Monday, May 23, 2005

Lock those fallout shelters, nuclear option averted

There will be no Senate shutdown by the obstructionist Democrats and no employment of the nuclear option by the Republicans. Yes, the filibuster on judicial nominees has been saved and the United States Senate (and, more importantly, its respective committees which have been shut down since the middle of last week at the parliamentary maneuvering of disgruntled Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid) will be open and fully functional tomorrow as centrist GOP's and Dems have reached a deal on the handling of SCOTUS and federal bench judge nominations. According to this AP dispatch:
Democrats would agree to oppose any attempt to filibuster -- and thus block final votes -- on the confirmation of Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor. There is "no commitment to vote for or against" the filibuster against two other conservative nominees, Henry Saad and William Myers.

As for future nominees, the agreement said they should "only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances," with each Democrat senator holding the discretion to decide when those conditions had been met.

"In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement," Republicans said they would oppose any attempt to make changes in the application of filibuster rules.

Orthomom can go to sleep happy tonight knowing that the uninformed American public can continue not worrying about who fills those judicial vacancies, establishes judicial precedents in our great nation, and decides what is deemed legal and illegal in a court of law. After all, the price of gasoline is clearly more important, right?
I don't mean to be snippy (and this is less at Orthomom than the people who participated in the poll she highlighted) but it often depresses me how little people care about what goes on in government and only care about their own personal lives. What goes on in DC and your state and your municipality does affect you and who is confirmed as a judge in a federal court on any circuit and level can affect you, especially if you ever end up in one of those courts. Sometimes arguing about seemingly arcane and 214 year old parliamentary rules looks like the actors are "acting like 'spoiled children'" but the little things matter. A wise sage once said that it's not just the aesthetics that matter; we care about the details, too. It's time consuming, it's difficult to keep up, and it takes dedication but it's high time people start paying attention to what their elected officials do, it's time to hold them accountable, and it's time for you and your friends to get more involved.


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