Thursday, May 04, 2006

Are we Going to Filibuster City?

The Democrats are making overt threats to hold up judicial nominations, as they did in the 108th Congress, and started to do in the 109th. As you might surmise, the abuse of cloture in order to deny votes to executive nominations really chaps me, and I am itching for a confrontation that settles this issue of Constitutional balance of powers once and for all.

But back to the overt threats. This, from the Washington Post ...

Acrimony Over Bush Judicial Nominations Resurfaces
Senate Democrats Threaten To Filibuster Conservative Duo

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 3, 2006; Page A05

Democratic leaders said they certainly would filibuster one of the nominees, Terrence W. Boyle, and might filibuster the second, Brett Kavanaugh, if Republicans refuse to call him back for a second hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The partisan rhetoric was the strongest signal yet that the Senate might revisit the brinkmanship that brought the chamber to the edge of crisis a year ago, when a bipartisan group of 14 members crafted a temporary cease-fire. ...

Last June, a month after the Gang of 14's breakthrough, the Judiciary Committee endorsed Boyle on a party-line vote, but the Senate has yet to give him a final vote.

Hmmm. It must have been the Democratic Senate leadership that failed to bring Boyle up for a vote since June of 2005. But wait! Myers has been out of Committee and on the Senate's Executive Calendar since MARCH of 2005 - not vote there either, and I add, no talk of bringing that nomination up for a vote in May of 2006.



Blogger cboldt said...

More at Jurist (one of my favorite sites, for what it's worth), that fleshes out some of the Democrat rationale for a revisit. In particular, Jurist links to discussions of Kavanaugh's contact with the Terrorist Surveillance Program and contact with Jack Abramoff.

5/04/2006 5:57 PM  
Blogger cboldt said...

Byron York's Whats Behind the New Fight Over Judges has the following line: "The reason is not so much that Democrats aren't willing to filibuster but that there are some battles Republicans don't want to fight."

I'd say that fairly well reflects my observation as it relates to Myers. Even though the Democrats have said that Myers was acceptable, the Republicans are willing to pretend Myers doesn't exist, just to avoid a fight and just to permit the Democrats to save face. I predict giddy approval and excitement by many nominal Republicans, even though the party leadership is in fact avoiding a real confrontation by engaging in a scripted one.

5/05/2006 12:05 PM  
Blogger cboldt said...

Hat tip to for a link to a podcast by Senator Frist.

In the podcast, Senator Frist makes two comments that figure into his "total" degree of commitment to obtaining votes on judicial nominees. At the start, he says that Kavanaugh, like every other nominee, deserves an up or down vote. Near the end (I think as a matter of having a face-saving way out of having an up or down vote on Boyle or Myers, he says that all QUALIFIED nominee deserve an up or down vote.

I was under that the voting process was to determine whether or not the Senate thought the nominee was qualified.

5/09/2006 7:10 AM  

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