Tuesday, November 16, 2004

More on the death of checks and balances

I heard this reported on NPR yesterday, but I found it in another source that some people might find less objectionable. This was reported yesterday in The Christian Post:

Frist: Specter Must Back
President's Judicial Nominees

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist withholds endorsement of
Sen. Arlen Specter for Senate Judiciary committee chairmanship and says Specter has yet to make his case.

'...Frist* said he expected the chairman of the Committee to be "responsible to the feelings, the wishes, the beliefs, the values, the procedures that are held by the majority of that committee. That is, in this case, the Republican caucus on that committee, the Republican committee members."

'Additionally, the chairman, explained Frist, should not only "have a strong predisposition to supporting that nominee sent over by President Bush...to a Republican Judiciary Committee," but also "on the floor of the United States Senate."

'Frist said the chairman also has the duty to ensure every one of the President's judicial nominees receive an up-or-down vote. He discussed the possibility* of the "nuclear option," which would prevent filibusters by only requiring a majority vote of 51 to pass a judicial nominee...'

So it sounds to me like Frist is saying that the role of the Legislative branch - or at least of the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee - is to essentially serve as a rubber-stamp for the Executive branch's nominations for lifetime appointment to the Judicial branch. Or am I misinterpreting the phrase "strong predisposition"?

* I have corrected The Christian Post's typos here: they originally spelled Frist's name "First", and spelled possibility "possiblity". I believe they have an opening for a proofreader.

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