Saturday, March 21, 2009

GOP judge filibuster threat called ironic

Original Link:

Conservatives are cheered while Democrats are citing the irony of a threat by U.S. Senate Republicans to filibuster future federal court picks, observers say.

Four years ago when in the majority in Congress, Republicans blasted Democratic moves to use the filibuster to thwart what they called "extremists" nominated by the Bush administration to the federal courts, calling the filibusters "unconstitutional."

Now in the minority, 41 GOP senators have sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama threatening such filibusters for his own court choices, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday. The letter described choosing judges as a "shared constitutional responsibility" and recommended that Obama renominate three of former President George W. Bush's failed nominees.

"The letter is a remarkable show of strength and resolve on the matter of judges," said Wendy Long, counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network. "I was encouraged that all 41 (GOP) senators signed it."

Calling it a "miraculous transformation," Nan Aron, president of the liberal Alliance for Justice, told the Tribune, "Having sought to do away with the filibuster during the Bush administration, (Republicans) are now threatening to use it at the first opportunity."

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