#1 Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees
11-21-2013, 06:04 PM
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- Jun 2008
Reid, Democrats trigger ‘nuclear’ option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees
The partisan battles that have paralyzed Washington in recent years took a historic turn Thursday, as Senate Democrats eliminated filibusters for most presidential nominations, severely curtailing the political leverage of the Republican minority in the Senate and assuring an escalation of partisan warfare...
...The rule change means that federal judge nominees and executive-office appointments can be confirmed by a simple majority of senators, rather than the 60-vote supermajority that has been required for more than two centuries.
The change does not apply to Supreme Court nominations. But the vote, mostly along party lines, reverses nearly 225 years of precedent and dramatically alters the landscape for both Democratic and Republican presidents, especially if their own political party holds a majority of, but fewer than 60, Senate seats.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats of a power grab and suggested that they will regret their decision if Republicans regain control of the chamber.
“We’re not interested in having a gun put to our head any longer,” McConnell said. “Some of us have been around here long enough to know that the shoe is sometimes on the other foot.” McConnell then addressed Democrats directly, saying: “You may regret this a lot sooner than you think.”
...Reacting to Republican criticism after the vote, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) called the move “a huge step in the right direction” and denied that it somehow broke Senate rules.
“The Senate broke no rules,” he said in a floor speech. “We simply used the rules to make sure that the Senate could function and that we could get our nominees through.”
The vote to change the rule passed 52 to 48. Three Democrats — Sens. Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin III (W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (Ark.) — joined 45 Republicans in opposing the measure. Levin is a longtime senator who remembers well the years when Democratic filibusters blocked nominees of Republican presidents; Manchin and Pryor come from Republican-leaning states.
Levin denounced both Republicans and Democrats in a floor speech after the vote. He said GOP obstruction of Obama’s nominees has been “irresponsible” and “partisan gamesmanship.” Republicans “are contributing to the destruction of an important check against majority overreach,” he said.
But Democrats have used the filibuster in the past, and “changing the rules by fiat” means that “there are no rules” in the Senate any longer,” he said. “Today we are once again moving down a destructive path,” Levin said....
11-21-2013, 06:30 PM
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- Jun 2008
Nuclear: Reid, Democrats Destroy Filibuster, 52-48
The Senate voted Thursday, 52-48, to end the filibuster rule for all executive and judicial appointments except for Supreme Court nominees, which would still need a 60-vote supermajority to end debate and move to a majority vote on confirmation. The move, dubbed the "nuclear option," represents a historic power grab and a blow to the procedural prerogatives of the minority party in the Senate. All but three Democrats voted in favor.
In 2005, when Democrats had inaugurated the practice of filibustering large numbers of nominees, then-Minority Leader Read railed against the GOP majority for threatening the "nuclear option." That crisis ended in an agreement, brokered by the bipartisan "Gang of 14," which stated that nominees would only be filibustered in "extraordinary circumstances," but that there would be no attempted rules changes in that Congress.
The reason for the strong Republican opposition to recent nominees by President Barack Obama has been the strong ideological bent of many nominees, plus the determination of the president to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by filling several vacancies. That court decides important regulatory cases and has an otherwise low caseload for its current roster of four Democrat- and four Republican-appointed judges.
Republicans have pointed out that the Democrats' proposed changes could be renewed--and perhaps extended-- when Democrats are once again in the minority, allowing the GOP to retaliate by nominating conservative candidates who might not otherwise survive a filibuster. In a political environment requiring both sides to work together to solve pressing issues, Reid and his party may come to regret the fallout.
11-21-2013, 06:46 PM
The Democrats are going to regret this when the shoe's on the other foot again.In memory of Ahmed Merabet, Rafael Ramos, and Wenjian Liu.
11-21-2013, 07:13 PM
I heard that the Dems immediately tried to push ten judgeship nominees out. But foiled again.
Rules require only six to discuss business, but also require at least two from the minority side to APPROVE! All of the Republicans stayed home.....
Last edited by marv; 11-21-2013 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Corrected text.
Four boxes keep us free: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.
THIS POST WILL BE MONITORED BY THE NSA
11-21-2013, 07:15 PMOriginally Posted by Brietbart
11-21-2013, 07:50 PM
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- Jun 2008
Obama/Reid have previously presented the most radical judicial nominees to federal courts all over the nation. They have been blocked by the lack of minority consent - that is the intention of the Senate. This is not a change to “filibuster” per se’, the use of that term is just obfuscation to make what has been done seem unimportant or technical. What Obama/Reid are doing is blocking, avoiding, ignoring the concept of “minority consent”. The concept of “minority consent” allows a minority to protect themselves from the tyranny of the majority.
Obama/Reid have just destroyed the essential framework of freedom and liberty protection that was cemented into the building blocks of our government by Thomas Jefferson.
President Obama will put the most radical of the federal judicial appointments on the DC 5th circuit.
The DC 5th district court of appeals hears most of the cases surrounding constitutional issues and challenges against legislation stemming from Washington DC.
What Obama / Reid are doing is insuring those legal cases/challenges can be squashed before they reach the Supreme Court. This cements the ability of unconstitutional legislative bricks to set and destroy individual liberty and individual freedom.
Today, EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE CHANGED – You just haven’t noticed yet.
11-21-2013, 08:17 PM
We are screwed, no way the senate is going to go R for quite a while, kiss your 2nd amendment rights away among many other freedoms, once these courts are packed with liberal scum many freedoms we enjoy will go bye byeWe're from Philadelphia, We Fight- Chip Kelly
11-21-2013, 08:46 PM
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- Jun 2008
What is the filibuster? It is “a time-honored Senate procedure that prevents a bare majority of senators from running roughshod,” according to our friends on the New York Times editorial page. But that was in 2005, when Republicans frustrated over Democratic filibusters of President George W. Bush’s judicial nominations were (with National Review’s support) considering the so-called nuclear option, the overblown name of which suggests that it is rather more than a change in the Senate’s procedural rules. The Times denounced the Republicans’ “rank hypocrisy” in 2005, as did any number of Democrats. Having reversed themselves at the dictates of convenience, they show themselves to be hypocrites on the matter at hand and also on the subject of hypocrisy — call it hypocrisy squared.
The Democrats here are helping themselves to ill-gotten gains. Using the filibuster and other stalling techniques, they kept judicial vacancies open by closing them to Bush nominees. Miguel Estrada was kept off of the D.C. Court of Appeals by a filibuster; Democrats refused to process John Roberts’s nomination to the same court (to succeed James Buckley, the gentleman previously known in these pages as the sainted junior senator from New York). Later, when Roberts was named to the Supreme Court, Democrats blocked George W. Bush’s nominee for his replacement, Peter D. Keisler. Roberts’s earlier nomination advanced only after Republicans took control of the Senate, something that Harry Reid in his hubris seems to think will never happen again.
The filibuster is not sacred writ, and we are on record supporting procedural changes to overcome partisan obstruction. The more serious concern here is that the Democrats are attempting to pack the courts, especially the D.C. Circuit court, with a rogue’s gallery of far-left nominees. That is worrisome in and of itself, but there is a deeper agenda: Much of what President Obama has done in office is of questionable legality and constitutionality. The president no doubt has in mind the sage advice of Roy Cohn: “Don’t tell me what the law is. Tell me who the judge is.” He is attempting to insulate his agenda from legal challenge by installing friendly activists throughout the federal judiciary. That is precisely what he means when he boasts, “We are remaking the courts.” Republicans are in fact obstructing those appointments; unlike the nomination of John Roberts et al., these appointments deserve to be obstructed.
The filibuster is a minor issue; the major issue is that President Obama is engaged in a court-packing scheme to protect his dubious agenda, and Harry Reid’s Senate is conspiring with him to do so. The voters missed their chance to forestall these shenanigans in 2012. They made the wrong decision then, and have a chance to make partial amends in 2014, when they will be deciding not only what sort of Senate they wish to have, but what sort of courts, and what sort of country.
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