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(Edited- my title was misleading; I actually thought I was quoting the AP headline, but it appears not. Although, I really thought I lost my mind for a moment. I went back to the article (from the Yahoo page, and read it again, and it came across as completely different from what I first read. Fortunately, the link goes to the initial AP story, and I found at least one big difference.

Initially, a paragraph read: "To be successful, a filibuster would need almost all of the 44 Democrats behind it and certainly all of the Democratic leadership. But the Senate's senior Democrat, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, has said several times on the Senate floor that he has seen no reason to filibuster Alito's nomination. "There is not going to be any filibuster against Alito," Byrd insisted in December in a heated December exchange with Frist." It now reads: "To be successful, a filibuster would need almost all of the 44 Democrats behind it and certainly all of the Democratic leaders. But the Senate's senior Democrat, Robert Byrd of West Virginia, has said several times on the Senate floor that he has seen no reason to filibuster Alito's nomination" Big difference there, and to the extent my diary had a point, it revolved on Byrd's position- if he is flat out declaring there will be no filibuster, that is a lot different than stating he doesn't see the need for one at this point. So, I'm not deleting my diary, although I would have never written based on the seemingly amended AP article. Whether it serves as an insight into Byrd or into the AP, so be it) Original text below- First, if this is diaried, elsewhere, please let me know, I will happily delete, I am suprised if it hasn't been placed elsewhere.

And, yes, this is the kind of "Breaking News" diary that is frowned upon.

But I have a reason for posting it anyway. First off, the link.

Basically, a story on the AP wire with the headline that ALito will not be filibustered.

Now, the body is nearly as definitive- seems more like most leading Democrats just aren't saying one way or the other, which is how it ought to be.

But what caught my eye was Byrd- I didn't realize he had totally ruled out a filibuster of Alito, not just for himself, but seemingly for the party.

Now, obviously Byrd doesn't control the party, but it sure seems likely to me that if he not only refuses to support a filibuster but actually fights it's use that at least five Democrats will follow, and probably even more.

Anyway, I am curious if anyone has any thoughts?  I thought the filibuster fight was more or less inevitable here, but it sure seems a lot more likely that, barring a major screw up in the hearings, Alito is going to be on the SCOTUS before the end of the month.

Originally posted to JakeC on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:08 PM PST.

Poll

What will happen with Alito?

47%41 votes
15%13 votes
16%14 votes
20%18 votes

| 86 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good. (4.00)
    We shouldn't be planning a filibuster at this stage.  He has not even testified in his upcoming confirmation hearing yet.  That article refers to the Democrats leaving open the possibility depending on what Judge Alito says in his hearings.  

    We should not be planning at the outset to filibuster any nominee, for then it truly does give truth to the Republicans' charge that we are merely obstructionists.  We must ask direct questions, and Judge Alito must answer, and based upon that, we can make up our minds about filibustering.

    2006. The End? Or the Beginning?

    by Delaware Dem on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:06:32 PM PST

  •  A Republican talking point (none)
    The AP is reporting what a shill professor named Carl Tobias is saying and then asking Senate Democrats for confirmation.  The Senate Democrats are not about to telegraph their strategy so it makes it appear as if they are not going to fight.

    Howard Dean's letter says otherwise.

  •  Dems don't plan to filibuster (4.00)
    says the story, which is very different from saying they won't filibuster.  This is just smart positioning before the hearings -- it would be bad publicity to announce that there will be a filibuster before the guy gets to answer some questions.
    •  But Realistically (none)
      Most people who have seen Alito in action are confident that he'll do well during his hearings. If so, it's over - no filibuster.

      A filibuster wouldn't appear to be in the cards when the senior member of the Gang of 14 has already ruled it out. Equally important, even if a stray GOP Senator might vote against confirming Alito, none would support a filibuster.

      My prediction: Alito get 65+ votes.

      •  My prediction (none)
        was that you would write that no matter what being a GOP apologist.

        As for how Alito will do, the stories say different than you or did you miss the NYTimes story?

        Or are you just a liar?

        Or all of the above?

        The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

        by Armando on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:30:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't see ... (none)
        ... Judge Alito getting 65+ votes.  I certainly can't see any Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee voting for Judge Alito.

        Chief Justice Roberts received 78 votes.  He received the votes of Sen. Leahy, Sen. Kohl, Sen. Feingold, Sen. Murray, Sen. Levin, Sen. Dodd, Sen. Rockefeller, and Sen. Wyden.  I don't see any of these Senators nor any of the ones who voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts regardless of how Judge Alito does in the hearings.  Sen. Murray, for example, opposed then-Prof. Mike McConnell's nomination to the 10th Circuit in 2002, and Judge Alito is much more controversial a nominee than is Judge/Prof. McConnell and is a candidate for the Supreme Court and not an appellate court.

        The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

        by jim bow on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 02:12:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Need to read my writing (none)
          The third sentence in the second paragraph should read as follows:

          I don't see any of these Senators nor any of the ones who voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts vote to confirm Judge Alito regardless of how Judge Alito does in the hearings.

          The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

          by jim bow on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 02:37:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Vote Count (none)
          I agree that the Committee vote will probably be a 10-8 party line vote for Alito, but I think most of the Dems on the Gang of 14 will vote for him on the floor, as will a few more from Red States. That's more than enough.

          With 1 caveat, I'd also agree that Democrats who didn't vote for Roberts won't vote for Alito. The exception might the New Jersey Senators. If Alito does well in the hearings by MSM standards (even if not by DKOS standards), it might be difficult to vote against the local guy.

          •  I don't see Sen. Lautenberg ... (none)
            ... voting for Judge Alito.  I have trouble seeing Rep. Menendez voting for Judge Alito, too.

            The quest for freedom, dignity, and the rights of man will never end. - Justice Brennan

            by jim bow on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 07:50:10 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Nothing Certain (none)
              If Alito does well during the hearings and is getting a lot of "local boy makes good" coverage, Menendez may feel that it's politically astute to vote to confirm. However, with a primary challenge looming, Menendez could be more comfortable sticking with his party and opposing Alito even if NJ voters overall support the nomination. Hard to say.

              Lautenberg was enthusiastic about Alito when he was appointed to the 3rd Circuit, but he's been much less so this time. Don't know if he'd be so inclined, but the best thing Lautenberg could do for his party would be to provide political cover by going along with however Menendez votes. An appointed Senator facing election for the 1st time might need some help if he takes an unpopular stand.

            •  I heard something on the radio today (none)
              That either Corzine or hsi newly appointed counsel, who is apparently a former lawyer for the ACLU (keep in mind, this was a 10 second blurb) apparently came out and endorsed Alito, so it may very well be that the NJ Senators are going to go for Alito (which, if true, makes this a much smarter selection by Bush than I really believed).

              If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

              by JakeC on Fri Jan 06, 2006 at 06:37:43 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Poll doesn't cover all options... (none)
    like whether he is confirmed after any failed filibuster.  

    I would read anything into this.  The hearing start next week.  I wouldn't be tipping my hand already without having had the opportunity to see Alito questioned.  If the Dems go out now & say that they are thinking of a filibuster, that is only ammo for the right wingers to go on about how the Dems won't even give him an opportunity to have a fair hearing before they go on the attack.

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

    by GTPinNJ on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:10:18 PM PST

    •  Of course I meant (none)
      I wouldn't read anything into this.

      I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. -- Thomas Jefferson [-4.25, -5.33]

      by GTPinNJ on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:10:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Doubt it (none)
    I doubt that this means really much of anything. In fact, I think this is a wise Democratic strategy to take. Making it seem like we're going into the confirmation hearings not willing to listen and pre-committing to a filibuster is a bad idea. Getting a bunch of Alito quotes from the hearing (or having him stonewall) and then committing to a filibuster is a much better political strategy.

    Consider what Sen. Kennedy said:

    "I don't think it's wise for members to try and outline a strategy other than to make sure these hearings are comprehensive and they're done with dignity and respect for the nominee," said Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, one of the Senate's leading liberals. "The future will take care of itself."

    And I doubt Kennedy will end up voting for Alito. Kennedy is right -- let the hearings happen, and the future will take care of itself (we'll filibuster Alito).

    Democrats will fight for a Renewed Deal with the American people.

    by Hoyapaul on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:10:25 PM PST

  •  What shitty headline (none)
    The AP's, that is. The body of the article merely says "Democrats haven't completely given up the notion of filibustering Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, though they're certainly not talking about it before his confirmation hearings."

    That's the right way to handle it - wait for the hearings. No need to commit one way or the other now.

    That being said, if they had ruled it out totally, then the Democratic Party would have to be razed, totally destroyed, and the earth salted so that it would never rise again.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:10:26 PM PST

  •  Typical AP piece (none)
    An overblown headline that states an absolute certainty about something followed by a body that contains no such certainty and is even sketchy about tomorrow's consensus let alone weeks from now.

    I think we have hit the point where there should just be an automatic corrections text field underneath any AP piece with a 'holding for the inevitable correction pending' as a placeholder.

    Funny thing, George Orwell just called... he said that Big Brother's name is George.

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:11:28 PM PST

  •  Now, now (none)
    Don't you know?  The Democrats must keep their powder dry for the important fights.  Oh, wait...that's what they said about Roberts...and Iraq...and Abu Ghraib...and Abu Gonzalez...and Condi Rice...and.......
  •  Since your headline is inaccurate (4.00)
    I wrote an accurate post on the subject on the front page.

    And Byrd said he had not SEEN a reason to YET.

    Thus your content is ALSO inaccurate.

    The SCOTUS is extraordinary.

    by Armando on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:22:08 PM PST

    •  Yes and no (none)
      My headline wasn't inaccurate, it was flat out wrong.  Not sure how I muffed that, I was intending to simply bring over the AP headline.  Which I noted was not supported by the body of the story.

      As for Byrd's comments, you can see my edited notes above- but, at least in the initial AP story, Byrd didn't say that there wasn't a reason yet- he flat out stated there would be no filibuster.

      Since, to the extent this diary had a big point (I am not pretending this was some thesis) it was with regards to Byrd, I stand by my content as "accurate", and have amended the title.

      If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

      by JakeC on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:44:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You should probably (4.00)
    delete this diary since it seems to be seriously inaccurate.

    Jesus + Fetus = SCOTUS

    by lightiris on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:25:47 PM PST

    •  Seriously inaccurate? (none)
      Okay, the headline was flat out wrong, not sure how I muffed that.

      But the rest was simply a link to an AP piece, and some comments about what Byrd's seeming position means for the future.  I even noted that the body didn't really support that a filibuster had been ruled out.

      I've edited the title, and noted that the AP story has seemingly been changed.

      If there is anything I have learned from Scooby Doo, it is that the only thing to fear is crooked real estate developers.

      by JakeC on Thu Jan 05, 2006 at 01:42:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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