My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


And Speaking of Judges

A showdown is coming:

Setting the stage for a long-anticipated showdown, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced Friday he will seek confirmation next week for two of President Bush’s conservative judicial nominees blocked by Democrats.

Well, now. Once more unto the breach, dear friends?? At the same time:

NBC's Ken Strickland reports that the floor vote may not happen for a few days to allow more time for debate. Although it's rare for nominees to get confirmed without committee recommendations, Strickland notes that Clarence Thomas was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 without one, and was approved by the full Senate, 52-48. But there's also the prospect of a Democratic filibuster. And given the timing of a Bolton floor vote, it could happen right around the same time that Bill Frist decides to hold a vote to eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominations. (Per the New York Times, however, Frist’s chief staff notes that it could come after the vote on the filibuster. See below.) Remember that Senate Republicans have insisted that the move to eliminate the filibuster would only apply to judicial nominees, but some Democrats have suggested Republicans would apply it to other issues, as well.

So, let's play this out a little bit. Say Bolton comes to the floor early next week, and the Dems decide to filibuster his nomination. Does Frist go nuclear on that one early, and save the trouble on the judges? Or does all the talk of the "judicial" filibuster tie his hands and make it impossible to move on John Bolton? And, if his hands are tied up by the filibuster, does that freeze any action on judges for next week? And would he be strong enough to force their hand on this filibuster and keep them in session until the proverbial cows come home?

So, this could all be very entertaining. Somebody pop some popcorn, turn on the CSPAN, and sit back and see what happens.

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