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March 24, 2005

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» Studying the "Nuclear Option" from Swing State Project
While Senator Republican Leader Bill Frist is whipping the zealots into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy over the GOP plot for absolute power, people who care about the Constitution, checks and blances, seperation of power, minority rights, and the instit... [Read More]

» Studying the "Nuclear Option" from Swing State Project
While Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist is whipping the zealots into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy over the GOP plot for absolute power, people who care about the Constitution, checks and blances, seperation of power, minority rights, and the institu... [Read More]

» Studying the "Nuclear Option" from Swing State Project
While Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist is whipping the zealots into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy over the GOP plot for absolute power, people who care about the Constitution, checks and blances, seperation of power, minority rights, and the institu... [Read More]

Comments

I think the principle that 50 + 1 of the Senate can do anything they please is both correct on the constitutional merits, and also is in the long term interests of the left.

I also think that should the nuclear option go through, followed by Reid's nuclear winter, it will be extremely beneficial for the Dems in 2006.

But most importantly, I don't think Frist has the 50 votes.

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So like I say, I think many of your arguments are wrong on the constitutional merits, but I am enjoying reading the series.

It's gonna be fascinating to see how this plays out. Very good drama with very high stakes.

Frist has been damaged by the Sciavo sideshow. It'll spill over into issues like this, and if the vote were already tenuous...

The attempt to establish the right of the bare majority to change any standing rule is a desperate and dangerous, and illegal, imho, tactic, one that invites chaos, legislatively. The concept that a temporary bare majority cannot strip away fundamental right from the minority, or change any standing rule of any body operating under parliamentary law, is one of the most central precepts of the parliamentary law. Negating it is totalitarian by nature. What is at stake is the only, sole, last, roadblock that a minority has to stop a temporary majority. If this can be done on judicial nominations, it can also be done on questions of war and peace, or any other legislation, notwithstanding the assertions of the present majority that their intentions are to the contrary. We can only hope that enough Republican Senators have respect enough for our system of government to oppose this if and when Frist or whoever the person is, calls for the point of order.

To assert that a rule of the Senate is unconstitutional, in my opinion, is frivolous, since by precedent, the Senate has operated under their own rules for 200+ years, and a basic precept of parliamentary law is that no resolution or rule can be against the law. If this rule or any rule was against the law, it should have been declared so from the start, and since it was not, it should be assumed to be Constitutional. To declare this rule unconstitutional, effectively declares ALL rules to be unconstitutional.

If the Republicans do it, the Democrats will be forced to carry through with their threat to refuse any unanimous consent request and use all parliamentary methods to block any legislation proposed, which could lead to chaos in the Senate, (because then the deserate majority may be inclined to assert the authority established by this present act) Can you see the slippery slope they are daring to tread?

We are looking at very dire circumstances. Every person who wants to avoid these should email or phone their Senators to object to the proposal that Rule XXII can be changed or any Standing Rule for that matter, by a bare majority.

Pal

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