Politics - U.S.Thu Jan 17, 2013 - 7:52 pm EST
Ending filibuster could lead to Supreme Court 'nightmare scenario'
Co-authored by Ben Johnson.
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 17, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's proposal to abolish the filibuster could lead to a “nightmare scenario,” in which “a radical social revolutionary” president could appoint Supreme Court justices without dissent from nearly half the Senate.
Reid has proposed new rules for the Senate that severely limit the minority party’s ability to block legislation and presidential appointments.
Under Reid’s proposed changes, Republicans would be prohibited from using the filibuster during the motion to proceed to debate, as well as when sending a bill to conference. In addition, during open debate, Republicans would have to be physically present and speaking in order to maintain opposition to a bill or nominee.
This, in the eyes of many observers, would mean an end to the filibuster as the Senate has known it, shifting undue power to the executive branch.
“The only final defense the minority party has – which represents all those Americans who did not vote for a current president – is the ability to filibuster,” said Paul Rondeau, executive director of American Life League, who expressed concern that Reid’s rules will create an effortless path to confirmation for the most radical judicial nominees.
“Obama is a radical social revolutionary,” Rondeau told LifeSiteNews.com. “He has already appointed scofflaws, tax evaders, self-described Communists, militant pro-abortion activists, and extreme ideologues to high positions.”
Changing Senate rules, as Reid proposes, “in essence gives Obama free rein in the Senate on executive appointments,” he said.
“Obama appointing Supreme Court justices with half of America not having any voice in the Senate?” Said Rondeau, “That is a nightmare scenario.”
“Reid is a demagogue who shows no hesitation in silencing the opposition party in putting his own party above the country,“ Rondeau said.
“Eliminating the filibuster and other rules changes in order to steamroll the minority party can only lead to irreversible damage to our nation and our families,” Rondeau added.
Obama's record troubles social conservatives, as well as constitutional experts.
“We have already seen this president’s disdain for his oath of office: HHS mandates that violate religious freedom; an order not to defend DOMA, a duly enacted law,” he stated.
“His aggressive funding and defense of abortion on demand proves he has no respect for the sanctity of life,” Rondeau told LifeSiteNews.
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Senator Reid was not always in favor of ending the filibuster. The two parties were on opposite sides of the issue just a few years ago.
In 2005, Senate Republicans proposed a more limited change to the chamber’s rules, ending the use of the filibuster against lower level judicial nominees, something that at the time was all-but
When then-Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) considered “the nuclear option,” Reid said it was a “raw abuse of power. It is disturbing that Republicans have so little respect for the separation of powers established by our Founding Fathers.”
“It would mean that one man, sitting in the White House, has the practical ability to personally hand out lifetime jobs to judges whose rulings can last forever," Reid said. “That’s not how America
At the time, then-Senator Barack Obama also opposed the changes.
“What [the American people] don't expect is for one party – be it Republican or Democrat – to change the rules in the middle of the game so that they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet,” Obama said on the Senate floor.
“We need to rise above the 'ends justify the means' mentality,” he said.
At that time, a bipartisan “Gang of 14” senators – composed of seven Republicans and seven Democrats – reached a compromise not to filibuster judicial nominees except in “extreme circumstances.”
However, only six members of that group are still in the Senate.