Thursday, November 03, 2005

Suggestions for Judge Alito's confirmation proceedings

Now that the gloves are finally off in the Senate, here's some suggestions for how to promptly proceed in confirming Judge Samuel Alito to be the next Supreme Court Justice.

1. The Republicans need to set the date that hearings will begin on the nomination. The date should be no longer than the time between nomination and beginning of hearings for any of the current sitting justices (Roberts, Breyer, Ginsburg, Thomas, Souter, Kennedy, Scalia, O'Connor, Stevens). With the exception of Thanksgiving Day (not week, but Thanksgiving Day), there should be no consideration given congressional recesses (aka, vacations) when scheduling this. The one thing Republicans and Democrats agree on is that there is nothing more important than this nomination--let's act like it and get on with the hearings--this is more important than senators' vacation plans. Republicans should force Democrats to hold hearings over the Christmas holidays if required. Let's remember that it is the Democrats that don't believe religion should play any role in government--so they shouldn't mind giving up this religious holiday for this critically important work.

2. If the Democrats don't like the date, let them filibuster it. If they want to filibuster, make their whiny asses do an actual filibuster and spend hours on the floor in debate. I'm talking days and days keeping debate open. They can take lessons from Robert Byrd on how to filibuster--see his 14 hour and 13 minute filibuster opposing civil rights in 1964. After a week of filibuster, end it by cloture or "constitutional option".

3. Or have the hearings without them. Set the date and hold the hearings. If it's important to them, they will be there.

4. Have the hearings completed in a week maximum. With the exception of the Clarence Thomas fiasco, no other hearings took more than a week. The Republicans need to remember that they control the Senate and the Judiciary Committee--act like it!!! They should be thorough and fair, but there is no need to treat this any differently than a normal confirmation process. At the end of a week, hold a committee vote. If the Democrats don't want to vote, they don't have to. And if they want to keep calling witnesses after a week, let them keep calling them, but the Republicans don't need to be there.

5. Hold a floor vote within a week of the end of the hearings. Limit the debate to three or four days. If at the end of the of this reasonably long debate, the Democrats want to filibuster, let them filibuster. But again make them stay on the floor 24 hours a day for at least a week. Again, Mr. Byrd can help them with this. If the timing worked out just right, this filibuster could happen the week of Christmas (because remember religious holidays mean nothing to them).

6. After a week of filibuster, try one cloture vote. See if the "gang of 14" delivers. If so, have up or down vote in the Senate within the hour.

7. If the "gang of 14" doesn't deliver, immediately proceed with "constitutional option". Then have up or down vote in the Senate within the hour.

This would prove the Republicans want to govern and the Democrats want to obstruct.

The above courtesy of my kid.

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