Monday, May 23

PUT ON YOUR MINING HATS -- THERE'S BEEN A CAVE-IN IN THE U.S. SENATE

Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Ben Nelson (D-ND) have just announced in the past hour that a group of seven Senate Democrats and seven Senate Republicans has reached a "compromise agreement" on the Senate filibuster rule, which the ranking Senate RINO, John McCain, maintains has "pulled the institution back from a precipice."

What is clear is the filibuster rule has been preserved and there will not be an up or down vote on all of President Bush's appointees to the federal judiciary, as the president had sought and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) had committed to.

It appears that both Senators Bill Frist and Harry Reid (D-NV) have agreed to the compromise on behalf of their respective political parties.

The victor -- Senator Harry Reid -- released this statement:

WASHINGTON, DC -- On the eve of the historic vote in the United States Senate, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid will address the nation about the importance of the critical check in our democracy's system of checks and balances – a Senator's right to filibuster.

The majority of Americans agree that our Constitutional checks and balances must be preserved, and the independence of our judiciary must be protected. Senators Democrats have worked hard to reach out to their Republican colleagues and to look for compromise to protect the Senate from this abuse of power. With a little more than 24 hours until the historic vote, Senator Reid will discuss the real consequences of this historic vote to the strength of this country and to the daily lives of all Americans. The Alliance for Justice is sponsoring this important address to the nation.

The Los Angeles Times has published this Associated Press (AP) report on the Republican Party cave-in:

WASHINGTON -- Centrists from both parties reached a compromise Monday night to avoid a showdown on President Bush's stalled judicial nominees and the Senate's own filibuster rules, officials from both parties said.

These officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the agreement would clear the way for yes-or-no votes on some of Bush's nominees, but make no guarantee.

Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

For their part, Republicans agreed not to support an attempt to strip Democrats of their right to block votes.

Under the agreement, Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, nominated to a seat on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, would advance to a final confirmation vote.