Friday, April 01, 2005


The Un-truth & Nothing But The Un-truth

Today's lead editorial is about the looming showdown in the Senate over judicial confirmations. But as the editorial board so often does, important facts are left out because they are inconvenient to the point the SAEN is trying to make. The editorial board wants the Republicans to play nice:
While filibuster reform has been considered numerous times in the past, the tactic has been jealously guarded by the minority party as a way to prevent a given era's popular causes from crushing the voice of the minority.

By reducing the use of filibusters, Republicans will be limiting the power of their members when the pendulum swings and the GOP is no longer in control.

The first problem with the editorial is that the nominees being blocked have already cleared the usual hurdles that lead to confirmation:
Miguel Estrada, Priscilla Owen and other judicial nominees being blocked from a vote by the Democrats have passed all the tests. Their fellow judges state they are highly qualified. The American Bar Association states that they are highly qualified.

Another fact the editorial fails to mention is that many of the nominees have the votes necessary to be confirmed if the full Senate were allowed to vote:
They[the Democrats] don't say that they would lose a floor vote. The votes have been counted and recounted. The President's nominees would be confirmed without doubt.

So while the SAEN implies that these nominees are "extremist," the truth of the matter is that they have the backing of the legal community and the backing of enough Senators to be confirmed if a vote was allowed. This hardly pegs them as extremist if you ask me.

Finally, the result of the filibuster is that these nominees need a super-majority vote in order to be confirmed; however, the constitution clearly states when a super-majority is needed in the Congress, and judicial nominations is not one of those times. Here is an idea, the Republicans should return the judicial "advise and consent" role of the Senate back to the way it is described in the constitution by changing the rule to allow 51 votes to stop the filibuster. When the democrats return to the majority in the Senate they should change it back to a super-majority since they seem so worried about damage to the constitution should this occur. You know, be magnanimous about it.
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