Re: "Filibuster Doubletalk"
By Andres Martinez
L.A. Times April 6, 2005
The studied and thoughtful analysis of the U.S. Senate filibuster controversy by L.A. Times editorial page editor, Andres Martinez is refreshing amid all the vitriol being slung about by partisan zealots over the confirmation of judicial nominees.
Mr. Martinez is correct in saying, "...The filibuster goes too far in upsetting the balance struck by the Constitution and empowering an obstructionist minority. Surely the founders didn't intend for the Senate's "advice and consent" review of presidential nominees to require a supermajority."
Clearly, Article II, Section 2(2) does not extend the Senate's "advice and consent" role for presidential nominees and appointments beyond a simple majority vote. Certainly not to the supermajority vote required for treaties.
Indeed, the filibuster -- derived from a Dutch word (meaning freebooter), and the Spanish term filibusteros, which was used to describe early 19th century Spanish and Portuguese pirates who held ships hostage for ransom -- is hardly an appropriate method for the most deliberative body of our democratic republic to use, particularly with its checkered history of political chicanery and self-serving interests against proposed legislation, and more recently, judicial nominees.