Skip to comments.7 GOP Senators Key in Filibuster Fight
Posted on 05/14/2005 1:57:34 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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"Unless Frist is a total dummy,"
That is what we are trying to determine.
I hear you on that sentiment, but it rubs me the wrong way. The Senate has a Constitutional advice and consent rule for the president's Supreme Court nominees. For lesser judical offices, the Congress can legislate that the President appoint the officers directly. Point being, the Constitution doesn't demand a "hands on" role for the Senate for Circuit or District Court judges. The Senate is sticking its hands into the President's business much farther than it is empowered to.
I don't mind the Senate holding an advice and consent role for Cirucuit and District Court judges, but by golly, I think they have a duty to vote.
Could the Senate refuse to vote up or down on a treaty? Could it refuse to conduct an impeachment trial? The Constitution doesn't, after all, recite a duty to do either of those. It give the Senate the power. The only reasonable read is that where the power impacts other branches, with the power comes a duty to exercise it.
"How come the Democrats have zero trouble mustering monolithic support from their caucus when the chips are down, and those very same moments are the times when the GOP caucus goes to pieces?"
Something to do with Communism, which the Democratic party has segued into.
"There ought to be three Republicans in those states announcing a run for those seats. JUST a mere announcement(even if years away). Then the President should visit each of those states and merely have lunch with them and leave the state without even waving "HI" to the current RINOS. That might send a message."
If we had a President who would do that, we wouldn't be in this predicament.
Thought she was running with Gingrich...
We have retained the president's power to nominate AND to get an up or down vote. The advice of the Senate with the "half-filibuster option" would be that he think real hard on this one and then bring it back again if he's determined.
It preserves the vaunted "minority voice" AND it gives cover to Rino senators.
"Lieberman won't break ranks with the Dems. They have his FBI file and know where all his campaign money comes from."
Thye have each Senator's FBI file, don't they?
maybe a threesome!
that might be dangerous to the GOPs hopes.
Another pick hitlery might make for her VEEP is Obama. that would fire-up the leftist base even more, and his "charisma" might carry some "independent" sheeple.
You are dead wrong about Specter. Here is an email I circulated during the battle to deny Specter theJudidiary Chair:
In the Book, Passion for Truth, By Senator Arlen Specter with Charles Robbins (William Morrow, 2000) Specter explains the key to his thinking about the Supreme Court. (All page numbers cited in this article refer to this book.) Specter states that (p. 331-2) Borks theory essentially held that judges should not make law but should merely follow what was originally intended. In pure philosophical terms, Borks view that the Constitution should be interpreted as it was originally intended appeared to make sense, at least superficially. But the Constitution has turned out to be much more dynamic than that: a living, growing document, responsive to the needs of the nation.
Borks narrow approach is dangerous for constitutional government in America. Without adherence to original intent, Bork said, there was no legitimacy for judicial decisions.
The Constitution has indeed been a living, growing document, responsive to the needs of the nation. Not in the childish manner that Specter conceives, as an excuse for the Supreme Court to invent any law it wants to, but as the founders intended, via the lawful amendment process set forth in the Constitution itself.
A few pages later (p. 334), Specter gets near to the heart of how Liberals like himself want to use the Supreme Court to transform America. I was troubled by Borks writing and testimony that expanding rights to minorities reduced the rights of majorities. By that thinking, giving a criminal defendant Miranda warnings deprives the police of a confession, which might put a criminal back on the street to harm the majority. While perhaps arithmetically sound, it seemed morally wrong. The [law abiding] majority in a democracy can take care of itself, while individuals and minorities often cannot [referring in the case of Miranda to the minority of people in America that are criminals].
This is about as coherent as can be expected for an argument that supports Liberalism and the Left Wing agenda. However, the notion that it is within the realm of Republican Party thinking is absurd.
Finally, Specter comes to the crux of the matter (p. 337). The story of America is the story of decency and fairness, with the Supreme Court as the guarantor. Robert Bork displayed little grasp of that. After Brown v. Board of Education, nobody could argue in favor of segregated schools. But you dont get to Brown via original intent. You get there via evolving notions of decency and fairness.
Evolving notions of decency and fairness have indeed been central to American history. The Democrat canard is that the origin of these notions has been Supreme Court actions. Brown v. Board of Education (or any other Supreme Court action) was not the start of the movement away from segregation in the United States in the 1950s. While a book could be written on this subject, one example will suffice, from the website, The Beginnings of a New Era for African-Americans in the Armed Forces http://korea50.army.mil/history/factsheets/afroamer.shtml.
Changes in the United States, the growth of black political power and the U.S. Defense Departments realization that African Americans were being underutilized because of racial prejudice led to new opportunities for African-Americans serving in the Korean War. In October 1951, the all-black 24th Infantry Regiment, a unit established in 1869, which had served during the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the beginning of the Korean War, was disbanded, essentially ending segregation in the U.S. Army.
The Korean War ended in 1953. Brown v. Board of Education was 1954. The Supreme Court did not start American societys impulse away from segregation; it was not the motive force behind the trend toward decency and fairness in American life.
Nor has it, over the sweep of history, been so. The Supreme Court did not help, but rather hindered, the freeing of slaves in the U.S. In March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that all blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The court also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, thus permitting slavery in all of the country's territories. (This from Dred Scott Case: the Supreme Court Decision, at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h2933.html.) The Supreme Court, in this instance, played a retrograde role. Four years later (1861), the nation began a bloody Civil War that ultimately ended slavery in the U.S. This was done via the 13th Amendment, without the aid of the Supreme Court. Nor did the Supreme Court help women get the vote in America. This was done via the 19th Amendment. Hence it was the legislatures of the United States, both State and Federal, that gave women the right to vote and freed the slaves---legislatures that Specter finds inadequate. He would sweep aside the legislatures, and the rest of the framework of the Constitution, traded for an all-powerful Supreme Court held in check by nothing but its conscience.
Specter, with his background as a lawyer, has promoted himself as something of an expert in this area. Here is an example of his reasoning. Ultimately (p. 339) my view was that original intent cannot guide constitutional law very much. I suggested another standard, quoting Frankfurter, whom Bork had characterized as one of the stars of the Supreme Court. Frankfurter had quoted Cardozo on fundamental values and used the phrase tradition and conscience in his opinion in Rochin v. California, in which the Supreme Court suppressed evidence pumped from the defendants stomach. Again, the story of America and constitutional law is the story of decency. Original intent and legislative talent [the legislature itself], I told Bork, only take you so far, and beyond that you can rely on Cardozo or Frankfurter to effectuate the values and the tradition of the people without being able to pull out a specific constitutional right.
Dont misunderstand me, as a representative of the say anything to reach the Leftist agenda Left, Specter is an effective representative and I understand why Democrats in Pennsylvania consistently vote for him and why the Democratic leadership nationwide supports him. I just do not buy the idea that a person who votes for him to Chair the Judiciary Committee can call himself a Republican.
Nelson might vote with the GOP if his vote is needed to make the rule change. If he doesn't he would have a hard time winning relection in a very red Nebraska. If Frist has the votes, than Nelson will likely vote no and then vote for all of Bush's judges on the floor.
IMO, people have these fixed perceptions of Spectre and Republicans in general that they cannot admit may be inaccurate at least insofar as current actions would define.
Spectre does not want to take this vote. No secret he wishes there were another option. It is predictable he'd support anyone tying another path that prevented him having to go on record with this vote. He is remembered for his vote on Bork. He did make comments following election that were incredibly petty and just plain stupid.
Since then what has Spectre done that is really so awful? McCain has stated he will vote against. Voinovich betrays his collegues without even giving them notice over Bolton. Hagel continues to hem and haw and play the second coming of John McCain.
What was Spectre done? Despite his distaste for this aspect of the job, he has brought these nominees one by one out of committee. He has controlled that committe in a way Lugar failed to do a couple of weeks ago. He has made a case that the filibuster is unprincipled more strongly than some that are fully onboard.
Spectre owes the President and, imo, of greater significance if the debt he owes Santorum. Maybe I'm too naive but I suspect Spectre is the type of man that pays his debts. Santorum helped him narrowly win that Penn primary. For santorum to stand a fighting chance, his promise that Spectre was essential to this specific fight needs to be proved true. To repay Santorum, Spectre needs to help him win re-election. That is dependant on this vote. I'm leaning towards Spectre being onboard because he will honor that debt.
Murkowski wants to be a Maverick loved by the MSM, but while I would keep an eye on her, I don't believe this is the battle she will try to make a name for herself on. She knows she barely won election thanks to Bush. Bush on the other hand handily won Alaska. Despite her comments, her constituents would not respect her voting no.
Instead of people whining and espousing the same tired rhetoric (not you) I'd much prefer to see everyone on this board spend their time productively in the weekend leading to the vote by contacting every Senator. Multiple times. Stop griping and take action.
The battle begins officially next week.
Frist is committed to up and down votes.
McConnell (who is NOT a liar) has stated he has the necessary votes.
This means the ONLY thing that can prevent victory is a Senator that has promised their vote changing their mind. The enemy is not Frist, Bush, etc. We know where they stand. It's a waste of time to attack those in our camp. Concentrate on those that may think they can survive the backlash of turning against the Party. make them aware they will NOT be forgiven a betrayal on this critical issue.
if it comes down to one vote, don't be surprised to see Ben Nelson D-NE vote with Bush. He might even switch parties over this issue.
you watch, the clintons will pull out their fbi files, and out of fear of being outed, one will turn coat.
good post. We really need to flood DC with emails and calls this week, especially to Snowe, Collins, Chafee, Warner, Specter, Hagel, McCain.
Specter...Specter...Sphincter...Specter...the name sounds familiar...
Could it be the same liberal Arlen Specter Dubya Bush campaigned for during a hotly contested senatorial race against conservative Pat Toomey who lost by a measley 1.5%?
I hear that, I just think in the long run, it concedes too much to the Senate. The Senate can make him think hard by rejecting the nominee. I don't want a minority of Senators standing in the way of the power granted to the President under the Constitution. If a minority of Senators has the power to block one or five or twenty nominees, then that same power can be used to impose a supermajority requirement on all of them, with the only balance being the political fallout.
I know this issue has been growing to a head for some years. Maybe a Constitutionally principled solution won't be accepted in practice. And I agree that saving face is a powerful motivator. But some of these folks are dug in real hard, and somebody is going to lose some amount of face, even if the "nuclear option" isn't triggered by an objection to vote on a nominee.
As for the vaunted minority voice, it can exercise itself in the field of legislation. That is the province of Congress. They can exercise in the entire field of Article I, and it is a big field indeed. "How much land does a man need," I ask, "How much land does a man need?"
However, I'm not speaking of a gentleman's agreement. I'm still talking about changing the rules, and doing so through the use of heavy artillery. I think you understand this.
There would be no way to block 1, 5, or 20 of the president's nominees indefinitely IF the president were really determined to see them through. In some ways, it would be a way for the president to save face if something embarrassing did come up.
Also, though, it would make end of presidential term nominations subject to the stall. Any rejections would have to take place prior to the end of approximately his 3rd year.
Sununu should not be on the list. He said on "Capital Gang" tonight that he wants up-or-down votes on judicial nominees. He will support the rules change.
But those other six are about as reliable as one-legged clothespins!
Don't you think that Ben Nelson would gamble on the point that the voters of NE cannot understand this issue -- too complicated for most people. Plus the GOP may be very unpopular in NE in 2006, like in 1974.
Yes and even if you see that a quorum is present, you have to account for every single Senator. Even if 99 are there, any Senator can ask for a quorum and even if a quorum is present you still have to go get the last one. Harry Reid can do it all day without even actually filibustering anything.
Murkowski was up for election in 04 against Tony Knowles. I believe and she did have a primary opponent.
Bush and Frist and Nelson's nominee can make it very clear to Nebraska if they want too. This will be a costly vote for Dems in red states if they vote against it because the conservative wrath will be high. If the GOP wins the vote, then Nelson will get a pass for voting with the Dems. This is why I wouldn't be surprised to see Nelson be the 50th vote if it came to it, ie he could lose his seat over this.
Just ask Tom Daschle.
her primary oponenet was a conservative State Senator, forget his name. But she was an incumbent so he had an uphill battle.
" The Democratic Senator that will break ranks is Lieberman."
The payback for that will be dropping Groton from the Base closure list!
The fact that these three may ulimately vote the "right way" after weeks of being wobbily and hestitating does not change the fact their indecision caused this obstruction to drag on in the first place, nor does it change the fact they may vote the "wrong way" in the near future over SCOTUS appointments and so on. Sununu's daddy, for instance, gave us Souter. We're STILL paying for that one.
>> Specter has done fine in his capacity as Judiciary Chair. He may stab the party in the back down the road -- but getting unconditional up-or-down votes for all nominees post-committee is imperative, and he seems to be (reluctantly) with us. Plus, he has made some good arguments on the Senate floor against Reid's insulting compromises, and has noted many of the Dems arguments refute each other. <<
Specter is back to his old Bork/Thomas mode where he gains conservatives trust by "fighting" for our side long enough to gain seniority and power, then stabbing the party in the back over the next battle. I have no doubt he'll "fight" for us too if they're an appointment to repalce Rehnquist with another conservative. Once some pro-abortion judge "retires" though, Snarlin' will come with some excuse like "this nominee is insenstive to civil rights" to BORK any pro-life nominee. Mark my words.
Specter HAD a great conservative primary opponent, but again, the "only RINOs can win" wing of the party ranted and raved that we HAD to vote for Specter or the "Democrats would control the Senate". Even going by their doomsday scenario where Toomey the Senate race to a Dem, the Senate would be in solid GOP hands today and the judiciary committee would be run by a great conservative Republican. Their scare tacits have proven to have NO basis in reality.
>> Murkowski got to her stature due to her APPOINTMENT by her governor father. It's not as if she ran in an open primary, she was the incumbant (albeit unelected). I don't thing GOP party mechanics can be blamed. <<
Murkowski HAD a conservative challenger in the primary but the "only RINOs can win" wing of party shoved her down our throat and INSISTED a less-qualified, less-reliable Republican appointed by daddy was the "only" candidate who could "win" (in Alaska where over 2/3rds of the state is rock-solid Republican for crying out loud?!) As it was she did a horrible job in the debates with Knowles and only squeaked through BECAUSE of the judge issue that she is now waiving on. We'd be MUCH better with an nominee who won his own right and didn't get the job due to daddy's intervention. America is not a monoracy but the RINO wing of the party insisted we rubber stamp the "heir apprent" to the seat.
>> Finally, the "real conservative" Sununu primaried in '02 supported Kerry for president in '04. I'd be curious to know if you were aware of that. <<
Sununu is a lukewarm conservative. The fact Bob Smith endorsed Kerry out of spite does not change the fact that Smith had a more conservative voting record that Palestiaian-sympatherizer Sununu. National Journey said he voted more conservative than Jesse Helms. And the fact the now RINO luvin' NH voted for Kerry (and well as a RAT for governor who was NOT endorsed by Smith!) says more about how they're getting more and more liberal in their voting habits precisely because of Sununu, not Smith. NH has voted further and further leftward ever since Sununu won that primary.
Chuck Hagel also had a MORE CONSERVATIVE primary opponent, but there was absolutely no reason not to select him, since Nebraska is one of the most ultra-Republican states in the coutnry where winning the primary is almost guranteed to result in winning the general election. But again the pro-RINO "wing" of the party promoted Hagel over Nebraska A.G. Don Stenberg. Hopefully that mistake will now be corrected if Sternberg is nominated to take out Ben Nelson, but the damage has already been done with Hagel.
John Warner was NOT the choice of party primary voters, he LOST to a MORE CONSERVATIVE candidate who unforunately died in a plane crash before the general election. Guess who the "powers that be" in the party tapped to replace him? Why, "moderate" John Warner the 2nd place finalist in the primary. Hmmm.
Susan Collins , another one of those "electable" moderates, finished a pathetic THIRD place in the 1994 general election for Governor. Naturally the RINO-luvin' wing of the party tapped her U.S. Senate for her "comeback" and promoted her as the "only woman" in a primary with two male conservative candidates.
Mike DeWine , George Voinvoich's little moderate mini-me, was also touted by the powers that be in heavily Republican Ohio, where Republicans hold about 90% of the statewide offices. Another candidate could have won, but the powers that be cleared the field for DeWine.
Let's face it, we're in this gridlock sitution where the Dems slap the majority party around because the "only RINOs can win" establishment wing of the party backed inferior candidates in Alaska, Ohio, Nebraska, Virgina, and other staunch conservative areas. More conservative candidates that would have represented the Republican rank-and-file better were rejected in favor of wishy-washy RINOs.
"Collins "believes that the filibuster has been overused but would like to see the situation resolved through negotiation rather than a rule change," her office said yesterday."
Then have her offer up the agreement. She knows the dems won't accept anything. She is an oportunist liar!
No, he most certainly did not. He frequently sided with the enviro-whackos. His endorsement of Kerry was what finally woke people up to the fact he was NOT committed to conservatism.
I contacted Mike Dewine a few weeks ago on this issue. I have an e-mail from him assuring us of his support for a simple 51 vote majority for judicial nominees.
I have no reason to believe he has changed his mind.
Maine has just lost the Kittery Shipyard, most of Brunswick NAS, and what is left of Limestone in the cuts.... Olympia and Susan! Wake up!
"Frist, R-Tenn., has 45 of the Senate's 55 Republicans on his side. "
If I had my way on this, those Rhinos considering themselves too high minded to vote with their party would see their populace driving on gravel roads sometime soon after the Pres. cuts off their highway funding. Play the game the same way the Dims play it!
funny to see Maine getting hit hard with the base closings. perhaps Collins and Snowe will change their mind!
IMO, Arlen will vote with us.
" He's not a man of principle,"
You've got him wrong. The Judiciary Chair is a means to an end. His sole goal, I believe, is to block any Bork-like judge from being appointed.
Its what all the Dems want.
If the Repubs can get a Supreme Court that supports the Constitution, the whole Leftie/Dem project is at risk. Nothing is more important to them, I feel. And I think their priorities (assuming that their goal is to destroy America) are correct. This is the central issue. Specter is a soldier of the Left.
During the Smith-Sununu primary, I could easily name over a DOZEN issues where Sununu voted the "wrong" way, whereas the ENTIRE "Smith is a an envirowacko charge" came solely because he voted the "wrong" way on ONE issue, namely, ANWR drilling in Alaska. If you can come up with ANY other issue where Smith VOTED the wrong way, feel free to tell me, since the Sununu fan club was unable to do so in the primary.
Incidentially, the same crowd ranting and raving about Smith stabbing Bush in the back will demand we vote for Linc Chaffee (who also, much more vocally, refused to endorse Bush for re-election). Their hypocracy knows no bounds. Sort of like how they say it's terrible for Tancredo to "backstab" Republicans in Congress by suggesting Delay temporarily step aside, but when Arnold runs denouncing Republican leaders for impeaching Clinton or calling people "right-wing crazies" for trying to pass racial privacy laws, that's their idea of "loyality"
Baloney. Try factual arguments, please.
I see Snow, Collins, and Specter as lost causes. The best the GOP can do is a 50-50 tie.
""All 44 Senate Democrats, joined by independent Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont and three Republicans, have said they oppose curtailing a Senate minority's ability to block the president's judicial nominees with just 41 votes in the 100-member Senate." "
Lieberman will break ranks with the Democrats. Look also to the last southern state senators to break ranks.
Thanks... Man where have I been?!
You are right. And they have been for quite some time now.
I left the GOP years ago after a life full of voting, campaigning, and contributing for them.
I have continued voting for them as their candidates have been the only viable alternatives to Democrats.
The next step is to simply drop out of the system all together. I shudder to think that I would do so, but why vote for them if they, together with the Democrats, continue to use the Constitution as toilet paper.
This "test" will certainly be a signal as to whether the Republic will survive or not. In my humble opinion.
Most notably when he scuttled Ollie North's senate race, along with the help of the Gipper's wife.
Why? All the RINOs that Bush supported are stabbing him in the back. It is not like we didn't know where Spincter stood, but we gave him the Judiciary chair anyway.
The only reason the leader don't move for a little payback, is he could lose enough votes to be replaced.
Now, now, nothing to be gained bringing up the past. Besides that there was a lot of support on this forum for these guys.</sarcasm>
All you need to know about Lisa is, she is a fan of Pastor Barry Lynn and People for the American Way.( An Anti-Christian Anti-American organization if there ever was one)