May 23, 2005

Senate Compromise Reached

From the pages of Catholic in Exile...

A big thank you to the fourteen senators who compromised with each other to avoid a showdown in the Senate, and to avoid the destruction of one of the constitutional checks and balances granted to the Senate. We must especially thank the seven Republican senators who dissented from the party line in order to preserve civility and moderation in the Senate: Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and Sen. John Warner (R-VA).

Under the compromise deal, the Republicans have agreed not to use the "nuclear option" to eliminate the use of the filibuster on judicial nominees, and the Democrats have agreed in turn only to use the filibuster "under extraordinary circumstances." Additionally, the Democrats have promised an up or down vote for Janice Rogers Brown, Priscilla Owen, and William Pryor.

For my part, I remain completely opposed to the confirmation of these three nominees, and I remain especially opposed to the confirmation of William Pryor. His support for the death penalty and the use of torture in our prisons, combined with his ambiguity on the reinsertion of Terri Schiavo's feeding tube, offend both my Catholic faith and my American political perspective. I hope that once these three nominees are given an up or down vote, they are promptly voted down. If I had to choose between these three nominees, however, I would choose Priscilla Owen or Janice Rogers Brown in a second before I would even consider choosing William Pryor. I hope that the Senate will use its common sense in this regard, and that senators on both sides will be thinking more about the common good of the American people than their political allegiances when the up or down votes come.