23 May 2005

Normal Function Is A 'Runaway Majority?'

Senator Ben Nelson, on CNN.com today:

What's at stake is the rights of the minority to make sure that you don't have a runaway majority.

I'll give you that restricting the filibuster could be perceived as a step toward an uncontrolled majority. But, um... what about the Dems' filibusters in the first place? The president nominates judges, the Senate votes yea or nay on them based on a simple majority. It's ridiculous to claim that Bush's nominations and the Republican desire for an up-or-down vote represent a 'runaway majority.' In this case, the Democratic minority knows (or strongly suspects) that the vote will come out against them, and thus we have a runaway minority engaged in unprecedented filibuster.

Update: Well, seems as though there was a compromise, life in the Senate can continue. Remains to be seen what 'extraordinary circumstances' we might be encountering over the next year and a half. This issue may be settled for now, but we're definitely not done with conflict over judicial nominations.

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