Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 23, 2005
By: Kevin Drum

NUCLEAR OPTION UPDATE....I guess I'm puzzled. A bipartisan group of 14 senators has agreed to a last-minute compromise that will avert Bill Frist's attempt to end judicial filibusters for good, but the text of the deal only mentions five nominees. The group agreed to invoke cloture for three of the filibustered nominees (Brown, Owen, and Pryor), which means they'll be confirmed, and made "no commitment" on two of the nominees (Myers and Saad), which presumably means at least a few of the Democrats will agree to continue filibustering them and their nominations are dead.

In return, all 14 agreed to vote against changing the senate rules to eliminate judicial filibusters completely. This means Frist doesn't have a majority to support his rule change, which makes the question of whether a majority can change the rules moot.

But why aren't Griffin and McKeague mentioned? Presumably, not mentioning them is equivalent to "no commitment," right? So why not say so? What am I missing here?

As for the agreement to filibuster future candidates only under "extraordinary circumstances," well, who knows? That could mean pretty much anything, couldn't it?

The text of the deal is here:

UPDATE: In comments, NSF reports that Lindsey Graham claims that of the three who will get votes (Brown, Owen, and Pryor), one will end up getting defeated on a bipartisan basis. A secret codicil? Hmmm.....

Kevin Drum 9:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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