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May 30, 2005

Judicial Filibuster Compromise; Next Stop the Supreme Court

Posted in: Main

The filibuster compromise enacted by the 7 dwarves x 2 was a farce. It did not take long for actions in the Senate to go back to partisanship. The air of good will and a wink and a nod from Harry Reid to pass John Bolton through have all but dissipated. However, for anyone to think that Democrats are not going to filibuster President Bush’s first nominee to the Supreme Court , one would have to live in fantasy land.

The White House has laid the groundwork to place more conservatives on the Supreme Court, scrutinizing the backgrounds and legal views of a shrinking list of candidates amid speculation that ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist soon will step down.

Keenly aware that a chapter of President Bush’s legacy is at stake, conservative and liberal advocacy groups are preparing for what both sides believe will be a bruising confirmation fight.

Court experts expect that Rehnquist, who is battling thyroid cancer, will leave by the end of June when the current court session concludes.

“The vacancy could come anytime after this Memorial Day weekend, we think,” said Sean Rushton, director of the conservative Committee for Justice, which has close ties to the White House counsel’s office.

“They have been winnowing the list down for some time now. I imagine they’re down to maybe three or five — a handful anyway — who are their first choices,” he said.

Everyone knows that Democrats define “extraordinary circumstances” as any George W. Bush nominee to the Supreme Court.

Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush’s future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in “extraordinary circumstances.”

To leave the definition up to each Senator is as ridiculous as the filibuster compromise itself. The Senate was just putting off the inevitable. President Bush is going to nominate who he wants and that is his right as President. He certainly will not discuss his choices with the Senate as the idiot 14 thinks he will.

The other pipe dream is that some how President Bush is not going to nominate a conservative judge to the bench. Here is a possible list of Supreme Court Justice nominees.

Liberals hope Bush will fill his first vacancy with a centrist, a consensus candidate, instead of one who would please right-wing Republicans who were instrumental in the president’s re-election. But they acknowledge that may be wishful thinking.

Bush has shown he is willing to stick by his nominees. When Senate Democrats denied votes on 10 of his picks for the federal bench, the president did not back down. Instead, he sent the same group of conservatives back to the Senate. That set the stage for the recent showdown over the filibuster — a political maneuver the Democrats used to stall the votes through protracted debate.

I believe President Bush will nominate Ted Olson, former Solicitor General as his first choice for the Supreme Court.

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