"If we are forced to go ahead and change the way the Senate operates, then that option of using the filibuster will be gone," he said. "We should have that option there in very extreme cases for the minority to be able to use a filibuster when the minority feels that it is needed.

The Republic managed without it for 214 years, save on one occasion where a bipartisan effort defeated a cloture motion on Abe Fortas in 1968 to give Lyndon Johnson time to withdraw his nomination for Supreme Court Chief Justice, rather than get embarassed by seeing him defeated on an up-or-down vote by the full Senate. The filibuster is blatantly unconstitutional for confirmations on judicial nominations and needs to be eliminated.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 23, 2005 12:00 PM

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» pulling the trigger on the nuclear option from Wigderson Library & Pub
I would contend it isn't just the "no" voters who should be remembered in 2008. It is also any Republican Senator that sought a compromise with the Democrats that included any of the President's nominees being brought to the floor of the US Senate. And... [Read More]

Tracked on May 23, 2005 3:04 PM

» I Hate to Admit He's Mine from MidKnight Gallery
Via Captain's Quarters Yet another thing to be embarrassed about when admitting I live in SC. > As Hugh Hewitt noted this morning, the latest Senator to display some wobbliness is Lindsay Graham. Graham complained that the Senate has acted like ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 23, 2005 5:26 PM



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