Remember back in the Bush days, when then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D., was talking about a rule change to end the time honored tradition of filibustering judicial nominees? Well, the man leading the charge back then was Manuel Miranda, and his group, the Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters, aka CEJF. Fortunately for the country, the CEJF was unsuccessful, largely due to the behind the scenes work of the "Gang of Fourteen," 7 Republican and 7 Democratic Senators with the requisite respect for the rules and traditions of the Senate, who brokered a deal and preserved this limited power of the minority party.
According to Talking Points Memo, http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/head-of-coalition-to-end-judicial-filibusters-now-promotes-filibustering-sotomayor.php?ref=fpa, Mr. Miranda's campaign was so successful that he is back in the news today with his newly minted group, the Third Branch Conference.
Pray tell what does the Third Branch Conference want to do? Well, they want Republican Senators TO FILIBUSTER THE CONFIRMATION OF SONIA SOTOMAYOR!!!
This is an absurd turn of events, and I call on the GOP members of the Gang of Fourteen, including Senators Lindsey Graham, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and John McCain to roundly reject the hypocrisy of Mr. Manuel.
Look, if they rightly believe that Justice Sotomayor is unfit, filibuster away. But to do so relfexively, solely because she is to the left of them is unconscionable. Elections do have consequences, and this is one of them. Instead, let's have a real debate, based on the facts and her decisions, before resorting to the filibuster.
And, seriously, the way things are looking up there in Minnesota, Mr. Manuel's suggestion might be a tad behind the curve.