It's Almost Showtime

It's almost showtime. Next week, Republicans will show what they are made of. A vote is expected on changing Senate rules to allow for a majority vote to determine judicial confirmations. A rules change would eliminate a 60-vote super majority to end debate.

For at least 40 years, Democratic members of Congress have pushed their social and cultural agenda through the federal courts, knowing they would never get re-elected if they had to vote on these issues. In spite of their rhetoric that the Republicans are trying to gut the Constitution, it is the Democratic left that has been doing the job quite effectively.

It has gotten so bad, even Republican appointees to the Supreme Court — like Justice Anthony Kennedy (search) — talk of shifting standards of decency, as if anything could be a standard when it is shifting.

The vote next week, if it happens, will be at least as important as any election. It will give Republicans an opportunity to name judges to the federal bench who don't make law in their heads, according to their own prejudices and whims, but read and obey the Constitution.

Eliminating the filibuster (search) will be bad news for Democrats because they won't be able to shape society by judicial fiat. Instead, they will have to be held accountable and can't blame the courts.

This is a vote the country should welcome. If Republicans blow it, they will have squandered an historical opportunity that will not come their way again.

And that's Column One for this week.

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