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February 01, 2006

Reconsidering McCain's Gang of 14 Deal

I noted last week that McCain's deal -- slammed by kneejerk Republican hacks as being a sell-out (and, oh, by the way, I was definitely one of those kneejerk Republican hacks doing the slamming) -- has actually worked out pretty well for us.

As Mara Liason (I think) noted soon after the deal was brokered, the deal allows Democrats to keep the vital tool of the judicial filibuster... so long as they don't actually use it.

Since that deal, we've gotten through most of our judicial nominees. Charles Pickering was the one sacrifice offered to the Democrats to save face; perhaps Miguel Estrada, too, but he doesn't seem interested in the job any longer.

We believed that the loophole -- a filibuster will be permitted under "extraodinary circumstances" -- would be invoked against any judicial conservative. We were wrong. The Democrats in the Gang of 14 have actually stuck to their word that "extraodinary circumstances" means "extraodinary circumstances"... and, strangely enough, so have the Republicans in the Gang of 14.

When will that loophole be used? Well, for the next conservative SC pick, the one that might actually be the fifth vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. I have to say, though, that a huge fight over that was inevitable, deal or no deal. And we can't count chickens yet -- I'm pretty sure in my gut that Roberts or Alito will rule to keep Roe intact, more or less, perhaps subject to more restrictions by the states, but generally the rule of the entire nation. The idea of a "super precedent" is silly, but as of yet there's no very strong political movement to actually overturn Roe v. Wade -- none, I mean, that actually achieves a 5 or 10% majority. As they say, judges follow the election returns. (Except when they're ruling in a liberalish way, in which case they are following the supposed election returns from 2068, when we're all very European-ish and sexually permissive and gay and shit.)

And no matter how conservative a judge might be -- he has his wife to think about. Educated women from the Northeast or from an Ivy-ish background, even if strong conservatives on most issues, are still pretty firm on protecting Roe v. Wade.

Tom Bevan of RCP has similar thoughts, and wonders if McCain is owed an apology. And Lindsey Graham, and Susan Collins, etc.

Everyone except Mike DeWine, who's a jagoff.

Thanks to Insty.

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posted by Ace at 02:13 PM

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