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Reply #3: Filibuster Deal Puts Democrats In a Bind [View All]

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cal04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-03-05 10:18 PM
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3. Filibuster Deal Puts Democrats In a Bind
Democrats' hopes of blocking a staunchly conservative Supreme Court nominee on ideological grounds could be seriously undermined by the six-week-old bipartisan deal on judicial nominees, key senators said yesterday. With President Bush expected to name a successor to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor next week, liberals are laying the groundwork to challenge the nominee if he or she leans solidly to the right on affirmative action, abortion and other contentious issues.

But even 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.

The distinction is crucial because Democrats want to force Bush to pick a centrist, not a staunch conservative as many activist groups on the political right desire. Holding only 44 of the Senate's 100 seats, Democrats have no way to block a Republican-backed nominee without employing a filibuster, which takes 60 votes to stop


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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