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Split over judges

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The Terri Schiavo case continues to have fallout in Washington D.C. - to the point that it reveals differences of opinion between Kansas' two Republican senators.[The Associated Press][1] reports that Republicans are feeling "tensions in their party as Congress approaches a potentially explosive debate over the Senate's role in confirming President Bush's federal judicial nominees and, more broadly, over the very independence of the judiciary. "Last week, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said federal judges 'thumbed their nose at Congress and the president.' He warned: 'The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today.'"Other Republicans said such rhetoric was counterproductive. 'I think that's pretty dangerous ground to even think about,' Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., said about comments such as Santorum's and DeLay's. 'I'm not a party to that, and I think those comments are not helpful.'"[The Chicago Tribune][2] says: "Some conservatives began complaining long before Schiavo's case gained notoriety that too many judges are taking the law into their own hands, ignoring the will of Congress. "Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) said Congress needs to look into some sort of regulation of judges. 'It's no longer balance of power--it's all in the hands of the judiciary,' he said. And [The Washington Post][3] reports that Brownback is allying himself with DeLay on the issue."Now, conservatives are mounting a campaign against what they call activist federal judges. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and other conservatives who advocated for Schiavo have planned a conference on Thursday and Friday called 'Confronting The Judicial War On Faith' with the lawyer for Schiavo's parents."[This press release][4] says: "The conference also will consider Ten Commandments displays and the right of Americans to publicly acknowledge God, judicial nominations, the judicial assault on marriage and remedies to judicial tyranny."Other links:Pat Roberts links [(New York Times) White House Has Tightly Restricted Oversight of C.I.A. Detentions:][5] The White House is maintaining extraordinary restrictions on information about the detention of high-level terror suspects, permitting only a small number of members of Congress to be briefed on how and where the prisoners are being held and interrogated, senior government officials say. ... Mr. Roberts said he believed that Congress "has been fully informed of what the C.I.A. is doing in terms of interrogating captured terrorists," through what he called "our ongoing briefings with staff and members as the classification does permit." But he acknowledged what he called "some of the questions raised by members," some of them on the Intelligence Committee. [(Kansas City Star) Head Start abuses anger U.S. lawmakers][6] Members of Congress on Tuesday demanded better oversight of Head Start amid widespread reports of financial mismanagement and a critical Government Accountability Office report. ... Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican, unleashed what he termed "a tirade" about financial improprieties that he said cast a shadow over the entire program. "If there was a case of avarice, greed, incompetence and remarkable arrogance, I don't know where there's any better case," Roberts said at a hearing of the Senate Subcommittee on Early Childhood Development. Sam Brownback links [(Associated Press) Senate OKs lifting restrictions on aid to family planning groups:][7] In an annual battle in Congress, the Senate voted Tuesday to lift restrictions on U.S. family planning aid to health centers abroad that promote or perform abortions. ... Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California said the restrictions deny health centers overseas the right to use their own money to provide health care options for women. Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas said Boxer's arguments have long been rejected. "This is about taxpayer funding of abortion overseas," he said. [(New York Times) American Delegation Is Named:][8] The leaders of Congress completed the lists of their delegations to the funeral for Pope John Paul II on Tuesday evening, ending a scramble by members of the House and Senate for the limited spots. ... Among those who sought spots unsuccessfully were Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, who was still talking to Mr. Frist's office in an attempt to attend, and Senator George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio. Todd Tiahrt links [(The Hill) House conservatives create PAC for the 'majority of the majority':][9] After exerting its influence on the budget, the conservative Republican Study Committee is gearing up to flex its muscle politically. The group has created a new political action committee, the House Conservatives Fund (HCF), with the aim of electing more conservatives to Congress. HCF's first fundraiser is scheduled for later this month. ... Likely attendees at the reception (include Todd Tiahrt.)How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][10] [1]: http://www.thenortherner.com/news/2005/04/06/News/Gop-Leaders.Split.On.Schiavo.Case-914318.shtml [2]: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0504060225apr06,1,3100835.story?coll=chi-newsnationworld-hed [3]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27955-2005Apr5.html [4]: http://www.earnedmedia.org/msg0331.htm [5]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/06/national/06detain.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1112800497-PdStgvBzkNrx/JKoaM77QA [6]: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/11319473.htm [7]: http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050406/NEWS/504060308/1002/NEWS01 [8]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/06/international/worldspecial2/06delegates.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1112803850-1ZPIhtLuK3yOqjgCgMibpA [9]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/040605/conservatives.html [10]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed

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