Tuesday, March 28, 2006

When is a Debate Not a Debate?

This is the Senate, empty.

This is a debate in the Senate. See the difference? Senators present.

Did you know that when the Hamdan case is argued today, the Supreme Court will be asked to believe a lie? Oh, no, you protest, that can't be true? But it is. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Kyl (R-AZ) have filed a brief claiming to have 'debated" the bill in question on the Senate floor. They rely upon an eight page colloquoy in the Congressional Record. Problem is, it wasn't an actual debate. They stuck their little eight page script in the Congressional Record at the last minute, and the script read like it was live. But it wasn't. It was written, not debated. None of the Senators, even Kyl and Graham, actually participated. Democrats had no chance to get up and be heard, because THERE WAS NO DEBATE.

Will the Supreme Court be conned?

From Anonymous Liberal, via Unclaimed Territory:

The fictitious Kyl/Graham "floor debate"

Apparently this entire 8 page colloquy--which is scripted to read as if it were delivered live on the floor of the Senate, complete with random interruptions from other Senators--never took place. It was inserted into the Congressional Record in written form just prior to passage of the bill.

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog--who appears to have been the first to pick up on this juicy story last Thursday--noted that the authenticity of the floor debate was disputed by Hamdan's attorneys in their reply to the Government's brief. Hamdan's attorneys pointed out that the C-SPAN footage for Dec. 21, 2005--the date this debate supposedly took place--shows no sign of Senators Kyl or Graham (or, for that matter, the other Senators who appear in the record).


What we have are two Senators falsely suggesting--to the highest court in the land--that an imaginary dialogue inserted in the Congressional Record was in fact a live floor debate which reveals the definitive intent of Congress. If all this is true--and it certainly appears to be--Senators Kyl and Graham have some explaining to do.

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