L.A. Times blows kiss to Frist

In a surprise move, the paper's usually liberal editorial page says the filibuster's got to go.

By Eric Boehlert
Published May 18, 2005 4:12PM (EDT)

Republicans picked up an unusual ally in their battle over judicial nominees and plan to detonate the nuclear option to blow away filibusters. The usually reliably liberal editorial page of the Los Angeles Times today gives its hearty support to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to "nuke" the filibuster.

The paper doesn't think Bush's judicial nominees are worthy of appointment, but nonetheless strikes out on its contrarian way:

"We don't share these activists' enthusiasm for the White House judicial nominees triggering the current showdown. But we do believe that nominees are entitled to a vote on the floor of the Senate. The filibuster, an arcane if venerable parliamentary tactic that empowers a minority of 41 senators to block a vote, goes above and beyond those checks on majority power legitimately written into the Constitution."

The paper says that dismantling hundreds of years' worth of Senate precedent regarding judicial nominees "would be a great triumph for the American people."

Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert, a former senior writer for Salon, is the author of "Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush."

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