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The Senate Majority

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Will federal courts in the years ahead move in the direction of giving more weight to rights of victims of crime and the law-abiding public, or will they care more about the criminals?  The primary determinant of that, of course, is the presidential election, but the Senate races matter, too.

Having a majority does not matter quite as much in the Senate as it does in the House, and since the Democrats established the precedent of routinely filibustering nominees it does not matter as much in judicial nominations as it did before.  It still matters a lot, though.

Getting Senators to vote no on an objectionable nominee takes less than getting them to filibuster.  With a Republican majority, we will get more judges through who care about law and order if a Republican is president, and we will block more who don't if a Democrat is president.

It also matters a great deal who chairs the Judiciary Committee.  Will it be Patrick Leahy or Chuck Grassley?  Huge difference.

Kimberly Strassel has this column in the WSJ on how Republican control of the Senate in the next Congress, once considered a strong bet, is endangered by efforts of the hard core to knock off Republican moderates in the primaries.  The "success" of such efforts in 2010 is why Harry Reid is still a senator and Joe Biden's seat remains in Democratic hands.

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It's hard to find a sweet spot on the candidates. Some GOP Senators could use replacing--that's for sure. And there are counterexamples--would Jon Tester be Senator had the GOP primaried Conrad Burns?

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