Thursday, November 21, 2013

Filibuster Reform Imminent?

Harry Reid is on the Senate floor calling for a change to the filibuster rules, ending it for non-Supreme Court Judicial and executive branch appointments. This is being driven most recently by the refusal of the GOP to allow Obama to make any appointments to vacant DC Circuit Court posts. They are explicitly blocking the appointments not based on the nominees' qualifications, but simply because they don't want a democrat to be able to appoint any judges at all to this important court. It's a blatant abuse of Senate rules and power which really can't be allowed. Obama won re-election and this is merely another attempt to nullify the results by no-democratic means. Elections have consequences, or at least they are supposed to. The GOP's obstructionism undermines democracy and makes the government unable to function. According to TPM, "What we expect is that Reid will in the next few minutes bring up one of the Obama judicial nominees for a vote. When Republicans filibuster, Reid will formally call for a rules change and bring it to a vote. Senate Democrats will prevail on a simply majority vote and the filibuster as we know it will no longer apply to executive branch nominees and judicial nominees below the Supreme Court." So, baring some last minute deal, I think this is going to happen today. And considering Reid and McConnell already made such a deal and McConnell almost immediately reneged, think this might actually happen.

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