Senator Hatch’s Double Standards and Abuse of Power

Introduction

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, frustrated that Democratic senators are resisting his effort to push President Bush’s appeals court nominees onto the bench with minimal scrutiny, is increasingly abusing the power of his chairmanship to flagrantly violate or unilaterally change longstanding committee rules and bipartisan agreements that govern the Judiciary Committee’s deliberative process. It is these actions by Sen. Hatch, not the Democrats’ legitimate use of the Senate’s filibuster procedure, that mark a dramatic break with precedent and an abandonment of a commitment to act fairly and according to mutually agreed-upon procedures. Several of Hatch’s actions also stand in direct contradiction to his own stated principles about how the Judiciary Committee should function.

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