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Filibuster showdown continues in Senate

[JURIST] In a sure sign that Republicans are prepared to spend all night debating the filibuster, workers Monday set up dozens of cots in the Strom Thurmond Room of the Capitol. The session to decide President Bush's nomination of Pricilla Owen, a Texas Supreme Court justice, to the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals has been scheduled through Tuesday. If Owen's nomination is blocked, Republican leaders are expected to strip Democrats of their ability to utilize the filibuster [JURIST report] to block up or down votes of judicial nominees. Senate minority leader Harry Reid [official website] stated Monday that the prospects of something being worked out are very remote. Colorado Senator Ken Salazar [official website], a Democrat who has been trying to arrange a bipartisan deal to avoid a filibuster showdown, stood side by side with Reid and gave his own pessimistic view, saying a last-ditch compromise was now only "a remote possibility". In a rare public appearance, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, whose health has been deteriorating in recent months, made a visit [MSNBC report] Monday to Capitol Hill in a wheelchair. Rehnquist's visit serves as a reminder that the current debate could have implications on an expected upcoming Supreme Court nomination. Reuters has more.

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