by Steven Ertelt
January 13, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Though it appears likely that the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate will support Samuel Alito’s bid for the Supreme Court, pro-abortion activists want Senate Democrats to filibuster his nomination.
Pro-abortion groups are working overtime to try to persuade the handful of pro-abortion Republicans to defect and join Senate Democrats in opposing Alito. If that doesn’t happen, they say they’re going to ask their Democratic allies to filibuster.
”If it becomes necessary, I think that it is incumbent on the senators who care about women’s rights … to filibuster this nominee," Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, told the Boston Globe.
Key pro-abortion lawmakers who might lead a filibuster charge would not commit to one yet.
”Now, a lot of the liberal groups have come out against Judge Alito, but we’re waiting for the hearings" to conclude before deciding, New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said Thursday.
If pro-abortion groups want a filibuster to be successful, they will need the support of most of the members of the so-called Gang of 14 who reached a compromise agreement last year allowing votes on President Bush’s pro-life appeals court picks in exchange for not changing Senate rules to prohibit filibusters on judicial nominees.
However, many of the members of the group are either supporting Alito, like pro-life Sens. Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lyndsey Graham of South Carolina, or appear to favor his nomination.
Senator Ben Nelson, a pro-life Democrat of Nebraska and a member of the compromise group, said Thursday, ”So far I have seen nothing during my interview with the nominee, the background materials that have been produced, or through the committee process that I would consider a disqualifying issue against Judge Alito."
A chance of a successful filibuster also dimmed as pro-abortion Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, another member of the "Gang" said she would oppose it.
What most political observers say is likely to happen is a repeat of the vote on Chief Justice John Roberts. In other words, Alito opponents will not have enough votes for a filibuster, but extreme pro-abortion lawmakers like Schumer and others will vote against him.
Democrats plan to meet on Thursday to outline their plan of action for handling votes on Alito.
Also on Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to debate and vote on Alito. If his nomination is approved and Democrats don’t invoke their right for a week-long delay, the full Senate will take up his nomination Wednesday and vote on Friday.