January 26, 2006

Filibuster Count: Two to Go

Hatched by Dafydd

With today's pro-Alito declarations by Democratic Senators Tim Johnson (somewhat expected, given that Bush carried South Dakota by more than twenty-one points) and West Virginia's Robert Byrd, of all people, brings the total number of Democrats declaring they will vote for Samuel Alito, including Nebraska's Ben Nelson, to three.

One presumes that a senator willing to vote for Alito will likewise refuse to filibuster against him.

Thus, there are a minimum of three Democratic votes against filibustering Alito. While it's possible that some Republicans will vote against him -- keep an eye on the usual suspects -- I doubt any will go along with a filibuster. Thus, we need only consider Democratic votes for such a procedural brick wall.

There are 45 Democrats, counting Jumpin' Jim Jeffords (I-VT) as one of them (since that is the party with which he caucuses). They need 41 votes to sustain a filibuster, not taking the constitutional option into account. Thus, at the moment, the best they can get -- if every other Democrat cooperates -- is 42.

So if just two more Democrats declare support for Alito, it will, for all practical purposes, be impossible to filibuster Alito's confirmation vote... and that will likely open the floodgates. If the party crosses that threshold during debates, then all or nearly all will vote for cloture. In the actual vote, Alito will probably get about 60 senators voting for him.

But if no other Democrat declares between now and the vote, there might be a serious attempt to mount a filibuster -- not because they think they'll win, but rather to keep sucking up to the radical Left that increasingly controls the Democratic Party. We'll see an attempted filibuster that is broken (either by peeling off a couple of Democrats during the actual cloture vote or via the constitutional option immediately afterward), and Alito might end up with no more than 51 or 52 senators, claiming (or tying) the dubious title of narrowest Supreme Court confirmation ever (currently held by Clarence Thomas at 52-48).

So which hand will they choose? Will the Dems pull back from the brink? Or will they, like buffalo stampeded by "environmentally friendly" American Indians, charge blindly off the cliff, snorting and bellowing all the way down?

"Pretty," as Byrd might say; "pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty!"

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, January 26, 2006, at the time of 3:00 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Dafydd, I haven't managed to get organized enough to post on this yet but Michelle Malkin is linking to a CNN item that says Kerry is calling for a filibuster.

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 26, 2006 3:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 26, 2006 10:00 PM

The following hissed in response by: Xrlq

Didn't Dianne Feinschwein go on record in opposition to both Alito and a filibuster?

The above hissed in response by: Xrlq [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 30, 2006 11:19 AM

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