Monday, May 09, 2005

Nuclear Option Compromise? Or Another Tease?

Political Wire, citing Roll Call, reports this morning that "a bipartisan coalition of senators" is near agreement on an arrangement that would head off the nuclear option. This effort is being led by Senators Lott and Nelson (NE), and "would involve at least a half-dozen Senators from each party signing a letter or memorandum of understanding that signals how they would proceed to vote on all matters related to judicial nominations. ... The agreement would not require a single vote to be cast for it to be executed. As long as each side has at least six Senators willing to uphold it, Senate Republicans would be unable to carry out the nuclear option and Senate Democrats would be unable to execute a successful filibuster."

ABC's The Note adds that under the proposed agreement, six Republicans would signal their intent to oppose the nuclear option, "which would leave GOP leaders short of the 50 votes they need to execute the parliamentary move to abolish" filibusters of judicial nominees, while the six Democrats would "pledge to allow votes on four of the seven circuit court nominees who were already filibustered in the 108th Congress and have been renominated" and would "pledge to vote for cloture to end filibuster attempts on all other judicial nominees named by President Bush, including Supreme Court picks, except in 'extreme circumstances' according to a senior aide familiar with the discussions."

If this deal is not accepted by the Republican leadership, there will no longer be any doubt just how far off their rockers Frist and the "Justice Sunday" crowd really are.


At 1:55 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

This is playing out on several of the blogs I haunt. Predictably, the extremes on either side are screaming "no deal!", but the murmurings of centrists are getting louder.

I can only hope.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

This is a bad deal for Reid and company. It would force the Dems to actually debate the judges instead of just opposing the nuclear option. And God knows the Dems don't want a real debate, they just want a veto.

If 6 Dems sign on to this deal, they should immediately be given the keys to the Democratic party. Dems are never going to regain power by blind opposition. Only by getting out there and arguing their viewpoints. A real debate on justices would give them the opportunity to do just that. If these justices really are so bad, the Dems should be able to convince enough moderates to vote against them--or at least get the voters to punish the republicans for confirming them.

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Heiuan said...

Looking at it from the Democratic point, just getting the voters to punish the Republicans is too little, too late. These are lifetime appointments to the judiciary. That's the reason they're fighting so hard on this.

I can see and empathize with both points of view; however, the overriding concern for me is letting one party fill the judiciary with extremists. This cycle the Republicans are in power. There will come a time when they are not.

And can someone tell me why GWB decided that he wasn't going to consult with the ABA over judicial nominations? That always struck me as none too bright. I mean, if you want someone vetted, then don't you go to the experts?


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