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Letters to the editor

Joy Overbeck

In insisting on a judicial filibuster, which actually was not even dreamt up until recently, Senate Democrats are engaged in a cynical deception to circumvent the Constitution, even as they whine and shriek that the Republicans are trying to rob them of freedom of speech. This isn’t about the First Amendment or debating the merits of judges. The filibuster was always intended to be used against legislation (most egregiously to block Civil Rights Legislation in the ’60s) never against judges. It will continue to be employed thus even when its judicial misuse is ended, which is coming soon as the country is fed up with these transparent constitutional attacks by Dems. Even Teddy K and his morally outraged cohorts know what they’re doing to these highly qualified judicial nominees is just plain wrong. Here’s Jabba the Senator himself: “Again and again in recent years, the filibuster has been the shame of the Senate and the last resort of special-interest groups. Too often, it has enabled a small minority of the Senate to prevent a strong majority from working its will and serving the public interest.” Yes, TK, that’s just what you and your gang are up to. And here’s Vermont’s big pro-filibuster Dem, Patrick Leahy: “I have stated over and over again on this (Senate) floor that I would … object and fight against any filibuster on a judge.” And just listen to the very outraged Joe Biden of Delaware: “Everyone who is nominated is entitled … to have a hearing and to … have a vote on the floor. It is not … appropriate … not to bring them to the floor and not to allow a vote.”Of course, those quotes are from the years when Democrats held the Senate majority. Now all the usual hypocrites are holding these judges hostage to a cowardly process that requires 60 percent, a super majority, of the Senate to override a filibuster and take the vote to the Senate floor. Exactly the process these same hypocrites once called, “the shame of the Senate.” That’s not democracy, folks. We have this quirky little tradition called majority rules in this country. The founders wisely gave the president the ability to appoint judges and as a check and balance, the Senate has the duty to “advise and consent” not to “filibuster and block.” They can refuse consent by voting against a nominee. Then, a simple majority prevails as it does throughout our elective process. The Dems know they would lose if it came to a floor vote, so they are using the filibuster to in effect require 60 percent instead of 51 percent to approve a nominee. They are blocking nominees from ever getting to a vote, and preventing the majority “from working its will and serving the public interest,” in the immortal words of Jabba the Senator. The Dems aren’t interested in using the filibuster for honest debate, which became laughably obvious when Senator Frist, the majority leader, offered them 100 hours of debate per nominee if then they would allow a final vote. No way, sniffed the Democrat leadership. In offering nominees, George W. Bush is completely within his constitutional rights and duties. The Democrats in blocking them have embraced cynical obstructionism instead of their sworn oath to uphold the Constitution. These judges are so important to them because they’re federal appeals judges, the last stop before the Supremes. The Dems don’t want excellent, strict constructionist legal minds like these nominees. They want make-it-up-as-you-go-along judges, “activist” judges. The same ones who have decreed that parents have no right to even know (much less to give their approval) when their underage daughter gets an abortion. The same judges who have decided, over the express will of the people in dozens of states, that homosexuals can legally marry. Only by trashing the Constitution so they can block Bush’s judges will the Democrats’ anti-mainstream-values agenda triumph. Partisanship? It’s not partisanship to insist that the judicial nominees be allowed an up or down vote on the Senate floor. It’s what the founders had in mind. And the sick little secret is that even the Dems know it. Joy OverbeckEdwards Nuclear ambitionsIn a little more than 12 weeks the world will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the use of atomic bombing of Hiroshima. If the global community is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and achieve the long-sought-after goal of worldwide nuclear disarmament, logic would seem to dictate that one critical component is for our government to NOT engage in the further development of these weapons of such mass destruction. However, the Bush administration is proposing a step in the opposite direction – the direction toward developing new nuclear weapons.It is my understanding President Bush’s budget request for 2006 includes $4 million for the first stages of developing a bunker-busting nuclear weapon. Developing new nuclear weapons is at odds with the U.S. commitment to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. It undermines the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which the United States signed in July 1968 and ratified in March 1970.Deacon F. Jay VocelkaSt. Clare-St. Mary’s Catholic CommunitiesEdwards-EagleVail, Colorado


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