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Friday, January 27, 2006

Alito filibuster unlikely

It's not going to happen (Joe can stop sweating now).

From The Raw Story
As Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) mounts a longshot bid to filibuster Bush Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, more indications suggest that Democrats will back the nominee to the Supreme Court, despite widespread disaffection in the Democratic caucus.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire, along with today's Washington Post, signaled that Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) are unlikely to support a filibuster, and may vote to support Alito.

RAW STORY's own surveys of Democratic senators, along with sources on the Judiciary Committee and Senate Democratic leadership, indicate Alito will be confirmed. While only three Democrats have formally announced their support for Alito, Democrats need only lose five senators to render a filibuster impossible.

Indications suggest that several senators that could vote against Alito -- including Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-FL) -- are unlikely to support a filibuster.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reported this morning: "With 2008 White House hopeful Kerry exploring a filibuster, Senate Democrats brace for expected defections of North Dakota's Conrad and Dorgan on Alito vote. Combined with Nelson of Nebraska, Johnson of South Dakota, and Byrd of West Virginia, who announced support for Bush's choice, that would give Republicans 60 votes if their party stays unified. Amid talk of longshot Kerry filibuster try, Republicans will try to rally that number in Monday vote to cut off debate."

Senate Democratic Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) says the effort to filibuster is almost certain to fail.

"Having made a count," he said, "I have come to the conclusion it is highly unlikely that a filibuster would succeed."
I'll offer my views on this matter and why I think an attempt at a filibuster was important in a later post.