Manny Miranda to Republicans: Dial Back on the Filibusters
Monday, November 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm
Alexander Bolton has an important story in the The Hill about conservative division — polite so far — over whether the party’s stalwart Senate minority should be employing so many filibusters of Obama nominees. The main opposition is coming from Manny Miranda, who wants Republicans to use filibusters to actually force lengthy debates on nominees. After the jump, here is the email he sent to conservative activists, arguing against a filibuster of judicial nominee David Hamilton.
Respectfully, I disagree with this rally to “vote no on the cloture” for this or any nominee that one would expect a Democratic president to nominate, if the sole purpose is to block or “stop,” and not merely and genuinely to prolong a debate. Calling for a Democrat-style obstructive filibuster, that is likely impossible, is just another “throw them red meat” distraction and yet another easy out for a Republican leadership that has historically been to cool-for-school on judicial nominations.
We should ask Republican Senators to dedicate the time and effort needed to illustrate in vivid colors, on and off the Floor, the reasons why they believe this or any other judicial nominee should not have been nominated, and show the proof of why the elections of a president and senators have consequences. This begins with Senator Sessions doing what his two predecessors never did. Neither Hatch nor Specter ever went to the Chairmen’s Meeting and demanded more time and effort on judges, which is why other leaders had to lead that effort.
I won’t go into the error we Conservatives make in losing the high ground of defending the Constitution against the extra-constitutional use of the filibuster against judicial nominees. There may be institution-based exceptions to a no filibuster stand, such as preventing windfalls from past obstructions, as in the 4th Circuit, or preventing the godparents of obstruction like Cass Sunstein, Lisa Graves, etc., from being confirmed to a court. But this is not that, and moreover a vote against cloture, with no other noticeable Floor effort, does not get the public attention that an honest up-or-down vote and statesmanlike Floor effort would get.
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