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March 24, 2005

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John Thacker

Shocking, really, that Ms. Purnick seems unaware of the widely reported fact (even in the NYT-owned Boston Globe) that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) helped write this legislation, shepherd it through, and convinced his colleagues not to oppose it. Perhaps that news didn't fit to print, or perhaps it's just typical Times ignorance of politics.

Appalled Moderate

Seems the Democrat strategy here was a good one: let the GOP noisily pass a meaningless bill, and allow them to look like they are overreaching and dispensing with their Federalist principles in order to achieve a result. I can see them thinking there's no real harm done, because the result is not going to change.

If I were Reid, and knew that I was facing the fallout from the nuclear option on judges, I might be real happy right now. The GOP has not demonstrated much respect for the law or the judiciary in the past week. The argument that the nominees the Dems have been blocking will subvert the judiciary and engage in result based analysis is now a lot easier to make. I actually find this unfortunate -- partly because some of the judges being held up have been slimed but good for the benefit of Democratic fundrasing.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Maybe the Senate Democrats have had it dawn on them that there is a precedent being set here that bodes ill for Federal court activism. It should be real interesting the next time a death row inmate argues he's been denied 14th Amendment protection in his state's courts.

bpf

To Appalled Moderate:

"The GOP has not demonstrated much respect for the law or the judiciary in the past week."

As opposed to, for example, the ex parte arrest warrant obtain from a pneumatic judge in the wee hours for the arrest of Elian at gunpoint. Or the midnight destruction of Meigs Field in Chicago by Mayor Daily. The GOP has allowed this matter to worm its way through the courts to the great dismay of some, but to the relief of those who admire the rule of law, due process and the opportunity to be heard. A different federal district judge from the one who heard this case (one found in a justice department horse-trade perhaps) could quite easily have issued a TRO and sought modern and timely medical information on Terri Shiavo's current condition instead of treating the statute passed by congress as a direction to review the Florida procedures first, and if not found wanting, ending further inquiry.

To me, the Schiavo case looks more like an industrial (judicial) cya than anything else. How would you like to be the judge who found Terri to be PVS on evidence now viewed as inadequate.

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