Update [2005-3-26 11:59:3 by Armando]: From the diaries by Armando
From the Washington Times:
Sen. Ken Salazar has backed off the position he took during his campaign last year that Democrats should not filibuster President Bush's judicial nominees.
Republicans had been counting on Mr. Salazar, a Democrat from Colorado, as a key vote against the filibusters. His defection is a serious blow to the hopes of Senate Republicans who wanted more bipartisan weight behind their "nuclear option" to dislodge filibusters.
Salazar has caught a lot of heat--and rightly so--after endorsing Gonzalez. He also previously advocated an up-or-down vote on the judicial nominees, and the GOP needed him desparately in their attack on the filibuster.
It should also be noted that Salazar, who wrote a letter of support for William G. Myers III, nominated to the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, has since withdrawn his support.
It looks like, given the recent attacks on the judicial system, some on Capitol Hill are thinking maybe the filibuster has been around for a couple hundred years for good reason...
Update [2005-3-26 10:31:15 by georgia10]:
I don't think there can be a doubt that he has been under enormous pressure. Perhaps his recent trip to Iraq with Reid
gave the two of them some time to look at the bigger picture?
Additionally, he is possibly eyeing the Governor's seat
in 2006, which will obviously shape his behavior over the coming months.
Update [2005-3-26 18:45:31 by georgia10]:
: As many pointed out below, this article seems a bit fishy, implying a sort of abrupt turnaround. As Luam noted below, on Sept. 27, 2004, Salazar said:
As non-partisan as Salazar might hope to be, what would he do as senator if the Democratic leadership asked him to join a filibuster against a Bush judicial nominee? "I would hope all nominees get up or down votes," Salazar answered. "And the decision on an up-or-down vote should be based on whether or not the president's nominee is qualified for the position."
He said a mandatory up-or-down confirmation vote on any nominee within 120 days of the nomination being submitted (an idea that Bush himself has advocated) "is a thoughtful proposal and maybe one that should be pursued."
Is that as clear an opposition to the filibuster as the Times make it out to be?
But Salazar has modified his position
somewhat as far back as Feb. 18th, 2005, when he said:
"I think that the powers of the Senate need to be protected, and there are nominees where I think it's appropriate to use a filibuster."
So it seems that the Times article is misleading in its portrayal of an abrupt reversal in position by Salazar. Rather, it appears that Salazar has been gradually backing away from statements made during the campaign which, in and of themselves do not reveal any steadfast position on the issue.