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Save the Filibuster: A plea Across Party Lines...

Excerpts from a bipartisan call to save the fillibuster: from Democratic former Senator and VP Walter Mondale and Republican former Senator David Durenberger:

"The American people should know that the proposed repeal of the filibuster rule for judicial nominees by majority vote will profoundly and permanently undermine the purpose of the U.S. Senate as it has stood since Thomas Jefferson first wrote the Senate's rules. We join together, across party lines, in an urgent plea of support for the current Senate rules.

Franklin Roosevelt once wanted to pack the courts; fortunately, the Senate turned him down. President Ronald Reagan claimed the right to a new philosophy for judges based on then-popular themes. But a Republican Senate majority demanded and received an equal voice for senators in applying that judgment. American presidents are elected not by popular vote but by the Electoral College. It is up to the popularly elected Senate to strike the right balance in the exercise of its confirmation powers.

Now, this administration believes it should have a right that no president has ever had in our history, to demand that his judges be confirmed by a strict party-line whip system. The recent attacks on federal judges, many of whom already are conservative Republicans nominated and confirmed during 16 years of Republican presidents and 14 years of Republican Senate majorities, propose a new type of judge, compliant with religious and political tests that would radically undermine America's ideal of an independent judiciary.

America is blessed to have a superb federal bench. This didn't happen under the rash partisan system the changed rule will permit; it happened under the Senate's longstanding rules that allow the minority to have the power to delay and question each nominee. Both of us were a part of the Senate operating under the current rules of debate and we strongly advocate for their preservation."
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