Monday, April 11, 2005

Judicial Filibuster Showdown Nearing

The Senate Minority is continuing to wage an unprecedented filibuster campaign against qualified judicial nominees, who have the votes to be confirmed. These senators, and any who let them get away with it, are denying the plain language of the constitution specifying a simple majority to confirm federal judges.

We are pleased to note that Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (D) opposes the filibuster and is working with the Senate Republican leadership to allow up or down votes on the nominees. We applaud his responsible leadership on this to date. We trust that if/when it becomes clear that efforts to break the filibuster without a change of the Senate rules will not succeed, that Sen. Nelson will make the principled decision. We expect him to support changing the rules to restore the system to what it was for over 200 years.

Unfortunately, Senator Hagel (R) of Nebraska is said to be wavering on supporting the president's lawful power to appoint federal judges. A New York Times article quoted at Confirm Them says:
Lobbying Heats Up on Filibuster Rule Change: "The article identifies seven Republicans who may jump ship: Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, John McCain of Arizona, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and John W. Warner of Virginia."
It is absolutely essential for the long term survival of our constitution that judges are appointed who will read the document rather than re-write it on a whim. This is the burning issue of our time. We can't imagine any situation in which we would vote for any senator for any future office (president, senator, or dogcatcher), who will not stand up for the constitution against the assault of judicial supremicists.

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