Guys, you make one good point. Our party leaders are wimps. But as far as “blurring the lines of church and state,” that is ridiculous. Politicians do town hall meetings and the like all over the country to support their positions. What difference does it make if Frist appeared on a telecast to a group of churches. The constitution says that there shall be no establishment of a national religion. It does not say that we should strip our nation of all religion. And that is exactly why these appointments are NOT a “relatively unimportant bit of business.”
Before I got the chance to post on this issue, my brother emailed me about your posts. Here is what he had to say:
From the US Constitution; Article. II – Powers textually committed to the President
Clause 2: (The President) He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
From the US Constitution; Article I – Powers textually committed to Congress
Clause 2: Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
Based on the Constitution itself, the President has the sole power to appoint supreme court justices. The Senate is only involved to give their advice and consent. For more then two hundred years the Senate has used their Article II; Section 5; Clause 2 powers to give advice and consent to the President by way of a simple majority up or down vote on the Senate Floor. For the first time in the history of the country, the Democrats are filibustering justices thereby requiring a 60 vote super-majority to properly advise and consent. If anything, the Democrats are the ones who have changed the Senate rules on advising and consenting, and the Republicans are merely attempting to change the rules back to the way they have always been (a simple majority up or down vote on the Senate floor).
Now the great mystery to me is why the hell the Republicans dont simply call the Democrats bluff and make them filibuster instead of taking this roundabout way to solving the problem that THE DEMOCRATS caused in the first place. However, that is completely irrelevant in regards to whether or not Republicans have the power and are justified in using their elective power to alter Senate rules in such a way as to bring current proceedings back in line with over 200 years of Senate history. Bottom line, the Senate has the power in Article I to determine the Rules of its Proceedings. The Republicans are completely within their Constitutional powers to change Senate rules. Secondly, we all know that the Republicans would never use this tactic of filibustering judges (or atleast they never would have been the first to use it) and we also all know that if they ever attempted to and the Democrats were the majority party, the Democrats would have absolutely no qualms about using their elective power to change the rules.
Lastly, anyone who says these judicial nominations are not important is absolutely wrong. In regards to our social liberties and our rights as Americans to decide through the legislative process what kind of society we desire to live in, judicial nominees are quite possibly the most important issue next to the war on terror. Must we be reminded that it is the result of activist/liberal judges sitting on the Supreme Court over the course of the last 50 years which has begotten abortion on demand; ten commandments ripped out of schools, court houses, and town squares; no allowance for school prayer and now the questioning of the pledge of allegiance; foreign law being applied to interpret the Constitution; and soon to come a fundamental constitutional right to homosexual marriage; etc. etc. etc…
I must concur.