Filibuster

THE JUDICIAL FILIBUSTER AND THE FALLACY OF “UNILATERAL DISARMAMENT”

Featured image Politico reports what’s been pretty clear for weeks — Republicans are unlikely to reverse Harry Reid’s elimination of the filibuster of presidential nominees. My preference was to reinstate the filibuster for the reasons I presented here. However, I understand the arguments for keeping it, and consider the issue a close call. What bothers me is the mantra that reinstating the filibuster would amount to “unilateral disarmament” by Republicans. It’s an »

Should Republicans reinstate the judicial filibuster?

Featured image With Republicans about to assume control of the Senate, a debate has broken out over whether to bring back the filibuster for judicial nominees. Readers will recall that Harry Reid and his crew eliminated the filibuster (except for Supreme Court nominees) in order, primarily, to confirm three left-wing nominees for the all-important U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The estimable Ed Whelan argues that it would »

Filibuster Rope-a-Dope?

Featured image Did the crafty Mitch McConnell just succeed in getting Democrats to damage their long-term interest by nuking the filibuster?  I’ve always defended the filibuster (and still do) as a valid anti-majoritarian device, especially useful for when fitful voters make a mistake as they did in 2008 (with the help of the Justice Department in Alaska and Al Franken’s cheating in Minnesota) and install a large Democratic majority in the Senate. »

The very useful lesson of Obama’s judicial power grab

Featured image It’s no secret that President Obama was behind the push to end the filibuster as a means of blocking nominees for U.S. appeals court judgeships. At a fundraiser earlier this month, he told liberal donors that he is “remaking the courts.” Recognizing that the filibuster stood in the way of a full radical makeover, Obama personally lobbied three Democratic Senators who were undecided about whether to eliminate it. Obama reportedly »

Byrd! Thou should’st be living at this hour

Featured image The political debate over the use of the Senate’s filibuster rule to torpedo President Bush’s judicial nominees in 2005 triggered a series of reversals and pratfalls that support the low-comedy version of democratic politics. Among the most notable examples was the profile of former Ku Klux Klan kleagle and civil rights obstructionist Robert Byrd as a cornpone constitutionalist by reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg in — where else? — the New »

Up next, attacking the filibuster (Updated)

Featured image With the “fiscal cliff” averted, the Democratic Senate will turn its attention to attacking the filibuster. I wrote about this issue here. As I explained: Republicans alone cannot prevent the Democrats from changing the Senate rules pertaining to the filibuster. In theory they can because under Senate rules any rule change requires a two-thirds majority. However, the Democrats apparently intend to violate that rule by pretending, contrary to what the »