One of the main reasons I and so many other Christians supported President Bush and the Republican Senatorial candidates this last November was that we knew that one of the most important issues that will determine what sort of country our Children and Grandchildren will grow up in, is who will be our judges. The recent Terri Schiavo drama helped drive home this point.
Filibustering in the US Senate is a means a minority in the Senate can use to prevent the majority from passing a law, and it requires a supermajority of 60 out of the 100 Senators to break a filibuster. When it comes to blocking the creation of new laws the filibuster has in general been a good thing for the country. The filibuster is not in the Constitution, but has been part of the rules of the US Senate since the early days of our country.
The US Constitution gives the US Senate the duty to approve or reject the President's nominations for Federal Judgeships. It does not say this should require a supermajority.
Before President G. W. Bush entered office, never in the history of our country was a President's nominations for the Circuit Court or the Supreme Court filibustered. Exactly once there was a filibuster of a nomination of a sitting Supreme Court justice to become Chief Justice, and that was an unusual case of a nomination submitted at the end of the year when the Congress was about to go home, and the justice in question had serious ethical questions. That's it!
Our Constitution has a number of supermajority requirements in it including for doing things such as amending the Constitution, but the approval or rejection of a president's judicial nominations by the US Senate was not one of them. The Democrats are lying through their teeth and trying to tell the American public that all they are doing is upholding the traditions of the Senate, when really they are trying to ram though an Amendment of the Constitution without following the Constitutional provisions for such an Amendment.
Unfortunately there are Republicans who are siding with the Democrats in this unconstitutional Amendment attempt. Hugh Hewitt just reported on his radio program and his website that "Republican" Senator John McCain has declared he is going to support the Democrats in their unconstitutional filibuster of President Bush's judicial nominations.
There are also Republican Senators Alexander, Chafee, Collins, Hagel, Snowe, Sununu and Warner who are said to be thinking of joining Senator McCain in betraying the trust of the American people and of those who worked so hard to get them elected, by supporting the Democrats in this back door attempt to Amend the US Constitution.
Please call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and ask to speak with each of the above Senator's offices. Be polite, but ask them to please support the Constitution by voting against the use of the filibuster against the President's judicial nominations. If you are a past donor to Senatorial campaigns let them know that if they vote against the Constitution you will donate to their primary opponents next time around.
After you have left messages for the 7 waffling Senators above, call back and leave messages for Senators Frist and Specter urging them to take prompt action on the President's nominees. All of the President's judicial nominees currently before the US Senate would be approved, if they could only get a vote.
Senator's emails and direct phone numbers can be found here.
To learn more about the use of the filibuster against judicial nominations click here. To learn more about the history of judicial nominations click here.
Ed at Captain's Quarters has some choice words about Senator McCain and his history in the US Senate.
UPDATE: It was pointed out to me by Jarrad Shiver that my original wording "The US Constitution gives the US Senate the duty to approve the President's nominations for Federal Judgeships" could easily be read to imply that the Senate was under an obligation to approve the President's nominations, which is of course incorrect. Therefore I changed it to read "The US Constitution gives the US Senate the duty to approve or reject the President's nominations for Federal Judgeships" which I hope clarifies what I meant to say.