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Judicial Appointments Should Gain Consensus

May 21, 2003

Douglas Kmiec (Commentary, May 19) is off-base in his assessment of the Senate as being nonrepresentative because of the cloture rule, which requires 60 votes to break a filibuster. The idea behind the Senate, as the founding fathers devised it, was to have a more deliberative body where a bill would need at least some consensus to pass, as opposed to the House of Representatives, where the majority ruled absolutely.

The Republicans hold 51 Senate seats -- hardly a commanding majority -- yet Kmiec would have us allow that meager preponderance to have the power to railroad its bills and nominations through Congress. The Republicans should stop complaining about filibusters of judicial nominees and instead try to find some judges whom nine Democrats can at least tolerate.

Timothy Ruberton

Appleton, Wis.

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I sympathize with cartoonist Scott Stantis (Commentary, May 19). A two-panel 'toon just doesn't have the space to show the countless judicial nominees Republicans blocked during eight years of the Clinton administration. But he can trumpet only two nominees not approved by Democrats in the two years of Bush.

Kevin Maloney

Venice

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