March 15, 2005


Democrats Threaten to Stop Senate Business if GOP Changes Rules on Judge Confirmations (David Espo, 3/15/05, The Associated Press)

Democrats served notice Tuesday that they will slow or stop most Senate business if Republicans unilaterally change the rules to assure confirmation of President Bush's controversial court appointments.

Make them do it.

Senate near meltdown over judges: A vote on nominee William Myers may be a rehearsal for a next Supreme Court justice. (Gail Russell Chaddock, 3/16/05, CS Monitor)

Currently 43 seats lie vacant in the 871-member federal judiciary.

Myers is one of 10 Bush judicial nominees blocked in the 108th Congress by Democrats refusing to allow the nomination to come to a vote on the floor of the Senate. It's the first time a filibuster has been used to block a judicial nomination outside the Supreme Court.

"We have to reinstate majority rule in the Senate. The Myers nomination is the test," says Sen. John Cornyn (R) of Texas. "It is wrong for a partisan minority to argue that a president's judicial nominees must receive a 60 percent vote of the Senate to be confirmed - when throughout history only a 51 percent vote has been required," he said in remarks prepared for an address to conservative activists at the Heritage Foundation Tuesday. When the Senate refuses to act on nominations within a reasonable time, it violates the Senate's constitutional obligation to advise and consent, he adds.

But Republicans blocked dozens of President Clinton's judicial nominees by refusing to let them come to a vote in the Judiciary Committee.

Except that Republicans were the majority using majority rule.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 15, 2005 6:13 PM

hehe, the democrats just backed themselves into a corner. either they go ahead and try to gum up the senate, and get slaughtered for it, or they back down and are shown to have no real power. reid is a disaster, as is pelosi. time to start working on a manifesto for a replacement party.

Posted by: cjm at March 15, 2005 7:36 PM

Call their bluff. They might as well not be there doing the business of the people. Could they be any more irrelevant?

Posted by: John Resnick at March 15, 2005 7:53 PM

Remember how Gingrich was vilified after he was perceived as having caused the government to come to a halt? Turnabout is fair play.

Posted by: George at March 15, 2005 8:13 PM

My dad always said this country works the best when the bureacrats are on vacation.

They close it down, they shouldn't get paid.

And we make them work in DC when they're supposed to be here for "vacation."

Posted by: Sandy P at March 15, 2005 10:26 PM

Democrats taunted Bush and accused him of trying to avoid their sincere efforts to find a compromise. This year, Reid has decided to engineer the showdown so that the Democrats will have the upper hand and Bush will take the blame. The plan is magnificently self-defeating. The party that will lose the showdown is the party that is perceived to have engineered it. And Reid has just handed Bush all the evidence he needs.

Posted by: Neo at March 16, 2005 12:14 AM

The Senate GOP lacks the guts to do it, I'm sorry to say.

Posted by: Bob at March 16, 2005 9:28 AM