As the military chaplain measure is debate in Congress, Senator John Warner of Virginia is making a push to put-off the measure until next year.
As of this morning, it appears that Sen. Warner has been unable to clear the hurdles of the language needed for the military chaplains provision and the issue of military tribunals - language needed to finalize the Defense Authorization Bill this week. As you recall, the provision protecting the constitutional rights of military chaplains to pray in the name of Jesus is tied to the Defense Authorization Bill.
On Tuesday night, Sen. Warner went to the floor of the Senate to explain his reasoning to block the House language, mentioning among other things the phone calls that have bombarded his office the past few days.
In the end, Sen. Warner's speech made clear that he would rather have hearings on the military chaplains issue in January of 2007 rather than resolve it now. Here is where we stand right now on the issue: Sen. Warner, as indicated by his speech, would rather suspend all regulations regarding military chaplains, strip the House language from the Defense Authorization Bill and start this debate anew in January. This is a fluid situation in the Senate and we will keep you posted as developments continue to unfold on this critical issue. If you haven't done so already, please sign on to our Petition to Protect Military Prayer. More than 60,000 Americans already have done so sending a powerful message to Capitol Hill.
On the issue of judicial nominations, the Senate Judiciary held a special hearing on Tuesday to address the nominations of Peter Keisler for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and Kent Jordan for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. While the nominations of Terrance Boyle, William Haynes, Randy Smith and William Myers were not addressed, the meeting served the purpose of advancing the nominations of Keisler and Jordan. The hope is that both men will receive floor votes before the end of session.