WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A bipartisan group of senators reached an agreement after days of talks to avert a showdown Tuesday over President Bush's judicial nominees, Sen. John McCain announced Monday evening.
Standing with a group of 13 other senators, the Arizona Republican told reporters the seven Republicans and seven Democrats had brokered a compromise.
"We have reached an agreement to try to avert a crisis in the United States Senate and pull the institution back from a precipice that would have had, in the view of all 14 of us, lasting impact, damaging impact on the institution," McCain said.
Under the deal, judicial nominees would only be filibustered "under extraordinary circumstances," McCain said.
McCain said the group of 14 pledged to vote for cloture -- an end to debate -- for three judicial nominees: Janice Rogers Brown, William Pryor and Priscilla Owen.
He said the group made no commitment to vote for or against cloture on two nominees, William Myers and Henry Saad.
"We will try to do everything in our power to prevent filibusters in the future," McCain said.
"This agreement is meant in the finest traditions of the Senate it was entered into: trust, respect, and mutual desire to see the institution of the Senate function in ways that protect the rights of the minority," he said.
Democrats filibustered 10 of Bush's 218 nominees in his first term, saying they were too radical for a lifetime appointment to the bench.
Of course "extraordinary circumstances" will be defined as circumstances where the President nominates anyone for the Federal Judiciary that Democrats don't like. And isn't it funny that nominees Brown, Owens, and Pryor are suddenly not "too radical" anymore.
It's too bad that Republicans didn't have the guts to make the Dems engage in a real filibuster, rather than this "virtual" filibuster. I guess they think that this deal will buy them some goodwill when they are in the minority again. Fat chance guys.