Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Of all the judicial nominees that have been nominated and then filibustered (blocked) in the 224 year history of the U.S. Senate almost half of them (82) have been nominated by President Obama.

These numbers help to explain why Senator Harry Reid changed the filibuster rules in the U.S. Senate when it comes to judicial nominees.

Simply put, the filibuster is a simple procedural measure designed to protect the rights of the minority in the U.S. Senate. It was being abused by the GOP as a matter of course so that virtually every presidential nominee requiring U.S. Senate approval required 60 votes (out of 100) to get past the U.S. Senate. The GOPs filibuster game playing reached such ridiculous levels that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced, stalled, objected to, and then finally filibustered his own bill!

With 3 years left in his second term President Obama now stands alone as the most filibustered president in our nation's history.

The Republicans made it clear that they would continue to ignore the spirit of the filibuster in the last 3 years of President Obama's second term. The last straw for the Democrats in the U.S. Senate came when the Republicans said they would, as Kevin Drum put it, filibuster all of President Obama's nominees to the DC circuit court because they didn't want a Democratic president to fill any more vacancies.

As a result, instead of requiring 60 votes in the U.S. Senate just to get his nominees presented in the U.S. Senate, President Obama's judicial nominees can go up for a simple up and down vote, which will require 51 votes in a full Senate.

Thank you Harry Reid.

- Mark 

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