Friday, May 13, 2005

Senator Reid

Senator Reid discusses confidential FBI file on the Senate floor:
"Henry Saad would have been filibustered anyway," Mr. Reid said on the floor yesterday, about the Michigan Appeals Court judge who is nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.
"All you need to do is have a member go upstairs and look at his confidential report from the FBI, and I think we would all agree that there is a problem there," Mr. Reid continued.
Would I stretch my commitment to individual liberty too far to suggest Senator Reid's comments are a severe abuse of power in that his actions yesterday signficantly abridge Judge Saad's individual rights? After all, discussing the contents of confidential files in public is serious enough, but it may also be the case that Senator Reid doesn't even have the authority to review such a file.
Republican aides pointed to Standing Rule of the Senate 29, Section 5: "Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt."

Furthermore, a "Memorandum of Understanding" covering the use of FBI background reports limits access to committee members and the nominee's home-state senators. Mr. Reid would fall into neither category.
Would you agree that his actions yesterday in the Senate show little respect for the liberty rights of others? Perhaps it's time for Senator Reid to look for another job?

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