Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 12, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

JUDICIAL WARS....Republicans are planning to hold what Gregg Easterbrook calls a "30-hour nonstop yak-a-thon about the cloture rule" in an effort to draw attention to Democrats who are filibustering a few judicial nominees.

Elsewhere, writing on the same subject, Larry Solum says this about the judicial wars: "Both Democrats and Republicans seem to believe that their own moves are justifiable retaliations in response to escalatory moves by their opponent." I guess I'll refrain from a history lesson about how ideological litmus tests on a broad scale were started by movement conservatives during the Reagan administration, and just agree that on a practical level he has a point.

But I'll also point out again that there's a pretty easy compromise: Republicans should offer to rescind their unprecedented and nakedly partisan changes to the blue slip rule if the Democrats will agree to end their filibusters. I don't know if the Democrats would agree to this, but until the Republicans are willing to at least make the offer I'm pretty unsympathetic to the idea that both sides are equally blameworthy here.

UPDATE: I should add that I don't especially favor one blue slip, two blue slips, or no blue slips as the best way to run judicial nominations. However, Orrin Hatch changed the rule and used it happily during the Clinton administration, so he should be willing to do the same for a Bush administration. And if part of a compromise on this is that both sides agree to change the rule again (and hopefully permanently) starting in, say, 2008, that's fine with me too.

UPDATE 2: Tung Yin has some additional thoughts. I don't actually find his point very compelling myself, but you can decide for yourself.

Kevin Drum 10:55 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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