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LJWorld.com weblogs Congressional Briefing

Bob Dole weighs in

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We start this morning with a word from old friend, former Sen. Bob Dole.Dole, [who was in Lawrence Tuesday][1] to give a speech associated with his book tour, has an op-ed in this morning's [New York Times][2] over the Senate debate about judge filibustering.His take: Stop the madness. Short of that, it's time to end the filibuster for judicial nominations."I have publicly urged caution in this matter," Dole writes. "Amending the Senate rules over the objection of a substantial minority should be the option of last resort. I still hold out hope that the two Senate leaders will find a way to ensure that senators have the opportunity to fulfill their constitutional duty to offer 'advice and consent' on the president's judicial nominees while protecting minority rights. Time has not yet run out."But let's be honest: By creating a new threshold for the confirmation of judicial nominees, the Democratic minority has abandoned the tradition of mutual self-restraint that has long allowed the Senate to function as an institution."Dole says that, during his time as Senate minority leader, Republicans never sought to filibuster judicial nominations. That argument is somewhat technical. As [The Christian Science Monitor][3] recently noted: "Republicans blocked dozens of President Clinton's judicial nominees by refusing to let them come to a vote in the Judiciary Committee." It wasn't a filibuster, but the end result was the same -- a president wasn't allowed an up-or-down vote by the full Senate on his judicial nominations.Dole says: "In the coming days, I hope changing the Senate's rules won't be necessary, but Senator Frist will be fully justified in doing so if he believes he has exhausted every effort at compromise."Other links today: Sam Brownback links [(Washington Post) Science panel charts ethics of stem cells:][4] Forging into a politically and ethically contentious regulatory void, the National Academies released a detailed set of guidelines Tuesday aimed at all U.S. researchers who perform experiments with human embryonic stem cells. ... "These so-called guidelines for destructive human embryonic stem cell research try to put a good face on an unethical line of research," said Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). "We should not be destroying young human lives for the benefit of others."[(Montgomery Advertiser) Sessions takes stand for judicial nominee:][5] More than a dozen pastors from black churches praised (Janice Rogers) Brown, the first black woman to sit on California's Supreme Court, at a news conference organized by Sessions and Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas. How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][6] [1]: http://www.ljworld.com/section/kunews/story/203096 [2]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/27/opinion/27dole.html?hp [3]: http://www.some-web-page.com [4]: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0504270186apr27,1,147126.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed [5]: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/NEWSV5/storyV5ONBROWN27.htm [6]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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