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June 2, 2009

Anti-Filibuster Group Calls for Filibuster (sort of)

A coalition of leaders from conservative groups, including many evangelical activists, recently petitioned Republican Senators to use their filibuster power to lengthen the Supreme Court nomination debate.

The petition carefully avoids any mention of Sonia Sotomayor, or any call to vote against President Obama's nominee. Instead, the coalition asks Republican Senators to "make crystal clear why Americans should believe that Republicans are intelligent defenders of the Constitution, or not." The Third Branch asks that the filibuster "honestly displays the differences between Republicans and Democrats to the American people."

The Third Branch Conference, formed in 2005 by Manuel Miranda, was originally known as "The National Coalition to End Judicial Filibusters." Its purpose was to fight attempts to block President Bush's nominations through the use of a Senate filibuster.

Yet, in this letter, the conference calls on Senators to be ready to use a "traditional filibuster." The stated goal is not to block the nominee but to extend the debate so that the public understands the differences in the parties' judicial philosophies.

While some commentators point out the irony of the Third Branch advocating any filibuster of a judicial nominee, Miranda told The New York Times that they still oppose a "Democratic filibuster," which they say attempts to block a nomination forever. Miranda told the Times, "A Democratic filibuster is for the purpose of preventing a vote, as they brandished it, but a traditional filibuster to prolong debate is just fine."

Evangelicals tied to the "Third Branch Conference" letter include Gary Bauer (American Values), Tom Minnery (Focus on the Family), Wendy Wright (Concerned Women for America), Donald E. Wildmon (American Family Association), Mathew D. Staver (Founder of Liberty Counsel), (Traditional Values Coalition) Louis Sheldon, and Andrea Lafferty (Traditional Values Coalition). The coalition also includes libertarians and advocates for tax reform, gun rights, property rights, and life issues.


They were against filibusters before they were for them. This just goes to show why our democratic republic needs checks and balances against an abusive majority - because eventually, that majority will be a minority and want to use the same tactics it decried earlier. Viva minority rights!

i'm so tired of this nonsense!!!!! aren't there poor people and widwows for these people to go take care of?


The poor people and widows don't have money to donate to them. So they don't care.

Sadly, these evangelical leaders likely want a drawn-out confirmation process so that they can use it to milk donations out of their base supporters. Sometimes clowns like Dobson, Perkins, and Bauer make me embarrassed to be a Christian.


I know what you mean. The past 6 months have been an eye opener. I no longer will call myself a christian, as to do so leaves too much of a bad taste in my mouth. Anyone asks I'm a believer and worshiper of Christ - that's it!

Justin and Bobby,
While Christians (like these Third Branchers) often makes fools of themselves, I don't think shying away from the term makes the situation better. Recognizing how messed up the members of the Body of Christ are is part of maturity, but learning to live in community with those members is also part of that maturity. Yeah it can be hard at times, but they're not the enemy; they're just confused, as all of us are at times.
As N. T. Wright wrote in Simply Christian, "I would rather rehabilitate the word 'church' [I would say 'Christian'] than beat about the bush with long-winded phrases." Let's rehabilitate, not excommunicate. Peace.


and I would too except that so many are so convinced of their own righteousness that to do so becomes an impossibility. no, i think i will spend my time sharing the good news with anyone willing to listen. at the end of the day we all do have to work out our own salvation as best we see fit. if you believe we are in the last minute of the time of the gentiles then there isn't a moment to lose anyhow

Christian Lawyer

hmmmmmm I think that's a compromise I can live with.