My comments appear in bold type.
Forgive me, but that deal was on judicial nominees? Oh, yes, my mistake, it was in regard to everything.
May 24, 2005
14 Senators: The Text of the Judges Deal
Here is the actual text of the "deal" between 7 Republican and 7 Democratic Senators:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS
We respect the diligent, conscientious efforts, to date, rendered to the Senate by Majority Leader Frist and Democratic Leader Ried, This memorandum confirms an understanding among the signatories, based upon mutual trust and confidence, related to pending and future judicial nominations in the 109th Congress.
This memorandum is in two parts. Part I relates to the currently pending judicial nominees; Part II relates to subsequent individual nominations to be made by the President and to be acted upon by the Senate's Judiciary Committee.
We have agreed to the following:
Part I: Commitment on Pending Nominations
A. Votes for Certain Nominees: We will vote to invoke cloture on the following judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown (D.C. Circuit), William Pryor (11th Circuit), and Prisiclla Owen (5th Circuit).
B. Status of Other Nominees: Signatories make no commitment vote for or against cloture on the following judicial nominees: William Meyers (9th Circuit) and Henry Saad (6th Circuit)
Part II: Commitments for Future Nominations:
A. Future Nominations: Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.
Note the absence of the word "Judicial" in the foregoing paragraph. The foregoing paragraph says that anyone may filibuster any nominee, at any time, for any reason. That's exactly what the Democrats did with the John Bolton nomination three days after the execution of this 'Memorandum of Understanding', isn't it? Why won't they do the same with any other of the President's nominees?
B. Rules Changes: In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress, which we understand to be any amendment to or interpretation of the Rules of the Senate that would force a vote on a judicial nomination by means other than unanimous consent or Rule XXII.
We Believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive Branch of government to consult with member of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.
In the foregoing paragraph, the 'moderates' are attempting to set a precedent by asking the President to do something that no president has ever been asked to do. What they are asking is the for President to get advance approval of his choices before he officially nominates them.
Such a return to the early practice of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.
This has never been a practice of our government.
We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate seek to uphold.