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December 11, 2005

Frist, filibusters and fraud

On Fox:

WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday he is prepared to strip Democrats of their to ability to filibuster if they try to stall Samuel Alito’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
… Several Democrats have said that Alito’s views on issues such as voting rights and abortion could provoke a filibuster unless he allays their concerns about his commitment to civil rights. Alito’s confirmation hearings begin Jan. 9 in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Frist, R-Tenn., said Alito is qualified for the high court, noting that Alito was confirmed by the Senate for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Sam Alito, who has a modest judicial temperament … is someone who deserves advice and consent by the Senate,” Frist told “Fox News Sunday.”

For more on that “modest judicial temperament,” see here and here.

… Under Frist’s scenario, the GOP would seek a parliamentary ruling that declares filibusters are not permitted against judicial nominees. That ruling ultimately would go before the full Senate for a vote, with a simple majority required to prevail. Republicans hold 55 seats.
… Such a move carries great risk. Democrats have threatened to retaliate with a fight that could snarl Senate business for months. Also, it could backfire on Republicans if they were to lose majority control of the chamber.

Still, Frist is an old hand at offsetting risk. Not, of course, that he has ever been aware of that talent.

Posted by Stephen at 5:05 PM in Legal issues | Politics | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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