Skip to comments.Here's the Deal (Why Senate Filibuster Deal Is VICTORY For Conservatives)
Posted on 05/25/2005 4:09:07 AM PDT by PJ-Comix
"There is no way this agreement that breaks Democratic obstruction can be spun any way other than as a victory for Republicans and the Bush Administration," said a Republican Senate leadership aide late Monday night, regarding the agreement reached by 14 senators to avert a showdown vote on the so-called nuclear option that would have ended Democratic filibustering of Bush judicial nominees.
The parameters of the deal insure that six of eight obstructed Bush nominees to the federal judiciary will receive an up or down confirmation vote in the Senate. The three most opposed Bush nominees to the court, Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor, will not have their nominations blocked any longer; also, three other Bush nominees will eventually receive an up or down confirmation vote as well; the only two nominees who still may be filibustered are Michigan judge Henry Saad and William Myers.
Also as part of the compromise, the Democrat moderates promise to prevent any future filibuster of Bush appeals court and Supreme Court nominees. While Democrats were able to have their "extraordinary circumstances" clause inserted in the deal, no one anticipates that such a situation will arise, assuming Democrats keep their promise. And it appears that a number of promises were being tossed around the negotiation room on Monday afternoon.
Several Republican senators involved in negotiations swore that not only will the six Bush nominees be given an up or down vote, but that Democrats in the room were aware that Republicans involved in the negotiations had agreed to vote cloture on Myers as well, and that Democratic negotiators had agreed that such a move could take place, thus also allowing Myers an up or down vote in the Senate. "Assuming that our guys hold themselves to that promise," says another Republican staffer working on the Judiciary committee, "then we're looking at a clean sweep for confirmations."
That said, Republican Judiciary Committee staffers said it would have been difficult to clear Saad for confirmation, regardless of the Democrats' unethical behavior in his case. Democratic Judiciary Committee staff and Senate Democratic leadership coordinated an attack against Saad by providing and then sending Sen. Harry Reid a memo detailing uncorroborated raw interview notes from Saad's confidential FBI background check.
"Saad has served on the bench in Michigan, he has been a public figure for years, he has had close associations with several Senate and House members from the state of Michigan," says a Washington lobbyist who has met with Saad on occasion. "This is an honorable man whose nomination was badly damaged by Democrats. Any future nominee should be aware of what the Democrats will do to destroy a good conservative."
If there are any potential losers in this deal, it is the moderate Republicans who have put their reputations on the line with not only their Republican colleagues, but also conservative voters. "If Myers doesn't get a vote, if a reasonable Supreme Court nominee does not receive a vote, or has his or her nomination blocked, then those moderate Republicans should be held accountable by not only the caucus but their constituents," said the Republican Judiciary staffer.
HOW TRUE TO THEIR word Democrats will be may become apparent in about a month, when Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist is expected to announce his retirement. Already in Washington rumors are swirling that current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may be under serious consideration for the empty slot left vacant after one of the sitting justices is elevated to fill Rehnquist's role.. "You look at what he hasn't done in his few months at Justice," says a former White House staffer, "and it makes you think he's really been looking ahead and trying to keep as clear from controversy as he can."
Gonzales has managed to sidestep taking a position on the Terri Schiavo legal battle, and beyond stating his basic support for the eight judicial nominees in limbo, he has avoided being embroiled in this current debate. As well, he has made very few public appearances where anything remotely controversial could have been uttered.
"Everything points to a Gonzales nomination," says a lobbyist aware of the White House thinking on prospective judicial nominees.
One school of thought related to the threat of a constitutional "nuclear" option was that it would ensure the Bush White House an easier time in putting forward a solid conservative as the president's first nomination to the Supreme Court. But Gonzales would be unacceptable to just about every conservative group in Washington and beyond.
"I don't know of any conservative who worked to reelect this president who would be satisfied with a Gonzales nomination," says a Senate Judiciary staffer. "This president was reelected because conservatives want to see a conservative on the Court. If the president has a second opportunity, then perhaps there is room for Gonzales. But only after the president fulfills his promise to voters."
This is a victory for Bush. Yeah, the Democrats "won" only in the sense that the Japanese "won" WWII by being allowed to keep their emporer...who was stripped of all his powers.
The optimistic view is all based on the dims keeping their word and being reasonable in the future. There is no good reason to think they will do so. And they still figure the MSM is their ace in the hole.
But here's the deal. IF the Democrats break their word (a good assumption) then McCain and most of the other RINOs will beel obligated to vote to end judicial filibusters in the future. That vote which was averted by the deal will be brought up again only this time it will be passed with support from the RINOs who were recalcitrant this time due to the Democrats breaking their word. Think forward about two chess moves.
"There is no way this agreement that breaks Democratic obstruction can be spun any way other than as a victory for Republicans and the Bush Administration,"
BS!!!!.... any compromise with the Dems is a victory for them
"...then McCain and most of the other RINOs will beel obligated to vote to end judicial filibusters in the future."
Heh. (Yoda voice) Trusting soul you are. Screw us again they shall. See you will.
Anyone who makes a deal based on a promise is a fool. Especially a Democratic promise.
The Unholy 7 may gets some of Bush's lower court nominees through, but the SC fight is on its way, and the Dems still have their filibuster.
Let's not forget that the Democrats had no problem changing the Constitution by "suggesting" that the President give up his sole authority to nominate judges. Now the Dems want to be "consulted" first. How can anybody trust a Democrat who would unconstitutionally change the Constitution in a back room deal?
Let's take the "potential" out of there.
Now let's see some confirmations.....
You forget that McCain has presidential ambitions and will be FORCED to support a filibuster if the Democrats break their word. Think ahead a couple of moves.
I tend to agree with you that there's very little chance of the dims keeping their word but the MSM has lost and continues to lose credibility and relevance every day.
I well remember the days when that old communist Walter Cronkite was considered by most Americans as the most trusted journalist in the country and could always be relied on to carry the dim agenda forward.
"HOW TRUE TO THEIR word Democrats will be may become apparent in about a month"
Who will care how true the Democrats are to their word? If they are not, will they lose any Democrat supporters? Of course not. Will the press condemn them? Of course not.
Many times yesterday I heard dems making that comment as it applies to the signatories.
Before too many people start bashing Sen. Frist, I thought it appropriate to put his own words on this thread. From a 5/24/05 mass E-mail to interested parties (including me):
As promised, an update on the judicial nominee front ...
Last night, an arrangement was reached by fourteen of my colleagues. I was not a party to it, and here's why...
I do not agree with it because it does not get the job done of ensuring fair, up or down votes on all judicial nominees sent to the Senate by the President.
It is my firm belief that--on principle--all judicial nominees deserve an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate.
The new understanding, if followed in good faith, affirms my principle to some extent. It marks some break in the partisan obstruction of the past two years, and ensures that seven outstanding jurists-including Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor--will get the fair up or down votes they have long deserved.
But it does not grant fairness to all other jurists. It still allows mindless filibusters to be triggered at the whim of a minority more interested in obstruction than progress.
And that is a shame.
So make no mistake, the Constitutional Option remains on the table. If the minority again acts in bad faith--if they resume their campaign of mindless judicial obstruction--I will NOT hesitate to call it to a vote.
Not for a second.
For too long on judicial nominees, the filibuster was abused to facilitate partisanship, and subvert principle.
We have exposed the injustice of judicial obstruction in the last Congress, and advanced the core Constitutional principle that all judicial nominees deserve a fair up or down vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
So the Senate will begin to execute this arrangement, with a vote up or down on Priscilla Owen. Giving up their minority-party led obstructionism, the Senate invoked cloture on her today by a vote of 81-18. Priscilla Owen--after four years, two weeks and two days--will finally receive the fair, up or down vote she deserves.
And, mark my words, more judges like her will follow in the days ahead. I hope the minority will respect the will of the majority, and give judges the courtesy, the respect, of a fair, up or down vote.
If the Democrats break their word (which could be likely) then the "Unholy 7" have no out---they must support the filibuster. And they have to support it for more than just moral reasons.---Political reasons. This goes even more so for McCain.
I heard there is no way W nominates him - the Rinos like him, but the true Republican base will let the RNC feel their wrath.
Owen or Browne seem like better choices for W - they would have already gotten an up-or-down vote in the Senate for the Circuit, so the dems can't say they are unacceptable, and we know real conservatives love them.
Exactly! A win against the Dems happens NOW....not with promises about some future event.
You'll see one today.
Strenght does not spring from compromise! You don't get to where you want to go by continuing to meet democrats halfway. You end up going where they want to go.
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