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May 2005
Vol. 32, No. 5

Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinner Honors Archbishop Chaput, Richard and Helen DeVos

Archbishop Charles Chaput, Helen and Richard DeVos.

McCain joins with Democrats to save filibuster
Senate "Too Close to Call" on Abolishing Filibusters of Judges

WASHINGTON (May 4, 2005) - - At NRL News deadline, the U.S. Senate was fast approaching a razor-close vote on the question of whether Senate Democrats will continue to be allowed to filibuster to block approval of President Bush's judicial nominees.

The Senate will soon decide whether a judicial nominee should be able to achieve confirmation if he or she enjoys the support of a simple majority of the Senate, which is the position supported by pro-life Senator Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tn.) and most Republican senators - - or whether a minority will continue to be allowed to erect a 60-vote hurdle, which is the position currently backed by Democratic senators and by a handful of Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tn.) vows to force reform vote soon. Sen. John McCain (R-Az.) will join with Democrats to preserve filibuster of judicial nominees.

Who Opposes Filibuster Reform?

As of May 4, 2005, all of the 45 members of the Senate Democratic caucus were opposing the effort of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tn.) to abolish filibusters on judicial nominees.

If more than five Republican senators vote with the Democrats, it will not be possible to establish the precedent that filibusters are not allowed on judicial nominations.

As of May 4, three Republican senators had come out clearly against the reform: Lincoln Chafee (RI), Olympia Snowe (Me.), and John McCain (Az.).

McCain, who some political observers expect to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 as he did in 2000, announced in April that he will oppose the reform.

On the MSNBC program Hardball on April 11, host Chris Matthews asked McCain, "You'll vote with the Democrats?" McCain replied, "Yes . . ."

Continue Article...


From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

The tragic death of Terri Schindler-Schiavo reminds pro-lifers of the work confronting us on the issue of euthanasia. That is at least what most opinion polls tell us. One can object that many polls were improperly or misleadingly phrased and that, therefore, one cannot reach the above conclusion. But we need to be realistic in assessing the situation. To this end I invite you to join me in a sober analysis of the polls.

* Although there was conflicting medical testimony, several polls described Terri as being in "a persistent vegetative state" (e.g., CNN/USA Today/Gallup, 3/18/2005, 3/22/2005, 4/1-2/2005; Time, 3/22-24/2005; CBS News, 3/21-22/2005; Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, 3/1-2/2005).

* Some polls falsely described Terri as being on "life support" (e.g., ABC News, 3/10-13/2005, 3/20/2005; CBS News, 3/21-22/2005) or in a "coma-like state," contrary to the widely disseminated video images (Time, 3/22-24/2005; Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, 3/1-2/2005).

* Poll respondents were also asked to speculate as to whether reinserting Terri's feeding tube would eventually "have improved" Terri's condition or have led to "significant improvement in her brain activity" (Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, 3/29-30/2005; CNN/ USA Today/Gallup, 3/22/2005). Most polls and the media made the unsubstantiated "diagnosis" that Terri is "in a persistent vegetative state," and then the polls asked the respondents (with an equal lack of credentials) to make their own diagnosis. Not surprisingly, the majority (60% and 54%) said that Terri's condition could not have improved.

Continue Dr. Franz's Column

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