Filibuster

Huckabee Climbs Aboard The Tea Party Bandwagon

It seems that Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts has turned Mike Huckabee into a Tea Party true believer. 

A few months back, when tea party activists were making the Doug Hoffman/Dede Scozzafava the proving ground for ideological loyalty, Huckabee was conspicuously absent until the very last minute when he jumped in over after Scozzafava had dropped out.

Similarly, in the Brown race, Huckabee basically sat on the sidelines, but in the wake of his win, Huckabee is suddenly climbing aboard the tea party bandwagon, first claiming that members of Congress "should be tarred and feathered as the original tea partiers would have done" and now declaring that "The Tea Party Movement is Changing America" and that he is thrilled to be a part of it:

The 21st century Tea Party movement is changing America. That’s not an overstatement, it is a fact.

The original Tea Party happened on December 16, 1773, when 5,000 patriots gathered at the Old South Meeting House, a site used for both worship and politics. Our Tea Party ancestors tossed the tea overboard to protest “taxation without representation” because they weren’t permitted to elect a member to the British parliament.

Today we have seen our government turn a deaf ear to the people, pushing through bailouts and stimulus spending without representation. For months they’ve tried their best to push through a health care bill that few wanted, only to be stopped again this time by the Massachusetts Tea Party and the election of Scott Brown on January 19.

But mark my words: Congressional Democrats and President Obama haven’t given up.
Now we are hearing rumors that the Senate may try to use reconciliation to get around the filibuster. Just another procedural maneuver to thwart the will of the people. Every member of Congress knows in their heart that the American people don’t want the health care bill that Congress has before it and yet they continue to push for it out of arrogance.

The Tea Party movement was started by Americans insisting on fiscal responsibility in government, limited government based on the Constitution, and the free market system. They played a large role in the town hall meetings in August, at which lawmakers got an earful, they helped propel Republicans to victory in Virginia and New Jersey in November and again this month in Massachusetts. Now it’s time for the Tea Party patriots to step up again and help raise the pressure on Congress to bury Obama-care once and for all. I know they will. And I will step up with them.

Don't Get Too Comfortable, Scott Brown

It seems that while the pundits and prognosticators are mulling over just what Scott Brown's victory means for President Obama, the Democratic agenda in Congress, and the future of the Republican Party, a theme is starting to emerge among the Religious Right that as exciting as Brown's win may have been, he's really just another RINO.

Randall Terry was first out of the box, saying that Brown's win was better than a Coakley win, but "we must not deceive ourselves or our supporters about Scott Brown, and his true position on child killing. We need to replace Scott Brown as soon as we can with a true defender of babies' lives, not a phony who supports their murder." 

Alan Keyes has made a similar point:

Conservatives working to restore constitution freedom can cheer for Obama's defeat, but take no cheer from Brown's victory because he is a typical RINO (Republican-in-name-only) who:

* has no differences in principle with the socialist-minded Democrats;

* embraces the substance of Obama's socialist agenda, but "opposes" Obama by criticizing his implementation of socialism, especially when it comes to fiscal matters;

* agrees in principle with the Democrats on the fundamental issues of justice and morality but employs the deceptive rhetoric of personal opinion to evade the questions of public law and policy they involve. Such issues include child-murder and other abrogations of the unalienable right to life, as well as the rejection of the God-endowed rights of the natural family.

Matt Barber is likewise of the view that Brown is little more than a "tourniquet"

Many social conservatives (of which I’m one) have complained that the senator-elect is woefully flawed on social issues – particularly abortion. This is true.

Still, to my pro-life, pro-family compatriots, I offer this: While bleeding to death, one may be left no choice but to apply a tourniquet. A tourniquet is less than ideal. It may even cost a limb; however, it’s also likely to save one’s life. Obama has sliced open America’s wrists with his cutting political agenda. Time is of the essence. By providing Senate Republicans the crucial 41st vote needed to filibuster, Scott Brown supplies the tourniquet.

...

Of course, none of this justifies Brown’s indefensible position on abortion, “civil unions” and other social issues. I and others will not rest until he, and all who have been so deceived by the euphemistic language of “choice” and “reproductive freedom,” likewise recognize that all persons – whether born or pre-born – share an “inalienable right to life” that in every instance trumps another’s phantom “right to choose” premeditated murder.

Most importantly, even the Family Research Council admits that they are not happy with many of Brown's views but withheld criticism in pursuit of short term goals: 

Social conservatives held back criticism of Brown's social views--and, in some cases, openly supported him--because they believe a Brown win fulfills a short term goal of blocking President Obama's abominable health bill. Of course, the Republican Establishment would like us to believe that Scott Brown's moderate platform on life and marriage is a recipe for conservative success in 2010.

So it remains to be seen just how long the current infatuation with Brown lasts and if, when he comes up for re-election down the road, right-wing groups who are happy with his election now will be change their tune and end up backing a "true conservative" primary challenger later.

Obviously, that is a long way away ... but given that the Right doesn't really support Brown now, it is entirely possible that he might eventually find himself the next Dede Scozzafava or Charlie Crist.

The Single Most Important Election In American History

I was fully prepared for conservative gloating in the event that Scott Brown won the special election for the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy.  It was, after all, a significant victory ... but according to the early commentary from right-wing analysts, it was not only an impressive upset but rather the single most important election in the history of America, ever - an election which signals the complete and utter downfall of everything from health care to immigration reform, and the end of President Obama and the (still sizable) Democratic majorities in Congress:

The Christian Defense Coalition:

Let me be clear. Tonight a second American Revolution has begun in the great state of Massachusetts. It is a revolution fueled by passion and the belief that the voice of people matters more than the narrow views of the political elite.

"A republican win in Massachusetts for the seat held by Senator Ted Kennedy for over 40 years was unthinkable even a few months ago.

"What changed?

"The American people have become angry and frustrated by the policies of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and the arrogant way they have completely disregarded the voice of the people.

"You cannot promise to be transparent in the health care debate and ensure it is shown on television and then try to hammer out closed back room deals and expect the American public to sit idly by.

"President Obama has been tone deaf when it comes to the desires, wishes and dreams of the American people.

"For example, 71% of the American people oppose public monies being used to pay for abortions yet President Obama has ignored this fact and pressed forward with this flawed health care reform.

"Tonight is a clear signal that hope and change has turned into anger and frustration and the revolution has begun.

"Bring on November 2010."

Concerned Women for America:

Today's vote in Massachusetts was as much about the Obama/Reid/Pelosi regime as it was to select a new senator. The voters in the bluest of states rejected the candidate who supported the latest power grab of ObamaCare.

"Massachusetts' citizens know what ObamaCare would be like -- their state passed oppressive health care 'reform' that subsidizes abortions. They're paying the high prices and getting less health care because of it.

"But that doesn't mean President Obama, Sen. Reid or Rep. Pelosi will listen to this extraordinary message. They never quit -- they just get sneakier.

Deacon Keith Fournier:

On the day before the anniversary of the swearing in of President Barack Obama, the people of blue collar Massachusetts have sent a strong message. They showed that there is a growing angst in the US electorate over the economy, unemployment, bailouts, deficits and the expansion of the power and role of the federal government.

This special election in Massachusetts will be the subject of continuing speculation among the pundits for months. Already, the finger- pointing has begun in efforts to assess blame. Whether it will spark a wave of retirements among Democrats whose seats are up this year and whether it signals a national trend against the Democratic Party are just two of the many topics which will serve as fodder for talking heads in the days ahead.

However, there is no doubt that Senator Elect Brown’s significant victory is a wake up call to the current national leadership of the Democratic Party. Several media personalities who not only disparaged Scott Brown but ruthlessly savaged him will be eating a lot of crow. Their commentary will most certainly be played over and over again as the pundit class smells blood in the waters.

What is also clear is that the election in Massachusetts signals a major shift in the sentiment of US voters. It is not a sign of a new partisan movement, but a movement away from many of the big government approaches of the current administration. The emergence of the Independent voter in the two Commonwealth States of Virginia and Massachusetts will become the story of the campaigns of 2010 and 2012.

Susan B. Anthony List:

"On the heels of last fall's victories by Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie, Scott Brown's victory is just the beginning of the consequences Congressional incumbents will face this November. Anyone who votes to advance health care legislation that funds abortion on-demand should consider themselves on notice.

"The election of Scott Brown is no accident. This election is about more than parties or candidates. The election is just one more sign of the overreach of the President and Congress. The American people have spoken tonight.

Americans for Legal Immigration PAC:

"The Brown victory not only breaks the Democratic 60 vote hold on the U.S. Senate needed for cloture votes, but it sends a clear message that voters prefer pro-enforcement candidates instead of pro-amnesty candidates." said William Gheen, president of ALIPAC. "We will be working hard to defeat the Amnesty legislation filed in Congress and to repeat the Brown-Coakley scenario in hundreds of races this November."

...

"Americans are sick and tired of politicians who are servants of powerful special interests, instead of the American public." said Gheen. "A political revolution has begun in America, illegal immigration is a core issue fueling that revolt, and a lot of politicians are about to join the unemployment lines."

Fred Barnes:

Oh, yes. The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection. Brown ran to be the 41st vote for filibuster and now he is just that. Democrats have talked up clever strategies to pass the bill in the Senate despite Brown, but they won’t fly. It’s one thing for ObamaCare to be rejected by the American public in poll after poll. But it becomes a matter of considerably greater political magnitude when ObamaCare causes the loss of a Senate race in the blue state of Massachusetts.

Then there’s the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi insists some version of ObamaCare will be approved and soon. She’s not kidding. She’s simply wrong. At best, she has the minimum 218 votes for passage. After the Massachusetts fiasco, however, there’s sure to be erosion. How many Democrats in Republican-leaning districts want to vote for ObamaCare, post-Massachusetts? Not many.

And finally Joseph Farah:

I hate to say it, but I really did tell you so.

...

This is just the beginning.

It's not the Republican Party that made this happen.

It was an awakening by the American people.

They don't want to live under socialism.

They don't want to live under tyranny.

They don't want to live in a nanny state.

They don't want to live in misery.

They don't want to live under government's thumb.

They want to be free.

So let's celebrate today. Let's smile and rejoice. Let's take comfort in what appears to be a second chance for America.

Following Defeat, Religious Right Mobilizes For A Filibuster

Earlier today I had a post pulling together right-wing reaction to the defeat of Sen. Ben Nelson's anti-choice amendment to the healthcare reform legislation and it seems as if they are not about to take the defeat lying down, and so they are mobilizing to get Senators to filibuster the bill

"[T]his is a long way from over," the National Right to Life Committee said in a statement, noting that the bill again must pass the House, where there are a bloc of pro-life Democrats.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said he found Tuesday's Senate vote both "discouraging and encouraging."

"It's discouraging that the Senate as a whole could not comprehend the need to respect the will of 70 percent of the American people that public funds should not pay for or subsidize the killing of our nation's unborn citizens," Land told Baptist Press. "It was encouraging in that the motion to table got 54 votes, well short of the 60 needed to stop a filibuster. As long as there are sufficient pro-life senators such as Sen. Nelson who are willing to filibuster any health legislation that does not contain these restrictions on abortion, it will be difficult to break the filibuster and pass the entire bill.

"In that case," Land added, "then pro-choice supporters will have to decide between their pro-choice convictions and their desire for a vastly increased government role in health care."

Other groups, including the Family Research Council, Democrats for Life, Concerned Women for America and Americans United for Life, also said they would support a filibuster.

"We now have no choice but to work vigorously to defeat this bill," Americans United for Life said.

...

Pro-life groups are trying to pressure those and other Democratic senators to support a filibuster if pro-life language isn't added. The Family Research Council says it is calling every household in Arkansas, South Dakota and Louisiana -- all conservative states with Democratic senators -- to conduct a survey on such topics as abortion funding, rationing, higher taxes and the public option. It is also calling pro-life households in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Participants who answer a particular way will be given information on contacting their senators, an FRC release stated. Democratic Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Jim Webb (Va.) and Mark Warner (Va.) all sided with pro-choicers in voting to table the Nelson amendment.

"We're doing everything in our power to make sure that the constituents of those senators know that those senators are voting to expand abortion in this country," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.

Those Delicate Republicans

Ever since Barak Obama was elected to the White House and Democrats took control of Congress, we have heard nothing from Republicans and right-wing activists but a stream of rhetoric about how they are all a bunch of Nazi-socialist-Marxist-communist-baby-killing-America-hating-anti-God radicals bent on turning this nation into a totalitarian dictatorship. 

Today, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid likened the current Republican attempt to stop healthcare reform to past efforts to stymie progress, and the Republicans are absolutely outraged:

Reid started by mimicking Republicans whom he claims have said: "'Slow down, stop everything, let's start over."

"You think you've heard these same excuses before? You're right," he continued. "In this country there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down, it's too early. Let's wait. Things aren't bad enough' -- about slavery. When women wanted to vote [they said] 'Slow down, there will be a better day to do that -- the day isn't quite right...'"

He finished with: "When this body was on the verge of guaranteeing equal civil rights to everyone regardless of the color of their skin, some senators resorted to the same filibuster threats that we hear today."

Reaction was swift. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who is black, questioned Reid's state of mind -- and demanded an apology.

“Harry Reid is under immense pressure to pass this 2,000 page experiment on our nation’s health – an experiment that creates a new $1 trillion dollar federal entitlement program by cutting $500 billion from Medicare, all at a time when our country is in miserable debt and facing an extreme job crisis. The pressure has apparently led Senator Reid not only to make offensive and absurd statements, but also to lose his ability to reason... Having made this disgraceful statement on the floor of the United States Senate, Mr. Reid should immediately apologize on the Senate floor to his colleagues, to his constituents, and to the American people. If he is going to stand by these statements, the Democrats must immediately reconsider his fitness to lead them.”

Senate Republicans were also furious, reported POLITICO's Meredith Shiner, who went to their Q-and-A Monday.

"They are so desperate that it is unbelievable. And for Senator Reid to go out this morning and make such an outlandish statement like he made, just is another indication of the desperation that the Democrats are showing and the pressure that they're feeling," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (GA).

Said Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.). "I think it's beneath the dignity of the majority leader, for one. I think it's beneath the dignity of the Senate...to make any kind of outlandish claim similar to what was made on the Senate floor this morning, and I personally am insulted by the Majority Leader."

Remember when Michael Steele likened President Obama to Stalin and Kim Jong-Il? And he's demanding an apology?  Are you kidding me? 

Sen. Sessions' Newfound Love For the Filibuster

Back in 2005, when the Gang of 14 came together to thwart the Senate Republican majority's efforts to end the use of the filibuster against President Bush's judicial nominees, Sen. Jeff Sessions could barely hide his disappointment that he and his Republican colleagues did not get the chance to deploy the "nuclear option":

I am disappointed that this agreement did not provide the other nominees the right to a vote. I was prepared to support the Constitutional option, because these systematic filibusters amounted to an affront to the Constitution and could not be allowed to stand. I hope that all nominees will now receive fair treatment in this body and that the character assassinations and filibusters will disappear.

But now times have changed and Sessions is writing op-eds in the Washington Post saying that for Republicans not to filibuster President Obama's nominees would amount to "unilateral disarmament":

To be clear, I believe that the president is entitled to a reasonable degree of deference on his judicial nominations. I supported more than 90 percent of President Bill Clinton's judicial nominees, and I hope I am able to do the same for President Obama, even if they would not be my top choices.

But I take seriously the Senate's constitutionally mandated role to "advise and consent," and I am obligated to oppose nominees who have demonstrated either an unwillingness to subordinate themselves to the Constitution or a desire to advance a political, social or economic agenda from the bench.

This year, a number of my colleagues and I have voted against just three judicial nominees, including Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Only in the case of Judge Hamilton have we raised a procedural objection to Majority Leader Harry Reid's desire to proceed to a vote.

For Republicans to ignore the changed rules would be to acquiesce in a system where 60 votes are needed to confirm judges nominated by Republicans, but only 51 are required to confirm judges nominated by Democrats. To allow such a double standard would be akin to unilateral disarmament.

So Sessions hated the filibuster when it was being used against President Bush's nominees and wanted to get rid of it entirely, but was unable to do so due to an agreement among a handful of Senators, and now he is that it would be irresponsible for him not to launch filibusters against President Obama's nominees, despite saying just a few years back that he hoped that "filibusters will disappear"?

And for the record, Sessions' claim that he's "voted against just three" of Obama's judicial nominees means that he's voted against fully 30% of Obama nominees ... that would be akin a Democratic  senator having voted against nearly 100 [PDF] of President Bush's judicial nominees.

The "Extraordinary Circumstances" Of The McCain, Graham Filibuster Vote

It came as no surprise when Republicans attempted to filibuster the nomination of David Hamilton to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday considering that Sen. Jeff Sessions announced weeks ago that he intended to do so, depsite having opposed the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees when President Bush was in office. Sessions' effort was supported by a gaggle of right-wing activists who likewise opposed the filibuster when it was used against Bush's nominees, but suddenly abandoned their supposedly deeply-help and principled opposition to this sort of "unconstitutional" use of the filibuster. 

But most surprisingly about the vote, which failed 70-29, was that two Republican members of the so-called "Gang of 14" which worked out an agreement to prevent Senate Republicans from deploying the "nuclear option" back in 2005 joined Sessions and other Republicans in trying to filibuster Hamilton: John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

The Gang of 14 agreement stated:

Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.

And when it was announced, Graham hailed it as a significant step in ending the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees:

"The American people won tonight. The Senate is back in business. And I truly believe future judicial nominees will be treated better because of this agreement."

"The agreement allows up or down votes on deserving nominees and gives the Senate a chance to start over regarding future nominees. It's my hope both sides have learned from their mistakes and we can get back to the traditional way of doing business when it comes to judges.

"One of the major elements of the deal makes clear that if one of my seven Democratic colleagues decides to filibuster in the future because of an "extraordinary circumstance," I retain the right to vote for a rules change. It's my hope we never get to that point.

"With better communication and a spirit of putting the country ahead of ourselves, I believe we can avoid future filibusters.

McCain likewise praised the agreement:

I feel the long-term implications are that if this succeeds, then perhaps we will see other coalitions, not necessarily this one but other coalitions, that will join together and try to work for the good of the country. I don't believe that of the 14 of us that any of us had any other ambition than to try to prevent the Senate from going over a precipice.

Apparently McCain and Graham joined the Gang of 14 in order to prevent Senate Republicans from nuking the filibuster while ensuring the confirmation of several of President Bush's most controversial nominees ... just so they could try to use the filibuster against President Obama's very first Circuit Court nominee.

What exactly were the "extraordinary circumstances" in the Hamilton nomination that compelled Graham and McCain to attempt a filibuster after participating in and praising the Gang of 14 agreement as a way for the Senate to "avoid future filibusters"?

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Marco Rubio will be a keynote speaker at the next CPAC.
  • Tim LaHaye has now teamed up with Craig Parshall for a new series of apocalyptic novels.
  • Tom Tancredo says he is going to run for Governor in Colorado.
  • Gordon Klingenschmitt wants you to pay $17 to urge Senators to filibuster David Hamilton.
  • The perfect storm: Carrie Prejean interviewed by the co-author of Sarah Palin's new book.
  • Patrick Mahoney: Why is the FBI harassing me instead of Nidal Malik Hasan?
  • Next Monday, anti-Islam activists plan to rally for Rifqa.
  • Finally, FRC says Washington DC can't afford to not let religious groups discriminate because the city "will quickly find [that] without faith there is little good works."

Awaiting Red State's Next Spin-Off: Filibuster Them

I guess it should come as no surprise that Erick Erickson of Red State is leading the crusade urging Senate Republicans to filibuster David Hamilton's nomination:

Senator Jeff Sessions is calling on his colleagues to filibuster Judge David Hamilton. Go here and call your Senator. Tell your Senator to oppose cloture on David Hamilton and filibuster his nomination to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

At this point, seemingly everyone on the Right who, just a few years ago, was railing against the "unconstitutional" filibuster of judicial nominees has suddenly changed their tune now that President Obama is in office.

But it is especially interesting to note that Erickson is on board, considering that back in 2005 or so, Erickson's Red State spun off a website dedicated entirely to defending President Bush's judicial nominees.

Its name? Confirm Them.

Not surprisingly, the site is now dead ... just like their principled opposition to the use of the filibuster.

Remember Back When the Right Hated The Filibuster?

Once upon a time, activists on the Right were vehemently opposed to the use of the filibuster against judicial nominees, declaring on principle that its use was flagrantly unconstitutional and calling on Senate Republicans to do away with the Democratic minority's ability to use them against President Bush's nominees.

But then President Obama took office and made a Supreme Court nomination and those "principles" went right out the window and suddenly those who had been, just a few years earlier, decrying the filibuster as downright evil were championing it.

Which brings us to this new Conservative Action Project "Memo to the Movement" demanding a filibuster of Seventh Circuit nominee David Hamilton:

We agree with Senator Sessions that indeed this is one of those extraordinary circumstances where the President should be informed that his nominee is not qualified. "Extraordinary circumstances" is the standard agreed to by the bipartisan Gang of 14 for when it is permissible to block a confirmation vote against judicial nominees. The Senate should apply it now to stop the Hamilton nomination ... Judge Hamilton is precisely the kind of liberal judicial activist who would use our federal courts as his own super-legislature. The Senate should vote no on the cloture vote to stop this nomination.

The memo is signed by the following group and I have taken the liberty of highlighting those individuals or organizations who, during the Bush presidency, signed on to letters [PDF] demanding an end to the use of the filibuster

Marion Edwyn Harrison, President, Free Congress Foundation
Edwin Meese, former Attorney General
Mathew D. Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel
Wendy Wright, President, Concerned Women for America
Cleta Mitchell, American Conservative Union Board of Directors
J. Kenneth Blackwell, Visiting Professor, Liberty University School of Law
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B. Anthony List
Curt Levey, Executive Director, Committee for Justice
Colin A. Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Susan Carleson, Chairman & CEO, American Civil Rights Union
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Kay Daly, President, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary
T. Kenneth Cribb, former Counselor to the U.S. Attorney General
Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director, Traditional Values Coalition
David Keene, Chairman, American Conservative Union
Gary Bauer, President, American Values
Phil Burress, President, Citizens for Community Values

Jim Martin, President, 60 Plus Association
David McIntosh, former Member of Congress, Indiana
Tom Winter, Editor in Chief, Human Events
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
Alfred Regnery, Publisher, American Spectator
Becky Norton Dunlop, President, Council for National Policy
Rev. Lou Sheldon, Chairman, Traditional Values Coalition

By my count, 15 of 24 individuals listed of this memo demanding a filibuster of Hamilton either signed, or represent an organization which signed, a letter just a few years back demanding an end to the use of the filibuster.

Sessions Seeks To Filibuster David Hamilton, Leave Him In "Unconscionable Limbo"

Back in March, President Obama nominated David Hamilton to a seat on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and immediately the Right set about trying to kill his nomination. They failed and Hamilton was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June and has since been waiting for a confirmation vote on the Senate floor. 

And if Sen. Jeff Sessions gets his way, Hamilton won't ever get one, as Sessions is trying to round up support for a filibuster of his nomination by sending around a letter [PDF] to his colleagues laying out his opposition to the nomination which concludes with this telling choice of language:

This is not the type of service that should be rewarded with a promotion. Indeed, this is one of those extraordinary circumstances where the President should be informed that his nominee is not qualified. [emphasis added]'

Back in 2005 when the Gang of 14 sought to prevent Republicans in the Senate from deploying the "nuclear option" by doing away with the use of the filibuster on nominations altogether, seven members of each party agreed that they would only support future filibusters under, you guessed it, "extraordinary circumstances": 

Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.

Hamilton was literally the very first judicial nomination made by President Obama and he has the support of his home state senator, Richard Lugar ... but Sessions seeks to prevent an up-or-down vote on his nomination, which is quite a change from what he was saying back when President Bush was still in office:

I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on a judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty. If we don't like somebody the President nominates, vote him or her up or down. But don't hold them in this anonymous unconscionable limbo...

UPDATE: The above quote attributed to Sen. Sessions was actually Sessions quoting Sen. Leahy, though the context of the entire quote still makes clear that Sen. Sessions opposed the use of the filibuster against judicial nominations: 

But this delay makes a mockery of the Constitution, makes a mockery of the fact that we are here working, and makes a mockery of the lives of the very sincere people who have put themselves forward to be judges and then they hang out here in limbo. Senator Leahy, now leading the filibuster, was on the floor talking about that. Back when the Clinton administration was submitting judges, he said:

I have had judicial nominations by both Democrat and Republican Presidents that I intended to oppose. But I fought like mad to make sure they at least got a chance to be on the floor for a vote. I have stated over and over again on this floor that I would refuse to put an anonymous hold on a judge; that I would object and fight against any filibuster on a judge, whether it is somebody I opposed or supported; that I felt the Senate should do its duty. If we don't like somebody the President nominates, vote him or her up or down. But don't hold them in this anonymous unconscionable limbo. .....

Well, I see Chairman Hatch is here. I know the time is a bit drawn. Chairman Hatch and the Republican leadership have been consistent on this issue, even when it was not to their political benefit to do so. We have opposed the idea of filibusters and have not supported it. The Democrats oppose them when it is convenient and support them when it is convenient. I think their position is untenable as a matter of principle and as a matter of public policy, and our country will not be better off for filibustering judges.

As do other previous quotes from Sen. Sessions:

Of the many reasons why we shouldn't have a filibuster, an important one is the Article I of the Constitution. It says the Senate shall advise and consent on treaties by a two-thirds vote, and simply "shall advise and consent" on nominations.

Historically, we have understood that provision to mean--and I think there is no doubt the Founders understood that to mean--that a treaty confirmation requires a two-thirds vote, but confirmation of a judicial nomination requires only a simple majority vote. That is why we have never had a filibuster. People on both sides of the aisle have understood it to be wrong. They have understood it to be in violation of the Constitution.

...

I think the American people are getting engaged, and they are telling us "we are tired of obstructionism," "we are tired of delays," and "we believe these nominees deserve an up-and-down vote." I could not agree more.

The Consequences For Failing Manny Miranda? Nothing

With Sonia Sotomayor's nomination having been voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a vote of 13-6, she is scheduled to get a floor vote next week where it is expected that she will be easily confirmed.

Resigned to the inevitable, right-wing are doing all they can to spin this as a victory that will pay huge dividends in future elections:

"Republicans can reap significant political benefits by voting against her confirmation and making her an issue in key races next year," conservative activist Ralph Reed told his supporters in a memo.

Voters will remember that "it is a gun vote, and this was not a judge vote. It was a racial quota vote. She is for quotas," added Grover Norquist, a leading conservative activist, in an interview.

...

Norquist said conservatives can paint Sotomayor as a dangerous liberal just like President Barack Obama.

"She tarnishes him a little bit," said Norquist, who is president of Americans for Tax Reform and a member of the NRA board of directors.

In the Washington Independent, David Weigel provides more insight into this effort:

“The Republican senators did much better than I expected,” said Manny Miranda, the chairman of the Third Branch Conference, a judicial conservative umbrella group that opposed Sotomayor’s nomination largely behind the scenes.

In early June, Miranda had been bearish on the Republican conference, doubtful that it would put up a fight. He called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell “limp-wristed” and organized 145 conservative activists to campaign for a filibuster of Sotomayor, which they’re not going to get. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), in announcing his opposition to the nominee, admitted that her confirmation was probably inevitable. Yet they feel like the debate over Sotomayor was as much as a conservative success as it could have possibly been, and they see a chance to give the nominee the lowest level of support from the opposition party since the bruising 1991 fight over Clarence Thomas.

“When we started, I didn’t expect more than 16 ‘no’ votes,” said Miranda. “Now I think we may go as high as 29 votes. We’ve achieved quite a lot.”

...

“The NRA’s decision to score the vote is a huge statement,” said Curt Levey, director of the Committee for Justice. “They were hesitant to get involved. Even if Sotomayor is eventually confirmed, the fact that the NRA came to realize the importance of Supreme Court nominations in protecting gun rights is a very big deal. The grassroots have been activated.”

Sotomayor is widely expected to be confirmed next week and you'll notice that all of Miranda's strident demands that Republicans lead a filibuster against her seem to have disappeared, as have his repeated assertions that any vote on her nomination before the August recess would be glaring failure of Republican leadership:

The mark of failed Republican leadership -- already strong-armed by Democrats on hearing scheduling -- will certainly be allowing a confirmation vote before the August recess that denies time to senators and to the American people. Republican leaders will fail too if their only goal is to mirror the 22-22 Democrat vote for Judge Roberts and simply deliver 20 Republicans for and 20 against.

Miranda and company had one demand of Senate Republicans: Under no circumstances allow a vote on Sotomayor's nomination before the August recess. Yet that is exactly what is going to happen and, instead of blasting them for their failure, Miranda is praising them for a job well done because their token opposition will be slightly bigger than he initially imagined.

Why is the Right suddenly so forgiving?  Maybe because they knew all along that their efforts weren't going to stop Sotomayor and they were just trying to pick a fight and look important, which is essentially what Curt Levey admitted to Weigel:

“The goal isn’t to defeat Sotomayor,” explained Levey. “It’s to send enough of a warning shot that future nominees won’t be as hostile to the Constitution.”

The Committee for Justice, for example, developed five ads formatted for television and newspapers, one of which compared Sotomayor’s work for the Puerto Rican Defense Fund to President Obama’s friendship with reformed Weather Underground member Bill Ayers. It got plenty of attention; people clicked through to the committee’s site, and some donated. But TV viewers won’t see that particular attack on their screens. “I don’t think the ad was effective,” Levey admitted. “We’ll run some ads in the final week, but I don’t think we’ll run that ad.”

 

Right Seeks An Extra Month To Mount Anti-Sotomayor Campaign

The Senate Judiciary Committee has an Executive Business Meeting for tomorrow at which Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court will be on the schedule.  It is widely expected that Committee Republicans will seek a one-week delay on the vote, pushing it back until July 28th.

President Obama has made it clear that he wants to see a confirmation vote in the Senate before it leaves for its August recess, which is scheduled to begin on August 10th.

That would leave the Senate with a little more than a week to bring her nomination to the floor for a vote and it is assumed that efforts to get her confirmed before the recess will be successful ... and that is, predictably, angering right-wing groups who hope to use the August recess to try and build a campaign to oppose her nomination:

Republicans had their own political pressures as well. With seven GOP men on the Judiciary Committee, they did not want to appear overly aggressive with Sotomayor, who would become just the third female justice. And given that they lack enough votes to sustain a filibuster, even if they wanted to, attempting to delay the seating of a nominee who will almost certainly be confirmed would likely cost them support from Latinos, a fast-growing constituency that is already voting heavily Democratic. As a result, they're backing down on earlier demands to delay a final vote until September.

"In any case, conservatives will not be happy if the GOP rolls over with regard to Obama's politically motivated goal of getting Sotomayor confirmed before the August recess," said Curt Levey, head of the conservative group Committee for Justice.

While some conservatives say that GOP senators effectively laid out inconsistencies in her testimony, activists want the slow-news month of August - when Congress is on recess – to build a campaign opposing her nomination.

Charmaine Yoest, head of the anti-abortion group Americans United for Life who testified against Sotomayor, said that an extra month would be helpful to her cause.

"The more time we have to educate people, the more we would continue to emphasize to people that a vote for her is a vote for abortion on demand without any restrictions whatsoever," Yoest said.

Presumably, as the August deadline approaches, we'll be hearing a lot more from Manuel Miranda and his Third Branch Coalition, which has made delaying Sotomayor's confirmation vote until September a test of loyalty  for GOP senators and been consistently urging the use of a filibuster in order to achieve the desired delay.

Whether or not Republicans in the Senate bow to the Right's demands remains to be seen.

A Remembrance of CFJ Ads Past

In honor of the Committee for Justice's most recent ad basically accusing Sonia Sotomayor of being a terrorist, I thought I'd dust off the ol' archives and take a look back at the ads CFJ put together during the Bush administration.

Like these newspaper ads they ran accusing Democrats of blocking Bill Pryor for religious reasons:

And the accompanying radio ad:

Why are some in the U.S. Senate playing politics with religion?

As Alabama Attorney General, Bill Pryor regularly upheld the law even when it was at odds with his personal beliefs. Raised a Catholic, those personal beliefs are shared by Rhode Islanders all across the Ocean State.

But some in the U.S. Senate are attacking Bill Pryor for having “deeply held” Catholic beliefs to prevent him from becoming a federal judge. Don’t they know the Constitution expressly prohibits religious tests for public office?

Bill Pryor is a loving father, a devout Catholic, and an elected Attorney General who understands the job of a judge is to uphold the law – not legislate from the bench. It’s time for his political opponents to put his religion aside and give him an up or down vote. It’s the right thing to do.

Thank Senators Chafee and Reed for making sure that the Senate stops playing politics with religion.

Paid for by the Committee for Justice and the Ave Maria List

And who can forget this great ad in support of Miguel Estrada:

America is a monument to the willing, where we can dream and build, despite race creed or color. But there's still intolerance.

President Bush nominated Miguel Estrada to be the first Hispanic ever to serve on the Federal Appeals Court in Washington. But the radical left says he's not liberal enough. For the first time in history they're blocking his nomination with a filibuster.

Call your senators. Tell them it's time for intolerance to end. Anything less is offensive, unfair and not the American way.

Or this one in support of Janice Rogers Brown:

When Janice Rogers Brown, the daughter of a sharecropper, said she'd become an honor student and finish high school, some people said no way.

When Janice went to college and said she'd work her way through law school as a single mother, again they said no way.

Today President Bush wants this highly qualified Judge on the DC Federal Court of Appeals, the second highest court in America, and now John Edwards says no way.

Shame on you, Sen. Edwards.

Support the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown.

So, in summary, the Committee for Justice's positions seems to be:

Bill Pryor - loving father, devout Catholic, terrific judicial nominee.

Miguel Estrada - conservative, Hispanic, epitome of the American dream, terrific judicial nominee.

Janice Rogers Brown - daughter of a sharecropper, honor student, single mother, terrific judicial nominee.

Sonia Sotomayor - terrorist. 

Sotomayor Day II: Let The Antics Begin

After disrupting yesterday's hearing, anti-choice protesters affiliated with Randall Terry are vowing more action:

Next on the agenda:

"Desecrate Roe" Event Details---

Where: Corner of 1st and C St., near Dirksen Senate Building entrance, Washington D.C.

When: 9:00 A.M., Tuesday, July 14

Who: Norma McCorvey, Randall Terry and other DC area leaders and pro-lifers

Pro-life advocates will gather at the Dirksen building at the corner of 1st and C St., to publicly desecrate the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision. Joining her will be Randall Terry, Missy Smith, and other local pro-life leaders.

Randall Terry states, "Victory over child-killing requires courage and leadership from 'pro-life' Senators from both parties. It is long overdue for so called 'pro-life' Senators to fulfill their campaign promises. They claim they want to overturn Roe; well, now is the time to see if they will defend the babies, or submit like cowards to Obama.

"Republican 'Pro-life' Senators bear special responsibility in this; they shamelessly prostitute Roe vs. Wade and babies lives. Does 'GOP' stand for 'Good Ol' Pimps'? Or will GOP Senators actually fight in this life and death struggle? They need to filibuster Sotomayor."

Will there be more arrests? To be seen...

Not to be outdone, Eugene Delgaudio and Public Advocate plan to be descend on Capitol Hill to create their own scene:

"Public Advocate's Sotomayor's UnReality Tour" arrives in Washington Tuesday to show what a world according to Judge Sonia Sotomayer would look like if she were a Supreme Court judge.

Lifeguards who can't swim. A doctor who flunked med school. A 3rd grade university president. Blind train conductors. Cooks who can't boil water. Lawyers who did not pass the bar exam but who are now judges.

Demonstrators will hold a sign "Sonia Sotomayor, Wrong on the firemen, wrong for America." Another member of Public Advocate will hold a sign with the words "Thanks to Sonia Sotomayor, I flunked med school and am now a doctor."

In related news, Randall Terry continues his broadsides against Republican senators:

"Does the 'GOP' stand for 'Good Ol' Pimps'? Republican Senators like Graham, Brownback, McCain, etc., have seduced the pro-life movement, made her their mistress, and then a prostitute. She gives them her 'favors' in exchange for empty promises.

"They pimp the pro-life cause, raising millions of dollars with promises to 'overturn Roe' and protect the unborn. The party platform - their false vows - calls for the overturn of Roe, and legal protection of unborn babies.

"But alas, we again see that these are seductive lies; and like any good pimp, they tell us that they love us, while they sell us out; they feign pain as we are abused and babies are murdered, while they prepare to get in bed with those who despise us, and slay the innocent.

"Our protests and rallies over the coming weeks will focus on GOP Senators who claim to be pro-life. We will call on them to stop pimping the babies, but rather to fight for them by filibustering Sotomayor."

Richard Viguerie claims that "Sotomayor's opening statement reflects she is already being defensive about the judicial philosophy she shares with President Obama."

Richard Land and the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission come out against Sotomayor:

Sonia Sotomayor’s record reveals that she is perfectly willing to lift the blindfold of justice to achieve her desired result. She is a judge with a terribly flawed view of the judicial system at best or a judge who simply doesn’t care what the law says at worst. She has constantly shown her lack of deference to the Constitution. She is the type of justice who instead of applying the law neutrally will redefine the law to conform to her policy preferences.

The bottom line is that Sonia Sotomayor is an unpredictable wildcard. Across the issues her record is either far too thin or hidden behind non-published orders and per curium opinions. Simply put, placing Sonia Sotomayor on the highest court in the land jeopardizes our nation’s commitment to equal treatment under the law.

The Family Research Council posts the Senate Policy Committee talking points in opposing Sotomayor while releasing its own list of questions it wants asked during the hearing:

Abortion and the Supreme Court

* Judge Sotomayor, while you were associated with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, it filed six briefs in five abortion-related cases before the United States Supreme Court. In every case, those briefs asserted that the Court should adopt an uncompromising, pro-abortion position. Do you now wish to express any disagreement with the content of the briefs that were filed by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund?

The Abortion Industry as Litigants

* Judge Sotomayor, do you believe abortion providers should be required to prove factual assertions they make in court when challenging abortion regulations?

* Judge Sotomayor, should redacted medical records be admissible, if needed by the court, to examine general medical claims about abortion?When should such records not be made available to the court?

* Judge Sotomayor, should prosecutors be permitted to subpoena and examine abortion facility records to determine whether state statutory rape laws have been violated or whether the facility is reporting potential crimes to the appropriate legal authorities?

Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life tells Lifenews that she is looking forward to testifying in opposition to Sotomayor:

“We are honored to have the opportunity to testify before the Judiciary Committee about the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the highest court in the land," Yoest told LifeNews.com about her invitation.

"I am looking forward to sharing AUL’s extensive legal research about Judge Sotomayor’s record. In particular, her radical associations and judicial philosophy raises serious concerns in the pro-life community," she said.

Yoest is referring to Sotomayor's tenure with the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, a group that has submitted numerous Supreme Court briefs arguing for an unrestricted right to abortion and claiming any pro-life limits are racist.

Although leaders with the group argue Sotomayor had no involvement in writing or approving the briefs, her longtime position as a member of its board of directors points to her support for the pro-abortion position the group took, Yoest maintains.

Yoest told LifeNews.com she plans to focus her testimony on making the connection for the senators and the American public between the positions taken by the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund during her tenure on the Board and her judicial interventionist approach to the bench.

“Her PRLDEF record proves that she is an abortion advocate," Yoest says.

"That record includes opposition to parental notification, opposition to informed consent, opposition to bans on partial-birth abortion and support for taxpayer-funded abortions. These positions are far outside the mainstream of American public opinion," she explained.

And finally, Pat Buchanan continues to be ... well, Pat Buchanan:

The chutzpah of this Beltway crowd does not cease to amaze.

They archly demand that conservatives accord a self-described “affirmative action baby” from Princeton a respect they never for a moment accorded a pro-life conservative mother of five from Idaho State, Sarah Palin.

...

Sonia is, first and foremost, a Latina. She has not hesitated to demand, even in college and law school, ethnic and gender preferences for her own. Her concept of justice is race-based.

...

Even if Sotomayor is confirmed, making the nation aware she is a militant supporter since college days of ethnic and gender preferences is an assignment worth pursuing. For America does not believe in preferences. Even in the blue states of California, Washington and Michigan, voters have tossed them out as naked discrimination against white males.

Barely Into the Hearings, Onlookers Disrupt Opening Remarks

Some people just can't keep their mouths shut. Less than two hours into Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearing, an onlooker can be heard shouting during Sen. Dianne Feinstein's opening remarks. The event was so disruptive that it resulted in Sen. Leahy calling for the police to remove the man, not before he can be heard slamming his gavel and issuing a stern warning for any others looking to mimick the disruption.

While it is difficult to make out, it seems the person yelled "Her record--What about the unborn. Abortion is murder! Stop the genocide of unborn Latinos", which came as Sen. Feinstein praised Sotomayor's judicial record.

Here's the video:

 

And, as I write this post, yet another person was removed from the hearings for yelling during Sen. Dick Durbin's opening remarks. Maybe this is the "new" Republican filibuster?

Terry's Anti-Sotomayor Tour Generating Far More Press Than Support

So, Randall Terry is out on his "Stop Sonia 'Angel of Death' Sotomayor Tour" and generating bits of press coverage here and there.

He got some in Nebraska when he held a press conference outside of Sen. Ben Nelson's office and some more when he did the same outside of Sen. Sam Brownback's office in Kansas.  He's also generating some press ahead of his scheduled appearance outside of Sen. Bob Casey's office later today:

Terry said Sotomayor should not be confirmed because of her pro-choice views.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey should “keep his commitment to the babies,” he said Wednesday, adding Scranton Diocese Bishop Joseph Martino should withhold Holy Communion from Casey if he votes to confirm President Obama’s choice.

...

Reached on his mobile phone at a Wichita airport, Terry said he is looking forward to his visit to Pennsylvania.

“We have a two-fold mission there,” Terry said. “One, we want to urge Sen. Casey to uphold his commitment to the babies. If he wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade – as he has said in the past -- then he can’t vote to confirm Sotomayor.

“Second, we intend to call on Bishop Martino to withhold Holy Communion from Sen. Casey if he votes to confirm Sotomayor. Bishop Martino has been a leader in the anti-abortion cause.”

...

“Whether they have the votes to sustain a filibuster or not, they need to fight to stop her, for the sake of the babies who will die under her judicial reign,” Terry said.

Of course, press attention is primarily what Terry is seeking through this extended stunt, which makes sense considering that the events themselves are generating absolutely no support:

Terry’s 45-minute protest not far from Sen. Sam Brownback’s office drew one columnist, one TV cameraman, a family of three and a woman who arrived as he packed up for his next stop, Topeka. He’s on a 12-city tour, calling for a Senate filibuster against Sotomayor. Brownback’s staff didn’t even let him into their office.

Wow, four whole people?  That's quite a turn out.  If he keeps up that blistering pace, he's liable to have addressed at least 50 non-media attendees by the time his nationwide tour wraps up.

Rght Wing Leftovers

  • Michael Steele welcomes Sarah Palin to the national stage, saying "come on in. The water’s nice."
  • South Carolina Mark Sanford has been censured by the South Carolina Republican Party while Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains that Sanford is being held to a double standard.
  • Tucker Carlson says that, as a resident of the District of Columbia, he's perfectly "happy to have taxation without representation" because "let's be honest: The city's not ready for democracy, much less statehood." Apparently Tucker Carlson is now the arbiter on whether or not American citizens have right to democracy.
  • Brian Camenker of MassResistance alleges that Google blocked his website during the same time frame as a recent gay pride parade in Chicago, which he calls a "suspicious coincidence."
  • Randall Terry generates some coverage of the first stop on his "Filibuster Sotomayor" tour.
  • Finally, Rev. Rob Schenck welcomed Sen. Al Franken to Washington today by asking him to "begin his tenure with an apology to the millions of Americans who self-identify as Christians."

Terry Launches 12 City "Defeat Sotomayor" Tour

The Associated Press published an article today reporting that, with just a week to go before the start of Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court confirmation hearing, "Republicans are floundering" and conservatives are getting miffed that their efforts to undermine her nomination have not be gaining traction:

Conservative advocates [are] not happy.

“Too many Republicans and conservatives planned to lose instead of planning to win” the debate over Sotomayor, said Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch. His group has mounted strong opposition to the federal appeals court judge.

About half the Senate’s Republicans are willing to raise serious questions about Sotomayor and there’s “a sizable minority who — partly because she’s Hispanic — just want this to go away,” said Curt Levey of the Committee for Justice.

Conservative groups have sought to convince Senate Republicans that they can benefit politically by strongly opposing Sotomayor. But many of their leaders complain the message isn’t getting through.

Randall Terry, for one, isn't going to let this slow him down and so he is taking his "Defeat Sotomayor" effort on the road for a twelve city tour which is scheduled to culminate in Washington DC just as the hearings are getting under way (the photo below comes from this accompanying flyer [PDF and graphic content] proclaiming "To refuse to filibuster is to bow in abject obedience to the Angel of Death"):

"We must stop permitting this hypocrisy, cowardice, and treachery in our midst. Pro-life voters are calling on pro-life Senators to filibuster Sotomayor.

"A Senator cannot say, 'I want to overturn Roe,' and then vote to confirm a Supreme Court Judge that will uphold Roe. A vote to confirm Sotomayor is a vote to uphold Roe.

"Many senators use pro-life rhetoric to seduce us; they get our money, our volunteer labor, and our votes. But once an election is over, they discard us like an embarrassing mistress. They say that they want to overturn Roe, but they do little or nothing to protect the innocent. Whether they are 'pro-life' Republicans like John McCain (AZ) and Sam Brownback (KS), or pro-life Democrats like Ben Nelson (NE) or Robert Casey (PA), we have been lied to again and again.

"Whether they 'have the votes' to sustain a filibuster or not, they need to fight to stop her, for the sake of the babies who will die under her judicial reign.

Filibuster Sotomayor Tour

Mon. July 6 --

Omaha, NE
7:00 PM Filibuster Rally
The Regency Lodge
909 South 107th Avenue
Omaha, NE 68114

Tues. July 7 --

Omaha, NE
10:00 AM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Nelson to Filibuster Sotomayor
Office of Senator Ben Nelson
7602 Pacific St.
Suite 205
Omaha, NE 68114

Lincoln, NE
12:00 noon Press Conference, Calling on Senator Nelson to Filibuster Sotomayor
Office of Senator Ben Nelson
440 North 8th Street
Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68508

St. Joseph, MO
3:30 PM Press Conference Calling on Senator Christopher Bond (R) & Senator Claire McCaskill (D) to Filibuster Sotomayor, and calling on MO Bishops to enter the fight against Sotomayor.
City Hall
1100 Frederick Ave.
St. Joseph, MO 64501

Kansas City, KS
7:00 PM Filibuster Rally
location TBD

Wed. July 8 --

Kansas City, KS
9:30 AM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Brownback to lead the Filibuster against Sotomayor.
Office of Senator Sam Brownback
11111 West 95th, Suite 245
Overland Park, KS 66214

Topeka, KS
11:30 AM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Brownback to lead the Filibuster against Sotomayor.
Office of Senator Sam Brownback
612 South Kansas Avenue
Topeka, KS 66603

Wichita, KS
2:45 PM Press Conference, Calling on Senator Brownback to lead the Filibuster against Sotomayor.
Office of George Tiller
5107 East Kellogg
Wichita, KS 67218

Thurs. July 9 --

Philadelphia, PA
12:00 PM Press Conference, Pleading with Cardinal Rigali to withhold communion from Senator Casey if Casey votes for Sotomayor.
Chancery of Cardinal Justin Rigali
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Allentown, PA
3:00 Press Conference, Pleading with Bishop John Barres to withhold communion from Senator Casey if Casey votes for Sotomayor.
Diocese of Allentown Administrative Office
4029 W. Tilghman St.
Allentown, PA 18105-1538

Wilkes-Barre, PA
7:00 PM Filibuster Rally
The Beer Deli Restaurant
175 Welles Street
Forty Fort, PA 18704
(570) 288-8141

Fri. July 10 --

Scranton, PA
10 AM Press Conference, thanking Bishop Martino for his brave stand, and pleading with him to withhold communion from Senator Casey if Casey votes for Sotomayor.
Office of Bishop Joseph F. Martino
300 Wyoming Avenue
Scranton, PA 18503

Harrisburg, PA
12:00 Noon Press Conference, Calling on Senator Casey to Filibuster Sotomayor - to put loyalty to God and the babies' lives ahead of party loyalty.
Office of Senator Robert Casey, Jr
22 S. Third Street, Suite 6A
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Baltimore, MD
2:30 PM Press Conference, Calling on Archbishop O'Brien to withhold communion from Senator Barbara Mikulski because of her support of child-killing.
Basilica of the Assumption
408 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD‎ 21201

Sun. July 12 --

2:30 P.M. Rally
Supreme Court
Washington DC

Mon. July 13 --

At Sotomayor hearings.

Miranda Set To Issue More Demands

Just yesterday I wrote a post about the fact that Manuel Miranda seems to think that the time-line for a vote on Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court should be determined primarily by ... well, Manuel Miranda.

Today, CQ reports that Miranda and his Third Branch Conference will be sending a letter to Senators tomorrow demanding that any debate and vote on the nomination be held off until after the August recess:

The Third Branch Conference will send a letter to senators Friday asking that debate on Sotomayor's nomination be postponed until September, said the group's leader, Manuel Miranda.

"It would be a failure of leadership to allow a confirmation vote before the August recess," Miranda said Thursday.

Asked about the idea Thursday, Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said, "I haven't given that any thought. Obviously they're trying to rush this through."

But Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., who serves on the Judiciary Committee told reporters the confirmation schedule will not slip into September.

Miranda said the focus should be on trying to push back the floor vote rather than Sotomayor's confirmation hearing scheduled to begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 13.

"I'm afraid the postponed hearing will be the basis for a barter," Miranda said, in which Republicans would agree to a floor vote prior to the August recess.

Despite Miranda's claim that they would never engage in an "obstructive filibuster" of Sotomayor's nomination, you can already see them plotting to do just that by incessantly issuing demands that, are they not met, they can use to justify to filibuster or otherwise obstruct the confirmation process.

The Hill has more on this "not-a-filibuster" effort to filibuster Sotomayor's nomination:

A coalition of more than 100 conservative activists have called on Senate Republicans to delay a final vote on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor until the fall.

A group of conservatives have called on Senate Republicans to use every tactic at their disposal to hold up Sotomayor’s confirmation until September.

“The confirmation debate and the final vote should occur is September and Republicans should ensure that happens, to allow the American people to engage in this debate,” said Manuel Miranda, chairman of the Third Branch Conference, which includes groups such as the American Conservative Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America.

The Third Branch Conference polled its members in recent days and found unanimous desire among more than 100 conservative activists and leaders to press Senate Republicans for a delay.

“This issue is bigger than partisan politics; some of the statements Sotomayor has made should be of concern to everybody,” said Mario Diaz, policy director of legal issues for Concerned Women for America.

Members of the coalition will begin contacting and writing letters to Senate Republicans on Friday.

...

Miranda argued that Republicans could delay the nomination by refusing to participate in a vote to move Sotomayor to the Senate floor.

Rule IV of the Judiciary Committee states that at least one member of the minority party must vote to cut off debate in committee.

Syndicate content

Filibuster Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 11/19/2010, 2:55pm
As we know, there is one sin that any Republican member of Congress can commit for which they will never be forgiven by the Religious Right, and that is not supporting their anti-gay agenda.  Whereas a Republican like Sen. David Vitter could admit to involvement with prostitutes and still receive the support of Religious Right groups when he sought re-election, other Republicans like Rep. Joseph Cao found out the hard way that if you don't toe the anti-gay line, you will find yourself on the receiving end of Religious Right attack ads. Which brings us to Sen. John Ensign, the Republican... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 11/17/2010, 1:12pm
Back in 2009, a battle erupted in the Texas House of Representatives as Republicans fought over which member would serve as Speaker of the House.  The Religious Right lined up behind Tom Craddick, but everyone else supported Joe Straus who ended up winning, leading Rick Scarborough to decry it as a "coup." And now a similar battle is unfolding yet again, as the same coalition of right-wing activists have mounted an effort to replace Straus with someone more inclined to do their bidding: A group of conservative groups is trying to capitalize on that frustration, issuing a... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/04/2010, 2:13pm
It seems that the closer Elena Kagan gets to being confirmed to the Supreme Court, the weaker the Right's case for opposing her becomes and, as such, the more desperate their campaign becomes. While Phyllis Schlafly is warning that Kagan is part of President Obama's plan to "break free from our Constitution" and "fundamentally transform America," others, like Robert Knight, are going completely off the rails: As we watch in disbelief, the United States Senate is about to take the Fifth on a Supreme Court nominee who has no business being near a courtroom except as a... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/26/2010, 1:49pm
Randall Terry and his merry band of anti-abortion zealots have been traveling the country in an RV and protesting outside of the state offices of Republican Senators who are refusing to filibuster Elena Kagan. When they arrived in South Carolina last week, they planned to "burn, hang, or beat" an effigy of Sen. Lindsey Graham for supporting Kagan in committee: If a man brings the enemy into your camp, he is helping the enemy; when he helps the enemy, he has become the enemy, and must be treated as such. Mr. Graham has betrayed God and innocent babies; we must treat him as a fraud... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/19/2010, 5:03pm
Truth Wins Out: Major ‘Ex-Gay’ Life Coach Accused of Sexual Misconduct By Former Clients. Sarah Posner: Glenn Beck’s ‘Social Justice’ Heresies. Steve Benen: 'Refudiating' Palin's Inanity. Matt Yglesias: Erick Erickson: Failure to Filibuster Elena Kagan is “High Act of Treason”. Joe.My.God: GOP Group Challenges Legality Of Rep. Tammy Baldwin's Nomination. Dump Bachmann: Bachmann and Emmer's Pal Bradlee Dean Repeats Anti-Semitic Remarks on the Radio. Andrew Sullivan: Mel Gibson And The Christianist Right... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 07/19/2010, 4:39pm
Ken Hutcherson explains how the "Minority Thought Pattern" causes White people to be discriminated against and Black people to be duped by Democrats. It is even possible for Alveda King not to turn everything into an attack on abortion?  I doubt it. What could be more exciting than West Virginia's 8th annual Creation Conference? Hooray, Rep. Michele Bachmann's "Tea Party Caucus" is now officially a thing. Lou Engle will be on The 700 Club tomorrow, so we have that to look forward to. Randall Terry's "Filibuster Elena... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/08/2010, 4:25pm
Maggie Gallagher doesn't want gays to be able to get married and she doesn't want straight couples to be able to get divorced. MassResistance is going on vacation ... until the Fall? Randall Terry is launching a "filibuster Elena Kagan/somebody please pay attention to me" tour. Beware of yoga. Concerned Women for America takes a bold anti-stoning women stance .. or at least an anti-Muslims stoning women stance. Finally, if you watch the latest Generals International webcast, you'll see that Cindy Jacobs is also a proponent of the prosperity gospel,... MORE