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Topic: Nuclear option (filibuster)

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In the News (Fri 19 Jul 19)

  Legal Affairs Debate Club - Filibusted?
The "nuclear option" entails a series of procedural moves on the Senate floor culminating in a ruling by the Presiding Officer—Vice-President Cheney—declaring unconstitutional filibusters of judicial nominations.
The filibuster has a long history, to be sure, but its central role in Senate history does not represent the Framers' intent, the views of senators in the early Congresses, or the wishes of many, if not most, of the prominent senators during the 19th century when obstructionism became a recognized problem.
The filibuster is a key part of American government and if it is to be changed, it should be by a proper rule change not the nuclear option.
www.legalaffairs.org /webexclusive/debateclub_filibuster0205.msp   (4136 words)

 People For the American Way - About the Filibuster and the "Nuclear Option"
Proponents of the “nuclear option” to break Senate rules and eliminate the filibuster on judicial nominations continue to repeat the false argument that the Constitution requires an up-or-down vote in the full Senate on every judicial nomination.
As the name suggests, the "nuclear option" is a radical tactic that would prohibit senators from using filibusters against extremist judicial nominees.
The "nuclear option" is actually a series of steps that right-wing senators would take to eliminate the filibuster.
www.pfaw.org /pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=17881   (798 words)

 Nuclear option - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Nuclear Option, also called the Constitutional Option, is a parliamentary ruling by the presiding officer of the United States Senate to end debate and hold an immediate vote on a matter under consideration.
Protests against the nuclear option took place on numerous college campuses; on the Princeton University campus, outside the Frist Campus Center (named for Senator Bill Frist's family) students staged a protest against the nuclear option by simulating a filibuster for two weeks non-stop, beginning on April 26, 2005.
Supporters of the nuclear option claim that Democrats are obstructing the approval of the president's nominees in violation of the intent of the U.S. Constitution.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Nuclear_option   (5544 words)

 Protect the Minority, Protect the Filibuster, Nuclear Option, Judicial Nominees--FCNL
The filibuster (also called “extended debate”) was included in the Senate’s rules over 200 years ago to reflect that plan, allowing all points of view equal potential for control of the Senate’s attention.
Without the filibuster in the Senate, there is no body in the federal government dedicated to making sure that the voices of the minority are part of federal debates and decision-making.
Those senators who already agree that the filibuster should be preserved will be reinforced; those who have announced opposition will be given at least some pause; and those who have not yet decided will be given wisdom from the most important source: their constituents.
www.fcnl.org /act_lam_current/lam0426_05.htm   (1183 words)

 Everything you wanted to know about the "nuclear option" - Salon
With the nuclear option, Frist and his supporters would effectively change that rule so that filibusters on judicial nominees could be cut off by a simple majority vote.
Media Matters has noted, reporters now frequently say that the "nuclear option" is what "Democrats call" the attempt to kill off the filibuster.
Frist spins things a different way still: He says the "nuclear option" is what the Democrats "did to me last year when they changed the precedent" on the handling of judicial nominees.
www.salon.com /news/feature/2005/05/12/nuclear_option_primer   (1060 words)

 In The Fight - Moving Ideas
However, the "gang of 14" met on November 3 and agreed to stick together to avoid the nuclear option from happening.
The "nuclear option" would side-step: Senate rules; the minority's Constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on judicial nominations; and 200 years of Senate tradition of using the filibuster to give the minority a voice on legislation and nominees.
Republicans have claimed that such a drastic step as the "nuclear option" is necessary because Democrats are impeding the process of appointing federal judges to the point that the federal judiciary now has a vacancy crisis.
www.movingideas.org /content/en/in_the_fight/nuclear_option.htm   (831 words)

 More David Podvin 5/10/05
The unspoken truth of the nuclear option charade is that the few Bush nominees whom the Democrats have bothered to filibuster are less circumspect, not more reactionary, than the goose steppers who have been confirmed.
Polls show the nuclear option is unpopular with the electorate, a factor that would motivate the Democrats to drop any gambit immediately.
Should the nuclear option somehow blow up in its face, the GOP can quickly regain the initiative by labeling the Democrats traitors while invoking the haunting specters of terrorism and gay marriage that render so many voters hysterical.
makethemaccountable.com /podvin/more/050510_NuclearOption.htm   (1431 words)

 Federal Judicial Nominations   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
The nuclear option, is a change of long-standing Senate rules that would declare filibustering a judicial nomination unconstitutional.
This proposed change is frequently referred to as the nuclear option because of the way it would drastically and irrevocably change the Senate’s role in confirming judicial nominations.
The nuclear option would destroy this responsibility, rendering the full review of the minority party and their input on the nominee powerless.
www.aauw.org /issue_advocacy/actionpages/judicialnoms_nuclear.cfm   (485 words)

 The Judicial Nuclear Option – Resurre... - ! * POLITICS * ! - tribe.net   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
Then they want to trigger a Democratic filibuster that will in turn trigger the "nuclear option." After the huge nuclear battle is over, masses of their judges will be confirmed before November on a simple party-line majority instead of by the 60 votes now needed.
Leave it to Ron to claim the filibuster is an "an archaic, anti-democratic parliamentary maneuver" while ignoring the point that the Senate itself is an archaic, anti-democratic institution in an of itself.
The filibuster exists as a check and balance against the tyranny of the majority within the Senate itself, and it means that the Senators have to compromise and seek a certain amount of consensus.
uspolitics.tribe.net /thread/fd9d0b2f-79a9-41e9-be6f-60b57837a521   (1273 words)

 t r u t h o u t - Senate GOP Set to Go 'Nuclear' Over Judges
But the Republican threat to neuter long-cherished filibuster rules by steamrolling Democrats is risky - so potentially destructive that Capitol Hill calls it the "nuclear option." Democratic retaliation would be swift and long-lasting, raising the prospect of escalating clashes in a body that prides itself on gentility and cool judgment.
The nuclear option would be a last resort if other measures fail, said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who will likely play a central role in the debate as a member of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Constitution subcommittee.
The nuclear option would begin with Frist taking the Senate floor to seek a ruling from the presiding officer, likely to be Vice President Dick Cheney in his role as Senate president, to determine whether judicial filibusters violate the Constitution.
www.truthout.org /docs_04/112904Z.shtml   (1437 words)

 NewsHour Extra: Senators Wrangle Over 'Nuclear Option' -- May 16, 2005
This time, however, Republicans are considering the "nuclear option": a change to Senate rules that would strip Democrats of their ability to filibuster the judicial nominees.
If Republicans remove the filibuster for judicial nominees, Democrats are threatening to disrupt Senate operations by insisting that all lengthy bills be read aloud and all votes be taken.
If he's unable to secure the votes necessary to initiate the nuclear option, Frist might be forced to cut a deal with his Democratic counterpart, Harry Reid.
www.pbs.org /newshour/extra/features/jan-june05/filibuster_5-16.html   (872 words)

 Talk:Filibuster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the House of Representatives, the filibuster (the right to unlimited debate) was used until 1842, when a permanent rule limited the duration of debate.
Another type of filibuster used in the Senate: the post-cloture filibuster—using points of order to consume time, since they are not counted as part of the limited time provided for debate) — was eliminated as an effective delay technique by a rule change in 1979.
Filibuster (settler) and Filibuster (military) are now merged under Filibuster (military), since to describe the filibusters as "settlers" is a euphemism, to say the least.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Talk:Filibuster   (2748 words)

 The Boston University Washington Journalism Center
The Senate Republican leadership threat, becoming commonly known as the "nuclear option," would involve a parliamentary procedural move to prevent filibustering of judicial nominees.
If the Republicans change the rules to stop the filibuster on judicial nominees, 51 votes of the 100 members would be needed for approval rather than the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster.
In the interview before rally he said he believes the nuclear option is "not about judges" and if used once will be used again.
www.bu.edu /washjocenter/newswire_pg/spring2005/mass/nuclearoption.htm   (945 words)

 If You Can't Beat 'Em, Nuke 'Em
For most of the nuclear age, it was the "international communist conspiracy." Though the nuclear option was created on the Democrats' watch in the post-Hiroshima world of the 1940s, it was conservative icons like General Douglas MacArthur and Strategic Air Command head Curtis LeMay who were most eager to reach for it.
The "nuclear option," then, is the perfect metaphor for a GOP dominated by a coalition of the religious right and the neocons, urged on by and funded by the military-industrial complex.
Although it's only coincidence that the "nuclear option" showdown in the Senate is coming in the same month as the NPT review, there's poetic justice in it.
www.motherjones.com /commentary/columns/2005/05/nuclear_option.html   (2593 words)

 Nuclear Option Still on the Table by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch - HUMAN EVENTS
The judicial filibuster agreement reached by a group of 14 Republican and Democratic senators may be a truce, but it is not a treaty.
Recently dubbed the constitutional option, this is a mechanism for changing Senate procedures—without changing Senate rules—that has been used, directly or indirectly, for nearly a century.
The filibuster deal was struck, in part, so that the constitutional option would not, at least for now, be exercised.
www.humaneventsonline.com /article.php?id=7590   (689 words)

 The Nuclear Option
The only things they don’t have control over are the Senate, wthere the filibuster means 60 votes are needed on key issues and they only have 55 seats, and the Judiciary, where a majority of judges are those picked by Presidents other than members of the Bush clan.
One of the little ironies behind his nomination is that his father, a Senator in the 60s, used the filibuster to oppose the nomination of Justice Abe Fortas.
Circuit, and his judicial experience is that of clerking for a judge in 1983-4, and beyond that, working for the military as a lawyer when the Republicans held the White House, and for defense contractors when they didn’t.
zeppscommentaries.com /Politics/nuclear.htm   (698 words)

 The “Nuclear Option”: Leadership Matters in Filibuster   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
Political scientist Robert Klotz evaluated the US legislative and legal history on the nuclear option and finds that leadership is the most compelling factor in its use in a recent issue of APSA's journal, PS: Political Science & Politics.
Republicans have been considering a change to Senate rules (the so-called "nuclear option") that would abolish the filibusters that Democrats have used in the past to block several judges from confirmation.
Political scientist Robert Klotz (University of Southern Maine) has examined what political scientists know about the historical and legal context of the nuclear option, and suggests in a recent APSA journal PS: Political Science and Politics article that leadership was the most compelling factor in its use.
www.apsanet.org /print/printer_content_15032.cfm   (239 words)

 ‘Nuclear’ option retained to break filibuster =The Hill.com=   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-13)
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said he is “keeping all options open” in trying to break a Democratic filibuster of President Bush’s judicial nominees, now that the Senate Rules Committee has reported a resolution that would ease confirmation of judges.
Instead, the resolution, introduced by Frist, would provide for a series of cloture votes, where the threshold would gradually decrease until only a simple majority is required to overcome it.
Under Senate rules, a two-thirds majority vote is required to overcome a filibuster of a rules change, giving a disciplined minority the ability to stop the GOP effort in its tracks.
www.thehill.com /news/062503/nuclear.aspx   (438 words)

 TomPaine.com - Defend The Filibuster
Until now, the best plan to prevent a right-wing takeover of the Supreme Court was for Democrats to plan to filibuster any extreme nominees, requiring the president to withdraw the names and present new candidates.
He's recommended a "nuclear option": With only 50 senators' votes plus Vice President Cheney's, the filibuster could be history.
The end of the filibuster would mean the end of a minority party's ability to influence legislation—and the end of democracy in the Senate.
www.tompaine.com /articles/defend_the_filibuster.php   (147 words)

 CNN.com - Bush demands vote on judges - May 17, 2005
The filibuster, a form of extended debate that dates to the 1850s, can be overcome only by a three-fifths majority of 60 votes, a move known as invoking cloture.
So usually only their threat of a filibuster has been sufficient to keep Republicans from bringing a nomination to the floor for a vote.
The "nuclear option" has little public support in recent polls, and some Republicans among the 55 in the chamber have expressed doubts about the move.
www.cnn.com /2005/POLITICS/05/17/filibuster.fight/index.html   (850 words)

 Filibuster - Salon
Though most Americans are against the nuclear option, a mysterious crop of letters has popped up in newspapers across the country in support of the GOP.
Frist and Reid are done negotiating over the nuclear option.
The nuclear option is just the latest maneuver by a party still seeking absolute power.
dir.salon.com /topics/filibuster/index.html?ti=40   (350 words)

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