Thursday, May 19, 2005

Done Deal?

It appears that a bipartisan group of Senators have reached an agreement that will prevent the need for Frist to drop the Nuke:
A bid to end the Senate standoff over President Bush's judicial picks would let five nominees advance to a final vote while preserving the right of a minority of senators to block two others.

A draft of the deal, which CNN obtained Thursday, would allow up-or-down confirmation votes on five of the seven nominees whom Democrats have blocked -- including Priscilla Owen, whose nomination to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals faces debate in the Senate this week.
So Owens will squeak by, but:
nominees William Myers, a pick for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and Henry Saad, for the 6th Circuit, would remain blocked.
How can a small group of Senators wield such power, and forge an agreement leadership couldn't even muster? Simple math:
Six Democrats would vote to end debate on those nominees. In exchange, six Republicans would vote against the "nuclear option" to limit judicial filibusters, leaving the GOP a vote shy of a majority on that step.
Now watch the scramble for credit. The Majority leader, who all but refused to support any compromise, knew he never had the votes lined up. Let's watch him wiggle for a few days, and try to salvage his Presidential aspirations.


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