blueoval at 1SMARTISP.NET
Sat May 21 17:45:06 MDT 2005
CITIZENLINK BREAKING NEWS:
May 20, 2005
GRAHAM TRIES TO BROKER FILIBUSTER DEAL
Pro-family Sen. Lindsey Graham may be succumbing to liberal
Graham Tries to Broker Filibuster Deal
by Pete Winn, associate editor
SUMMARY: There are disturbing reports pro-family Sen.
Lindsey Graham may be succumbing to liberal rhetoric on
Reports continue to swirl on Capitol Hill that senators of
both parties are working hard on a compromise that could
short-circuit the Republicans' use of the "constitutional
option" to restore Senate tradition regarding the
confirmation of judicial nominees.
But pro-family analysts are especially troubled by
confirmed reports of a deal which could come to fruition
as early as Monday -- just before Senate Majority Leader
Bill Frist, R-Tenn., plans to act to overcome liberals'
unprecedented use of filibusters to block President Bush's
nominees to the federal bench.
The constitutional op tion is an effort to return the
Senate to the same policy it had on judicial nominees for
214 years -- an up-or-down vote on every nominee with
clear majority support. Senate Democrats altered that
tradition in 2001 when they began to filibuster Bush's
nominees for some top judicial positions.
Last week, the dealmaker was reported to be former Senate
Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss. This time, however,
the culprit is apparently Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
according to Bruce Hausknecht, legal issues analyst at
Focus on the Family.
"Although the newspapers have been full of supposed deals
in the last few days," Hausknecht said, "we have heard
from D.C. insiders that Sen. Graham has been seriously
attempting to broker a deal, allowing certain nominees to
be sacrificed while allowing others to go through. This is
a disturbing piece of news."
The basic premise behind such a compromise, Hausknecht
said, involves quid pr o quo: The Democrats would allow
floor votes for some of the president's current appellate
nominees, in exchange for Republicans not invoking -- or
not voting for -- the constitutional option. In addition,
Democrats would agree not to use the filibuster against
future nominees, except under "extreme circumstances" --
which have not been defined.
Graham is apparently not alone in the effort to undermine
the Senate majority leader's efforts to end the blockade
against the president's judicial nominees. Why would any
pro-family conservative senator actually work at
cross-purposes to Frist?
"Some senators seem to think the filibuster is a worthy
tool to be retained on executive nominations -- not just
legislative matters, where it is perfectly appropriate,"
Hausknecht said. "Some senators may be posturing for
future political purposes. Some senators may have a
misguided sense of what's at stake in the Senate."
Amanda Ban ks, federal issues analyst at Focus on the
Family, said it may be that Graham and other conservatives
involved have been influenced by the false rhetoric that
Democrats are putting out.
"The Democrats have had a fair amount of success getting
their message out in the media," she said. "They've
repeated over and over again that the Republicans somehow
want to 'blow up the Senate' and 'change the rules of the
Senate.' This is purely false, but -- if you repeat
something enough -- people start to listen and remember
TAKE ACTION: Please take a moment -- no matter what state
you live in -- to call the district offices of the
senators listed below and relay this message: "No backroom
deals with the liberals that would allow more judicial
filibusters in the future. Support the constitutional
option to end the Democrats' unprecedented filibuster of
President Bush's nominees to the federal bench. It's the
right thing to do."
For district office phone numbers, click the link below
each senator's name.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Sen. John Warner, R-Va.
Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine
Sen. Susan Colli ns, R-Maine
Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska
Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.
Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss.
Judge Owen No Activist
by Greg Abbott, Texas attorney general
SUMMARY: You've heard the liberals' charges against
Priscilla Owen, one of the president's filibustered
appeals-court nominees. Now hear the truth from a former
colleague on the Texas Supreme Court.
Almost 1,500 days have passed since President Bush
announced his first 11 judicial nominees, an exceptionally
diverse slate of qualified candidates that even The New
York Times said was "notable for its inclusion of women
and minorities." Since May 9, 2001, America has endured a
terrorist attack, bestowed iconic status on a gizmo called
the iPod, produced 11 of Hollywood's top-20 all-time
blockbusters and birthed democracy in two long-oppressed
But one thing has persisted: Senate Democrats' bare-fisted
attacks on Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen.
Justice Owen's resume is impeccable: top of her law-school
class (completing undergraduate and law school in just
over five years); highest score statewide on the bar exam;
10 years on the Texas Supreme Court; re-elected in 2000
with 84 percent of the vote and the endorsement of every
major Texas newspaper; and the highest rating possible --
a unanimous "well qualified" -- from the American Bar
Association (no conservative bastion), which Democrats
once hailed as "the gold standard."
In 2003, after Democrats lost their Senate majority (due
partly to their obstruction of the president's judicial
nominees), they ditched 214 years of Senate history and
launched unprecedented filibusters against 10 appellate
nominees, each of whom boasted bipartisan support. So for
two of the last 216 years, and roughly one-half of the
Bush presidency, a partisan minority has stymied a
Now, though, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is moving
toward pulling the trigger to deem judicial filibusters
illegitimate, and Priscilla Owen is poised to be the
For four long years, the Owen bashers have been
pyromaniacs in a field of straw men, going to malicious
extremes to vilify her. Without question, the liberals'
all-time favorite attack is one that attempts to brand her
a judicial activist by seizing on five words in a 2000
concurring opinion written by current U.S. Attorney
General Alberto Gonzales, then one of Owen's colleagues on
the Texas Supreme Court.
This attack is a flat-out lie. I should know. I was there.
I served alongside both Gonzales and Owen on the Texas
Supreme Court when this case was decided. I witnessed it
all firsthand and am uniquely positioned to drive a stake
through this canard once and for all.
(To read the rest of this commentary, click on the link
FAMILY NEWS IN FOCUS STORIES:
To listen online to the radio versions of these stories,
click on the link below:
Donna "Calvin" Kromer
Founder, Word Warriorette http://www.WW123456.com Taking America
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