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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Nuclear Option: Hypocrisy Again

Recommendation: Washington's General: Nathaniel Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution by Terry Golway, an interesting and smooth bio of a flawed but quite appealing (and largely forgotten) man. And, Downfall, an excellent German language film concerning the last days of the Third Reich.

A federal judge whose husband and mother were slain by a disgruntled litigant urged Congress on Wednesday to help bring an end to "truly dangerous" verbal attacks on judges that might lead to violent action.

AOL News. Right afterwards, Sen. Frist (the Senate Majority Leader) talks about Democrats wanting to "kill, to defeat, to assassinate these nominees." In other words, do exactly what he and other Republicans (sometimes by single "blue slip" blocks) wanted to do against Clinton nominees. In fact, after Dems had a rather good record confirming B41's nominees, the downhill spiral started when the Republicans took control. Now, since Republicans are totally in control, they want to change the rules.

This is known as "cheating." Or, at the very least, it shows that this is not some big matter of "principle" for these people, the hypocritical rhetoric notwithstanding.

Not that Frist et. al. actually cares about things like precedent, truth, rules and such:

Also, some Democrats have advanced evidence that the GOP gambit lacks support from the Senate parliamentarian, the official who typically rules on what is allowable under the chamber's rules and precedents.

Reid told reporters last month that the parliamentarian, Alan S. Frumin, had told him that he opposed the Republicans' plan and that "if they do this, they will have to overrule him."

Frumin, who was appointed by Republican leaders in 2001, has not been granting interviews. But a senior Republican Senate aide confirmed that Frist does not plan to consult Frumin at the time the nuclear option is deployed. "He has nothing to do with this," the aide said. "He's a staffer, and we don't have to ask his opinion."

Sure enough. They have the votes, so they can cheat as much as they want. As to Kaus [Slate blowhard] and his talk of waiting for the Supreme Court nominations, possibly, but two things come to mind: (1) the nuclear option would prevent blocking troublesome nominations for the higher court (2) a couple Supreme Court nominations are important, no doubt, but there is a lot more that is important too. And, the lower courts are given more free reign these days than they used to with the Supremes cutting back on their workload and prone to narrow decisions.

Anyway, a two year old post (tempus fugit) of mine on Justice Owen, which helps explain why her nomination is being opposed (or supported), can be found here.