Saturday, May 07, 2005

Republcan Filibusters, Continued

The Republican Filibuster of Abe Fortas is hardly the only time the Republicans have blocked a Democratic court nominee. Bill Frist should know this, as he was there when he participated in the filibuster of Richard Paez, a Clinton nominee to the Ninth Circuit Court. It appears Frist is being as dishonest as Orrin Hatch was found to be in our previous post:
Republicans insist that judicial filibusters never happened before. Frist put it this way: "In February 2003 the minority radically broke with tradition and precedent and launched the first-ever filibuster of a judicial nominee who had majority support." In truth, no one should understand the legitimacy of judicial filibusters better than Bill Frist. On March 9, 2000, Frist participated in a filibuster of Richard Paez, President Clinton's nominee to the Ninth Circuit. When confronted about his vote late last year, Frist claimed he filibustered Paez for "scheduling" purposes. Not true. A press release by former Senator Bob Smith titled "Smith Leads Effort to Block Activist Judicial Nominees" plainly states that the intent of the filibuster was to "block" the Paez nomination.

In fact, Paez was only one of at least six filibusters Republicans attempted during the Clinton years. Senator Orrin Hatch and others argue that these filibusters don't count because they ultimately weren't successful in blocking the nominees. All that proves, however, is that Clinton's nominees were moderate enough to secure sixty votes. It also suggests the remedy to Bush's problem: Stop nominating extremist judges to the federal bench.


Post a Comment

<< Home