POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Senate Republicans threaten filibuster again … and again, Senate Democrats under Harry Reid don’t have the guts to force them to make fools of themselves by actually conducting a filibuster rather than just threatening one … instead of just complaining, President Obama should make the Senate Democrats act

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 7, 2011

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as reported in the NYT (12/6/11) …

  • Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked confirmation of Caitlin J. Halligan, a prominent New York lawyer, to be a federal appeals court judge.
  • Democrats failed to pick up the 60 votes needed under Senate rules to break a filibuster of a confirmation vote for Ms. Halligan, a former New York State solicitor general.
  • The vote to break the filibuster was 54 to 45 and was largely along party lines;
    • only one Republican, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, favored allowing an up-or-down vote on Ms. Halligan, while no Democrats voted against it.
  • In a statement shortly after the Senate vote, Mr. Obama expressed disappointment and accused Republicans of undermining the judicial confirmation process for partisan purposes.
    • “Her nomination fell victim to the Republican pattern of obstructionism that puts party ahead of country,” Mr. Obama said.
    • “Today’s vote dramatically lowers the bar used to justify a filibuster, which had required ‘extraordinary circumstances.’
    • The only extraordinary things about Ms. Halligan are her qualifications and her intellect.”
  • The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, led the Republican Party’s opposition to the nomination, saying Ms. Halligan’s record demonstrated that she viewed the court as a means of advancing a social agenda instead of as a forum for even-handedly deciding legal questions.

read the entire article at … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/us/senate-gop-blocks-confirmation-of-caitlin-halligan-as-judge.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

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LMW COMMENT …

The problem is not that Senate Republicans don’t want to confirm a judge because of her political views … that’s their privilege.

The problem is the insane Senate filibuster rule that allows a minority to prevent majority rule. It should take 51 votes to pass anything in the Senate, not 60.

The problem is also the Democratic majority under Harry Reid which doesn’t have the guts to force the Republicans to make fools of themselves by actually conducting a filibuster rather than just threatening one.

If President Obama was the kind of leader we want him to be,

he would be making the Senate Democrats force a filibuster

instead of just complaining about the Republicans.

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