Monday, May 23, 2005

Senators Reach Compromise on Filibusters: "Centrists Republicans and Democrats reached a compromise Monday night to avoid a showdown on President Bush's stalled judicial nominees and the Senate's own filibuster rules, officials from both parties said."

"Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in 'extraordinary circumstances.' For their part, Republicans agreed not to support an attempt to strip Democrats of their right to block votes."

C-SPAN: Judicial Confirmation Compromise Agreement:"In addition to the twelve senators who spoke, Senators Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI) also signed onto the agreement."

Freshman Sen. Salazar in Thick of Talks: "Freshman senators typically are seen but not heard. They devote their first few months in office to figuring out how the Senate operates and finding their way around the Capitol. Rarely do these first-termers participate in negotiations on an issue as important as the future of the judicial filibuster with all its implications for Congress and the courts.

"Yet, among the self-appointed group of 12 Republicans and Democrats determined to work out a compromise on President Bush's stalled judicial picks is Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., on the job a mere five months."

"The explanation for Salazar's involvement encompasses his politics, the 2004 election results in his home state and a campaign pledge that Republicans and conservative groups won't let him forget.

"In the closing days of his race against Republican beer magnate Peter Coors, Salazar, then the state attorney general, said he supported an up-or-down Senate vote on judicial nominations. He also joined several other state attorney generals in backing William G. Myers III, a former solicitor of the Interior Department nominated to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals."

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