the deal

A deal has been agreed to, and, at least for now, it doesn’t look as though the Senate’s rules concerning minority rights (i.e. the filibuster) are in danger… In exchange for a promise to vote for cloture on the judicial nominees Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen, the Republicans have agreed not to exercise the “nuclear option” against the Senate’s longstanding rules. Most importantly, that means that Democrats can still filibuster Supreme Court nominees, should they hold views that fall far outside the American mainstream.

From what I can tell, the party faithful on both sides are pissed, so maybe it was a good compromise. I’d like to think that the Democrats could have won, had they stuck to their guns and not given the Republicans a way to back down and save (some) face, but the risk was probably too great. With all things considered, it was probably a good deal. (If you follow that last link, you’ll get lots of vitriol from the religious right, who are absolutely livid that the Republicans accepted a compromise… Dobson and company are looking for blood.)

The New York Times attributes the deal to Byrd, Warner, and McCain.

I just received the following note from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid:

There is good news for every American in this agreement. The so-called “nuclear option” is off the table. This is a significant victory for our country, for democracy, and for all Americans. Checks and balances in our government have been preserved.

The integrity of future Supreme Courts has been protected from the undue influences of a vocal, radical faction of the right that is completely out of step with mainstream America. That was the intent of the Republican “nuclear option” from the beginning. Tonight, the Senate has worked its will on behalf of reason, responsibility and the greater good. We have sent President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the radical arm of the Republican base an undeniable message: Abuse of power will not be tolerated, and attempts to trample the Constitution and grab absolute control are over. We are a separate and equal branch of government. That is our founding fathers’ vision, and one we hold dear.

I offered Senator Frist several options similar to this compromise, and while he was not able to agree, I am pleased that some responsible Republicans and my colleagues were able to put aside there differences and work from the center. I do not support several of the judges that have been agreed to because their views and records display judicial activism that jeopardize individual rights and freedoms. But other troublesome nominees have been turned down. And, most importantly, the U.S. Senate retains the checks and balances to ensure all voices are heard in our democracy and the Supreme Court make-up cannot be decided by a simple majority.

I am grateful to my colleagues who brokered this deal. Now, we can move beyond this time-consuming process that has deteriorated the comity of this great institution. I am hopeful that we can quickly turn to work on the people’s business. We need to ensure our troops have the resources they need to fight in Iraq and that Americans are free from terrorism. We need to protect retiree’s pensions and long-term security. We need to expand healthcare opportunities for all families. We need to address rising gasoline prices and energy independence. And we need to restore fiscal responsibility and rebuild our economy so that it lifts all American workers. That is our reform agenda, the people’s reform agenda. Together, we can get the job done.

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  1. Posted May 24, 2005 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t know about the compromise, but I’d like to think that a U.S. Senator would know the difference between “there” and “their.”

  2. john galt
    Posted May 24, 2005 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    just another cut and paste since mark loves it so. I don’t really see anything wrong with it, it’s no different than his cut and pastes from move-on, or any of the other communist sites he reads. Anywho..

    The deal still allows a filibuster in the case of an “extraordinary circumstance” so how do you define that? Boortz has a definition.

    An “extraordinary circumstance” would arise with the nomination of a judicial candidate who:

    1. Believes that the powers of the federal government are actually enumerated in the Constitution and, thus, are not unlimited.
    2. Strongly believes in private property rights.
    3. Has a history of statements or rulings which indicate a belief that all people should be treated equally under the laws of the United States, with no preferences based on race, ethnicity or gender.
    4. Shows a history of basing rulings on the concept of individual rights rather than group rights.
    5. Is both a conservative and a member of a minority, i.e., the Clarence Thomas disease.

  3. Ken
    Posted May 24, 2005 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with a little compromise. It is the most deliberate governmental body. Not a place to showing off the size of your balls and how well you play chicken.

  4. Posted May 26, 2005 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    I actually appreciate the cut-and-pastes, Mark, because I don’t always have time to click on the link and read the whole piece. Ignore the nay-sayers.

  5. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Nothing wrong with a little cut and paste. People commenting can put it in a blockquote just like Mark does on the main page. All you have to do is use the following tags:


    Your cut and paste stuff.


    Much easier to look at and less is more.

  6. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I was trying to get those thing-ies to show up without turning into actual blockquotes. Here it is with dashes. Just remove the dashes:

    cut and paste

    Hopefully this works better. Tricking computers is hard!

  7. Ken
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 8:45 am | Permalink


    cut and paste


  8. Stella
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    All this bandying about of the word communist just keeps reminding me of the Daniel Pinkwater book, I think it’s “the Snarkout Boys and the Avacado of Death”,
    where the kids Mom is always telling him to watch out for the Commonists and not to talk to any Commonists

  9. Teddy Glass
    Posted May 26, 2005 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Have you read the Crimewave interview with Pinkwater? I think it’s available on-line, Stella.

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