Friday, April 29, 2005

Gross Transparency

Bill Frist came up with his own generous compromise on judicial fillibusters:
allow(ing) the minority party to block lower-court appointees if Democrats agreed to give up the power to block nominees for appeals courts and the Supreme Court.
Oh, suuuurrreeee! Thanks for playing your hand: smooth confirmations for Renquist's replacement... we're going to pass on that offer.

Those who wonder how our most conservative Justice Scalia slid right into his seat when Clarence Thomas' or Robert Bork's hearings remain legend, this is how. After a long and contentious debate on the elevation of Renquist, committee members were just to tired to do it all over again with Scalia.

In a very perverse way, conservatives are far more effective on "keeping their eyes on prize." But anyone who understand this stand off knows that both parties are thinking about the same prize: the Supreme Court. Once the blocked judges rise from to circuit and appeals court, they become potential Supreme Court nominees.

Go back to why Senate Democrats are resisting their nominations:
* Priscilla Owen, an ultraconservative activist, ruling against consumers, working people and minors who want abortions.

* William H. Pryor Jr. Democratic senators have objected to his comments and writings on abortion and homosexuality, which included a Supreme Court brief in a Texas sodomy case that likened homosexual acts to "prostitution, adultery, necrophilia, bestiality, possession of child pornography and even incest and pedophilia."

* Janice Rogers Brown, Democrats say the California Supreme Court justice is a conservative judicial activist who ignores the law in favor of her own political views. They cite here support for limits on abortion rights and corporate liability and her opposition to affirmative action.

* William G. Myers III, Democrats say the former Interior Department solicitor has an anti-environment agenda and opposed environmental protections while at Interior and as a private lawyer and lobbyist for cattle and mining interests.
No, the whole stream leading the Supreme Court is important. In resonable terms, judicial appointments should resemble the normal curve of ideology... 90-95% should pass, which means I'll disagree with many, but these four are deep conservative outliers and should not be elevated.

It is insulting that they continue to nominated, let alone precipatate this showdown. But if the real goal of the nuclear option is to make Supreme appointments a breeze, then I say shut down the Senate.


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