Ambrose fails to mention that 200 of President Bush’s judicial nominees have received Senate confirmation (more than in Reagan’s first term or Clinton’s last). He asserts that the filibuster tactic is unprecedented, unconstitutional, undemocratic, and unconscionable. Unprecedented? Not really. While filibusters for lower court nominations may be novel, the Republicans used them in 1968 and forced the withdrawal of Abe Fortas’ nomination as Chief Justice. Unconstitutional? Doubt it. Nothing in the Constitution requires a simple majority for judicial confirmation. In 1994, Sen. Hatch, a Republican, discussed judicial nominations and declared filibuster as “one of the few tools that the minority has to protect itself.” He didn’t say it was unconstitutional then. Undemocratic? Not nearly as undemocratic as something called “anonymous holds” employed against President Clinton’s judicial nominees. These holds placed by individual Senators and supported by their leadership delayed votes on nominations, sometimes indefinitely and with no public accountability. The number of secret holds placed during the Clinton-era was really what was unprecedented and unconscionable. At least a senator who filibusters does so in the open. Considering these are lifetime appointments, is it too much to ask that a nominee has the support of at least 60 senators to overcome filibuster? I don’t think so, nor do many legal scholars. Properly used, filibuster can produce a more moderate court. Sen. Frist would be unwise to launch the “nuclear option” to circumvent filibuster. If he does, it should not be with the holler that Mr. Ambrose suggests, but with a quiet sense of loss and shame on both sides of the aisle.Ken CutlerTruckeePreserving historyIt was my pleasure to attend the annual Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 17 at the State Capitol. Ten winners (either communities or projects) were there to accept awards chosen in a competitive process that drew 50 entrants. Truckee was one of the winners. After all the policy discussions we as a community have had over the last few years on the big and little issues regarding the town’s historic preservation program, it was gratifying to hear the recognition and praise heaped on the town. The town’s work on the public outreach aspect was not ignored. The state historic officer describing our program specifically included the outreach component as one of several things that made us worthy of recognition. Mayor Josh Susman did a fine job of introducing all of us who came from Truckee and gave a thumbnail sketch of our town’s history (he is like a walking postcard). Mayor Susman then introduced Town Planner Duane Hall. Duane told the audience how the Truckee Town Council had made a commitment that this historic preservation program be a collaborative effort between the town and property owners. I saw heads nodding agreement in the audience. It was a wonderful sight! Thank you town council for taking the extra steps to reach out to property owners and other stakeholders. It is not a wasted effort. And thank you Duane Hall for sticking with this like glue. Your dedication is commendable! Truckee’s Historic Preservation Program made history this week! Pat Davison CABPRO TruckeeDrafting CanadaI am glad to see that the letter from the president of the Truckee-Tahoe Republican Women attracted so much attention. I am a Republican, but not a Bush Republican, and I believe in the republican traditional idea of fiscal responsibility and less government.If you watched television the day after the election, the armed forces started advertising for the servicemen they needed. To finish Bush’s war we will need to have a draft. Each mosque we destroy, each family we kill develops more terrorists. The only way we can get enough servicemen is with a draft; a draft that will have the poor man’s sons fighting a war for the rich man’s sons. During the Vietnam War, I had three boys of draft age. If any one of them had been drafted we had planned to move to Canada. We were in a war we had no reason to fight. In the letter to the editor (“Fine, move north,” Sierra Sun Oct. 12), the writer said “I wish the disgruntled Democrats would move to Canada.” It’s not the disgruntled Democrats that plan to move to Canada, but those of us who want save lives of our children and grandchildren. President Bush, who never fought in a war, is willing to kill our servicemen and has already killed more than 100,000 civilians in Iraq.He started a second war without winning the first in Afghanistan. The government that we set up in Afghanistan has little control of the country; the warlords still control more than half of it.Our government has no plan for the future, except to force our style government on the world, needing many more servicemen to control the world.If the letter writer has any children or grandchildren draft age and they are drafted, they will be welcome in Canada, too.George Long Truckee
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