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April 25, 2005

Louisville Rally Calls for End to Democrat-Led 'Pattern of Discrimination'

Topics: News

First to opine .....
I'd amend the call to action made during the rally somewhat, and target the call to the Democratic leadership and also Republicans that are soft on supporting life issues - particularly those that are soft on pro-life judicial nominees(hint - such as Arlen Specter). After all, we've already experienced where the road through abortion and euthanasia has taken us. Any "Action Plan" of BlogsForTerri(now having gone beyond the single issue of Terri Schiavo to the broader issue of blogging for life), MUST begin with addressing judicial issues - and the appointment of pro-life judicial nominees is as good a place as any, to begin!

This is not to say that our activist role in supporting life and intervening when life is threatened should be circumvented to deal with judicial issues, rather, that judicial issues and active intervention when life is threatened, are in fact juxtapositional in nature. Now ...

- Agape Press
During a nationwide broadcast over the weekend, evangelical Christian leaders sounded the call for religious liberty, saying it's time for the U.S. Senate to stop filibusters against people of faith who have been nominated to the federal bench.

An estimated 5,000 people filled Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, KY, on Sunday evening for "Justice Sunday: Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith." Event coordinator Family Research Council reports the simulcast also went into 61 million households in 44 states -- numbers that FRC president Tony Perkins describes as "an amazing response."

Why such a response? Perkins thinks it is because "people of faith" are realizing that actions in Washington -- in this case, a Democratic-led filibuster against President Bush's conservative, pro-life judicial nominees -- have a direct impact on their lives.

"It's time to bring some transparency to the process and it is time to give these nominees an up-or-down vote," the FRC president said before the broadcast. "This is not about faith, but a debate and fairness for people of faith, any faith."

Dobson and Colson
The event kicked off with retired Judge Charles Pickering leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Then a variety of speakers encouraged voters to contact their senators and ask them to vote to end filibusters on judicial nominees. Focus on the Family Action founder Dr. James Dobson said the unconstitutional use of filibusters to prevent Christians from serving as judges must stop.

"It's not right; it's wrong," Dobson said. "And I think this is one of the most significant issues we've ever faced as a nation, because the future of democracy and ordered liberty actually depends on the outcome of this struggle."

Dobson added that Christians have the right as citizens to seek a change in courts that seem "determined to redesign the culture according to their own biases."

Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries said the Senate has been holding the judiciary "hostage" through filibusters that have stopped ten of President Bush's judicial nominees. Colson explained that America's founding fathers had good reason to establish a "balance of powers" in the nation's new government.

"[They knew] there had to be three co-equal branches of government -- otherwise, being disposed to sin as we are and believing in the fall [of man], there could be abuses," Colson remarked. "And so three branches of government were set up, all to be independent and to balance one another. [But] what the Senate minority is trying to do [now] is, by a filibuster, to seize what they lost at the ballot box and to prevent the appointment of judges."

Continue reading ...

Posted by richard at April 25, 2005 5:44 PM

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Here is what Wendy E. Long, former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas and former press secretary to former Sens. Gordon Humphrey and Bill Armstrong has to say about the myths that surround this issue of filibusters. (Some myths are being circulated about it, she says.):

Myth No. 1: "Filibuster of judges is a sacred tradition."

Fact: The filibuster is nowhere in the Constitution. It is not among the "checks and balances" our Founding Fathers created. It did not even exist until the 1830s, and the "tradition" involves legislation, not judicial appointments. The filibuster was used to defend slavery and oppose the Civil Rights Act — hardly noble purposes. The current obstruction of judges is no "traditional" filibuster: it is the first time in more than 200 years that either party has filibustered to keep judges with majority support off the federal bench.

Myth No. 2: "Mr. Bush's nominees are being treated no differently than other presidents' nominees."

Fact: In the last Congress, 10 of the president's 34 appellate nominees were filibustered — the lowest confirmation rate since FDR. Democrats mask their sabotage of these nominees by citing the confirmation rate of judges to federal courts overall — an irrelevant statistic, because the federal courts of appeal make final rulings on most issues of constitutional law. Liberals also argue that Abe Fortas was not confirmed as Chief Justice in 1968. But Mr. Fortas was opposed by a Senate majority (both Republicans and Democrats), and President Johnson withdrew the nomination. Today, a Senate majority supports the nominees, and the president is not withdrawing them.

Myth No. 3: "The Senate has a "co-equal" role with the president in judicial nominations."

Fact: The Constitution expressly gives the president — and only the president — the power to nominate federal judges. All the Senate can do is say "yes" or "no" to the president's choices. That is the "check" in the "checks-and-balances" system, to make sure no unqualified nominee becomes a federal judge. It does not give Senators — and a minority of Senators at that — the power to insist on judges who suit their own ideology.

Myth No. 4: "The current filibuster is about 'free speech'."

Fact: Historically, the filibuster has given senators in the minority a chance to speak on the Senate floor before the majority rushes to pass a bill. But the current filibuster is not about the right to speak out. It is about blocking judges. These nominees have been pending for months — some for years. There has been, and remains, ample time to speak about them. The majority welcomes free speech and free debate — followed by a free vote.

Myth No. 5: "The filibuster protects 'the right of the minority' to veto nominees."

Fact: The Constitution requires two-thirds vote for certain things. Appointing judges is not one of them. So the basic principle of democracy applies: The majority decides. The filibuster of judicial nominees turns majority rule on its head, because 41of 100 senators can keep a judge off the bench without ever even voting.

Wendy adds that a recent Ayres survey shows 67 percent of voters agree that "we should take politics out of the courts and out of the confirmation process." A full 61 percent of Democrats agreed with this statement, as well as 73 percent of Independents and 69 percent of Republicans.

Posted by: juleni at April 25, 2005 9:17 PM

Please Note : Until Very recently,
Judge Greer would have made a seemingly
excellent Supreme Court Nominee.
Maybe the blocked judges are not such
great choices either.Maybe there are
very good reasons for this filibuster.
What DO we know about the blocked judges?

Posted by: lynaqua at April 26, 2005 9:02 AM

In my 'umbled opinion, the filibuster is simply a means to overthrow the govt, albeit temporarily. It need not be seen as anything more complicated than that.

Posted by: mary et. al. at April 26, 2005 3:51 PM