SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Monday, April 18, 2005

HUGH HEWITT ON LOOMING SHOWDOWN OVER SENATE DEMS OBSTRUCTION & THE CONSTITUTIONAL OPTION. Via Radioblogger comes the transcript of Hugh Hewitt’s debate with the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights’ Nancy Zirkin, moderated by Larry Kudlow (of "Kudlow & Company," on CNBC).

Larry Kudlow:

…Is Robert Novak right? Does Bill Frist have the votes? Or are some of the people you've been interviewing on your radio show right, and there's six or eight deserters in the Republican ranks? In other words, how does the politics play out in your view, Hugh?

Hugh Hewitt:

Well, I think John McCain went with the Democrats for the illegal obstruction. They're concerned about Senator Hagel, Senator Chafee, Senator Snowe. If Senators Chafee and Snowe vote against their party, they will be thrown out of office in 2006. I do want, Larry, to point out one important distinction between the way I'm arguing and the way Nancy is arguing. The internet is full of hate speech, calling Jim Dobson the Ayatollah bin Dobson, referring to the American Taliban, to Bill Frist's Jihadists. You just heard Nancy use very charged terms of theocracy, the radical, extreme right-wing. If all of these judges are in fact those things, they will not receive majority support. The Senate elections of 2004 and 2002 were fought on these very issues. The Republicans won on these very issues. Nancy holds a losing hand, because the American people don't agree with her as to how the mainstream is defined. And that's why next week at this time, I think Senator Frist is going to appeal the Democrats' illegal use of the cloture rule, to block appeals court judges, and he will be upheld by the Chair, and supported by a majority, including Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a Democrat.


The proponents of the unprecedented filibuster of ten appellate court nominees shriek at the prospect of majority rule in one of the chambers of our legislative branch. But the majority of the American people should also give them worry.

Curiously, as Radioblogger points out, Zirkin never did respond to Hewitt’s challenge from earlier in the debate, when he asked her to name a single judicial nominee that had been filibustered besides Justice Abe Fortas.

In any event, a couple months ago I had a chance to look through an interesting article in The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy entitled “The Constitutional Option to Change Senate Rules and Procedures: A Majoritarian Means to Overcome the Filibuster.” It was written by Martin B. Gold and Dimple Gupta. The article analyzes Senate battles over the years that related to prospective Senate rule changes to overcome minority filibustering. The current debate over the rule change is nothing new. Only the filibustering of appellate court nominees is new—and it has gone on for too long.

Spike the Underdog (aka Matt Cole),a recent addition to my blogroll, has an excellent post on the filibustering follies, entitled “Pirates of the Senate.”

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)

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