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April 26, 2005

Frist, Reid Work on Judge-Approval Deal

Well... it's come down to negotiating with the enemy... sad...

Link: Yahoo! News - Frist, Reid Work on Judge-Approval Deal.

Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid is quietly talking to the Senate's chief Republican about confirming at least two of President Bush's blocked judicial nominees but only as part of a compromise that would require the GOP to end its threat to eliminate judicial filibusters, officials say.

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Reid also wants a concession from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, officials said speaking on condition of anonymity: the replacement of a third Michigan nominee with one approved by that state's two Democratic senators.

At the same time, these officials say Reid remains opposed to four conservative candidates for other appellate circuits, Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown, William G. Myers III and William H. Pryor Jr.

Senators would not confirm details Monday, but Reid said that he has had had numerous conversations with senators in both parties in hopes of avoiding a showdown. "As part of any resolution, the nuclear option must be off the table," Reid said in a statement referring to the GOP threat to change filibuster rules.

The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the conversations between the two leaders.

But Sen. Arlen Specter (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday there had been a "a lot of negotiations to try to get three judges from Michigan" confirmed. Other senators have referred vaguely in recent days to discussions surrounding Bush's nominations to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose jurisdiction includes Michigan.

Posted at 7:13 AM

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