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E-M:/ Statement by EARTHJUSTICE on compromise to avoid nuclear option
- Subject: E-M:/ Statement by EARTHJUSTICE on compromise to avoid nuclear option
- From: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 23 May 2005 21:37:31 -0400
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- Delivered-to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- List-name: Enviro-Mich
- Reply-to: "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <email@example.com>
Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Statement by EARTHJUSTICE [national non-profit environmental law organization]
upon adoption of the bipartisan compromise to defuse the Senator Bill Frist
Nuclear Option against judicial fillabusters
Subject: NEWS: Senate Compromise Preserves Independent Courts, Protects
May 23, 2005
Glenn Sugameli, 703-282-4287 cell
Jim Cox, 202-558-8880 cell
Senate Compromise Preserves Independent Courts, Protects Environment
Anti-environmentalist William Myers remains blocked
Washington DC-In a partial victory today for the independence of our
federal courts and the preservation of environmental protections, a
bipartisan coalition of 14 Senators today agreed not to vote during this
Congress to change Senate rules to eliminate the right to filibuster
controversial judicial nominees. In addition, Senate Minority Leader Harry
Reid (D-NV) announced that Senate Democrats will continue to block
anti-environmental nominee William Myers, whose hostility toward
environmental protections prompted record opposition from groups around the
"The decision of moderate senators to reach a compromise that allows them
to step back from the brink of all-out partisan 'nuclear' warfare in the
United States Senate is a victory for democracy, and for our nation's
protections for clean air, clean water, and special natural places," said
Glenn Sugameli, who heads Earthjustice's Judging the Environment project.
"The fact that William Myers will not be allowed to be confirmed shows how
important environmental protections have become to the issue of maintaining
fair and independent courts."
The seven Republican and seven Democrats from the Senate agreed not to
support any effort to eliminate judicial filibusters during the 109th
Congress. However, the agreement does leave open the possibility that
either side could decide that their mutual "trust and confidence" had been
broken, and opt to reopen negotiations over the so-called "nuclear option."
Under the agreement, seven Senate Republicans would agree to reject the
efforts of Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to break Senate rules and
traditions in order to force the confirmation of right-wing activist
judges. The agreement leaves intact the ability of a minority of senators
to filibuster controversial nominees, and thereby invoke a requirement that
60 senators must agree to support a confirmation vote.
The ability of the Senate to filibuster controversial nominees has served
as an important check-and-balance on the power of the Executive Branch for
more than 200 years.
"This agreement recognizes how truly nuclear Senator Frist's proposal to
break longstanding rules really was," Sugameli said. "Thankfully, seven
Republican Senators had the backbone to stand up to Senator Frist and
support the Senate's long tradition of hearing all voices on these crucial
The agreement to abide by Senate rules and leave the filibuster rules
intact come at an high price, however. Under the agreement, Senate
Democrats who previously voted to filibuster right-wing activist nominees
William Pryor, Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown would reverse those
votes, and agree to proceed to confirmation votes on those nominees.
"Earthjustice will continue to strongly oppose the nominations of Pryor,
Owen, and Brown, and urge the Senate to reject them," Sugameli noted.
"Based on their records, these nominees still do not deserve lifetime seats
on the federal bench."
According to Senator Reid, filibusters will continue against
anti-environmental nominees William Myers and Judge Henry Saad.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed by the 14 Senators encourages
President Bush to "consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and
Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for
"We hope that the President will follow the advise of these fourteen
Senators and consult with members of both parties to head off future
extreme nominees like William Myers who have no respect for our nation's
environmental laws," Sugameli added.
# # #
Alex J. Sagady & Associates http://www.sagady.com
Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and
Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at: http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf
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