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Fillibuster and Faith

Excerpts from this Bloomberg article:

U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid called on his Republican counterpart, Bill Frist, to withdraw from a telecast organized by a Christian group that implies Democrats are blocking judicial nominees on religious grounds.

The Kentucky church event April 24, called ``Justice Sunday,'' seeks to stop ``the filibuster against people of faith,'' referring to judicial nominations made by President George W. Bush that have been blocked by Democrats since 2003.

``To say he's going to participate in this event in Kentucky is really beyond the pale,'' Reid, a Nevada Democrat, told reporters today. ``I really am upset at anyone suggesting that we are against people of faith. I would hope that Senator Frist would rise above this and not participate.''

In a statement, Reid said he was disappointed that Frist ``would exploit religion like this.''
Frist, the Senate majority leader, has threatened to seek a change in the chamber's rules to prevent Democrats from using filibusters to scuttle judicial nominations.
Amy Call, Frist's spokeswoman, wouldn't say whether Frist shared the organizers' views of the Democrats' motives for blocking the nominees.

``Senator Frist is focused on the fact that Democrats are blocking the right of senators to do their constitutional duty to advise and consent on judges,'' she said. ``That's what he will be speaking on'' during the videotaped segment of the telecast. Frist will continue to speak to other groups to voice his concern about judges, she said.

The live broadcast is being organized by the Family Research Council, which promotes a Judeo-Christian worldview as the basis for a just, free and stable society, according to its Web site.
``Our goal is to reach as many people as possible and to engage values voters in the all-important issue of reining in our out-of-control courts and putting a halt to the use of filibusters against people of faith,'' Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said in a statement on the group's Web site.

Senator Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and member of the Judiciary Committee, said it was ``outrageous'' to categorize the filibuster as being against people of faith.

``This goes too far,'' Durbin said of Frist's participation in ``Justice Sunday,'' which was reported today by the New York Times. ``I hope Senator Frist will stop and reflect. He's a good man.''

Many of the Democrats favoring the filibuster are persons of religious conviction and faith, Durbin said earlier on the Senate floor. "
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