Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither, and lose both.
-- Benjamin Franklin


From CNN:

\Conservative Christian leaders used a nationally televised rally Sunday night to urge an end to Democratic filibusters against several of President Bush’s nominees for federal judgeships.

In the rally, sponsored by the Family Research Council, one of the leaders called the congressional tactic of delaying debate, or blocking legislation, “judicial tyranny to people of faith.”\

Amazing, isn’t it, how the GOP can turn 180 degrees so quickly? Now if judicial nominees are blocked, it is tyranny. Somehow, though, it wasn’t during Clinton’s administration, when far more judgeships went unfilled because the republicans blocked nominees:

From the St. Petersburg Times, April 14, 1994: “Republicans had been threatening to hold up the nomination [of a federal court nominee] indefinitely.”

From the New York Times, December 9, 1994:Senator Orrin Hatch, the new chairman of the Judiciary Committee, told Clinton administration “officials that he was now the principal gatekeeper on who gets to be a federal judge.”

From the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, November 12, 1997: “Any Clinton administration nominee who harbors ideas that don’t measure up on the GOP litmus test will have a tough time getting by [the Republican Senate's] checkpoints.”

From the New York Times, January 2, 1998:“Mr. Hatch and his fellow Congressional Republicans … have delayed consideration of many of President Clinton’s nominees.”

From the St. Petersburg Times, September 26, 1999: “From virtually the beginning of Clinton’s presidency, [Republicans] have blocked, stalled and shut down judicial confirmations in an attempt to keep jurists with the slightest liberal bent off the bench. Of the 62 judicial nominations put up by Clinton this year, the Senate has voted to confirm only 17.”

From the San Diego Union-Tribune, January 22, 2000: “Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., [said] that he and at least 13 other Republicans will block confirmation votes on every judicial nominee sent to the Senate by President Clinton in his last year in office.”

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 11, 2000: “Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott pushed through the confirmation of two federal judges Thursday, defying an effort by his fellow Republicans to block all nominations submitted by the Clinton administration.”

From the San Francisco Chronicle, March 10, 2000: “Confirmation votes [on two nominees] had been delayed for years by conservative Republican senators who charged [they] were liberal activists named to a federal appeals court that already leans too far to the left. [One nominee] had to wait four years before yesterday’s vote, the longest delay in history for any federal judicial nominee.”\

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 28, 2000: “Clinton said that he had been trying to get a black judge on [the 4th U.S. Circuit Court] for the last five years but that he had been stopped by the Senate Republican majority.”

On the same front, the GOP was willing to spend $73 million on the Whitewater Investigation, which came up with exactly nothing other than the president lied about his sex life (horrors! that’s never happened before!), about 4 times the amount spent investigating a war fought on false premises, and which has cost about 100,000 lives, including at last count 1569 american service men and women. But that was ethics, right? And we need to be able to trust our leaders, right? Of course, we can completely change the congressional rules of ethics to protect that paragon of virtue, Tom Delay, who can’t go a day without revelation of another unethical action.

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!

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