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The Constitution and the Judiciary - Where's the check on Senate filibusters?
WSJ Opinion Journal ^
| Tuesday, May 6, 2003 12:01 a.m. EDT
| BY JOHN CORNYN
Posted on 05/05/2003 9:33:29 PM PDT by pubmom
Edited on 04/23/2004 12:05:33 AM PDT by Jim Robinson.
This week, the Senate marks a dismal political anniversary: Two years of partisan obstruction of President Bush's judicial nominees, culminating in two unprecedented filibusters. More are threatened. Never before has the judicial confirmation process been so broken, and the constitutional principles of judicial independence and majority rule so undermined.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionjournal.com ...
TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government
KEYWORDS: estrada; filibuster; owens; pickering; senate
posted on 05/05/2003 9:33:29 PM PDT
Good article. Glad we elected Mr. Cronyn.
Sen. Charles Schumer advocates an overhaul of the nomination process by eliminating the president's appointment power and instead giving President Bush and Sen. Daschle "equal roles in picking the judge-pickers."
Well I would not want to see this provision!
The check on the filibuster is 1) make them actually speak the full time, and 2) keep the Senate in session until judicial nominations are voted up or down. Why is that so hard?
The Vatican has that feature when selecting a new pope. The word, "conclave", which the session is called, literally means, "with key". The cardinals are locked in a room until they have a decision. This policy resulted from an era in which it took, sometimes, 3 or 4 years to get a new pope. Obviously, the office was too important to go vacant for such lengthy stretches.
posted on 05/05/2003 10:01:03 PM PDT
(that really goes against my grain)
--it is difficult because of the collective spinelessness of a majority of the "majority" party, compounded by difficulties with their left wing from the Northeastern states--
Where are our elected officials?
The Republican losers have sold us out on these nominees and the tax cuts. As the WSJ lamented today, with representation like this, who needs Tom Daschle?
"Why is that so hard?"
It is not hard...they just don't want to. They will send young men to die for this country but they can't be inconvienenced. No, they won't disrupt their schedules by fighting for their convictions, that's just to hard on them.
Here's my idea to add to the mix:
Today's 52-39 cloture vote highlights the ridiculousness of the situation. The Senate needs 60 votes to end debate, but they don't need 40 votes to keep debate going. Therefore, if they want to keep the cloture rule in place, then it is only fair to amend it thusly: change the 60-vote majority to end filibuster to a 40 vote minority to keep debate going. If the intent of filibustering is to give the minority one last chance to influence debate, then the burden must be on the minority to keep debate going. Today's 52-39 vote is everything that is wrong in the Senate.
The current situation in the Senate with respect to judicial nominations is part of a descending spiral. The GOP can add its actions to the list of blame. The Democrats attacked or blocked some Reagan and Bush I nominees, the GOP retaliated during Clinton's terms, and now they're getting the Democrats' response.
posted on 05/06/2003 4:12:34 AM PDT
The check on the filibuster is 1) make them actually speak the full time
Precisely---and as I understand it, that is within the Senate GOP's power.
posted on 05/06/2003 7:53:30 AM PDT
("That government is best which governs least.")
The essence of our democratic system of government is beautiful in its simplicity: Majorities must be permitted to govern. As our nation's Founders explained in Federalist No. 22, "the fundamental maxim of republican government . . . requires that the sense of the majority should prevail." And as the Supreme Court has unanimously held, our Constitution is premised on the democratic doctrine of majority rule.
He quotes the Federalist...but STILL gets it wrong.
posted on 05/06/2003 10:52:34 AM PDT
(2 wrongs don't make a right.....but 3 rights make a left)
Moreover, abusive filibusters against judicial nominations uniquely threaten both presidential power and judicial independence--and are thus more dubious than filibusters of legislation, an area of pre-eminent congressional power. Harry Edwards, a respected Carter-appointed appeals judge, wrote that the Constitution forbids the Senate from imposing a supermajority rule for confirmations.
I am increasingly excited that the Senate is going to get a handle on this situation without the obstruction totally causing the government to grind to a halt. No matter what the naysayers state, I have confidence in the Senate's leadership on this issue, and believe they are making a strong effort to do the right thing for our country.
posted on 05/06/2003 10:56:19 AM PDT
(((PRAYING for: President Bush & advisors, troops & families, Americans)))
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