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Daschle single handedly rewrites constitution! ^ | 1-1-02

Posted on 01/01/2002 6:08:58 PM PST by space-c

Daschle Invents 60-Vote Majority
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Headline News
Daschle Invents 60-Vote Majority
Jeff Johnson,
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2002
WASHINGTON – Senate plurality leader Tom Daschle says he will not back down from his demand that any legislation or nomination deemed "controversial" by Democrats receive the support of 60 senators before he will allow the Senate to vote.

"I don't refuse to allow votes. We're gonna have votes on a lot of these issues," claimed Daschle, D-S.D. "We're prepared to take up these issues, but a 60-vote majority is something that should be achieved in these cases."

Daschle made his comments Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." Republicans are criticizing the Democratic leader for imposing an artificial majority, not required by the U.S. Constitution or Senate rules. They also point out that he did, in fact, refuse to allow a vote on the economic stimulus package Dec. 20.

"We don't need obstructionists. We need to work together. We can have differences of opinion," said Senate Minority Whip Don Nickles, R-Okla., appearing on the same program. "With the Senate being so equally divided, it's important that one side not try to say, 'My way is the only way.'"

Daschle's Fantasy Constitution

Daschle says his demand of a 60-member majority before consideration of so-called "controversial" issues or nominees is linked to the U.S. Constitution.

"The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, chose to assure that there would be ample support for controversial measures before they passed," Daschle said.

But the Constitution does not require a 60-vote majority for any purpose. It requires only a simple majority for most bills and resolutions, and a two-thirds (67 vote) majority to impeach, override a presidential veto, or ratify an international treaty.

The Senate's Web site states, "Unless rules specify otherwise, the Senate may agree to any question (any matter on which the Senate is to vote, such as passage of a bill, adoption of an amendment, agreement to a motion, or an appeal) by a majority of Senators voting, if a quorum is present."

And the Senate rules appear to be exactly where Daschle is reaching to demand the support of 60 members before scheduling votes, but, again, only loosely.

Senate Rule XXII outlines the "Cloture Rule." Invoking cloture is the only procedure by which the Senate can place a time limit on debate to overcome a filibuster. Under the rule, consideration of a pending matter is limited to 30 additional hours following a three-fifths majority vote.

Blocking Reich and Scalia

But Nickles says Daschle is demanding the 60-vote majority on bills, such as the economic stimulus package, and nominations, such as those of Otto Reich and Eugene Scalia, prior to any filibuster taking place.

"The Democrats are saying: 'We'll filibuster that nomination. We'll give you a vote, but you're going to have to have 60 [votes],'" he explained.

President Bush nominated Reich to be assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs and Scalia to serve as solicitor for the Labor Department.

Scalia is the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who voted with the majority in ruling that President Bush had legally won the presidential election in Florida. Republicans believe Democrats are holding up the younger Scalia's nomination to punish his father. They say the Reich nomination is being stalled on similar ideological grounds, not because of questions about the qualifications or abilities of the nominee.

Nickles says Bush should use his recess appointment authority to place the men in the positions while the Senate is adjourned. The move would fill the positions, without Senate approval, until January 2003.

But It Was OK for Clinton to Make Recess Appointments

"I would discourage it, but I recognize that that's a president's prerogative," responded Daschle. "That isn't the way it ought to be addressed. The constitutional responsibility of the president and the Congress is to work together on these nominees."

Nickles says Republicans have tried.

"We did work together. We worked together in a bipartisan fashion that we've never seen before," he added. But "the last three or four weeks of the session became very partisan. And that was unfortunate. So we didn't get things done."

President Bush said Friday that he would consider recess appointments "at the appropriate time."

"I'm disappointed that a lot of my appointments were stalled in the United States Senate, weren't given a hearing," he added. "I'll take a good, hard look at all the options available to me."

Bush has until the Senate reconvenes Jan. 23 to make those appointments without the Senate's approval.


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OK so since when do Senators get to arbitrarily pick out a number between 51 and 100 and basically choke your right to representation with it.
1 posted on 01/01/2002 6:08:58 PM PST by space-c (
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To: space-c
Since when? Since Clinton was (is still?) in office.....
2 posted on 01/01/2002 6:13:41 PM PST by Bradís Gramma
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To: space-c
The R's need to grow a pair and force these fillibusters to take place. That way we can see the Dems BEING obstructionist instead of hearing the charge from R's. Much more effective for TV coverage.

Hope they start soon. Don't they have a parlimentarian among them. Maybe they should hire Newt to consult, I'm sure he could bone up on the Senate rules and be an expert in no time. He took this crap on when he was minority leader, as it infuriated him, and changed a lot of it when he had the chance as Speaker.

3 posted on 01/01/2002 6:14:40 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: space-c
This makes it look like Daschle no longer has a working majority on key issues. I suppose he's trying to avoid relying on filibusters, which would really look bad considering he is the majority leader.

Surely the Republicans could counter this by listing many important bills that have been passed in the past with less than 60 votes.

4 posted on 01/01/2002 6:22:07 PM PST by AzJohn
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To: space-c
The Republicrats have effectively ended any right we (the people) have to fair representation and our Constitutional rights.

To paraphrase Steve Martin, 'die you scum sucking globalist pigs...'

5 posted on 01/01/2002 6:22:23 PM PST by UnBlinkingEye
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To: space-c
This article really makes me want to telephone Daschle's office and tell him to "keep on keepin' on, for the Republicans are going to nail you guys in 2002". I do believe Americans are in no mood for this partisan B.S., and his tactics are, when all is said and done, a shot on the foot for dems.

Here's another thread related to my *rant*, Re-Taking the Senate: Hugh Hewitt has a plan for Republican victory in 2002.

6 posted on 01/01/2002 6:23:26 PM PST by calypgin
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To: space-c
I'm not sure this belongs in Breaking News but, whether it belongs or not, PLEASE don't change the title of an article when you post.
7 posted on 01/01/2002 6:25:34 PM PST by Jean S
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To: calypgin; all
Thanks for posting the link to Hugh's plan...everyone, go read that one!!!
8 posted on 01/01/2002 6:26:52 PM PST by Bradís Gramma
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Brad's Gramma

Just doing my part on *emailing ten friends*... I think it's a sound plan, as modified by freepers. (o:

11 posted on 01/01/2002 6:37:31 PM PST by calypgin
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To: JeanS
Whoops, sorry about that, first post, :). It would have been the title I would have given it anyway :).
12 posted on 01/01/2002 6:37:34 PM PST by space-c
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To: space-c
13 posted on 01/01/2002 6:37:36 PM PST by TaRaRaBoomDeAyGoreLostToday!
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To: space-c
Here's an article that really nails the Dems in the chops:

Courting Trouble


Wednesday, May 09, 2001, at A17

In making his first judicial nominations this week, President Bush is following the advice of his harshest left-wing critics. Writing in the July 16, 1999, San Francisco Chronicle, Nan Aron of the leftist Alliance for Justice insisted that the president "has a duty to fill judicial vacancies and appoint jurists who share his views." Mr. Bush is doing just that.

Ms. Aron, her leftist friends and Senate Democrat allies will no doubt spin some yarn about how that advice applies only to Democrat presidents nominating activist judges. As the judicial selection process normally gets under way, those folks are indeed doing a whole lot of squirming and shape-shifting. Here are some recent examples.

For the second time since June 1994, judicial vacancies are in the triple digits. Democrats and their leftist allies once decried far lower vacancy levels. In March 1998, Sen Dick Durbin called 84 vacancies "a nationwide crisis" and in August 1999, President Clinton called 65 vacancies "a mounting vacancy crisis." Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said in March 2000 that 75 vacancies was "a dire shortage" of judges.

In September 1995, the Alliance for Justice´s legislative counsel said in an Insight magazine interview that with just 52 vacancies the judicial system could barely function. Total vacancies are nearly 100 percent higher today.

And Ms. Aron herself, according to the October 1998 ABA Journal, was urging the Senate to "confirm more judges" when there were just 69 vacancies. Last July, Sen. Patrick Leahy said that 21 appeals court vacancies meant the judiciary´s "ability to administer justice for the American people is being hurt." Appeals court vacancies are 50 percent higher today.

Mr. Bush´s opponents have changed their tune on other issues. Senate Democrats are trying to extort an absolute veto by individual senators to nominations in their states. Such an extreme partisan policy has not existed for decades, changed by none other than Sen. Ted Kennedy when he chaired the Judiciary Committee and followed by Sen. Joseph Biden during the 1980s. In a letter to President George Bush dated June 6, 1989, Mr. Biden wrote that opposition by a home state senator "will not preclude consideration of that nominee unless the administration has not consulted with both home state senators prior to submitting the nomination to the Senate." In October 1993

Mr. Biden repeated in a Senate floor speech that consultation "does not allow for, even on a judicial nominee, for a single senator to have a veto power." These clear words have now become politically inconvenient, so they are changing the definitions. Under President Clinton, "consult" did not mean a veto; under President Bush, it does.

Here´s another about-face. Back in 1999, some Senate Republicans tried to block all Clinton judicial nominees because the president abused his authority to make so-called recess appointments. Democrats objected, Roll Call quoting Mr. Leahy saying in January 2000 that "The target here may be the president, but the hostage is the criminal and civil justice system."

Under Mr. Clinton, blocking judicial nominees even over a fundamental constitutional principle was wrong; under President Bush, blocking them even over a partisan perk is fine.

Another Democrat about-face is on using ideological litmus tests to reject nominees failing to pledge they will rule correctly on certain issues. On July 10, 1997, Mr. Leahy said he, "would like to believe that . . . no senator is imposing an ideological litmus test on judicial nominations." On March 1, 1998, he said: "Partisan and narrow ideological efforts to impose political litmus tests on judicial nominees and to shut down the judiciary must stop." And on Oct. 14, 1999, he said, "you cannot have a small clique decide they want to know exactly how judges are going to rule before they go on the bench, or they´re not going to confirm them."

The Lawyers´ Committee for Civil Rights warned in September 1997 that ideological litmus tests "threaten the vital independence of the judiciary and politicize the process for nominating and confirming federal judges."

And the Brennan Center for Justice agreed in an October 1999 report that litmus tests are "a selection method that undermines the independence of our third branch of government." Yet Democrats used the litmus test on Attorney General John Ashcroft and, following his confirmation, pledged to use it even more aggressively on judicial nominees.

So let´s recap here. When Democrats ran the Senate, they denied home state senators a veto on nominations; with Republicans in charge, they demand the veto. When vacancies were lower under a Democrat president, Senate Democrats and left-wing groups urged faster confirmations; with higher vacancies under a Republican president, they want slower confirmations. With a fundamental constitutional principle at stake, they said blocking judicial nominees threatened the legal system; with a partisan perk at hand, they vow to stop everything. As long as a Democrat was nominating judges, litmus tests were taboo; with a Republican president sending up nominees, they are standard operating procedure.

Senate Democrats and their leftist allies will pursue the very course they once condemned, best described in the Alliance for Justice´s 2000 annual report (the names have been changed to protect the hypocritical): " intransigence and continued attempts to prevent the administration from filling the federal judicial vacancies left many courts with serious case backlogs and frustrated President ´s goal of leaving behind a fully staffed judiciary."

President Bush is following the advice of his left-wing critics; perhaps they should practice what they preach.

Thomas L. Jipping, J.D., is director of the Free Congress Foundation´s Judicial Selection Monitoring Project.

14 posted on 01/01/2002 6:39:32 PM PST by Henchster
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To: space-c
Dasshole is determined to play politics with the business of the people.
15 posted on 01/01/2002 6:40:38 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants
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To: space-c
Daschle's just showing his true colors!!!!
16 posted on 01/01/2002 6:41:25 PM PST by Defender2
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To: space-c
I wonder if Dubya has the balls to follow through and get tough. I doubt it.
17 posted on 01/01/2002 6:46:20 PM PST by rwfromkansas
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To: space-c
Article 1 section 5 of the U.S Constitution allows the Senate to set it’s own rules for proceeding. The Sixty-vote rule to overcome a filibuster has been a fixture of the Senate as long as I can remember. It has been customary for the Majority leader to refrain from bring up bills that have no chance of overcoming a filibuster. Why waste time to debate a bill that will never reach a vote? There are rules for forcing the Majority leaders hand but what Dashle is doing is no different than what all Majority leaders do.
18 posted on 01/01/2002 6:46:48 PM PST by Free the USA
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: space-c
If the Midget Dashole wants a fillibuster ... FINE .. BRING IT ON ..

I myself would like to know EXACTLY who is against working for the people .. I want it on the books for ALL to see what kind of slim buckets these LOSERS really are

Gee they sure didn't seem to have a problem in Voting themself a payraise ..

20 posted on 01/01/2002 6:56:34 PM PST by Mo1
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