In their attack on those who would think twice on President Bush’s judicial nominees, Focus on the Family has targeted several senators by launching an ad campaign in the officials’ home states, “urging calls to U.S. senators in support of an up-or-down vote on President Bush’s judicial nominees.” Focus on the Family provides some of the statements these Senators made that they find objectionable. Apparently, the group has a problem with responsible deliberation:
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
– “I am very concerned about the overuse of the filibuster,” said Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican who said she remains undecided. “But I am also concerned that a rule change will further charge the partisan atmosphere to the point that we will not be able to conduct business.” – Washington Times 3/23/05.
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
– Hagel spokesman Mike Buttry said his boss “wants to see how the debate plays out. He is very frustrated with the treatment of the judges,” Mr. Buttry said. “At the same time, he was here in the ’70s, when there was a Democrat in the White House and the filibuster was a very important tool for Republicans.” – Washington Times 3/23/05
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
– “The people of Louisiana elected me to use good judgment and give careful consideration to those who wield considerable control, power and influence over the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. I take seriously this important responsibility, and believe no judicial nominee is entitled to a lifetime appointment without careful review by the Senate as required by our Constitution.
-“For more than 200 years, the Senate has fulfilled our Framers’ intent that it serve as the body of our government where the voice of the minority is protected from the potential tyranny of the majority. This noble heritage is a model for burgeoning democracies such as Iraq, and it is one I will work to defend.” – 4/5/05 statement
Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO)
– “I plead with my colleagues in this chamber, in this chamber which has been so much of a part of our Constitutional history as the United States Senate, to avoid moving forward with the so-called ‘nuclear option’ that has a potential of shutting down the work of this body on behalf of the people of the United States. At the end of the day, I suggest to the President of the United States and to our leadership in this body that there are issues which are of much greater importance for all of us to work on behalf of the people…. There are so many issues that are important to take care of, the people’s business, that we ought not to allow us to get into the distractive avenue of dealing with the controversial issue of the few judges which historically have been rejected by the United States Senate.” – Senate floor statement 4/12/05
Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
– “She believes Democrats have gone too far and they’ve politicized these nominees… However, she does have some concerns about the nuclear option.” – Spokeswoman Antonia Ferrier, 3/29/05
– “I just don’t see how it’s going to benefit us, even in the majority, to change it to a simple majority [vote] because ultimately it could create more wedges and political wounds.” – Portland Press Herald