CNN's Ed Henry reports, and it appears to be correct, that the Gang of 14 will announce, AS A GROUP, that there are not extraordinary circumstances justifying filibuster of Sam Alito. Remember who is in the Gang of 14:
Republicans * John S. McCain III, Arizona * Lindsey O. Graham, South Carolina * John Warner, Virginia * Olympia Snowe, Maine * Susan M. Collins, Maine * R. Michael DeWine, Ohio * Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island
Democrats * Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut * Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia * E. Benjamin Nelson, Nebraska * Mary Landrieu, Louisiana * Daniel Inouye, Hawaii * Mark Pryor, Arkansas * Ken Salazar, Colorado
The only Senators of interest here are those who have announced themselves as No votes. Their names are marked in italics. The rest SUPPORT Alito so they are not doing anything that is inconsistent.
But it is clear that Senator Lieberman is doing his likely primary opponent, Ned Lamont, a great favor by voting for cloture. Similarly, Senator Chafee does Sheldon Whitehouse and Matt Brown a great favor by going back on his word and voting for cloture on anti-choice Alito. His statement in opposition to Alito puts the lie to his vote.
As for Senators Inouye, Pryor and Salazar, their votes will be remembered as Alito is seated on the Court for next quarter century. They were unwilling to continue to discuss and try to persuade on a nominee they REJECT! The debate can continue a week without damage to the Republic. Their votes are hard to understand. Democrats will find them hard to understand. History will not understand.
This is a Alito filibuster Open Thread.Update [2006-1-30 13:42:0 by Armando]: Jeffords NO on CLoture:
Sen. Jeffords' Statement on Alito Cloture Vote Statement of Sen. Jim Jeffords, I-Vt. On Alito Cloture Vote January 30, 2006 I believe Judge Alito's appointment to the United States Supreme Court will shift the balance of the court for years, perhaps decades to come. I also believe that his judicial philosophy leans too far in favor of presidential powers. There is too much at stake for our country to allow this to happen. I will vote to oppose cloture on this nomination.