This excellent column – by conservative scholar Norman Ornstein – thoroughly debunks the Senate Republicans’ ridiculous claim that it’s unconstitutional to filibuster judicial nominees, and that doing so has no historical precedent. (Hat tip: How Appealing.)
Ornstein’s concluding sentences regarding Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the current head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and promoter-in-chief for the anti-filibuster position:
On this one, he is wrong on the facts, wrong on the history, and wrong on the strategy. I hope he and Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) think longer and harder before they take the plunge down this slippery slope.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. And mind you, Ornstein delivers this pronouncement after opining that Hatch would make a good Chief Justice – this guy is no friend of the Democrats. When even the American Enterprise Institute won’t back up the Republican leadership, you know they’ve strayed way, way off the reservation.
UPDATE: Noted douchebag of liberty Robert Novak opines here that the judicial filibuster is, indeed, unprecedented, and generally seems to support the so-called "nuclear option" of having Cheney declare judicial filibusters unconstitutional. However, he fails to address any of the detailed analysis set forth in Ornstein’s column.