Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Compromise? Cave-In is the More Appropriate Term

There are several good pieces out there on the Republicans' latest act of dishonor and betrayal. Here is a concise, accurate description of what happened from the Family Research Council...

An Ignoble Judicial Compromise

In the year 1790 the original 13 colonies ratified the U.S. Constitution; over two centuries later, 14 U.S. Senators (seven Republicans, seven Democrats) agreed to a "compromise" on judicial nominations that effectively legitimizes overriding the presidential power to appoint judges with only the "advice and consent" of the Senate. The seven Republicans who participated in the deal need to explain what Republicans gained in this "compromise" that they did not already have--other than the fickle admiration of the mainstream media. The crux of the "deal" is that three judicial nominees (Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, and William Pryor) will finally get an up- or-down vote. The "compromise" appears to abandon judicial nominees like Brett Kavanaugh, William Myers, Henry Saad, Thomas Griffith and William Haynes. All of the abandoned candidates are outstanding nominees who deserve the same up-or-down vote by the whole Senate but still face an unprecedented judicial filibuster.

However, seven Republican Senators, playing the role of Neville Chamberlain, threw them overboard in the name of "compromise." Peace won by the compromise of principles is a short-lived achievement. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) had it right when he described the "deal" on the Senate floor: "I fundamentally believe that it is our constitutional responsibility to give judicial nominees the respect and the courtesy of an up-or-down vote on the floor of the United States Senate. Investigate them. And question them. And scrutinize them. And debate them ... But then, vote ... each deserves a vote."