Sandra J. O'Connor's successor in the Supreme Court is expected to be named by President Bush next week and could result in a wicked Senate battle if that nominee is staunchly conservative. But the compromise reached on May 23rd by the "Gang of 14" could severely undermine any hopes Democrats have of employing the filibuster.
The pact, signed by seven Democrats and seven Republicans, says a judicial nominee will be filibustered only under "extraordinary circumstances." Key members of the group said yesterday that a nominee's philosophical views cannot amount to "extraordinary circumstances" and that therefore a filibuster can be justified only on questions of personal ethics or character.So even if Democrats do uphold the bargain made in May, it still doesn't mean that a nominee with sharply held conservative views would be confirmed easily. The nominee could be opposed on moral or ethical grounds, genuine or contrived, as was Clarence Thomas in 1991.
Great. Another summer of Coke cans and Long Dong Silver.