Sunday, 28 November 2004

Filibustering judicial nominees

George Will has yet another column, this one in Newsweek, on the merits of the filibuster, even against judicial nominees:

The president should renominate all 10 appellate-court nominees who have been filibustered, and he should vow, like General Grant, to “fight it out on this line, if it takes all summer.” Norman Ornstein, a student of these things, says Senate Republicans could force Democrats to conduct the kind of filibuster Southern Democrats conducted against civil-rights legislation in the 1950s—talking around the clock, the obstructionists and their opponents sleeping on cots in the Capitol, the Senate paralyzed. There has never been such a spectacle in the era of C-Span and saturation journalism on cable 24 hours a day. Do Democrats want to make 2005 the year of living dangerously? Seventeen of their 44 seats are at risk in 2006—five of them in states Bush just carried.
Will has a good point about filibusters being designed for even an intense minority, which the Democrats certainly are these days. I’m still a bit skeptical since the constitution says the Senate must advise and consent, but mentions nothing about stopping floor votes or the judicial committee.

Even so, it’s something I could respect if the Republicans and President Bush would hold their feet to the fire and force an old-fashioned filibuster: make them sleep in the Senate chamber. Bring business to a halt and fight it out. I doubt the Republicans have the ‘nads to do so.

Memphis Blogger Bash

Eric Janssen of webraw is organizing a bloggers bash for Wednesday, December 1, downtown at Cafe Francisco. Cafe Francisco has a WAP, so if you want to, you can bring your laptop and liveblog it.

Len Cleavelin.)

Dept. of bad logos

Maybe it's just me, but I find the logo over at New Donkey a little bit scary.

New Donkey logo

Couldn't they make the donkey look a little friendlier?

Academic diversity

George Will has a good piece on the leftward tilt of academia:

Academics such as the next secretary of state still decorate Washington, but academia is less listened to than it was. It has marginalized itself, partly by political shrillness and silliness that have something to do with the parochialism produced by what George Orwell called “smelly little orthodoxies.”

Many campuses are intellectual versions of one-party nations—except such nations usually have the merit, such as it is, of candor about their ideological monopolies. In contrast, American campuses have more insistently proclaimed their commitment to diversity as they have become more intellectually monochrome.

They do indeed cultivate diversity—in race, skin color, ethnicity, sexual preference. In everything but thought.

I wonder if the increased leftward tilt of academia after the sixties helps explain the rise of think tanks such as Cato? Seems plausible.

Good Luck, Randy Barnett

I’m no big fan of Randy “Buy My Book” Barnett qua blogger, but after Lawrence Lessig, he’s my second favorite lawyer. I join Jim Lingren in wishing Mr. Barnett the best of luck Monday in oral argument before the Supreme Court in the case of Raich v. Ashcroft.

I’d love to see Raich win the case, but I’m not getting my hopes up.