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March 29, 2005

Senate doomsday clock

Doomsday_clock_1

Will the Schiavo debacle push the Republicans towards the nuclear option? Dwight considers the possibility in his latest Nuclear Option Status Report:

Since the social conservatives seem intent on blaming the failure to “save Terri” on judicial activism (defined, of course, as any judicial ruling with which they disagree), they are likely to turn up the heat on Bill Frist and Republican Senators to go nuclear to insure that the most socially conservative judicial nominees get confirmed.

But as Dwight points out, big business doesn't welcome the nuclear option:

R. Bruce Josten, top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said businesses feel a sense of urgency to enact as many pro-business laws as possible before a fight over judicial nominees or a Supreme Court opening brings legislative action to a "screeching halt." [WaPo]

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I'm hoping for a good old fashioned Mystery Play in which Greed snaps Sanctimony's neck.

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As many more astute people than me have been pointing out, there must be some reason for the overtly unconstitutional action taken by Congress at the beginning of last week. One possibility is simple political positioning, allowing Republicans in the... [Read More]

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As many more astute people than me have been pointing out, there must be some reason for the overtly unconstitutional action taken by Congress at the beginning of last week. One possibility is simple political positioning, allowing Republicans in the... [Read More]

Comments

well, it sounds as if they don't necessarily disagree with the designed end of the nuclear option--more conservative judges--but rather that the nuclear option may throw a wrench into the legislative process generally, which could hurt their chances to get even more lenient pro-business bills through.

When push comes to shove – we will get our judges – on the supreme court and on the appellate bench.
We hold all the cards, why do you think we feed business interests first –(in order to clear the docket for judicial confirmations)

“the president sets the direction of the courts” – U.S. Constitution

Bullworth, I agree. Big business would be delighted to have more pro-business judges. But they're likely to get those anyway. At this point, the Dems aren't going to filibuster a nominee for her environmental record or her views on consumer protection.

Dwight notes that a filibuster fight would affect bottom lines in the very short term. Big business would get some marginal long term benefits from abolishing the filibuster, but probably not enough to justify the upfront costs of the fight. They'd rather concentrate on passing bills that will actually make them money.

A recent article in Salon notes:

"All together, then, 22 federal judges have had a hand in bringing the Schiavo case to where it is today. Thirteen of them were appointed by Republicans; just nine were appointed by Democrats."

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2005/03/24/nominees/index.html

From what I can tell, only three of the 22 have made a ruling in favor of spending more time litigating the case.

Fitz, would you please provide the location in the US Constitution where you read that "the president sets the direction of the courts"? I haven't found it, and I don't believe it exists.

So if Frist does go nuclear, they will once again do something unpopular, and as an added bonus, the Dems get to bring the pro-business sploogefest to a halt?

my post from democracycellproject.net

Why do you think those who are willing to change the filibuster rules are calling it the "nuclear option"?

Could it be they fear that it will do irreparable harm to our democracy?
Could it be they fear that those who vote for it will be recognized as forever stained by the slime of fascism?
Could it be they fear that it is suicidal for a democratic country to legislate one party rule?
Could it be they fear that generations of Americans will suffer its consequences?
Could it be they fear that once enacted we will immediately regret that it has happened?
Could it be they fear that our standing as a beacon for democracy will be forever snuffed out?
Could it be they fear that we will have lost the cold war not by mutually assured destruction with the Soviet Union, but by our own hands?
Could it be they fear that once enacted, Americans will rise up and demand a change in their system of government and thereby oust those who perpetuated this crime on its citizens?

To all of those questions the answer is no. They are calling it the nuclear option because they don't give a damn about our country or millions of Americans who don't agree with them. And if it takes destroying the Constitution and all that it stands for, that is what has to be done. They are driven by moral compass that points straight to hell. It is barbarism. They think we will just swallow this like good little children should. So what if our rights are trampled and ignored. Americans can't let this stand!

Senator Bill Frist is sitting on his nuclear option. The filibuster is in danger. Right now, the future of the filibuster rests in the hands of a few Senators--and, of course, US.

Because after all, THEY WORK FOR US. So no matter who you voted for, or what your persuasions are--take the time to think about this issue. Really think. Do you want checks and balances? Do you want discussion of judgeships? Or are you thinking that it is a good thing to rush appointments to the Federal bench through without much discussion?

The Democracy Cell Project is inviting all other blogs to begin what we are pleased to introduce as the FILIBLOG.

RALLY THE FILIBLOGSTERS

We are calling out to all of you, become filiblogsters by contacting the Senate and let them know how you feel about using the nuclear option in the confirming of judges. If the filibuster is to survive, the time to filiblog is now. Phone, fax, and e-mail your concerns and comments.

www.senate.gov

Senator Bill Frist
509 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D. C. 20510
202-224-3344
202-228-1264 (fax)
In Nashville
615-352-9411
615-352-9985 (fax)

You can start with Senator Frist and keep the filiblog going by contacting your own senators: www.senate.gov

FILIBLOG TODAY TO SAVE THE FILIBUSTER!

Suppose the GOP gets the filibuster abolished. If the Democrats run a good campaign in 2006 then the Republicans will find themselves frantically trying to restore the filibuster the way they tried to repeal the 22nd Amendment in the late 1950s in order to allow Eisenhower to run for a third term. The three justices who are most likely to retire or die include one conservative, one liberal, and one moderate conservative. Further, unless the Democrats keep running losers like Gore and Kerry, they will have more years to benefit from greater majoritarianism. Therefore, Republicans should beware of what they wish for when they try to remove the filibuster.

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