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Thread: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

  1. #1
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    US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Seems like there are a number of people of both sides who are upset by this compromise. Count me as one of them. Why the Democrats want to give "moderate" Republicans cover is beyond me.

    Guys, they're still Republicans!

    Nuclear Option Avoided

    US Senate deal averts historic showdown on judges By Thomas Ferraro and Joanne Kenen
    23 minutes ago



    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fourteen Senate moderates struck a deal across party lines on Monday to avert a historic confrontation and pave the way for confirmation of several of President Bush's stalled judicial nominees.

    The deal, which pointedly urges the White House to consult with the Senate in picking judicial candidates, was reached with less than a day to spare before a showdown vote on a possible rule change so controversial it has been dubbed the "nuclear option."

    Republican leaders had threatened to strip the minority Democrats of their power to block Bush's candidates for the federal courts.

    Had Republicans prevailed -- and it was unclear whether they had the votes -- Democrats vowed to retaliate by raising other obstacles that could have tied the Republican-led, 100-member chamber into knots.

    "Armageddon has been avoided. Thank God," said Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), a New York Democrat.

    Signed by seven Democrats and seven Republicans, the "memorandum of understanding" declares that procedural roadblocks known as filibusters against judicial nominees will only be used in the future "under extraordinary circumstances."

    "Each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether the circumstances exist," the 14 senators agreed.

    The issue has assumed major political significance because at least one retirement is expected from the Supreme Court in the near future.

    Special-interest groups from across the spectrum had joined the battle, as the federal courts decide many cultural and social issues, such as abortion rights and gay rights.

    CONFIRMATION VOTES

    The group of moderate senators committed to clearing the way for confirmation votes on three long-stalled nominees to the federal appeals courts -- Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor. Their backers have long maintained that they have majority support, but Democrats called them too conservative.

    The group explicitly did not commit to allow votes on two other nominees, William Myers and Henry Saad, so they may have to be scuttled.

    With some conservative and liberal groups opposed to compromise, Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), a South Carolina Republican and one of the negotiators, said, "People at home are going to be upset at me for a while."

    The moderates crafted their deal a week after talks between the Senate's top two leaders broke down.

    "This agreement is based on good faith, good faith among people who trust each other. And it's our complete expectation that it will work," Ohio Republican Sen. Mike DeWine (news, bio, voting record), flanked by fellow negotiators, told a news conference in announcing the accord.

    "We have lifted ourselves above politics," said Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), a West Virginia Democrat who took part in the talks. "I say, thank God."

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the deal represented "progress." He added, "We will continue working to push for an up-or-down vote on all our nominees."

    A simple Senate majority is needed to confirm a nominee, but 60 votes are required to cut off a filibuster.

    The bipartisan accord provided enough senators on both sides of the political aisle to enforce a carefully worded compromise.

    Republicans had accused Democrats of unprecedented obstructionism by blocking 10 of Bush's appeals-court nominees in the last Congress.

    Democrats had fired back that Bush and his fellow Republicans were trying to pack the courts with right-wing extremists and ignoring Senate customs on bipartisan consultation and compromise. Democrats also noted that they had helped confirm about 200 other Bush judicial nominees, most of them to lower courts.

    In their agreement, the 14 lawmakers urged the White House to consult with members of both parties before submitting judicial nominees for consideration.

    "Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the 'advise and consent' process in the Senate," they wrote.

    MORE HUMILITY

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, embraced the compromise and said it should deliver a message to Bush: "He should have a little more humility."

    "We're not looking to pick a fight with President Bush; he shouldn't be out looking to pick a fight with us," Reid said.

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, accepted the accord but noted it fell short of what he said is the Senate's duty to give all nominees an up-or-down vote.

    "I fundamentally believe that it is our constitutional responsibility to give judicial nominees the respect and the courtesy of an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate," said Frist, a potential 2008 Republican presidential candidate who has been under pressure from right-wing groups to get more conservatives on courts.

    The Senate on Tuesday, as previously scheduled, will vote on Owen, a Texas Supreme Court justice, to a seat on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A Frist aide said the Senate would move swiftly on other nominees as well.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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  3. #2
    Pagan/Asatru Ravenlord's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    Guys, they're still Republicans!
    best of example of the country WILL die. massive polarization.
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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    I have mixed feelings about this. I suspect had it come down to it, the GOP would have been able to get rid of the fillibuster, which I think would have been a mistake, despite the fillibusters infamous track record of helping to derail civil rights legislation in the 50's and 60's.
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Don't be too upset Rojo. Chief Justice Rehnquist will probably retire before long, setting up an epic confirmation battle for his replacement on the Supreme Court. You can really hate Republicans then.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Isn't compromise also a good form of diplomacy? This whole situation was sad and hilarious. Our Founding Fathers are still probably shaking their heads in disbelief and saying we should have stuck with England.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    best of example of the country WILL die. massive polarization.
    And this "compromise" didn't help. It allows the Dobsonites more power than they deserve because it took heat off the GOP moderates.
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    You can really hate Republicans then.
    I don't hate Republicans, I just want the Democrats to run the country (could they do worse?).
    The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent. ~ Carlyle

  9. #8
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    I just want the Democrats to run the country (could they do worse?).
    Short answer: Yes, they could do worse IMO. I realize you hold the opposite opinion and I have neither the intention nor the time to engage in post-counterpost on the issue. We just disagree.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

  10. #9
    bomarl1969
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rojo
    I don't hate Republicans, I just want the Democrats to run the country (could they do worse?).
    If the democrat has the name of Al Gore, John Kerry, or Hillary Clinton then the answer isn't yes, it would be something like "this country is on it's way to hell." I swear if Hillary Clinton is a future president I am moving to the Bahamas or Mexico because I refuse to live under her.

  11. #10
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by bomarl1969
    If the democrat has the name of Al Gore, John Kerry, or Hillary Clinton then the answer isn't yes, it would be something like "this country is on it's way to hell." I swear if Hillary Clinton is a future president I am moving to the Bahamas or Mexico because I refuse to live under her.
    OK, can I save this post then? I'll buy your ticket, wherever you want to go.

    And, BTW, that's not just because of your political affiliations...I got sick and tired of hearing the Alec Baldwins and barbara Streisands of the world threaten to move somewhere else if Bush got elected. You know, I htink they're all still here.

    And while we're on the subject of Hillary-bashing, I think a lot of Republicans simply have a blind hatred towards her, as they did with Bill Clinton. Her policies are actually quite centrist in nature--more so, even, then Kerry's...but the republicans were hellbent on labelling her an ultra-liberal during the 90s, and in spite of her actual politics, they succeeded.

  12. #11
    bomarl1969
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    And while we're on the subject of Hillary-bashing, I think a lot of Republicans simply have a blind hatred towards her, as they did with Bill Clinton.
    You're right and wrong. I can't stand (I don't hate) but I can't stand Hillary. Love Bill though, would vote for him in a heartbeat, even though yes I am Republican. And BTW, I can't stand Bush either. I didn't vote for either Kerry or Bush in the election BUT I did believe Bush to be the lesser of the 2 evils.

  13. #12
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by bomarl1969
    You're right and wrong. I can't stand (I don't hate) but I can't stand Hillary. Love Bill though, would vote for him in a heartbeat, even though yes I am Republican. And BTW, I can't stand Bush either. I didn't vote for either Kerry or Bush in the election BUT I did believe Bush to be the lesser of the 2 evils.
    Wow. Another Bush backpedaler. The numbers continue to grow.

    Voter remorse for Bush is unbelievably high. I love it.

  14. #13
    bomarl1969
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    Wow. Another Bush backpedaler. The numbers continue to grow.

    Voter remorse for Bush is unbelievably high. I love it.
    Obviously you didn't read my post. I'm not a Bush backpedaler, I didn;t vote for EITHER he or Kerry, but out of the 2 I do like Bush better, actually out of Kerry, Bush, and Clinton I would take Bill Clinton anyday.

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    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by bomarl1969
    Obviously you didn't read my post. I'm not a Bush backpedaler, I didn;t vote for EITHER he or Kerry, but out of the 2 I do like Bush better, actually out of Kerry, Bush, and Clinton I would take Bill Clinton anyday.
    So you voted for neither? (Can't see you going for Nader.)

    I always remember what my HS government teacher told us: If you don't vote, you lose your right to complain.

  16. #15
    bomarl1969
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    Re: US Senate Avoids "Nuclear Option"

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    So you voted for neither? (Can't see you going for Nader.)

    I always remember what my HS government teacher told us: If you don't vote, you lose your right to complain.
    I agree with that statement, that's why I did vote. I just couldn't give my support to either Kerry or Bush, that is why I voted for Nader, that and the fact I KNEW he wouldn't win!


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