Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, May 23, 2005

Wait a Second? Who Just Blinked?

Hi Everyone,

A group of seven Democrats and seven Republicans have announced a deal that they think could avert the so called "nuclear option" whereby the Republicans would try to end the filibuster rules for judicial appointees. CNN has a description of the deal here. The basics are that the seven Democrats would vote to end debate on Brown, Pryor and Owen and that the seven Republicans would vote to preserve the filibuster. There are other details that I haven't read yet and I thought I would leave that to one of several lawyers who are either members of this blog or friends who post comments frequently. I guess I'll have to watch the News Hour on PBS to get the tutorial on the full deal.

In the mean time: Who just blinked?


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this is a deal that neither side will like very much. I know I don't like it. Both sides will probably spin it as a victory their way, anyway. 

// posted by Bell Curve

Anonymous said...

My thinking is this: what is the point of preserving the filibuster if the price is not using it when the majority appoints obnoxious judges like Brown and Pryor? If the Democrats aren't to filibuster Pryor who would they filibuster?

I also don't see how this avoids a fight in the future. My guess is the two sides have really different ideas of the exact terms of the deal. We'll have to see how the votes shake out.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

Bell Curve: right now, I believe Democrats are spinning it as a victory, while Republicans are calling it a defection. One more thought: all Frist demanded was an up-or-down vote on some nominees. We'll see how the votes go. Who knows what else those seven Republican Senators may have promised?

US West said...

The Senate rules make Napoleonic code look like child's play. I suspect that there are other parliamentary cards that can be played to halt a nominee. But I think the Democrats, as usual, blinked. I agree with RBR that what they basically said is "we promise not to use the filibuster if you promise not to change the rules. "That is so sissy pants. For starters, blocking the filibuster was always a stupid idea from the Republicans who will be in the minority again one of these days. So it really wasn't in their interests to change things anyway I wonder how much of this issue was bravado and how much was real.

These judges who will get the up or down vote will be appointed. This is all but certain. So I am still trying to figure out what the Democrats got. NPR tried to say this morning that the more leftists in the Democratic party would be unhappy with the outcome. I guess I am suddenly a far out leftist then.

Commentators and Senators kept talking about the importance of the filibuster. But I wonder if it is really all that important in the end. On one hand, you can say that the Democrats did the noble thing in compromising short term victory for a longer term goal- maintaining the Senate. On the other, you might say that they either made a great backroom deal or they got scared. I say we watch the budget process and see who's state gets the cash flow from the government.

Anonymous said...

My gut reaction at the time was relief, and I often think such reactions are instructive. I believe that, having postponed the nuclear option once, the Republicans will be hard pressed to try the offensive again. Certainly, the Republicans will not be able to ramp up to do it over an SC nominee, because they will have to argue to vote for an SC Justice whom no Democrat can support! After the 2000 election? That power grab will be harder. By postponing the issue until then, Dems have won something big. And denied the far right a victory. 

// posted by LTG