Fair tactics in fight over judges?

April 23, 2005

I support the right to filibuster judicial nominees, and I'm tired of hearing complaints that the Democratic senators are obstructionist.

Republican senators, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney, want to change the rules so they can push through a number of controversial federal judge ("Cheney says he'd break tie to curtail use of filibusters," April 16).

They argue that the filibuster tramples the Constitution and that Democrats are denying qualified judicial nominees an up-or-down vote.

But let's look at the reality. The filibuster has been around since 1806 and been used by both parties. During President Bush's first term, the Democrats participated in up-or-down votes and accepted more than 200 judicial nominees.

Many of the judges now in question were previously nominated and rejected for a variety of reasons - from a history of favoring large corporations instead of sound environmental policy, to allowing discrimination or failing to protect civil rights, to showing gross errors in judgment.

It is time for President Bush to realize that no means no, and stop encouraging senators to change the rules so that he can have his way.

I am proud of our senators who continue to fight for the interests of the people of this country, not for the corporations and neoconservative ideals.

Margaret Flowers


The phrase "nuclear option" is just another Democratic scare tactic. The very words have quite a ring that frightens people, mostly the uninformed.

The real nuclear option is the misuse of the filibuster by the Democrats. The Republicans in office in Washington need to grow a backbone.

The nonsense that has been going on for the past two years is disgraceful. The very thought of not voting nominees up or down is simply a joke.

In the past, both parties agreed that the filibuster would not be used to prevent a vote on judges. They were willing to be held accountable for their vote.

My suggestion is that the Senate stop using tricks to avoid voting on these judicial nominees. The filibuster, in this case, is nothing less than cowardice.

Dot Principe

Upper Marlboro

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist recently affiliated himself with a group arguing that the Democratic filibuster against President Bush's judicial appointments is being used against people of faith.

What chutzpah. Having supported tax cuts that have resulted in a massive transfer of wealth from the least to the most affluent, having overseen a new bankruptcy bill that will make life much more difficult for many who are "the least among us," and having applauded the use of military weapons to resolve conflict, Dr. Frist has concluded that he is capable of telling Americans what it means to be a person of faith.

And how very distressing that, in a world where our most frightening enemies are fundamentalist, antidemocratic terrorists, Dr. Frist has joined with fundamentalist Christians. In doing this, Dr. Frist appears to be saying that the United States should become ever more like those whom we are fighting. How very sad. How very frightening.

Stanley L. Rodbell


Republicans in Congress are on a brazen, ill-advised campaign to seize absolute power by invoking the "nuclear option" to eliminate the filibuster on judicial appointments, thereby crushing Democratic opposition to extremist judicial appointees

This is in spite of the fact that Democrats have approved 95 percent of President Bush's judicial appointments over the past five years.

It is clear that they want to reduce the Democratic opposition to a rubber-stamp and ram through extremist judges.

The American people will be big losers if this happens.

Ani Thakar


The reason for the filibuster is to prevent the complete control of one party.

The last election showed that this country is pretty much split down the middle, so I fail to see the reason why half of this country should be bullied into a selection of judicial nominees who are not representative of all Americans.

The more the bullies of Washington (i.e., the Republicans) are allowed to control, the fewer rights all of us in this country will have.

April D. Null


It would be wise to protect the country from the radioactive effects of the "nuclear option."

Let's avoid the annihilation of the minority voice.

Maria Barbosa


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