senate dems show spine again
w00t! From the WaPo: Senate Democrats Plan Filibuster to Stop Selection of Owen
One word: Good.
And, of course, Bush has still failed to break the filibuster of Miguel Estrada. The news is not entirely good; the Senate did confirm, on a mostly party-line 51 to 42 vote, former Ohio solicitor general Jeffrey Sutton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
But this fight is ultimately about the Supreme Court, and sends an entirely appropriate message to Bush that a President with his slim -- indeed, nonexistent -- electoral mandate should not be permitted ot pack the courts with ideologues, and that any Supreme Court nomination -- if he gets to make one at all -- would be met withprofound scrutiny.
As a poster to a Daily Kos comment thread put it, "In no way should members of the high court be allowed to arrange for their own succession. They inserted themselves in the outcome of the election with their partisan and unprincipled decision to halt the vote count in Florida.
Allowing Bush to fill any vacancies in the high court would tantamount to complicity in their coup: An act that strikes at the separation of powers, a cornerstone of our republic."
And speaking of separation of powers, "qualification" is a pathetic argument used by those who, conciously or not, wish the Senate to be simply a rubber-stamp for judicial picks by (and only by) a President of their ideological bent. The Senate's role is to advise and consent. Obtaining the Senate's consent means more than exploiting a razor-thin margin; it's about nominating judges that even the loyal opposition can live with. Of course, to the radicals currently running the GOP, "loyal" and "opposition" are mutually exclusive concepts. I believe that their brand of politics will ultimately be more damaging for their side.