November 21, 2013 by David K. Sutton
Harry Reid And Senate Democrats Vote To Limit Filibuster Use
Today Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Democrats voted for the so-called “nuclear option,” to end the procedural filibuster and the 60-vote threshold for judicial and executive nominees. Democrats had good reason to change the Senate rules in the middle of a session because Republicans have managed to double the all-time number of judicial and executive nominee filibusters during Obama’s presidency. Now that’s some bat shit crazy conservative obstruction.
In Landmark Vote, Senate Limits Use of the Filibuster – NYTimes.com — Democrats, who filibustered their own share of Republican judicial nominees before they took control of the Senate, have said that what the minority party has done is to effectively rewrite the law by requiring a 60-vote supermajority threshold for high-level presidential appointments. Once rare, filibusters of high-level nominees are now routine.
With the appeals court left with a bench of just eight full-time judges — there are 11 full-time seats — Democrats argue that Republicans are denying Mr. Obama his constitutional powers to appoint judges and reshaping the nature of the federal judiciary.
The filibuster changes, approved with just a simple majority under a procedural move so contentious it is known as the nuclear option, do not affect Supreme Court nominees. They would also not affect legislation, which would still be subject to a 60-vote threshold if filibustered.
What you need to understand about Republicans is they are uninterested in governing, and they are unconcerned that their tactics are unprecedented and extreme. When Republicans don’t get their way, when they don’t want to follow the law, they simply obstruct. What they intend to do is nullify the parts of government they don’t like. But since they cannot do this through normal legislative means, because they lack the votes, they instead will invalidate and negate the laws and the departments they disagree with. They do this by filibustering nominees, or they do it by shutting down the government. But either way the purpose is obstruction for the purpose of quashing the components of government they cannot rescind through a majority vote. So today Democrats ended the Republican barricade, and Obama’s nominees can now be confirmed with a simple majority vote. It might be referred to as the “nuclear option,” but in the new reality created by the extremist Republican Party, it was a more than rational and reasonable solution to end the interference by people who hate government.