Occassional reflections of a moderate (hey at least I think I am)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

On Sen. Lugar

I just watched Sen. Lugar on FoxNews Sunday regarding the filibuster. Unfortunately, it appears that he will support the “nuclear option”. He articulately made the case for filibusters applying to legislation but not to “executive” matters such as nominations. Two problems with this:

First, Senate Rule XXII does not make a distinction between the two types of actions. If the filibuster can be removed for this purpose, the rule no longer exists. The leadership may promise Sen. Lugar and others that the filibuster will not be removed with respect to “legislative” matters, but there is nothing that assures that.

The second point I would make is that Sen. Lugar has participated in filibusters of “executive” calendar matters. In addition to filibustering a judicial nominee in 1980 (now Justice Breyer), Sen. Lugar filibustered a nominee for one of the most ceremonial and symbolic positions in all of the government. I know that I should not expect FoxNews to question Sen. Lugar on these discrepancies but I do expect more of Mr. Wallace.


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