Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Raw deal on judges

From, the text of a recent proposed compromise on the judicial filibuster situation that Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) had negotiated. The document is here (it's a pdf, so if you don't have Acrobat reader, smarten up!).

Note that paragraph 1 of the proposal says that the senators will vote to invoke cloture (end debate) on certain nominees. But in paragraph 2, there is this language:
We acknowledge that the Senators who previously voted against cloture on the following nominees are likely to do so again and therefore these nominees are not expected to be confirmed by the Senate . . . [William Myers, Priscilla Owen, Henry Saad]

This clause explicitly enshrines the necessity of a supermajority for judicial appointees: first there must be cloture (60 votes necessary) and without cloture, there is no confirmation.

If the GOP accepts that precedent (and it has not), all bets are off and the Democrats have won the filibuster battle because they've set the precedent for the supermajority.

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