- The Washington Times - Monday, January 19, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Lanny J. Davis‘ apparent desire for President-elect Barack Obama’s future judicial nominees to receive up-or-down votes in the full Senate seems strangely at odds with his applause for the actions of the “Gang of 14” (“Advice to Obama,” Nation, Jan. 5).

The backroom deal made by the Gang of 14 prevented a Senate rule change that would have banned filibusters of judicial nominations, a tactic the then-Democratic minority had used extensively and disproportionately against women and minority nominees. I do not recall Mr. Davis standing up against this vicious partisan tactic at the time. His newfound interest in bipartisanship strikes this reader as a tad too convenient.

The Judicial Confirmation Network was founded, in part, to support the principle that every nominee who goes to the full Senate deserves an up-or-down vote. We did not support this principle out of some amorphous notion of “bipartisanship,” but rather, we believe it is the duty of the Senate to perform its constitutional role in the judicial-selection process. The Constitution is quite clear on this role, and nowhere does it require a supermajority for confirmation of the president’s nominees.

If the Senate abides by the historical procedural rules governing the confirmation process, the Judicial Confirmation Network intends to stick to its principles and urge up-or-down votes - even on nominees we may oppose. It would be quite understandable if Republican senators felt otherwise - most have had extensive experience with Democratic promises of reciprocity.

GARY MARX

Executive director

Judicial Confirmation Network

Manassas

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