3/17/2005

Harry Reid prepares to go nuclear

From an excerpt of the letter he wrote to Bill Frist about Frist's plans to destroy the filibuster:
On behalf of every Democratic Senator, I urge you and your colleagues to reconsider this course of action, which would remove one of the constitutional checks and balances that has served our country so well for over two centuries. I also want to describe the likely effect of this so-called "nuclear option" on the operation of the Senate. The role of the Senate in the confirmation of presidential nominees is a central element of our democracy. The Framers of the Constitution created a system of checks and balances to limit the power of each branch of government, and in that way to protect the rights of the American people. The Senate's review of judicial nominees is especially important because federal judges are the only government officials to receive lifetime appointments. These men and women will serve on the federal bench for decades, making far-reaching decisions that affect all Americans. Every citizen has an enormous stake in this debate. Federal judges apply the laws that Congress passes to protect the environment, guard against discrimination and punish criminals. They give life to the First Amendment guarantee of free speech, the free exercise of religion and other vital constitutional rights. The Senate's role in the confirmation of judges is as important as any of our duties.

You can read the entire letter and his speech on the steps of the Capitol from the link above.

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