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Bush Throws Down Gauntlet on Judges

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"President Bush will renominate 20 candidates for federal courts who were denied up-or-down votes by the Senate during the president's first term." This is terrific. This is hardball. This is throwing it back in their face. This is all these Democrats saying, "Okay, we understand what happened out there in the red states. Yeah, we got to moderate our tone." Forcing them them to come out of this so-called new shell and show themselves again for who they really are. A brilliant political maneuver because it's the courts, the last grasp, the last gasp, the last hope for the left to hold onto any influence whatsoever in this culture is to get judges from their ranks who will invent and write law and prevent judges who will simply interpret the law. And so they can't stay hidden. They've got to come out and fight this one. Bush is taking it to them, and in the process they will once again, just as they did throughout this past campaign year, demonstrate loud and clear, front and center, for all of America who they are and what they're really all about.
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Folks, this throwing down the gauntlet now, the president re-nominating 20 judges that never got an up-or-down vote, some of them were nominated and languished for over a year. Some of the names you would know. This is going to be a huge issue next year, and I could have set this aside and said, "Well, it's Christmas Eve. People aren't going to remember." But I don't look at it this way. I'm going to get started on informing as many people as possible of my views on this. It's going to be a huge issue. It is already. And when one of these judges is nominated to be a Supreme Court Justice, it is going to get vicious. And I think it's important to stake out territory on this now, rather than later, so I have six little points here, bullet points. I'm going to put them on my website. So that you can constantly review them. (Rush's Bullet Points)
This is a brilliant political maneuver, as I say. It's going to force the left to admit once again who they are. And I love it when liberals start talking about Bush's nominees being extremists. Here are the six bullet points.

If the Senate Republicans are not prepared to end the unprecedented use by Senate Democrats of the filibuster rule against the president's judicial nominees, the president is going to have a real tough time getting these re-nominated candidates -- and for that matter -- Supreme Court nominees confirmed. This filibuster, as you know, they're filibustering these nominations which requires essentially 60 votes for a judge to be confirmed. The Constitution says nothing about this. The Constitution says simple majority, 51 votes. But because they're invoking the filibuster, which, you know, the Senate can make up its own rules but not when they impose on the Constitution and not when they impose on the legislative branch. Separation of powers here. But if nobody stops them, they're going to keep getting away with it. It's up to the Senate Republicans to stop them.

Now, this is Point 2. There's a so-called "nuclear" option, which I don't like that term. Call it the Constitutional Option. It would end the use of the filibuster for judicial nominations. The Democrats are warning that if the Republicans change the filibuster rule on them, then all hell will break loose. I can't think of anything worse than what they've done and will continue to do, which is prevent the president from appointing judges in federal court, so let them break out their new version of hell. What more can they do on this? And let them try it. They don't have the political standing in the country to do this. They don't have the love and devotion of a majority of the American people, so if they're going to claim all hell will break lose, let's see what their hell is. But don't call this the nuclear option. Call it the constitutional option.

Point 3, Senate rules have never been used to block presidential judicial appointments. And by threatening to use the filibuster or actually invoking it and doing it, Senate Democrats are requiring that a super-majority, 60 Senators, have to, in essence, confirm a judge. There are seven instances in which the Constitution provides for super-majority votes: Convictions related to impeachment, adoption of treaties, expelling members of the Senate, overriding vetoes, amending the Constitution, the 14th Amendment, and the 25th amendment. Those are the seven instances in which the Constitution provides for super-majority votes. It is not provided for in judicial nominations and votes.

Point No. 4, the Senate has -- and you've heard this -- this advise and consent role under the Constitution. But it cannot use that role to impose a super-majority requirement on the president's nomination function or on the rest of the Senate, for that matter. After all, all senators have a right under the Constitution to provide their advice and consent, which means the right to a simple majority vote on the Senate floor.

Fifth point: At no time in over 200 years, until the prior Senate, did senators contend that the filibuster could be used against judicial nominees. Now, the point is, it was understood that the Constitution did not grant 41 senators the power to thwart the president's judicial appointment power. The way we conservatives read the Constitution is to try to determine what the words mean, what the framers intended. We don't assign broad meanings to words or look for loopholes, and the left has to in order to get what it believes enacted judicially, because they can't do it legislatively. But the advise and consent role -- I'm just trying to make this as easily understood as possible -- the advise and consent role does not say 41 senators can hold up a judicial nomination. That was never ever intended.
And one last point, No. 6. If the Senate, which has the constitutional right to make its own rules, decides that it wants to require a super-majority vote to pass certain bills such as tax bills -- and they can do that. They can write those rules all day long -- such a rule would not infringe on presidential power. But to do so when it affects a presidential power, which takes us into a separation of powers issue, like the appointment of judges, that is unconstitutional, in my layman's view. But I think this is something that's going to have to stop, this judicial filibuster which was started by Daschle. He's gone. Dusty Harry has vowed to continue it and these guys are out there making the same noises and same the same outrageous things about these nominees and they don't care whose lives they destroy. And through it all, they're going to be demonstrating, once and for all, just who they really are, no matter what kind of linguistics help they get from this guy, Lackoff, out in Berkeley. They can, every other day of the year, they can start, you know, trying to make changes about the way they speak. But their actions in this filibuster business, the things they say about these men and women who were nominated to the court, will establish once and for all just exactly who they are. And got a note here. Ralph Neas, People For the American Way, one of the members of the civil rights coalition that sits firmly at the table of power the Democrat Party has got this massive e-mail, blast e-mail campaign going on out there. "Help defend the Supreme Court from a religious right takeover." So here we go again. What we have is the religious bigotry of the left immediately on display. They think this is going to work.

Do you realize what a backlash there is this season over the fact we can't say Merry Christmas and you can't have nativity scenes? A kid just got thrown out of school for wearing a Santa Claus uniform to a Christmas party. People are not going to put up with this anymore. There is a backlash started already on this and it's going to get bigger and bigger every year and as long as the true religious bigots in this country keep trying to impose their will on us by impugning the integrity and the character of religious people, this is not going to stand. The Ralph Neas and the guys like him are going to go down to a serious humiliating defeat, just as John Kerry did, and the rest of the Democratic Party. The religious bigotry of these people is immediately on display. We can't allow, folks, these radical left groups like People for the American Way to determine who sits on the federal bench any longer. We cannot allow their stooges in the Senate to abuse the advice and consent role and undermine the Constitution. The judiciary belongs to all of us, not this left-wing cabal and their 41 senators from the Democrat Party. Either elections matter or they don't. Now, the Republican Senate has an obligation to correct this. The filibuster strategy was launched by this cabal of Democrats on their watch. They're the ones that have to defend the Constitution. The Republicans are. They must stop the assault on the Constitution. They must overcome the criticism that they will receive from the elitists, including some in our own party. They got to forget what the New York Times is going to say, they have to forget what the Washington Post is going to say or anybody else, and they have to defend the Constitution and fix this.
Otherwise, what's going to happen is that extremely well-qualified candidates for the federal bench, who don't share the radical left agenda of these extremist groups, will never get confirmed. The judiciary will eventually become all totally like the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. And that's what they want, folks. Since the courts now overturn at will decisions by the elected branches. If we don't confront and stop this now, this is just going to get worse, continue for all time, and the failure of the Republicans to stop this will be cited in the future as justification for continuing the unconstitutional filibustering. If they don't try to stop this by using something, constitutional option, nuclear option, whatever they want to call it, it's going to become as much as anything, assumed practice. If nobody stops you from doing it, why stop? Well, they've got a heavy responsibility to quell this.
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I'm just laying the groundwork here today, folks. I'm not saying you need to do anything. You could. I mean people want to know what they can do about all this. One thing you could do is support the nominees down the line. Fight to end the filibuster. Take names. Reward those senators who help and defeat those who don't in the next election. They have the ultimate power here. But these left-wing senators, these groups like People for the American Way and NARAL and the NAGs and all these people that are panicked, I'm telling you what, this puts to the big lie that Democrats are rethinking their position on abortion, if they were, these nominations wouldn't matter to them at all. That was all a big bunch of hooey, yesterday. These left-wing senators and groups, let me list their issues, all right? Gay marriage, affirmative action, gun control, restraining political speech, no growth environmental policies, high taxes, confiscation of private property -- and they call us extremists.

These people, these leftists, try to conceal their true beliefs by branding everybody they oppose as religious right or extremists, but it is they, my friends, who are extreme. It is they who are using the courts to advance what I think is an undemocratic agenda and the Senate Republicans have to be the ones to put an end to this. And I mean it's an undemocratic agenda. By undemocratic, they're advancing an agenda that could not advance if it depended on the votes of Congress or the Senate or the American people. Their agenda was defeated handily in November. Now, they have every right to try to push it but they don't have the right to just wantonly violate the U.S. Constitution. But they won't stop unless somebody makes them stop.
Let me give you a football analogy. I know Terrell Owens is hurt and out probably for the rest of the season, but during the past couple, three years when he was making a name for himself and being a showboat and taunting the opposing team and using the Sharpie to sign all these footballs and autographs in the middle of the game, and all this talk was started, "Well, this is outrageous," the opposing teams weren't doing anything to stop him. The opposing teams weren't trying to keep him out of the end zone. When he's going and celebrating in their end zone and stomping on their logo, they're not walking up and busting him in the chops. They're letting him getting away with it. As long as he gets away with it, he's going to keep doing it. Same thing with these leftists and their undemocratic agenda. As long as they keep breaking the Constitution and violating it, if nobody stops them, why should they stop it? You think they're governed by honor and decency? Hells bells, folks, no way. They're going to have to be stopped, pure and simple. And the White House is doing its part, sending these people back up there. I mean, this is the White House hitting back in the chops but they need some support from the Republicans in the Senate.

All right. That's it. As I say, I mean look it. We've got troops fighting for freedom abroad. Is it asking too much that our senators defend the Constitution at home here against these left-wing kooks? I'm all for the liberals staking out their territory. I want them to. I want them to be public about what they think. I want them to be public about who they are. I want them to be public about what their agenda is. I don't want them trying to hide it whatsoever. But when they are public with all that, let us go to the American people with our agenda while they defend theirs and let it begin today with this issue. The third branch of government, the courts is currently up for grabs, and if these people want to fight, we'll do it. We'll take it right to them, folks. They had no success firing every quiver in their little bow and arrow set. They fired every bit of ammo they've got at George W. Bush and everybody else in the last election and look what happened to them. Let them keep firing. All we've got to do is just stand up and take it and fire back.
But as I say, we need the Republicans in the Senate playing their role. In fact, if you can't tell, this is a fight I'm actually itching for, folks. Don't misunderstand me. I want this one. I want this one bad. Come on in, gang. Come on in, leftists. I'm willing to take you on over this because you don't have a prayer in the arena of ideas. We need to get these people out in the open. We will win this fight if the Republicans embrace it and defeat the left, kill the filibuster for judges, defend the Constitution, and at the same time an added bonus, continue to expose the left for who and what they are. This is a godsend. This is a tremendous opportunity we have been given to kick off the brand-new year, folks and I just wanted to get you up to speed on it now, to let you know it's coming.
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