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

Friday, May 13, 2005

Save the Filibuster by Filibustering Bolton

Whenever the Republicans who favor the nuclear option talk they are able to make it out like the Dems are doing something “unprecedented” in blocking the nominees. Part of this comes from the fact that there is no precise definition of what a “filibuster” is (sure there are cloture votes but that is only part of the equation). Part of it is because they are (very good) liars.

If you point out to them that some of Clinton’s judicial nominees who took four years or more to confirm they will say that either the nominees were ultimately given an up or down vote which proves that there was not a filibuster. With this reason, couldn’t the Dems argue, you really can’t call what we are doing a filibuster until the end of GWB’s term?

Or they might say that they used blue slips. Of course they don’t mention how blue slips have changed since GWB has become president.

Or they say, we used tools of the majority and they could not get out of committee. Of course not answering the question, if a majority was truly opposed, why would they need to block an up or down vote.

So here is why Bolton should be filibustered. Because filibustering him is on “all fours” with prior unassailable Republican action. Namely the filibuster of Henry Foster. If Henry Foster doesn’t have the right to an up or down vote to be a (virtually) ceremonial federal officer then why should any nominee have such a right?

Of course they will respond, judges are different from other presidential nominees. I would love to know where that language is in Art. II, Sec. 2, Clause 2.

Actually I think that a President deserves more deference in appointees to his administration than to judicial posts but I would be fine to agree the deference is equally limited.

I am sure the Republicans won’t let Bolton “trigger” the nuclear option but one can wish.


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