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Friday, May 29, 2009

Sotomajor Nomination: Principle vs Accommodation

With so much chatter about the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court nominee, I have stayed away from commenting on the subject knowing that the subject is being adequately covered on the internet and by that sector of the media which still lays claim to veracity and objectivity.

But, given the serious nature of this subject, and the chastined GOP's reluctance to correctly and appropriately push back on this activist nomination, I felt compelled to at least address what the Republicans OUGHT to do despite their lingering cowardice and desire to accommodate their liberal antagonists.

The Chief Executive has announced to his liberal Senatorial brethren that he wants Sotomayor confirmed by August 7th, the day before a five-week break. So, what can the Republicans do to thwart the nomination and safeguard the Constitution?

For the Judiciary Committee to vet the nomination, minimum eight members must be present, two of whom must be members of the minority. Thus, if 6 of the 7 Republicans on the committee simply don't show up (sick, their legs fell off, nursing a hangover, whatever), the nomination cannot move forward. No gnashing of teeth, no heated arguments, no political posturing, and, most importantly, NO NOMINATION! For me, this approach has much to recommend it. Of course, the honorable Democratic leadership will be horrified to discover that a political party is willing to stoop to political tricks merely to achieve its legislative purposes, such tasteless tactics being so alien to their own lofty standards of conduct. But, womehow I think they would survive the trauma in fine shape.

Another "tactic" available to the minority party is the "committee filibuster". From the information I've seen, this is how such a filibuster would work: when a motion is made for a committee vote on the nomination, any member can invoke Rule IV which prevents a vote on the nomination until committee members first vote to end debate. To stop the filibuster, 10 of the 19 members (7 of whom are Republicans)--including one member of the minority--is required. THUS, if ALL 7 Republicans refuse to vote to end debate, the nomination cannot be reported out of committee and the nomination, for all practical purposes, is dead. Yes!

Problem: in the wake of Jim Jefford's defection to the Democrats in 2001 which rendered Republicans the minority party, an agreement reached by the parties at that time provided that even if a Supreme Court nominee were opposed by a majority of the committee that the nomination would still be submitted to the Senate.

So, the burning question is this: are Republicans on the committee willing to hang tough and true to their conservative values and beliefs despite their suicidal agreement with liberalism? Wallowing in self-doubt, hobbled by but a tepid allegiance to conservative principles, and, sadly, committed to political accommodation to ingratiate themselves to Hispanic voters, my guess is any unified GOP resistance will quickly evaporate, ushering in yet another "empathetic" liberal Supreme Court judge who will further weaken the court's Constitutional underpinnings. Just what we need to hasten our country's socialist transformation.

Someplace I read that one of the defining differences between a Democrat and a Republican--there being precious few differences these days--is that a Democrat goes down fighting, while a Republican goes down compromising. And so the GOP will yet again.

All we can do now is watch the kabuki theater play out, and pray that our Republic, under relentless assault from within as never before, can survive yet another affliction of liberal elitism and self-serving political expediency on both sides of the aisle.

Scared yet?