Skip to comments.Republicans to Go on Offensive Over Judges
Posted on 04/15/2005 1:32:54 PM PDT by Libloather
Republicans to Go on Offensive Over Judges
1 hour, 48 minutes ago
By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans are moving to put some muscle behind their pitch to eliminate judicial filibusters after watching liberals push out TV ads against them in anticipation of a showdown over who sits on federal appeals courts.
"They're ahead of the power curve," Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said of the orchestrated effort by Democrats and groups such as MoveOn.org and People for the American Way. "I think you'll see a greater, stepped-up message on part of the Republicans, to go on offense on this issues."
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, after vowing last fall to stop Democrats from blocking the most conservative of President Bush's nominees, will appear in a telecast later this month with leaders of social conservative groups.
According to a flier for the Louisville, Ky., event, it will focus on how judicial filibusters are being used "against people of faith." The telecast is being organized by the Family Research Council, which sponsored a similar event last year opposing gay marriage. First's staff said he will probably record his message for the telecast.
The Tennessee Republican, a likely contender for his party's presidential nomination in 2008, is under pressure to force a Senate showdown before Congress breaks May 27 for a long Memorial Day recess.
To change Senate rules so that Democrats can no longer block Bush's nominees with filibusters requiring just 41 votes, Frist needs a simple majority in the 100-member Senate. He can get that by mustering 50 votes and bringing in Vice President Dick Cheney as the tiebreaker.
The Senate has 55 Republicans, 44 Democrats and one independent. But a half-dozen GOP senators either have said they oppose or have refused to support changing the rules.
Frist's plan has been dubbed the "nuclear option" because Democrats have promised to retaliate by blocking the rest of Bush's legislative agenda excluding spending and highway bills and national security measures. His supporters call it the "constitutional option," saying the forefathers never intended to let a minority of the Senate block a president's choices for judgeships.
Democrats have blocked 10 of Bush's 52 appeals court nominations through filibuster threats, while allowing the confirmation of 34 others. They have said they plan to keep blocking those 10 if they are brought up for confirmation again, and will block other nominees they consider to be too conservative. Writings or judicial opinions on abortion, civil or labor rights and the environment are often a litmus test.
People for the American Way and MoveOn PAC have been running television ads for weeks trying to discourage Republicans from forcing a showdown over filibusters. Democratic leaders Harry Reid in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House have coordinated a message accusing majority Republicans of "abuse of power" and "arrogance."
"Our voice is being lost," Frist said this week. "From a leadership standpoint, we've held back, which has allowed the vacuum to be filled by lots of other voices. I hope what you will see over the next several weeks is us to do a better job."
To help publicize their message, a GOP group called the Advise and Consent Working Group now issues daily recaps of what GOP senators say about judicial nominations and rebuts Democrats' statements on the issues.
Republican senators have joined Democrats in giving daily speeches on the subject from the Senate floor. New conservative organizations like the Judicial Confirmation Network and the National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters are entering the fray to counter MoveOn and People for the American Way.
The Judicial Confirmation Network has planned an initial $250,000 ad buy on cable television to counter the liberal ads.
"The other side has started a pretty aggressive campaign," said Wendy Long, the group's lawyer. "We didn't want to just sit here and do nothing."
Some conservative groups have held off spending money on the filibuster battle, saving resources for an anticipated Supreme Court fight. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, 80, is fighting thyroid cancer, and many people expect a retirement from the nation's highest court before President Bush ends his second term.
But conservative senators and advocacy groups say there must be a resolution on the filibuster before that happens. Needing 60 votes to confirm a Supreme Court justice might affect whether Bush picks a conservative or a moderate, they say.
Thune said a high-profile Supreme Court nomination and a simultaneous fight over whether that person can be filibustered by Democrats might muddy the water and make both objectives more difficult.
How many Democrats are there in Red States? They may not be in favor of a filibuster.
NOT. ONE. DIME. I will not contribute one thin dime to any Republican cause unless and until Bush's judicial nominees receive a straight up-or-down vote in the Senate.
I just returned that same message in the latest request for money from the gutless majority.
Let me get this straight. We just had a national election a little over 5 months ago. In addition to re-electing a Republican president, Republicans increased their majority in both the Senate and the House and in governorships.
NOW TELL ME WHY REPUBLICANS NEED TO GET SOME "MESSAGE" OUT?
You mean to tell me that after the recent national elections Republicans are ALREADY getting weak in the knees? What message did the last election NOT send to these bone heads?
I'm still so steamed over my AZ senator (whome I DID NOT VOTE FOR last NOV!) put out his BS about not voting to stop the filibuster...I knew we should have made more of an effort to get rid of MCLAME! Limp willied RINO!
DO IT ALREADY!
Senator Frist, If you don't have the votes, do it anyway! I want these red state Dems and turncoat Reps on record. Let them face the scorn of their constituents. Identify our enemies. Allow us to know who is going to do this and spend the next year and half making their lives and re-elections miserable.
Whatever happened to Miguel Estrada?
The impact of 2004 Values Voters---the Catholic, Black, and denominational religious vote----is so striking, even Hillary is trying to look like Mother Teresa. Here's why:
Conservative pro-life Christian voters made monumental contributions to GWB's 2004 vote totals. Pres Bush won with 63 Million Votes (13 million more than 2000).
The map, though impressive, conveys the misleading impression that blue state Catholics voted for Kerry (a CINO).
According to EWTN "The World Over Live" analysts, with the exception of VA, where Catholics spit 70/30 in favor of Bush, the majority of Catholic voters split 55/45 for Bush.....a whopping number of votes since Catholics number about 52 million Americans.
According to CNN exit polls, Bush voters included 38% of union members, 40% of those with union members in their households, 42% of those earning $15,000-$30,000, 44% of those who earn under $50,000 and 44% of Latinos, 45% of youth (aged 18-29), 13% of liberalseven 11% of Democrats voted for Bush.
2004 Election polls indicated 34% called themselves conservative, 21% liberal.
The National Association of Evangelicals, represents 39 million churchgoers. There are an estimated one billion Catholics around the world, and according to the Church of England, there are 70 million Anglicans. America's census bureau said 159 million US citizens describe themselves as Christians.
If you look closely, the map appears to place the insignificant "Other Voters" in the ocean.....that's accurate, because "Other Voters--RINO Republicans" were on cruise ships while the rest of Americans were home working.
(MAP UPDATE Bush won Ohio, Iowa and New Mexico later.)
We need Repubs to maintain a hardline stance, even harder than they're maintaining on this issue.......and, above all, they must never surrender to political correctness.
Political correctness is the club used by the ACLU Secular Taliban and their acolytes to beat back believers----to oust religionists of every faith from claiming their rightful place in the public square.
PC needs to be quashed every place it raises it ugly head.
We need to deliver the message far and wide-----political correctness is dead, killed by a devastated culture corrupted by secularism.
oops..being should read BEEN! Hitting the sauce early! :)
pubbies are slow learners.
we'll see how this goes.
So .. I guess Frist is hoping to incite the Christians who live in the states represented by the "dozen or so repubs" who don't want to vote for the CONSTITUTIONAL solution.
After they get overwhelmed with email, faxes and letters, I suspect they may have a change of heart.
Nothing like the wrath of your constituents to set a person straight.
I don't care if we win or lose the actual vote. Actually I do care that we win on the constitutional option. However, what is more important to me is that a vote actually takes place and we see who's on our side and who's not. I'm giving Frist the benefit of the doubt but we need to see it happen soon. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater here and scorn all Repubs, just the ones that vote against the constitutional option.
Did you watch the Brit Hume show tonight? He wasn't there, but there was a story about the filibuster hoo-ha, and it seems that there were 2 of Clintons judges that were filibustered, BUT they both got voted in---ON THE 9TH CIRCUIT---
THAT is good enough reason for Frist to do what he needs--those two are two of the most communist in the country---
Anyway, they also said that Dodd, Biden, Boxer and Kerry are busy little bees trying to find more dirt on John Bolton by Tuesday when the committee is supposed to vote.
Well, supposedly there was an incident where Bolton got a State department underling taken off one of his "portfolios" because he did something (I forget,sorry), and that guy is now a staff member of Sen. Chuck Hagel!!!
When asked about whether this would influence HIS vote, Hagel was noncommittal, and Lincoln Chafee says he is still "leaning" toward voting for Bolton---
I tell you what, if Bolton does not get through to a floor vote, Bush should not put up any judicial nominees or cabinet nominees and then on the next break make about 25 "recess appointments"---
BTW, I also saw on Fox that Sen. Craig (R) of Idaho has put a hold on one of Bushs cabinet nominees until he gets his way and gets an AMNESTY amendment added to the Supplemental Afghanistan, Iraq and tsunami funding bill---
That is 4 four, cabinet nominees that Senators have put holds on, not counting Negroponte and Bolton---
Can anyone spell B A B I E S!!!!!
Me too. It was a letter from Ken Mehlman.
Yes, I saw portions of it. Those 2 idiots on the 9th Circus are mostly the reason why all their cases get reversed.
I'm sure the smear team is working overtime .. And yes, I did hear about the guy who now works for Hagel. I'm hoping Hagel will be fair about this .. but I know the dems are putting a lot of pressure on the weakest repubs. I guess we'll find out next week.
As for recess appointments they can be a two-edged sword. They are only good until the next session of Congress. A lot of people cannot pull up stakes from their current position and take a recess job for a year - with no prospect of being able to stay in the position. This was the reason that Bush has already lost a really good judge.
These dems are not only babies, they are really stupid. After Frist appears at the pro-family group - and the dems get overwhelmed with email, faxes and letters, they're going to find out this attitude is not a winning number .. and 2006 is looking better and better.
The worst part about Hagel is, Biden is his best friend--and I wouldn't put it past Biden to "threaten" Hagel somehow----
I know the drawbacks of the "recess appointments"---the trick would be to find enough of them that would make the sacrifice, in order to prove to the dems that if they are gonna play games, they will lose!!
Somehow, I have lost all faith in Frist to get anything done-I'm not even sure I would let him operate on me...he is just way to passive!!!
They're just trying to buy back some political capitol from the people. When all is said and done, we will be worse off than we are now.
Well .. please hang on a little longer .. Frist may surprise you yet .. we just have to stop comparing him to the "Hammer".
I'm reading these threads and I still don't understand. So it is needed 60 votes, and reps only have 55. But can the reps still do it?. I mean, even if the 60 votes are not reached, can President Bush still put whoever he wants?.
Asides from calling any and all Congress critters about this, are there any groups or movements which I can join to help stop the Democratic from blocking qualified judges from getting a vote?
That'll be the day.
Constitutionally only 51 votes are needed for Judicial appointments. The role of Congress is to advise and consent, no more. The Dems have decided to employ a quasi filibuster that necessitates 60 ayes before a vote can even be taken on the Senate floor for these judges. If a vote were allowed, they'd easily have the necessary 51 votes. In essence requiring a supermajority to bring a nominee to the floor where none is constitutionally required.
There is some side argument among scholars about whether the President even needs the Congress to vote to appoint a judge, but the central argument being conducted now centers on removing this supermajority impediment being exercised.
As it stands so long as the Dems remain obstructionists, his judges remain in limbo without a vote unless the rule is changed to 51 ayes to allow that vote.
The "Constitutional" option is simply to change the number needed to break a filibuster over judges to a simple majority. 51 Votes. If they did that, 51 ayes would allow a nominee to be voted on. From that point only 51 are needed to confirm the judge. Which they have.
There is doubt whether the Reps have 51 people brave enough to make this rule change.
IMO, whether they do or not doesn't matter. They should force the vote and have these senators commit to record where they stand on Judicial appointments. Several of these people are Senators that face difficult re-elections, and their constituents are very likely to respond the same way they did to daschle if they vote the wrong way on this issue.
Just getting this. You certainly have the gift of proclaiming the truth. Indeed we must stand firm.
Thanks for posting. This needed to be bumped.