‘Nuclear option’ a concern for readers
April 20, 2005
Idea is a concern
I am writing out of concern that the “nuclear option” to seize absolute power in Congress to appoint judges without the right to extend debate on controversial judicial nominations will roll back decades of progress in protecting workers’ rights, the environment and privacy.
The “nuclear option” is a parliamentary trick to eliminate the filibuster and would force through judges such as Judge Brown from California, who is nominated for the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals, a common stepping stone to the Supreme Court.
Judge Brown follows an extremist judicial philosophy that calls for the courts to block Congress from guaranteeing such things as the 40-hour work week, the minimum wage, the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act.
In the near future, the Republicans will try to use this power to appoint such judges, and it is important that we all rise up and voice our opinion before we lose the right to have that opinion voiced.
With concern and respect for the decades of progress toward protecting human rights and the environment, I urge all to take a stand and let your representative know your opinion.
Debate is troubling
I am troubled with the current news from the U.S. Senate. I thought that I understood the concepts of “checks and balances” and compromise. The president nominated almost 250 people to judicial positions. Out of his nominations, 95 percent were confirmed. Apparently 95 percent is not good enough, it must be “all and everything.” We the people need to say enough is enough. Let the senators and congressmen (and women) be done with these nominations and get on with the business of government. We have some very pressing matters before us, i.e., deficits, Social Security, alternative fuels, education … just to name a few.
A dangerous precedent
In the near future, a group of the most zealous of the Republicans in congress will try to use the “nuclear option” to seize absolute power. Initially it is touted as related to the appointment of judges.
Whether you think the proposed appointees will roll back decades of progress in protecting worker rights, the environment, and privacy or not it is a dangerous move from the sponsors of “Pre-emptive Strikes.” It has about as much intelligence supporting it as was given before the invasion of Iraq.
The “nuclear option” is a parliamentary trick to eliminate the filibuster – the right to extend debate on controversial subjects, including judicial nominations. It is a very slight minority party protection in the system.
Even conservatives must know that there will be times when they do not control the congress and may need this very protection.
As with most “nuclear” solutions, the costs are far too high.
Bill Van Roo
I am very anxious about the effort being made in Congress to eliminate filibusters. Aside from my immediate concern about the possible appointment of Janice Rodgers Brown of California to the Washington, D.C., Court of Appeals, the future repercussions of this move are frightening. Anything which would lead to silencing further argument, fact finding and discussion by our representatives is not good.
Rough and Ready
Keep Senate rules
I am outraged to learn of a plan to overthrow the existing rules in the Senate and have the Republicans (or anyone) have absolute power over the upcoming judicial appointments. This has to be stopped. We have a system of checks and balances to prevent this type of power takeover and we need it to keep hearing the voices of all people in our laws and court decisions, not just the “ruling” powers at this time. Please write or call your senator today to express your feelings on this vital topic.
About absolute power
At some point in the near future, the Republicans will try to change the rules to seize absolute power to appoint judges. Because they have the majority votes, the Republicans have said they will use their power to eliminate the filibuster – the right to extend debate on controversial judicial nominations.
The fact: This president has a better record of having his judicial nominees approved than any president in the past 25 years. Only ten of 214 nominations have been turned down. It is clear that this attempt to eliminate these important checks and balances is not about judges. It is the desire for absolute power.
Our Constitution provides for checks and balances so that no political party can hold total control over the course of our nation. But now, in order to break down the separation of powers and ram through their extreme appointees to the judicial branch, Bush and the Republican leadership want to eliminate a 200-year-old American rule saying that every member of the Senate can rise to say his or her piece and speak on behalf of the people who sent them here.
Please call your senator to vote to retain the rights of representation of all citizens.
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