Put a Hold on Holder's Nomination

A conservative senator would be a true American hero if he or she would put a hold on — i.e., threaten to filibuster — the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next attorney general.

Let me be clear: I don’t believe that conservatives should use the filibuster to block Holder. But I do think the filibuster is an excellent procedural tool to force a needed debate. Senators should explore Holder’s views on the right to bear arms and the Elian Gonzales raid before they consent to his appointment.

The Second Amendment is sacrosanct to all freedom-loving Americans. Yet Holder, in his capacity as former deputy attorney general from 1997 to 2001 and acting attorney general in 2001, signed a brief to the Supreme Court last year arguing that “the Second Amendment does not protect firearms possession or use that is unrelated to participation in a well-regulated militia.” This strongly suggests that Holder is hostile to private gun ownership and will work to restrict gun rights.

There’s more. According to the Cato Institute’s David Koppel, Holder has “advocated federal licensing of handgun owners, a three-day waiting period on handgun sales, rationing handguns sales to no more than one per month, banning possession of handguns” and supported numerous other gun control initiatives.

Oh, Holder does support some gun rights. He supports the “right” of federal agents to use machine guns to threaten families and enter a home without the consent of a court to seize a 6-year-old boy.

On April 22, 2000, Elian Gonzalez was seized by federal agents who stormed the Miami household of Elian to return Elian to his father in Communist Cuba. Holder appeared on Fox News to shill for the Clinton administration’s raid and said that “he was not taken at the point of a gun.” Donato Darymple, the fisherman who saved Elian from downing off the coast of Florida in November 1999, told MSNBC that “they busted down the door and put guns right to our heads.” The infamous photo of Elian getting snatched from the arms of Donato, with a federal agent’s gun pointed at him, indicates that Holder wasn’t truthful when he defended the raid.

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. It also states that “no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The seizure of Elian was unreasonable in many respects. Yet in a Fox News interview, Holder denied that Elian was taken at gunpoint, and stated that there was no need for a court order to seize him because the “INS can do this on its own.”

Minnesota Not So Nice

If Americans thought the presidential election was nasty, they’ll be in for a real surprise if the Senate determines the outcome of Minnesota’s still-undecided Senate race.

In his attempt to unseat Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), funnyman Al Franken may ignore the Election Day ballot results, as well as the recount, and appeal to the Senate for another count. The joke will be on Minnesota voters if Franken can have 99 US. senators overturn their will.
The Senate has in rare cases inserted itself into elections, including a 1996 Louisiana race and a 1974 New Hampshire contest. The Constitution grants the body the power to determine its members’ qualifications. But surely our Constitution did not intend for Reid to play kingmaker and disregard the choices of Minnesota voters.

Conservative Cheers

Last week, a $15 billion bailout for General Motors, Chrysler and Ford seemed like a done deal, but conservative opposition quickly mounted. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) was the first to take the floor and say that bankruptcy is the only option for these companies because a bailout would only feed their problems:

“Our action in sending out money enables the continuation of bad behavior. It pretty closely approximates that psychological syndrome called enabler where the person who is drinking too heavily, instead of confronting the problem, the person’s problem, you give them more money which allows them to continue to drink and they don’t confront their problem and the problem continues to get worse.”

Sens. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Tom Coburn (R-Oka.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and David Vitter (R-La.) also deserve cheers for their press conference last Wednesday at which they condemned the rush to passage and gentle treatment of organized labor.