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Filibuster obstructionists score card

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Liberty Belle

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C e n t e r F o r I n d i v i d u a l F r e e d o m
Jeffrey Mazzella
November 12, 2003
CFIF Exposes 44 U.S. Senators as ‘Enemies of Justice’
Releases Judicial Nominations Scorecard
Alexandria, Va. — As partisan animus continues to infect the judicial confirmation process in the U.S. Senate, the Center for Individual Freedom today released a judicial nominations scorecard for the first session of the 108th Congress.
The scorecard rates the votes of all 100 Senators on the 13 cloture motions introduced this year that would have allowed simple up or down votes on President Bush’s filibustered judicial nominees. Currently, the confirmations of five circuit court nominees, Priscilla Owen, Charles Pickering, Janice Rogers Brown, Bill Pryor and Carolyn Kuhl, are being filibustered — the obstructionist tactic used to drive Miguel Estrada, an American Bar Association-rated "well-qualified" nominee for the D.C. Circuit, to withdraw his name from consideration after being held in confirmation limbo for nearly two-and-a-half years.
"At a time when the federal judiciary is plagued by vacancies and mounting case loads, a minority of Senators is using ‘all means necessary’ to block those nominees who don’t conform to their ideological mold," said Jeffrey Mazzella, the Center’s Executive Director. "Traditional considerations of experience, judicial temperament and respect for the rule of law no longer matter. The obstructionists have sent their message loud and clear to all current and future nominees: Unless you pass their partisan litmus test, you won’t even get a confirmation vote on the Senate floor."
Forty-four Senators scored zero percent on the Center’s scorecard, signifying that they voted against all 13 cloture motions on the filibustered nominees. These Senators are:
Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
Max Baucus (D-MT)
Evan Bayh (D-IN)
Joseph Biden (D-DE)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Robert Byrd (D-WV)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Thomas Carper (D-DE)
Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Jon Corzine (D-NJ)
Tom Daschle (D-SD)
Mark Dayton (D-MN)
Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
John Edwards (D-NC)
Russ Feingold (D-WI)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Bob Graham (D-FL)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Ernest Hollings (D-SC)
Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Carl Levin (D-MI)
Joseph Lieberman (D-CT)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
John Rockefeller (D-WV)
Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
"These 44 enemies of justice have corrupted the independence of the federal judiciary and undermined the administration of justice for far too long," Mazzella added. "Their partisan antics should not and will not go unnoticed by the American people."
The Center for Individual Freedom is a nonpartisan constitutional advocacy group that fights to protect and defend individual freedoms and rights in the legal, legislative and educational arenas. Visit www.cfif.org for updates as the Center will continue to score all votes to end the filibusters.
 

Liberty Belle

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This shows the mindset of the liberals trying to obstruct Pres. Bush's every move. It was interesting for me to note that South Dakota's Sen. Tim Johnson is one of the obsturctionists on the list I just posted above.
This is from www.newsmax.com:

Sen. Barbara Boxer got a bit carried away during MoveOn.org's "Rally for Fair Judges" in Washington, D.C. yesterday, and at one point referred to the event's keynote speaker - former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd - as "the love of my life."

The California Democrat was explaining that like Byrd, she once opposed filibustering judicial nominations - back when her party controlled the Senate.

But in quotes picked up by the NationalReviewOnline, Boxer explained:
"I thought I knew everything. I didn't get it. I'm here to say I was totally wrong."

She then called the 87-year-old former nightrider "the love of my life."
Boxer also announced that she doesn't recognize Republican Sen. Arlen Specter as the legitimate chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and instead takes her marching orders from ranking Democrat Pat "Leaky" Leahy.

"I call him my chairman of the Judiciary Committee, because I don't recognize anyone else," she explained.
 

jodywy

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well a filibuster is still a tool I don't want lost. back when Regan was pres and the Dem held the senat and congress the dem kept trying to raise the grazing fee. Sen. Wallop did a filibuster thill the Dems dropped it and Pres Reagan sign an executive order for the formula we have now..
 

Liberty Belle

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The issue isn't the stopping of filibuster altogether, it is stopping the tyranny of the minority over the majority in order to block an up or down constitutional sanctioned vote on judicial nominees. The following is an excerpt from an article by Sen. Orrin Hatch on this topic. Click on the link below it for the whole story.
A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS
Unprecedented, unfair, and partisan filibusters that distort Senate procedures constitute a political crisis. By trying to use Rule 22's cloture requirement to change the Constitution's confirmation requirement, these Democratic filibusters also constitute a constitutional crisis.

The Constitution gives the Senate authority to determine its procedural rules. More than a century ago, however, the Supreme Court unanimously recognized the obvious maxim that those rules may not "ignore constitutional restraints." The Constitution explicitly requires a supermajority vote for such things as trying impeachments or overriding a presidential veto; it does not do so for confirming nominations. Article II, Section 2, even mentions ratifying treaties and confirming nominees in the very same sentence, requiring a supermajority for the first but not for the second. Twisting Senate rules to create a confirmation supermajority undermines the Constitution. As Senator Joseph Lieberman once argued, it amounts to "an amendment of the Constitution by rule of the U.S. Senate."

But don't take my word for it. The same senators leading the current filibuster campaign once argued that all filibusters are unconstitutional. Senator Lieberman argued in 1995 that a supermajority requirement for cloture has "no constitutional basis." Senator Tom Harkin insisted that "the filibuster rules are unconstitutional" because "the Constitution sets out...when you need majority or supermajority votes in the Senate." And former Senator Daschle said that because the Constitution "is straightforward about the few instances in which more than a majority of the Congress must vote....Democracy means majority rule, not minority gridlock." He later applied this to judicial nomination filibusters: "I find it simply baffling that a Senator would vote against even voting on a judicial nomination." That each of these senators voted for every judicial-nomination filibuster during the 108th Congress is baffling indeed.

These senators argued that legislative as well as nomination filibusters are unconstitutional. Filibusters of legislation, however, are different and solving the current crisis does not require throwing the entire filibuster baby out with the judicial nomination bathwater. The Senate's authority to determine its own rules is greatest regarding what is most completely within its jurisdiction, namely, legislation. And legislative filibusters have a long history. Rule 22 itself did not even potentially apply to nominations until decades after its adoption. Neither America's founders, nor the Senate that adopted Rule 22 to address legislative gridlock, ever imagined that filibusters would be used to highjack the judicial appointment process.
TRYING TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT
Liberal interest groups, and many in the mainstream media, eagerly repeat Democratic talking points trying to change, rather than address, the subject. For example, they claim that, without the filibuster, the Senate would be nothing more than a "rubberstamp" for the president's judicial nominations. Losing a fair fight, however, does not rubberstamp the winner; giving up without a fight does. Active opposition to a judicial nomination, especially expressed through a negative vote, is the best remedy against being a rubberstamp.

They also try to change the definition of a filibuster. On March 11, 2003, for example, Senator Patrick Leahy, ranking Judiciary Committee Democrat, used a chart titled "Republican Filibusters of Nominees." Many individuals on the list, however, are today sitting federal judges, some confirmed after invoking cloture and others without taking a cloture vote at all. Invoking cloture and confirming nominations is no precedent for not invoking cloture and refusing to confirm nominations.

Many senators once opposed the very judicial nomination filibusters they now embrace. Senator Leahy, for example, said in 1998: "I have stated over and over again...that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported." Since then, he has voted against cloture on judicial nominations 21 out of 26 times. Senator Ted Kennedy, a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in 1995 that "Senators who believe in fairness will not let a minority of the Senate deny [the nominee] his vote by the entire Senate." Since then, he has voted to let a minority of the Senate deny judicial nominees a vote 18 out of 23 times.

http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/hatch200501120729.asp
 

Brad S

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What am I missing? Change the procedures already. Let the Leftistas piss and pout, but do it. If it becomes too much of an issue, have Cheney get drunk and naked at a State Dept function to divert attention.
 

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