Reports NBC First Read: “Fueling anticipation of an imminent move by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-TN, to eliminate the filibuster, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote to send two more judicial nominees to the floor today, state supreme court justices Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen, both of whom have been filibustered before. But Frist will probably wait until after his Sunday telecast to Christian conservatives to pull the trigger.” More on the nominees, action steps, DeLay’s delays, and DFA’s winning DeLay billboard (it’s great!) — below:
Today’s Los Angeles Times lays out the pressure on Frist:
“If he fails and the Democrats succeed in blocking the Bush judges, including ultimately a Supreme Court nominee … then Bill Frist need not come calling at the conservatives’ door in 2008,” Richard Lessner, executive director of the American Conservative Union, wrote this month in the conservative newspaper Human Events.
“On this issue conservatives are not in a mood to be forgiving. It’s show time and Bill Frist must deliver,” Lessner said.
Strategists say social conservatives don’t fully trust Frist and are more favorably inclined toward three GOP Senate colleagues seen as potential presidential contenders: Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Sam Brownback of Kansas and George Allen of Virginia.
Prevailing in the fight over the filibuster is not without risks for Frist.
“If Frist thinks doing this is going to make him the first choice of cultural and social conservatives, he’s wrong,” said Charles Cook, an independent political analyst. “His natural constituency is country club Republicans who are put off by what he’s doing. And I think he’s driving his campaign into the ground.”
On the judicial nominees, the LA Times reports:
Both are denounced by Democrats as extremists.
They view Brown as a conservative ideologue who frequently sides with business and property owners against consumers and individuals.
Democrats raise questions about Owen’s stand on abortion, accusing her of improperly imposing barriers on minors seeking an abortion without parental notification.
Both are popular with conservatives. Brown is African American, and Republicans say privately that they relish the idea of doing battle with Democrats over a minority nominee.
TAKE ACTION on the judicial nominees:
TAKE ACTION on the nuclear option:
On Tom DeLay, NBC First Read also reports:
The House Ethics Committee meets at 4:00 pm to try to work through the latest developments — namely, House Republicans offering a deal yesterday in which DeLay would be investigated under the new rules which Democrats oppose; Democrats seeing and denouncing that move as a PR gambit; and Republicans decrying Democrats’ unwillingness to deal. NBC’s Mike Viqueira says it seems unlikely that this will result in a committee probe of DeLay.
TAKE ACTION on DeLay:
This is the winning slogan for a billboard contest sponsored by Democracy for America. Now, says DFA, “the next step is simple—if you want to see this billboard in Tom DeLay’s backyard, give a few dollars to put it up.”