Democrats Signal Hesitance to Use Filibuster Against Alito
Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Moderate U.S. Senate Democrats said they want to know more about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr.'s judicial philosophy and signaled reluctance to support a filibuster to block his confirmation.
``There is no question the judge is a conservative,'' said South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson, who voted in September to confirm Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The issue is ``whether his conservatism falls within the broad mainstream of contemporary jurisprudence and whether it is beyond the bounds,'' Johnson said after meeting with Alito in Washington.
Democrats who signed a bipartisan agreement that averted a Senate crisis over the use of the filibuster to block judicial nominees said they hadn't heard talk in the group of using the parliamentary tactic that allows unlimited debate. The seven Democrats who signed the May 23 agreement pledged not to support a judicial filibuster except in ``extraordinary circumstances.''
``I haven't heard any of my colleagues on the Democratic side talk about extraordinary circumstances,'' Nebraska Democrat Ben Nelson told reporters. ``The question hasn't even been raised.''