Tags: Frist | Stabbed | the | Back | Over | Judicial | Nominees

Frist Stabbed in the Back Over Judicial Nominees

Tuesday, 24 May 2005 12:00 AM

That's what is at stake in the way the United States Senate deals with the president's judicial nominations.

The first step in dealing with this crisis is the appointment to the federal bench of jurists who will strictly adhere to the Constitution and interpret it in the sense that the Founders wrote it. The notion that it is a "living document," subject to change at the whim and caprice of un-elected judges who want it to reflect the customs and mores of the times as they discern them, is destructive of the Founders' original intent that was based on a sage understanding of the nature of man and the tendency of governments to overstep their bounds.

As Justice Antonin Scalia put it in a recent speech: "If you think aficionados of a living Constitution want to bring you flexibility, think again. You think the death penalty is a good idea? Persuade your fellow citizens to adopt it. You want a right to abortion? Persuade your fellow citizens and enact it. That's flexibility."

"Why in the world would you have it interpreted by nine lawyers?" he asked.

On Monday night Senator Bill Frist was poised to put through a change in Senate rules that would have prevented the Democrat minority from continuing to use the filibuster to prevent the Senate from voting aye or nay on the president's judicial nominees. He was confident he had the 51 votes needed to change the rules and put an end to the obstructionism of the minority party, which was employing the filibuster in a way in which it had never in over 220 years been used – to deny senators the right to vote on judicial nominees.

He never got the chance – he was stabbed in the back by seven members of his own party, and the best chance this nation had to restore the Constitution as the bedrock of this Republic was lost, at least for the time being.

Say what they may about saving the Senate's cherished traditions of civility and mutual respect, what these seven so-called Republicans did was to hand Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid the sweetest of victories.

And how did he respond? Was it in the hallowed civility the dissident Republicans so cherished?

Hell no, it wasn't. It was in Reid's thuggish boast that "We have sent President George Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the radical right of the Republican Party an undeniable message ... the abuse of power will not be tolerated."

Note the "we." It obviously includes seven new recruits to his cause – seven Republicans who, if they had a shred of decency, would adopt the Judas solution: Find a tree, throw a rope over the lowest limb, put the noose around their necks and swing to and fro in the breeze.

As some observers have suggested, it isn't over yet. In the so-called agreement there is nothing that would prevent Senator Frist from sticking to his guns. As Pat Buchanan told Don Imus this morning, if the Democrats attempt to filibuster nominees other than the three they agreed to allow to have up-or-down votes, there is nothing to prevent Frist from still going nuclear and seeking to enact the constitutional option.

And, said Pat, that would require John McCain and his gang of seven to vote with the Democrats and against their own president and his party as many as four times.

Picture that if you can: perpetual betrayal on nationwide TV.

So, in the end, it all comes down to Bill Frist. The good doctor has the scalpel in his hands ready to excise the malignancy growing on the federal judiciary. While it might be dangerous surgery, he has no option. He needs to turn his back on the people who stabbed him there and start cutting – now.

Then we'll see if the gang of seven prefers to allow the tumor to remain and to grow, or to get rid of it for good. And should they prove to be pro-cancer, well, there are a lot of trees handy on the Capitol grounds.

Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist who writes for NewsMax.com. He is editor & publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

He can be reached at phil@newsmax.com

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That's what is at stake in the way the United States Senate deals with the president's judicial nominations. The first step in dealing with this crisis is the appointment to the federal bench of jurists who will strictly adhere to the Constitution and interpret it in the...
Frist,Stabbed,the,Back,Over,Judicial,Nominees
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2005-00-24
Tuesday, 24 May 2005 12:00 AM
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