Judicial Nominees in danger of Filibusters
Rochester Area Right To Life
Action Alert from National Right to Life
Immediate Action Needed to End Filibusters of President Bush's Judicial Nominees!
Urge your senators to support majority rule on confirmations
WASHINGTON (April 5, 2005) – Senate Republican leaders may take bold action in April or May to put an end to Democratic filibusters of President Bush's nominees to federal courts – but a coalition of liberal and pro-abortion pressure groups has launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign in an attempt to block the reform. The outcome is in doubt.
The issue boils down to whether a judicial nominee should be able to achieve confirmation if he or she enjoys the support of a simple majority of the Senate –- which is the position supported by pro-life Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tn.) and most Republican senators –- or whether a nominee should be forced to surmount a 60-vote hurdle, which is the position currently backed by Democratic senators.
"The outcome of this fight will depend on whether at least 49 other Republican senators support Senator Frist on declaring filibusters of judicial nominees out of order," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "This may very well determine the fate of President Bush's nominations to future vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the future makeup of the powerful federal appeals courts."
Under Senate rules, such a "precedent" is ratified if a simple majority votes to support it. Because it is unlikely that any Democratic senator will back the reform, it can only succeed if it is supported by at least 50 of the 55 Republican senators (with Vice President Cheney voting to break any tie).
"The issue will be decided by the handful of Republican senators who currently are leaning against the majority rule reform, or who are undecided," Johnson explained.
The proposed reform is referred to by terms such as the "majority rule reform" or "the constitutional option" by those who support it, and as the "nuclear option" by its detractors. The news media, for the most part, have adopted the "nuclear" terminology.
The reform advocated by Frist would apply only to filibusters of judicial nominees, not filibusters on bills or amendments to bills.
For a detailed report on the approaching showdown on this issue, click here.
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED:
It is vital that all U.S. senators hear this message from constituents: "I urge you to support putting an end to filibusters of nominees to federal judgeships. Filibusters of judicial nominees should be declared out of order. Each of the President's nominees deserves a fair, up-or-down vote on confirmation. A judge should be confirmed if he or she has the support of a majority of senators."
This message should be conveyed by telephone, fax, and e-mail.
The Washington offices of all senators can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. If you do not know the names of your two U.S. senators, the Capitol Switchboard operator will tell you. If you are in New York State, contact information for your senators is at the end of this article.
(U.S. mail can also be used, but the issue might be decided before all Senate offices count their U.S. mail. The U.S. mail address is Senator ________, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510.)
NOTE: Please help NRLC's lobbying efforts by sending a copy of any response received from a senator's office to the NRLC Federal Legislation Department at fax number 202-347-3668, e-mail Legfederal@aol.com, or NRLC Federal Legislation, 512-10th Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C. 20004
RARTL Note: Below is contact information for New York State Senators Schumer and Clinton, with telephone numbers in the Rochester area.
Senator Hillary Clinton
E-mail is through the website: http://clinton.senate.gov/
Washington Phone (202) 224-4451
Washington Fax (202) 228-0282
Rochester Phone (585) 263-6250
Rochester Fax (585) 263-6247
Senator Chuck Schumer
Washington Phone: 202-224-6542
Washington Fax: 202-228-3027
Rochester Phone: 585-263-5866
Rochester Fax: 585-263-3173
Updated on RARTL April 14, 2005
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