Man Without Qualities

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Could The Senate Filibuster Deal Really Be THAT Big A Democratic Loss?

The Washington Post reports on the upcoming Supreme Court appointment confirmation battle:

[E]ven if they can show that the nominee has sharply held views on matters that divide many Americans, some of the 14 senators who crafted the May 23 compromise appear poised to prevent that strategy from blocking confirmation to the high court, according to numerous interviews.

The pact, signed by seven Democrats and seven Republicans, says a judicial nominee will be filibustered only under "extraordinary circumstances." Key members of the group said yesterday that a nominee's philosophical views cannot amount to "extraordinary circumstances" and that therefore a filibuster can be justified only on questions of personal ethics or character.
If that claim is correct, it represents an extraordinary miscall by a wide range of analysts. Only hours after the Senate filibuster "deal" was announced, scads of analysts across the political spectrum rushed to explain why the terms of the deal favored the Democrats: Stone to Kaus to Sowell to the New York Times (on both sides of its nearly abolished line dividing "news" from "editorial opinion") and beyond were depicting the filibuster deal cut by the "gang of 14" as a substantial disappointment for conservatives and Republicans.

Yet, the Post now tells us that deal prohibits recourse to all of the most important ideological and jurisprudential criteria the Democrats need to satisfy their now-frantic constituencies, such as NOW:
NOW president Kim Gandy told about 800 NOW members Friday that women need to send a message that they won't tolerate "extremist" judges who set back women's rights. "This is our time. This is our challenge," Gandy said as the crowd replied by clapping and chanting, "Hell no, we won't go" and "We won't go back." .... Gandy said the group fears "a nominee along the lines of some of the extremist judges that have been put on the appellate court by George Bush."
If what the Post reports is correct and holds up in the Senate, Mr. Bush can do exactly what Ms. Gandy fears most, so long as he chooses a candidate of impeccable personal ethics and character.

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