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There is a fight over judicial nominees in the Senate. Has been for a few years.

What it comes down to is this: the Democrats are attacking some of the most prominent and highest-placed nominees because they disagree with them. It is the most concerted and united attack against nominees in history: never before has one party united to successfully filibuster judicial nominees.

On the other side is the Republicans, who first reacted by using recess appointments to bypass the Senate, and are now threatening to end the filibustering of judicial nominees.

I am not in favor of the proposed rule change, simply because I don't think it's worthwhile. I don't say what a lot of Republicans are saying: that someday the GOP might be a minority again, and they may want the filibuster. That's fine by me, since I am against the filibustering of judicial nominees.

No, my problem is a bit deeper than that. I just dislike the precedent it perpetuates: an ever-escalating arms race over nominees.

Don't get me wrong, if the Republicans do this, I won't lose sleep over it. The Democrats, through their unfair and unreasonable actions over these nominees, brought it on themselves.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), one of the leaders of this effort, shows us all we need to know. He says he opposes them because they are "extreme," even though they reflect the views of the President who got a majority of electoral (and popular) votes. He says they cannot be trusted to follow the law instead of their beliefs (such as in the cases of abortion or establishment of religion), even though Pryor has proven time and again he is. He says Estrada must give his views about certain controversial issues, even though it is common ethical practice for nominees to not state such views about issues that might come before them in court.

It is not about principle, except for the principle of preventing the GOP from getting any conserrvative judges in positions of power.

But I prefer another option: the GOP should refuse to bring any bills to the floor until the nominees get a vote. I like this option because it emphasizes that the Democrats are blocking the Senate from doing its work, and because to me, the less that gets done by the Senate, the better.

Of course, it won't happen. Shutting down the government is bad PR. But it would please me personally, anyway.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on April 21, 2005 1:42 PM.

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