IMAGINE IT IS THE SPRING of 2006, John Kerry is president, and the Democrats hold the same number of Senate seats as the Republicans do today--51. President Kerry has made dozens of nominations to the bench, but he is frustrated because the Republican minority has used the filibuster to block floor votes on a growing number of his nominees to the all-important circuit courts of appeal.This is exactly what will happen. Of course, what do you bet that this stonewalling would be played differently in the press?
It takes 60 votes to break a filibuster, but those Republicans have stood firm. What is Kerry to do? Does he dare use his recess appointment power to place some of his nominees on the bench, even though they can stay there only until the end of the next session of Congress? He winds up doing precisely that, infuriating Senate Republicans.
All of that is impossible to imagine, you say. But it isn't--not unless you are certain that a Republican minority would fail to follow the precedent that has been set by the current Democratic minority.
Friday, April 23, 2004
Terry Eastland looks at the disturbing precedent that the Democrats have set in their blocking all judicial nominations because they're ticked that Bush had made a couple of recess appointments.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 6:51 AM