A Compromise on the 'Nuclear Option'

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 29, 2005 | Go to article overview

A Compromise on the 'Nuclear Option'


Byline: THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist yesterday offered Democrats a compromise in the stalemate over President Bush's judicial nominations. In exchange for saving the filibuster, the proposal would guarantee debate on each nominee on the Senate floor for up to 100 hours, allowing each senator to voice his or her opinion for the record. Also, all the nominees for the federal appellate courts and Supreme Court would be allowed an up-or-down vote in the Senate, and nominees could no longer be blocked from reaching the Senate floor in the Judiciary Committee - a tactic Republicans used to their advantage during the Clinton administration. On the opposing page, Mr. Frist discusses his proposal in greater detail.

It's a proposal Senate Democrats won't likely accept at face value. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was, in fact, quite blunt: "It's a big wet kiss to the far right." Mr. Reid didn't exactly rule out the proposal, but in typical minority-leader speak said that he would have to look at it further. That means that Mr. Reid and Co. will take time to decide if the proposal is a politically viable solution to the judicial-nomination impasse, of which no one's quite sure who holds the high ground with the American people.

Both sides have been threatening to use their ultimate trump card - but neither side is particularly confident enough to do so. …

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