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The Resurgence of the "Nuclear Option" - or Republicans Desperately Need a Diversion!

Reported by Janie - May 4, 2006

Republicans must be getting really desperate. With dramatically rising gas prices, ethics scandals, the public realizing corporations have the GOP on a short leash, sex scandals, and a majority of Americans stating they prefer Democrats to take back Congress in 2006, it's time to pull out the old, tired diversion of: "THE NUCLEAR OPTION"! And of course Fox is on hand to help out their party of choice by omitting pertinent information regarding the judge in question.

On last night's (5/3) episode of "Special Report with Brit Hume", Congressional Correspondent Brian Wilson filed this report about a judge nominated by Bush that the Democrats are interested in blocking:

Brian Wilson: "Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the DC Court of Appeals has been languishing for nearly three years. His confirmation hearings were held about a year ago, but the nomination has never been brought for a committee vote. The White House wants the nomination moved off dead center."

Scott McClellan (clip): "He is someone that is exceptionally well qualified. He is someone who will apply the law in a fair and impartial manner, and I think there are some Democrats that want to resort to some of the past old tricks."

BW: "But Democrats now have questions about some of the work Kavanaugh has done in his current White House staff secretary job. And they point to a recent unexplained action by the ABA."

Senator Harry Reid (clip): "Kavanaugh is an interesting individual. Senator Leahy has been on the judicial committee 32 years. He has never seen the ABA lower someone's rating. He can't say that anymore, because Kavanaugh has been lowered. His standard by the ABA has been lowered."

BW: "Those the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination Thursday, Committee Chairman Arlen Specter confirmed today he is polling Committee Democrats about a possible second hearing for Kavanaugh, which depends he says on whether Democrats might have an open mind."

Senator Arlen Specter (clip): "If minds are already made up, it's going to be a strict party line vote, without consideration of what will happen. We have too many more important things to do than have a fruitless hearing."

BW: "Kavanaugh's nomination has fueled Democratic talk of filibuster, and Republican talk of a so-called 'Nuclear Option'. But it's worth noting that a key member of the moderate Gang of 14 Senators who banded together to neutralize such talk in the past, says he thinks Kavanaugh should go through a second round of questioning."

Senator Bill Nelson (clip): "It's been quite a while since the last hearing, and a lot of people are new here in the Senate, and there are reasons to take a new look at Kavanaugh."

BW: "Stacked up behind Kavanaugh, is the pending nomination of Terrence Boyle to serve on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, first nominated by Bush 41, Bush 43 re-nominated Boyle in 2001. And it was voted out of Committee on a party-line vote.

Democrats are raising questions about whether Boyle bought GE stock at a time when he was presiding over a case that involved GE. Conservatives are still standing firm behind Kavanaugh, a few conservatives have said to me today Brit, privately that they have some concerns about Boyle."

The segment continued briefly from there as Wilson mentioned that it was unusual for the ABA to lower a rating, which has happened in the case Kavanaugh.

But notice that not once in the segment did Wilson mention, outside of "partisan politics", why the Democrats are interested in blocking this nominee. Let's take a look at just exactly who this Kavanaugh is.

According to PFAW, here are the key issues at hand Democrats may be looking at in regards to Kavanaugh's nomination:

- "Kavanaugh’s key role in the Bush Administration’s nomination of far-right ideologues to positions on the federal appeals courts.

- Kavanaugh’s coauthorship of the Starr Report’s section on grounds for impeachment, an ideological document that even some conservative legal commentators have criticized.

- Kavanaugh’s attacks on executive privilege as a Starr protégé and, in contrast, his leading role in developing and defending the Bush Administration’s unprecedented and excessive claims to executive branch secrecy.

- Kavanaugh’s relative inexperience, particularly compared with previous nominees to the important D.C. Circuit. For example, of the ten cases he reported as his “most significant,” in two he did nothing more than file friend of the court briefs. In one case, Kavanaugh filed a brief before the Supreme Court arguing for a ruling that would have left public school students vulnerable to a range of coercive religious practices. Kavanaugh’s position was rejected by the Court 6-3."

So, basically Kavanaugh is another partisan ideologue that is getting his reward for attacking Bill Clinton on behalf of the GOP, and of course "Special Report" neglected to mention this blip on his resume.

Let's hope the American people can see this ploy for what it is: another attempt to divide the people and divert attention from the real issues while using an old tactic that was able to rally the GOP base previously.

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