Posted on 05/24/2005 4:00:31 PM PDT by ml/nj
From: "Senator Bill Frist" <Senator.Bill.Frist@publicaster.com>
Subject: Constitutional Option Alive As Democrats Crack On Judges
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 20:51:41 +0000
As promised, an update on the judicial nominee front ...
Last night, an arrangement was reached by fourteen of my colleagues. I was not a party to it, and here's why...
I do not agree with it because it does not get the job done of ensuring fair, up or down votes on all judicial nominees sent to the Senate by the President.
It is my firm belief that--on principle--all judicial nominees deserve an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate.
The new understanding, if followed in good faith, affirms my principle to some extent. It marks some break in the partisan obstruction of the past two years, and ensures that seven outstanding jurists-including Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and William Pryor--will get the fair up or down votes they have long deserved.
But it does not grant fairness to all other jurists. It still allows mindless filibusters to be triggered at the whim of a minority more interested in obstruction than progress.
And that is a shame.
So make no mistake, the Constitutional Option remains on the table. If the minority again acts in bad faith--if they resume their campaign of mindless judicial obstruction--I will NOT hesitate to call it to a vote.
Not for a second.
For too long on judicial nominees, the filibuster was abused to facilitate partisanship, and subvert principle.
We have exposed the injustice of judicial obstruction in the last Congress, and advanced the core Constitutional principle that all judicial nominees deserve a fair up or down vote on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
So the Senate will begin to execute this arrangement, with a vote up or down on Priscilla Owen. Giving up their minority-party led obstructionism, the Senate invoked cloture on her today by a vote of 81-18. Priscilla Owen--after four years, two weeks and two days--will finally receive the fair, up or down vote she deserves.
And, mark my words, more judges like her will follow in the days ahead. I hope the minority will respect the will of the majority, and give judges the courtesy, the respect, of a fair, up or down vote.