(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

So there is going to be a cloture vote on Estrada's nomination this week. The Republicans think that this will help them, strategically. I think that it's a horrible move on their part. After a cloture vote, the natural public understanding will be that the Republicans lost, and they should get over it and move on. It will be the Republicans who are perceived, then, as keeping the Senate from going on to other important business. Now perhaps the Republican plan is to have the Senate do other business too, rather than constant Estrada debate, so that they can avoid that charge. But if they do that, then there will be very little pressure on any Democratic Senator to abandon the filibuster; without having to have actual constant debate, it will be easy for this filibuster to last til summer at least (and then the landscape changes dramatically, if as everyone expects there is one or more retirements on the Supreme Court; opposition to extreme judicial nominees will be even more strongly set in the Democratic thinking). All in all, this looks to me like the end of Estrada's candidacy; he has now become a tool for future campaigning by Republicans, rather than a potential judge.

posted by sam 5:45 AM 0 comments


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