Saturday, October 21, 2006

Judiciary Committee members vote

Wednesday night (10/11/06) I wrote about a letter I sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee members. As I was writing the blog, I thought it might be interesting to check the voting record of the members on key issues. Most politically active organizations have some method of categorizinbg the votes of members of Congress. I checked the ACLU and Planned Murderhood to see how they rank the eighteen members of the Judiciary Committee. The Republicans, as the majority party in the Senate, has ten members on the committee. The Democrats, as the minority party, has eight members. The Senators, I believe, are listed based upon how long they have been on the Judiciary Committee for their political party.

Planned Murderhood ( lists each Senator: whether they are Pro-choice 100%, Mixed 99% - 50%, or Anti-choice 49% - 0%; and then gives their percentage. The Website I was on did not list the issues considered or how many issues were considered. The results were not surprising.


Patrick Leahy >>>>>> Vermont >>>>>>>>> 92%
Edward Kennedy >>>>> Massachusetts >> 100%
Joseph Biden, Jr. >> Delaware >>>>>>> 100%
Herbert Kohl >>>>>>> Wisconsin >>>>>>> 93%
Dianne Feinstein >>> Clifornia >>>>>> 100%
Russell Feingold >>> Wisconsin >>>>>> 100%
Charles Schumer >>>> New York >>>>>>> 100%
Richard Durbin >>>>> Illinois >>>>>>> 100%

In contrast the scorecard for the


Arlen Specter >>>>>> Pennsylvania >>>> 71%
Orrin Hatch >>>>>>>> Utah >>>>>>>>>>>>> 0%
Charles Grassley >>> Iowa >>>>>>>>>>>>> 0%
Jon Kyl >>>>>>>>>>>> Arizona >>>>>>>>>> 0%
Mike DeWine >>>>>>>> Ohio >>>>>>>>>>>>> 7%
Jeff Sessions >>>>>> Alabama >>>>>>>>>> 0%
Lindsey Graham >>>>> South Carolina >>> 0%
John Coryn >>>>>>>>> Texas >>>>>>>>>>>> 0%
Sam Brownback >>>>>> Kansas >>>>>>>>>>> 0%
Tom Coburn >>>>>>>>> Oklahoma >>>>>>>>> 0%

If you detest the murder of unborn babies by Supreme Court fiat, which political party do you want controlling the Senate Judiciary Committee which approves or disapproves Court nominees before they are ever voted on by the full Senate? The majority party in the Senate controls the majority of seats on the Judiciary Committtee. Every vote for a Republican candidate for the Senate is a vote to STOP the murder of unborn babies.

The ACLU ( uses a somewhat different system. The organization identified twelve key votes and listed the vote of the Senator on each of those twelve issues and then gave a percentage based upon how often the Senator supported the ACLU position. The twelve key issues were:

1) Federal Marriage Amendment--Cloture Vote
2) Flag Desecration Amendment
3) Judicial Review of Torture
4) Military Commissions
5) Patriot Act--Cloture Vote
6) Patriot Act Conference Report
7) Privacy Protection in New Worker Database
8) Removing Judicial Protections from Detainees
9) Reproductive Rights for Minors
10) Samuel Alito Supreme Court Confirmation
11) Torture Prevention
12) Voting Rights Act Reauthorization

All members of the Judiciary Committee voted for the Voting Rights Act Reauthorization. Almost all members voted for the Torture Prevention Act. A 17% rating means the Senator voted for 2 of the 12 issues according to the desires of the ACLU. The differences were in the other ten issues voted upon. Although the Website listed each Senator's vote on the twelve issues, I will list only their percentage of "correct" votes according to the ACLU.


Patrick Leahy >>>>>> Vermont >>>>>>>> 100%
Edward Kennedy >>>>> Massachusetts >>> 92%
Joseph Biden, Jr. >> Delaware >>>>>>>> 92%
Herbert Kohl >>>>>>> Wisconsin >>>>>>> 75%
Dianne Feinstein >>> California >>>>>> 73%
Russell Feingold >>> Wisconsin >>>>>> 100%
Charles Schumer >>>> New York >>>>>>>> 83%
Richard Durbin >>>>> Illinois >>>>>>>> 92%


Arlen Specter >>>>>> Pennsylvania >>>> 58%
Orrin Hatch >>>>>>>> Utah >>>>>>>>>>>> 17%
Charles Grassley >>> Iowa >>>>>>>>>>>> 25%
Jon Kyl >>>>>>>>>>>> Arizona >>>>>>>>> 17%
Mike DeWine >>>>>>>> Ohio >>>>>>>>>>>> 25%
Jeff Sessions >>>>>> Alabama >>>>>>>>>> 8%
Lindsey Graham >>>>> South Carolina >> 25%
John Cornyn >>>>>>>> Texas >>>>>>>>>>>> 8%
Sam Brownback >>>>>> Kansas >>>>>>>>>> 25%
Tom Coburn >>>>>>>>> Oklahoma >>>>>>>>> 8%

Again, there is a vast difference in the approval rating by the ACLU between Republicans and Democrats. The lowest rated Democrat (73%) is higher than the highest rated Republican (58%). Only one Republican voted for more than three of the twelve issues. If you disagree with the issues supported by the ACLU, why would you vote for any Democratic Senate candidate?

Conclusion: There seems to be a wide gap between the voting patterns of the Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee as perceived by the ACLU and Planned Murderhood!


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