GOP goes on offensive on judges

Discussion in 'Politics' started by 5stringJeff, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    It's about time someone started forcing the Democrats to mount a 24/7 filibuster. I think it's outrageous that Dems refuse to allow these judges to sit - when Clinton's judicial nominees were almost rubber-stamped.

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    October 27, 2003

    BY ROBERT NOVAK

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, frustrated by the audacious campaign of Democrats blocking judicial confirmations, begins a counteroffensive this week. He will start by returning to one of President Bush's nominees generally given up for dead. The effort will accelerate throughout this congressional session into mid-November, with one roll-call vote after another.

    None of this may confirm any of the federal appellate court nominees marked for defeat by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Democratic grandmaster, because they are deemed too conservative. This effort is intended to ''refocus'' (the word used by GOP strategists) on the unprecedented filibuster campaign to prevent a sitting president from selecting his own judiciary. The refocused struggle would peak early in the 2004 election year with a frontal assault on filibuster rules. Although no justice seems ready to leave the Supreme Court of his own volition this year, control of the highest court is ultimately at stake.

    The GOP base, needed intact to re-elect George W. Bush, is angry -- angry with Kennedy's Democrats for blocking the judges, angry with Frist's Republicans for not trying harder. That could cost Bush's re-election if nothing is done.

    Many GOP senators, mirroring their business supporters, would like to concede Kennedy's triumph on judges and get on with their own agenda. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who as Judiciary Committee chairman manages this issue for the Republicans, has been passive. He has not aggressively demanded floor time to debate judges after the Senate refused seven times to invoke cloture on Miguel Estrada's now-withdrawn nomination for the important District of Columbia Circuit.

    But rank-and-file Republicans care deeply. The president on the road mentions the failure to confirm judges in nearly every speech, and it evokes more applause than anything else. Republicans are sensitive to complaints that Frist is too timid to wage a 24-7 strategy to let Democrats talk themselves to death.

    Now, Frist is about to mount a campaign in three phases, lasting through what's left of this year's session.

    Phase One: Start this week with a cloture vote on the nomination of U.S. District Judge Charles Pickering Sr. of Mississippi for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans. Pickering, bottled up in the Judiciary Committee during the 2001-02 Democratic interregnum, has just been sent to the Senate floor.

    Phase Two: Next, order a cloture vote for the second time on Alabama State Attorney General William Pryor for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. Claims by opponents that Pryor's ''deeply held beliefs'' taint him for the court have produced accusations of anti-Catholicism.

    Phase Three: Vote on three female nominees. Attempts to get cloture on Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen's nomination for the 5th Circuit have failed three times. California Superior Court Judge Carolyn Kuhl's two-year-old nomination for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco is coming to the Senate floor for the first time. Just released by the Judiciary Committee and already threatened with a filibuster is California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown, an African American.

    Failure to reach 60 votes for cloture on each of these women is scheduled to be followed by consideration of the bill co-sponsored by Frist and conservative Democratic Sen. Zell Miller of Georgia. That measure would reduce the number of votes needed to end filibusters on nominations. That, too, will be filibustered.

    All this refocusing is intended to set the scene for a bitter battle in next year's session of Congress. At that time, an effort may be made to rule out of order a filibuster against judicial nominations -- the ''so-called'' nuclear solution. This would require only 51 votes, but Frist does not even have that many today because of reluctance to tamper with the traditions of the Senate.

    Whether or not Frist's offensive eventually places any of these well-qualified judges on the bench, it will sound a stentorian refusal to surrender. That means a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate have not acquiesced in letting Ted Kennedy determine the membership of the federal judiciary. The battle resumes today.
     
  2. dijetlo
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    dijetlo Guest

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    >>when Clinton's judicial nominees were almost rubber-stamped.<<
    Do you have a source? What was the percentage of Clinton nominees approved after the republicans took control of the Senate?

    >>Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist<<
    >>Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, the Democratic grandmaster<<
    Hmm...the senate has a Democratic Grandmaster, and it's Edward Kennedy (who'd of guessed? Is he a servant of the darklords!?!?).
    :cof:
    >>That measure would reduce the number of votes needed to end filibusters on nominations. <<
    Eight paragraphs into the story he mentions that it would require a change in the rules governing the Senate, for the Republicans to get their way. 200 years of history, we've allways been able to work this little problem out but the current pack of egomaniacs (repubs and dems alike) can't seem to play nice with each.
    He never actually says " changing the rules governing the congress" . That's kind of a key peice of information for anyone who might be trying to make up their mind about this issue.

    I'm sticking this one in cause it is funny...
    >>That means a Republican president and a Republican-controlled Senate have not acquiesced in letting Ted Kennedy determine the membership of the federal judiciary<<
    Is he trying to make you feel sorry for the republicans against the mighty Ted Kennedy. News Flash, Ted Kennedy can't dictate squat, he's a senator, the president "dictates" the judiciary, he must get the consent of the senate. The Senate it takes 2/3rds vote to overcome a philibuster. It isn't a bad idea with deeper ramifications than the judiciary. In the checks and balance of our government it is the mechanism by which a minority party forces debate on issues. Changing the 2/3rds requirement insures that the majority party can pass legislation without debate..

    Now ask yourself, is that really a good ide a in a nation so evenly divided?
    >>BY ROBERT NOVAK <<
    There is a reason "white house officials" called this...journalist... to pass the identity of the CIA agent.
     
  3. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    That's an assumption.
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    373 appointed, 1 rejected:
    http://www.eagleforum.org/court_watch/charts/clinton-appts.shtml


    First, the Senate requires 60 votes to end a filibuster. Secondly, that's a Senate rule, not a constitutional mandate or even a law. And there will still be plenty of debate - I can't imagine that Sen. Leahy (D-VT) would let anyone pass through the Judiciary Committee without trying to smear him.
    As far as Ted Kennedy, or any other Democratic senator - the reason that this is such a big deal is that 40 senators can effectively veto a President's choice for a federal judge - as happened to Miguel Estrada. The Senate is supposed to "advise" the President on judiciary nominations, not dictate them, as is currently happening.
    I think that the first thing they should do is force the Dems to stage a 24/7, drawn out filibuster. Only after that fails should Frist and the GOP look to change the Senate rules.
     
  5. dijetlo
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    Mtn Biker:
    RE: Novak
    >>That's an assumption.<<
    No he admits in his column Novaks Column
    >> Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. <<
    In searching around to rebut your assumption argument, I came across this information from Newsweek
    >> One was NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell. She told NEWSWEEK that she said to Wilson: "I heard in the White House that people were touting the Novak column and that that was the real story." The next day Wilson got a call from Chris Matthews, host of the MSNBC show "Hardball." According to a source close to Wilson, Matthews said, "I just got off the phone with Karl Rove, who said your wife was fair game." (Matthews told NEWSWEEK: "I'm not going to talk about off-the-record conversations.")<<. Mitchell and Mathhews are respected journalists, the Matthews quote is especially telling, he doesn't deny Rove said this too him, or he even said it to Wilson.
    It's a lot of things, but it isn't an assumption
     
  6. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    You where implying that White House personal purposefully called Novak to leak the name.
    Novak has said the comment on the name was in passing and they did not call him. That is what I saw on Meet the Press interview with Russert and Novak.


    Link

     
  7. dijetlo
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    >>373 appointed, 1 rejected:<<
    The Christian Sciance Monitor has a slightly different take:
    Source Article
    >>Democrats counter that they have, in fact, approved 124 of the president's nominees, while blocking only two. That's faster than Republicans moved President Clinton's nominees when they controlled the Senate. Moreover, some 60 Clinton nominees never had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee - as effective a block to confirmation as a filibuster, they add.<<

    >>And there will still be plenty of debate - I can't imagine that Sen. Leahy (D-VT) would let anyone pass through the Judiciary Committee without trying to smear him.<<

    If you lower the bar to 50 votes, your by default allowing the majority party to end debate on anything at any time, and bring the measure to a vote.
    As far as forcing the Democrats to philibuster, it's an amusing thought but I think it is unlikely to happen. The battle utlimately is about abortion, that's prize the far right is seeking by appointing "conservative" judges. Unfortunatley for them, americans are opposed to laws banning abortion (except in the most extreme circumstance i.e. Partial Birth) and so thier reps in congress are unlikely to shut the senate down in order to get it for them. If the stink were to reach the majority of the electorate, their unpopular position would become widely known. For all their pandering to the far right, if the repeal of Roe v. Wade were to actually occur, polls sugest that it would do nothing but help the Democrats politically.
    Good post though, good supporting documentation, strong logical argument, ever considered becoming a liberal? :eek:
     
  8. dijetlo
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    >>You where implying that White House personal purposefully called Novak to leak the name.<<
    I was implying they chose wisely when they chose a partisan hack like Novak to "leak" Valerie Palmes as a CIA agent (since nobody else would do it). The goal was to punish her husband for not coming up with the story they wanted to hear, and then having the gaul to tell other people.

    >>Novak: Absolutely not. I have been a plantee in this town for over 40 years.<<
    Some say plantee, some say administration stooge, some prefer partisan troll.

    >>I know when somebody’s trying to plant a story.<<
    How can that possibly be true? Does he know a lie when he hears it? Does he detect the attempted plant electronicaly? with a voice analyzer, does he you video analysis....wait, he doesn't use any of this stuff, he just "knows" (kinda...ESP like, ain it?). If you look at the other reporters who had similar conversations with administration officials but failed to report Palmes name (because everybody in Washington knows your not allowed to out a CIA agent...except Bob Novak who has been a plantee for 40 year) you begin to see the logical inconstitency as well as Novaks duplicity in the entire tawdry affair.

    >>This thing—this came up almost offhandedly in the course of a very long conversation with a senior official about many things, many things, including Ambassador Wilson’s report. <<
    This is his proof it was not planted. Based solely on the run on sentence you excerpted, can you explain how he knows when people are tell him something because they wish him too repeat it? Does it seem likely that he, in fact, does have ESP that relates directly to detecting attempts to plant a story, or is it more likely that he is trying to fulfill his duty as an administration apologist?
     
  9. MtnBiker
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    dijetlo, you seem quite inquisitive when it comes to Novack's ability to process phone communications. However you seem to have insight on motives about the leak. If you have evidence of your implications
    then contact the F.B.I. to help with the investigation, if not, it is just an assumption.
     
  10. dijetlo
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    >> If you have evidence of your implications...then contact the F.B.I. to help with the investigation, if not, it is just an assumption.<<

    Tsk, tsk, did we use the same standards when discusing Whitewater? As far as telling the F.B.I., I don't think I have to. The CIA is as aware of all this, and they are the ones filing the complaint with the DOJ, though I imagine they have a little more information than they've passed on to Mr Ashcroft (perhaps a recording of the conversation between Karl Rove and Novak). Tenet is a Clinton apointee who has survived the 9/11 intelligence embarassment as well as the current WMD humiliation in Iraq. You don't find it odd that nobody in the administration is publicly blaming the CIA for the failing and calling for his ouster? They preffer to stonewall congress on the documents requests.(Worked for Bill and Hillary, didn't it?) No matter, you'd imagine the CIA has a copy of the breafing papers they give to the NSC and GWB and Tenet may not be in the mood to take prisoners...
    If Bush is elected to a second term, I wonder if they'll call it the "Tenet" administration in the history books?
     

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