The Deal

The Senate has struck a deal on fillibusters. Brown, Pryor and Owens get an up-or-down vote, and the rest can only be fillibustered under “extreme circumstances.”

This isn’t the sort of thing I’d care to see. Saad and Myers are more likely than not being left out to dry by this deal, which should not be acceptable. Every one of them deserves a straight up-or-down vote. If defeated, they’re defeated. If they have the votes, they should be confirmed. That’s what the whole concept of “advise and consent” is all about.

On the other hand, I do take solace in the fact that the three judges most vilified by the left will get their floor vote — and likely pass. This isn’t a victory for the Democrats by any means. It’s not a total victory for the Republicans either, but the balance of this deal benefits the GOP more than the Dems. If the most “extreme” of the judges get floor votes, it’s going to be very hard for Harry Reid and his motley crew to paint the nomination of others as fitting into the category of “extreme circumstances.”

Of course, where this will really bite the GOP in the ass is in Supreme Court nominations. This fight hasn’t been ended, just delayed for a bit. We will be seeing this issue reemerge soon.

John Hinderocker of Powerline savages the compromise.

…as does Mitch Berg

and Captain Ed

and Michelle Malkin

The GOP blogosphere is not happy about this one.

Personally, I’m more sanguine. This was a stalling tactic. We got Owen, Pryor, and Brown, all three of which deserve an up-or-down vote. I don’t think that neither Saad nor Myers had the votes to pass. Myers was the least impressive of the bunch (although still a good judge), and Saad’s email nastygram disparaging a Senator was probably enough to sink him. (Sad, but true.)

The nuclear option is not off the table. At the very least, we’re back where we were except with three judges passed through. In the virtual certainty that the Democrats try to pull this sort of thing on a SCOTUS nominee, the Republicans have grounds to declare bad faith and return to the nuclear option — which sadly, is probably going to be exactly the outcome we get from all this.

5 thoughts on “The Deal

  1. I don’t think that neither Saad nor Myers had the votes to pass.

    Jay, if that was the case why didn’t the Dems simply defeat them by floor vote? That’s not a rhetorical question either.

  2. Afraid you’ve got this one all wrong, Jay. The nuclear option was always a once-in-a-lifetime long shot. It can’t happen now — at least not until a Democrat controls the White House.

    The three judges, in the grand scheme of things, weren’t important. The real battlefield is the Supreme Court. And you can bet your life that if Bush nominates a conservative for that Court, it will be deemed an extreme circumstance by the Democrats and the press.

  3. Whatever the implications on SCJ appointments, Bush has all but assured he’ll be able to stack lower-level courts with whatever right-wing ideologue he cherry picks. As usual, most of us are missing the forest for the trees by focusing on the culture wars with these judicial nominations. This “deal” assures anti-populist judges joined directly to corporate America’s hip will be rubber-stamped, institutionalizing a judicial branch that will uphold Bush’s bloodthirsty assault on working people, be it the rolling back of overtime benefits, workplace ergonomics standards, or the latest perceived entitlement of corporate America, pension theft.

    On the surface, Spoons is right that the deal looks to put a stake in the heart of the nuclear option, at least until the next election when most of the red-state Democrats (Landrieu, Nelson) get voted out and replaced with more Bill Frist clones, at which points the votes may very well be there to revive the idea. Regarding SCJ’s, Bush will definitely nominate a hard-right justice to replace the conservative Rehnquist, but after that, I seriously doubt we’ll see him nominate another justice from the Scalia or Thomas mode, particularly if it meant Roe v. Wade would be overturned. When Bush said he had no interest in seeing that ruling overturned back in 2003, it was one of the rare moments when I took him at his word. The worst thing that could happen to the Republican Party would be to reel in the abortion carrot when it’s been luring in naive “values voters” to the GOP trough over and over and over again.

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