FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2005
Standing At Jefferson Memorial, Senate Democrats Urge GOP Senators To Protect Checks And Balances, Not Bow To White House Pressure
Senators Reid, Schumer, Durbin, Clinton, Kennedy, Boxer, and Others Urge GOP to Vote Against Nuclear Option, Listen to Voters Back Home
Democratic Caucus Completely United Against So-Called Nuclear Option
Frist-Rejected Judicial Compromise Would Have Given President Almost Unprecedented 100% Passage Rate of Judicial Nominees
Standing outside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial today, Senators Reid, Schumer, Clinton, Kennedy, Boxer and other members of the Senate Democratic Caucus presented a united front to fight an attempt to undo 200 years of American history and urge Republican Senators to preserve checks and balances by voting against the “nuclear option.” Sen. Frist has already rejected a compromise that would have allowed the President to claim victory on more judicial nominees – giving him an almost 100% passage rate for his 216 nominees so far.
Schumer urged Republican colleagues to, “Resist the entreaties of the executive branch. Stand tall, stand firm, don't change the rules in the middle of the game. Protect the sacred checks and balances that are at the core of this great republic by rejecting this trampling of democracy.”
Talking about the history Schumer said, “Even President Jefferson, the father of the Democratic Party, urged the House of Representatives to impeach Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, because they disagreed with his judicial decisions and the positions he publicly supported, so that he could stack the Court with his own political allies. Senators of Jefferson’s own party fought against this abuse of power, and acquitted Chase. According to Chief Justice Rehnquist, this ‘profile in courage’ by the Senate established the unshakable principle of judicial independence.”
“When we return home to our states for the upcoming recess, we’ll hear that are constituents are concerned with, their paychecks getting smaller; their health care getting more expensive; our elderly being bilked for prescription drugs; our veterans not being given the care they deserve after serving their country. They won’t be urging us to rubber stamp the President’s radical judicial nominees,” Schumer continued. “The American public may not follow the Senate minute to minute, day to day, but they've got a pretty good nose to smell what's going on. And what they smell is a whiff of extremism.”
Schumer said, “Jefferson and Roosevelt had much more massive electoral majorities than our current President, but the Senators of their day stood firm to preserve an independent Judiciary from two of the most popular and historic Presidents. Just because a President gets 51.5% of the vote and has slim majorities in the House and Senate, doesn't mean that he will always get his way, particularly when it comes to choosing the third unelected, only unelected branch of government.”
“The bottom line is that you don't change the rules in the middle of the game just because you can't get your way on every single judge,” Schumer concluded.