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#163594 --- 04/25/05 01:20 PM A question on filibusters...
Zero Offline
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Republicans are flexing all their muscle and rousing their ultra conservative, ultra religious base in an attempt to eliminate the filibuster option allowing Democrats to to block the nominations of certain justices to federal courts.
Would the Republicans be clamoring for an end to the filibuster if Democrats held the majority in Congress?
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Votes accepted starting: 04/25/05 04:00 AM
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#163595 --- 04/25/05 02:33 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
BraveHeart Offline
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actually this vehicle was designed for legislation, not nominations is it is yet another attempt by the poor downtrodden libs to halt the process of govt.

Filibuster and Cloture



Using the filibuster to delay debate or block legislation has a long history. In the United States, the term filibuster -- from a Dutch word meaning "pirate" -- became popular in the 1850s when it was applied to efforts to hold the Senate floor in order to prevent action on a bill.

In the early years of Congress, representatives as well as senators could use the filibuster technique. As the House grew in numbers, however, it was necessary to revise House rules to limit debate. In the smaller Senate, unlimited debate continued since senators believed any member should have the right to speak as long as necessary.

In 1841, when the Democratic minority hoped to block a bank bill promoted by Henry Clay, Clay threatened to change Senate rules to allow the majority to close debate. Thomas Hart Benton angrily rebuked his colleague, accusing Clay of trying to stifle the Senate's right to unlimited debate. Unlimited debate remained in place in the Senate until 1917. At that time, at the suggestion of President Woodrow Wilson, the Senate adopted a rule (Rule 22) that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote -- a tactic known as "cloture."

The new Senate rule was put to the test in 1919, when the Senate invoked cloture to end a filibuster against the Treaty of Versailles. Despite the new cloture rule, however, filibusters continued to be an effective means to block legislation, due in part to the fact that a two-thirds majority vote is difficult to obtain. Over the next several decades, the Senate tried numerous times to evoke cloture, but failed to gain the necessary two-thirds vote. Filibusters were particularly useful to southern senators blocking civil rights legislation in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1975, the Senate reduced the number of votes required for cloture from two-thirds (67) to three-fifths (60) of the 100-member Senate.

Many Americans are familiar with the hours-long filibuster of Senator Jefferson Smith in Frank Capra's film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but there have been some famous filibusters in the real-life Senate as well. During the 1930s, Senator Huey P. Long effectively used the filibuster against bills that he thought favored the rich over the poor. The Louisiana senator frustrated his colleagues while entertaining spectators with his recitations of Shakespeare and his reading of recipes for "pot-likkers." Long once held the Senate floor for fifteen hours. The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolina's J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
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#163596 --- 04/25/05 04:29 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
Zero Offline
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I wonder if the repubs realize that one day they will be on the minority side of this legislation.
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#163597 --- 04/25/05 04:41 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
Rascal Offline
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We once were. And it helped the nomination of many liberal judges.

Isn't this exact issue the ultimate check and balance?

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#163598 --- 04/25/05 04:59 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
BraveHeart Offline
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as it has been and will be.


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#163599 --- 04/26/05 05:08 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
Howlin Wolf Offline
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Quote:

I wonder if the repubs realize that one day they will be on the minority side of this legislation.





They'll find some way to wriggle out of it. Like they did with the Congressional ethics provisions of the Contract For America, although that is in a majority scenario.

BTW- somewhere on the pol forum I posted historical examples of GOP use of the fillibuster. Try a keyword search fillibuster. Can't remember if it was a pre-purge post. One of the biggies was the Civil Rights act.
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#163600 --- 04/26/05 05:18 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
BraveHeart Offline
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Quote:

The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolina's J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.





Democrat. it was the southern dems that didnt want the civil rights act not the repubs

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#163601 --- 04/26/05 07:14 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
Zero Offline
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But, as Fed and/or Rascal are fond of pointing out whenever someone brings up the fact that liberals were behind the civil rights movement, the Republicans and Democrats of that time bear little resemblance to today's incarnations of said groups.
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#163602 --- 04/26/05 07:25 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
BraveHeart Offline
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that is true.

possibly a poor example.
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#163603 --- 04/26/05 08:07 PM Re: A question on filibusters...
Zero Offline
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Quote:

that is true.

possibly a poor example.




Take note Fed and Rascal. What you see above is called reasonableness.
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#163604 --- 04/27/05 12:41 AM Re: A question on filibusters...
Howlin Wolf Offline
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In 2000, Rick Santorum threatened to filibuster against a transplant organ allocation bill.

In 1998, the Republicans filibustered to death a bill to allow the FDA to regulate tobacco.

In 1994 and 1998, Republicans filibustered to death the McCain/Feingold campaign finance legislation.

For a week in 1998, Republicans filibustered Surgeon General nominee David Satcher over his views on late-term abortion. (He was later confirmed.)

In 1995, Republicans filibustered to death the nomination of Henry Foster to Surgeon General because he had performed abortions. (Frist actually supported Foster - after he was approved by a Republican-led committee.)

In 1994, Republicans filibustered to death a bill that would have required placed stricter requirements on lobbyists.

In 1993, Republicans filibustered the Brady Bill and Clinton's economic stimulus package

In 1992, Republicans filibustered an education spending bill.




Senator Isakson (R-GA) on the floor of the United States Senate extolling the virtues of the filibuster to protect the rights of the minority from being overrun by the majority.
    "Don't you fear that the Shi'ites inevitably being in the majority, that you will be overrun? And he says, 'oh no, we have a secret weapon.' Mr. President, this is a Kurdish leader, in the middle of Iraq in the 21st century who said he had a secret weapon. And when asked what it was, he said one word, 'filibuster'" [...]

    "It is one of their minority leaders, proudly stating one of the pillars and principles of our government, as the way they would ensure that the majority never overran the minority."


Quicktime File (from senate.gov website)
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#163605 --- 04/27/05 05:54 AM Re: A question on filibusters...
the Federalist Offline
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At the risk of one of RF followers calling me "unreasonable":

There's a difference between filibusters for legislation and filibusters for nominees. Different rules are supposed to, and traditionally did, apply.

Republicans Are Seeking To Reestablish The Senate's Traditional Role In The Judicial Nomination Process, Not Eliminate All Filibusters.

Frist Is Attempting To Restore Senate Traditions And End Filibusters Of Judicial Nominations Only, As Evidenced By The Frist-Miller Proposal. On May 9, 2003, Senators Frist and Miller introduced Senate Resolution 138. S. Res. 138 proposed to amend Senate Rules so that majority-supported judicial nominations would eventually receive a floor vote, but the proposal only applied to the consideration of judicial and executive nominations. (S. Res. 138, Introduced 5/9/03)

Interestingly enough, however, Some Democrats Have In The Past Supported Ending all filibusters:

    In 1995, Democrats (Bingaman, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Lieberman, And Sarbanes) Wanted To End The Filibuster. In 1995, the only Senators on record supporting the end of the filibuster were all Democrats, nine of whom are still serving in the Senate. (Karen Hosler, "Senators Vote 76-19 To Maintain Filibuster," The [Baltimore] Sun, 1/6/95; S.Res. 14, CQ Vote #1: Motion Agreed To 76-19: R 53-0; D 23-19, 1/5/95, Bingaman, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Lieberman, and Sarbanes Voted Nay)


The Harkin-Lieberman Proposal Would Have Amended The Senate Rules To Allow A Simple Majority To Overcome "Any" Filibuster, Legislative Or Executive. (Karen Hosler, "Senators Vote 76-19 To Maintain Filibuster," The [Baltimore] Sun, 1/6/95; S. Amdt. 1, Motion To Table Agreed To 1/5/95)

In fact, Democrat spin notwithstanding, Frist's First Senate Vote In 1995 Was To Preserve The LEGISLATIVE Filibuster. (S.Res. 14, CQ Vote #1: Motion Agreed To 76-19: R 53-0; D 23-19, 1/5/95, Frist Voted Yea)

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#163606 --- 04/27/05 11:23 AM Re: A question on filibusters...
Howlin Wolf Offline
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Registered: 04/12/00
Posts: 11527
Loc: World's Lgst. Potemkin Villag...
Quote:

At the risk of one of RF followers calling me "unreasonable":

There's a difference between filibusters for legislation and filibusters for nominees. Different rules are supposed to, and traditionally did, apply.

Republicans Are Seeking To Reestablish The Senate's Traditional Role In The Judicial Nomination Process, Not Eliminate All Filibusters.

Frist Is Attempting To Restore Senate Traditions And End Filibusters Of Judicial Nominations Only, As Evidenced By The Frist-Miller Proposal. On May 9, 2003, Senators Frist and Miller introduced Senate Resolution 138. S. Res. 138 proposed to amend Senate Rules so that majority-supported judicial nominations would eventually receive a floor vote, but the proposal only applied to the consideration of judicial and executive nominations. (S. Res. 138, Introduced 5/9/03)

Interestingly enough, however, Some Democrats Have In The Past Supported Ending all filibusters:

    In 1995, Democrats (Bingaman, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Lieberman, And Sarbanes) Wanted To End The Filibuster. In 1995, the only Senators on record supporting the end of the filibuster were all Democrats, nine of whom are still serving in the Senate. (Karen Hosler, "Senators Vote 76-19 To Maintain Filibuster," The [Baltimore] Sun, 1/6/95; S.Res. 14, CQ Vote #1: Motion Agreed To 76-19: R 53-0; D 23-19, 1/5/95, Bingaman, Boxer, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Lieberman, and Sarbanes Voted Nay)


The Harkin-Lieberman Proposal Would Have Amended The Senate Rules To Allow A Simple Majority To Overcome "Any" Filibuster, Legislative Or Executive. (Karen Hosler, "Senators Vote 76-19 To Maintain Filibuster," The [Baltimore] Sun, 1/6/95; S. Amdt. 1, Motion To Table Agreed To 1/5/95)

In fact, Democrat spin notwithstanding, Frist's First Senate Vote In 1995 Was To Preserve The LEGISLATIVE Filibuster. (S.Res. 14, CQ Vote #1: Motion Agreed To 76-19: R 53-0; D 23-19, 1/5/95, Frist Voted Yea)





Summary:

  • there are special reasons which "explain" why we Republicans are not really being inconsistent. (As usual.) In this case it's the distinction between judicial and non-judicial filibusters.

  • And some Democrats want the same thing we want.

  • But instead they're spinning.

  • As usual the Democrats are cynically pretending that they've got a consistent position. What do you expect? Haven't you learned this by now?

  • But we're not spinning.

  • And when you take that little "judicial" criterion into account we are consistent about filibusters.

  • See?

    HW footnote: the next time the Republicans want to filibuster a judicial nominee there will be a "special explanation" for that, too.

    Or maybe they'll just refuse to call their filibustering "filibustering." That changes everything:
      "But don't pontificate on the floor of the Senate and tell me that somehow I am violating the Constitution of the United States of America by blocking a judge or filibustering a judge that I don't think deserves to be on the circuit court because I am going to continue to do it at every opportunity I believe a judge should not be on that court. That is my responsibility. That is my advise and consent role, and I intend to exercise it. I don't appreciate being told that somehow I am violating the Constitution of the United States. I swore to uphold that Constitution, and I am doing it now by standing up and saying what I am saying." (Senator Smith, R-NH, March 7, 2000, Re: Richard Paez, Clinton judicial nominee)


    Or maybe they'll do what they did to so many Clinton judicial nominees who were never even brought to a vote by virtue of Republicans denying them Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.
      "Between 1996 and 2000, 20 of Bill Clinton's appeals-court nominees were denied hearings, including Elena Kagan, now dean of the Harvard Law School, and many other women and minorities. In 1999, Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch refused to hold hearings for almost six months on any of 16 circuit-court and 31 district-court nominations Clinton had sent up. Three appeals-court nominees who did manage to obtain a hearing in Clinton's second term were denied a committee vote, including Allen R. Snyder, a distinguished Washington lawyer, Clinton White House aide, and former Rehnquist law clerk, who drew lavish praise at his hearing -- but never got a committee vote. Some 45 district-court nominees were also denied hearings, and two more were afforded hearings but not a committee vote."
      source

    Well - they didn't filibuster! So there. Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah. Give them a cookie and a gold star on their foreheads!

    Or maybe they're just completely ignore what they said today. Like they're now ignoring the Congressional Ethics rules they promulgated.

    There are lots of "options."
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    #163607 --- 04/27/05 11:26 AM Re: A question on filibusters...
    Howlin Wolf Offline
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    p.s.

    Quote:

    At the risk of one of RF followers calling me "unreasonable":







    Looks like RF may be in the process of taking my place as "Goldstein."

    Evolution in action.
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    #163608 --- 04/27/05 01:33 PM Re: filibusters...
    newsman38 Offline
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    Registered: 03/21/01
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    Quote:

    Originally posted at:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-filibuster26apr26,0,2889709.story?coll=la-news-comment-editorials




    We hardly see eye to eye with the far right on social issues, and we oppose some of these judicial nominees, but we urge Republican leaders to press ahead with their threat to nuke the filibuster. The so-called nuclear option entails a finding by a straight majority that filibusters are inappropriate in judicial confirmation battles.

    The filibuster debate is a stark reminder of the unprincipled and results-oriented nature of politics, as senators readily switch sides for tactical advantage.

    Liberal interest groups determined to keep Bush nominees off the bench are in such a frenzy that they would have you believe that the Senate filibuster lies at the heart of all American freedoms, its lineage traceable to the Constitution, if not the Magna Carta. The filibuster, a parliamentary tactic allowing 41 senators to block a vote by extending debate on a measure indefinitely, is indeed venerable — it can be traced back two centuries. But it is merely the product of the Senate's own rule-making, altered over time; the measure was not part of the founding fathers' checks and balances to prevent a tyranny of the majority. The Senate's structure itself was part of that calculus.

    The filibuster is a reactionary instrument that goes too far in empowering a minority of senators. It's no accident that most filibusters have hindered progressive crusades in Washington, be it on civil rights or campaign finance reform.

    California's Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, one of those recent converts to the filibuster, embarrassed herself by hailing Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) as her inspiration at a pro-filibuster rally. At least Byrd is being consistent in his support — he filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

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    #163609 --- 04/27/05 01:41 PM Re: filibusters...
    Rascal Offline
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    I thought one of the "protections" for the minorities was the "unpolitical" positions of the justices. In respect to not being accountable to either side and appointed for life. It seems like making the appointees survive through such harsh interviews, fillibusters, etc. that the positions are becoming political. Didn't Scalia also recently state similar opinion?

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