Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Slow down, think (progress) 

Think Progress (and Atrios ) thinks there is some sort of contradiction,

In the deal struck yesterday evening, negotiators agreed that two judicial nominees - William G. Myers and Henry Saad - "will be filibustered or withdrawn." Last night, Frist indicated he would abide by the agreement ... But Congress Daily PM reports that Frist has other ideas for later in the week:

Senate Majority Leader Frist will file for cloture on President Bush's nomination of William Myers to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later this week, according to sources on and off Capitol Hill, wasting no time in testing the resolve of 14 Republican and Democratic senators who forced at least a temporary halt to the battle over Democratic filibusters of President Bush’s judicial picks.

Some say the Senate's rules are esoteric, maybe they're a bit complicated, but the cloture rule is not hard to understand,

[One or more Senators is exercising their right to speak on a topic as long as they want, even indefinitely - or, in practice, until the matter is killed - in other words filibustering] [A]t any time a motion signed by sixteen Senators, to bring to a close the debate upon any measure, motion, other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, is presented to the Senate, [sixteen Senators move to halt a filibuster] [...] the Presiding Officer shall, without debate, submit to the Senate by a yea-and-nay vote the question:

"Is it the sense of the Senate that the debate shall be brought to a close?" And if that question shall be decided in the affirmative by three-fifths of the Senators [if 60 Senators vote to close the filibuster ("invoking cloture")] [...] except on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, in which case the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting [unless the matter before the Senate is the Senate's own rules, in which case it takes 66] -- then said measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, or the unfinished business, shall be the unfinished business to the exclusion of all other business until disposed of.

Thereafter [if the cloture motion passes with 60 or 66 votes] no Senator shall be entitled to speak in all more than one hour on the measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate, [...]

After no more than thirty hours of consideration of the measure, motion, or other matter on which cloture has been invoked, the Senate shall proceed, without any further debate on any question, to vote on the final disposition thereof [after cloture stops a filibuster, Senators are allowed to speak for one hour each, to a maximum of 30 hours] [...]

Filling in the particulars for what will happen, according to the compromise agreement among seven Republicans and Seven Democrats,

Signatories make no commitment to vote for or against cloture on the following judicial nominees: William Myers (9th Circuit) and Henry Saad (6th Circuit).

According to Congress Daily PM, as quoted by Think Progress,

Senate Majority Leader Frist will file for cloture on President Bush's nomination of William Myers to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later this week, according to sources on and off Capitol Hill, wasting no time in testing the resolve of 14 Republican and Democratic senators who forced at least a temporary halt to the battle over Democratic filibusters of President Bush's judicial picks.

  1. The Senate will be debating nomination of William Myers to the 9th Circuit
  2. Democrats will be filibustering the nomination
  3. Frist files for cloture
  4. The seven Democrats and Seven Republicans vote as they wish on cloture
  5. If at least 40 Senators vote against cloture, the matter - and nomination - are killed
  6. No problem, nobody went against anything they previously agreed to or stated.

Maybe Congress Daily confused Myers with one of the three nominations the 14 agreed to vote for cloture on - in that case, the only difference is that the 14 have agreed to vote for cloture, and if they follow through with the agreement and cloture is invoked, after a maximum of thirty hours of debate, the nomination would go to a vote.

I don't see the big deal either way.

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Comments:

Did that article actually say fillibusters of the president or was it a mis-type? I never realized they could fillibuster the president.
It really said that - I figured someone screwed up while copy/pasting. It's corrected.

 

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