Sunday, May 15, 2005

Why people are filibustering

These judges will be on the bench for life, so I believe it is necessary for these nominees to receive broad bi-partisan support. Taking away the right to filibuster will turn the judiciary into a partisan branch of the government. Though I'm a hard core Democrat, I don't want to turn the judiciary over to either party.

Because I believe that the minority party should always have a voice, regardless which party that might be at any given time. Were the Democrats to be the majority, I would *still* want the right to filibuster in place.

I am filibustering because I want this tradition in Senate to be upheld and be able to protect the rights of ALL Americans--regardless of political party. The filibuster is part of the system of "checks and blances" and is what the fathers of this country based the The Constitution on. American government protects the rights of the majority AND minority with the help of the filibuster.

Because everyone deserves a voice. Because I'm afraid of tryanny of the majority. Because Republicans are in control of the house, senate, and executive.

I believe that the Senate should be a place for debate and discussion, or what Thomas Jefferson called "a saucer into which the nation’s passions may be poured to cool."
The current plan is to cut off the filibuster for lifetime judicial appointments, but not legislation (which can easily be altered or proven unconstitutional by the Courts). I do not think that the right to filibuster either of these should be taken away, but we should have the strongest system to discuss and debate these lifetime judicial appointments.
This is not just an issue for the Democrats, but all Americans who care about a strong system of checks and balances. This is a rare time when the House, Senate, and White House are controlled by one party, but this country's founders gave us a system where "majority rule" is not absolute, and where the rights of the minority are also protected.

We know from the results of the last election that America is very polarized right now. Legislative tools such as the filibuster prevent our government from becoming similarly polarized by filtering out the extremes and bringing our laws and policies back toward the middle, where Americans can find compromise.

Because even though I'm a Democrat, I'd do the same thing if they were trying to pull this stunt. I'm old school. Tradition, rules, and etiquette are there for a reason.


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