Thursday, November 21, 2013
The Not-So Nuclear Option
Gerard N. Magliocca
The Senate today voted to change its rules and end the power of the minority to block a judge or an executive nominee through a non-traditional floor filibuster. I applaud this change, as readers of the blog know that I am a critic of modern filibuster practice. It is worth noting, though, that all this change does is bring us back to where we were about ten years ago. Filibusters of lower federal court and executive nominees were basically unknown prior to the Bush 43 Administration.
Here is my thought on the legality of the Senate's action. http://www.pointoforder.com/2013/11/21/the-senates-neutron-option/
The Democrats have apparently concluded that they will lose the Senate in 2014 and potentially the presidency in 2016 and are going to try to confirm as many of Mr. Obama's appointees while they can.
I encourage the upcoming GOP Senate majority to scrap the filibuster entirely in 2015 and start voting on all the reform bills Harry Reid has refused to allow to come to a vote, including the repeal of Obamacare.
Lower federal court nominations were continuously blocked prior to Bush43. It was done in a somewhat different way. But, really, who cares? It still was a de facto filibuster. And, I'm not just talking personal blue slips.
I don't know how this will affect Canning. Who knows. There is no reason the rule change has to be permanent. The Canning recess appointments also came about in a certain context -- not just a simple filibuster. Who knows.
It's great news, and it will be great news if/when Republicans complete the job by eliminating all filibusters. It's a pernicious device no matter who won the last election.
Now if we could only turn the Senate in a ceremonial body akin to the House of Lords.
Our SALADISTA seems to be getting back into the prognostication game a little early with this:
"The Democrats have apparently concluded that they will lose the Senate in 2014 and potentially the presidency in 2016 and are going to try to confirm as many of Mr. Obama's appointees while they can."
What's his past record look like? Let me count the ways. (I'm relying on a couple of commenters who have our SALADISTA's past predictions on their desktops for a refresher.
The effect of this could actually be somewhat positive in the long run; The threat of filibuster hasn't prevented ideological extremists from making it into the judiciary, it has merely selected for dishonest ideological extremists. Now that they can openly show their colors and still get confirmed, the ones willing to lie about their views cease to have the advantage.
What part of "The Democrats have apparently concluded…" did you fail to understand?
I have not and am not predicting anything a year before an election.
Consider that, until now, the Democrats have steadfastly opposed the "nuclear option" of eliminating the filibuster for judicial nominees. Indeed, the Democrats coined the term "nuclear option" to denigrate the "radical" idea of the GOP majority eliminating the filibuster to get Bush nominees through.
Something fundamental has changed in their political calculus to drive this complete 180 degree shift in position. I would love to be able to read their internal polling.
Bart, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for them to have done this if they're actually expecting to lose the Senate. This seems more like them expecting to end up with a relatively small ordinary majority after 2014, but a majority none the less. Which is not an unreasonable expectation.
I tried to find my bit of silver lining, but the truth is, this is a terrible move, no matter who ends up in the majority. It's easy to be civil in our politics when the consequences of losing any given election are small. Like you can laugh off losing in a penny ante card game.
But drag somebody to the table, and make their home and/or livelihood the stakes, and things get much more grim.
With this move, the stakes for every election have gone up. The ACA showed Democrats to be willing to make massive changes on the strength of a small and transient majority. Now they can pack the judiciary with a 51 majority in the Senate. The consequences of not being the majority have lost an important limit.
I see our politics becoming that much more ugly. MUCH more ugly.
Why it was done explained by 1 chart:
I suppose originalist Brett can point to the "large and permanent majority" clause of the Constitution right under the "In case of big changes" section, right?
Is that a serious comment?
You don't like it? Win an election. It's a farce that you are peddling the line that a small majority "forced" big changes. Republicans were crushed in 2008. There was a huge majority in the Senate and House.
You know what else is a farce? That conservatives who only have a majority in any branch of the gov't thanks to gaming the system via gerrymandering are not kvetching that Reid is a "bully" because he changed the rules to end filibuster abuse in a very limited context. It's galling.
The US Senate is a strong contender for one of the most undemocratic legislative bodies in the world because of overrepresentation of the smallest states.
The 60 percent rule only exaggerated the minority headlock on majority rule. The actions today are nothing less than a victory for democracy.
It is fundamental for democracy that if the people elect a government, then it shoul be allowed to govern. Otherwise it cannot be held accountable. If you object to appointments, go out and win the presidency and Senate and make new appointments.
Mel's, that poster at point of order should read the clause in the Constitution that gives the Senate to make its own rules. The action today was constitutional in all respects.
I'm opposed to the existing filibuster in all cases, but I wouldn't say that eliminating it makes the Senate more democratic. The flaw in the Senate stems from its unrepresentative nature. Eliminating the filibuster doesn't change that. In fact, it makes it more likely that a very unrepresentative minority will pass legislation. That's *less* democratic.
There could be a filibuster which actually enhanced democracy: a filibuster would need the support of Senators representing 50% of the American population (including DC). That would assure majority rule.
The Senate Democrats dealt with the GOP filibuster in 2011, correctly expected to keep the Senate in 2012 and made no move to eliminate the filibuster. Instead, they cut deals where Obama got most of his appointments, but the most radical were blocked.
If the Democrats expect to lose the Senate heading into presidential election cycle, then they are facing the prospect of very few if any confirmations. The left has been howling that Obama is missing his opportunity to shape the courts and NLRB. It is now or never.
I see no other reason for the Dems to shift their position 180 degrees.
How would that 50% work?
If one senator from NY votes, is that counted as 1/2 of NY's population?
That's creative and it's good to be careful when wording things. Not seeing that as that likely though.
And, in this atmosphere, that is the only way I can see how removing the filibuster makes things worse. The people using it the most now worsen an already non-majoritarian Senate.
The only way it can help is either (1) that unlikely 50% rule or (2) maybe if the "minority" came from areas as a whole that were over 50% of the population. This might have been in place in the early 2000s. It's a small window though.
It is amusing to see the news replays of all the video clips of Obama, Biden, Reid and other Senate Democrat leaders all railing against the "nuclear option" as bad for our democracy back during the Bush administration.
That was then and this is now, I guess.
The Senate is unrepresentative, as I noted, but unlike the House it cannot be gerrymandered. The House could block legislation forced through the Senate by the small states, here is no appeal from a filibustered appointment. (Filibuster still seems to apply to legislation).
Before using that majority process, how about getting basic representation for DC and the territories?
I rather not use the word "forced" when we are talking about majorities passing legislation. The word has a negative connotations that is off there. Anyway, the term is "rammed down." Sort of Fruedian.
As to D.C., my idea would to redistrict so the population goes basically to Maryland or something. The 23A is an issue there but it should be a package for amendment anyway. There is an actual chance there if D.C. doesn't get two senators. I realize a few states with about their population have them, but rather not extend the problem.
The big issue then really is Puerto Rico. Guam etc. have small populations and local rule is pretty fair. The numbers in these areas (minus PR) are a fraction of 1/435. It's complicated to get a plebiscite that is fair apparently, but try one out and see what they want to do.
Voting representation sounds fair, however we manage to do it. After all, the Constitution applies etc. They might get some tax benefits, but not all taxes are waived either.
"How would that 50% work?
If one senator from NY votes, is that counted as 1/2 of NY's population?"
Yeah, that's the basic idea.
"The Senate is unrepresentative, as I noted, but unlike the House it cannot be gerrymandered."
In the case of the Senate, it was gerrymandered, but the gerrymandering took place in 1787. There are technically ways to undo it, but all are impractical.
"how about getting basic representation for DC and the territories?'
I don't have any problem giving representation to DC. I prefer that over moving it to MD, if only because that would just increase the unfairness of the Senate. Giving DC its own Senators would help balance things out. Of course, Joe's suggestion is much more practical.
Equally amusing, halfwit, are the clips of all the GOP Senators or other mouthpieces discussing how the filibuster was undemocratic and that the nuclear option has to be invoked.
And of course Brett has the analysis that is much more likely correct: the idea that the Dems would cede potential power as a minority just as they anticipate becoming the minority makes zero sense. The Senate is 100 egomaniacs. None of them give up power lightly. In 2011, the Democrats had barely hung on to their majority thanks to idiots like you nominating even bigger idiots like Sharron Angle and the moron running for Senate in Delaware. It wasn't exactly a great time to expend political capital. Nearly 3 years on, in the face of unprecedented GOP obstructionism, with a crisis of vacancies on the federal bench, and the GOP polling behind the ebola virus, it makes far more sense that the Democrats are confident in keeping or increasing their majority and therefore pulled the trigger.
U: And of course Brett has the analysis that is much more likely correct: the idea that the Dems would cede potential power as a minority just as they anticipate becoming the minority makes zero sense.
And whose nominees would the new Senate Dem minority need to filibuster in 2015?
The Democrats probably also believe that Hillary is a lock for 2016 so there is no need for a filibuster for maybe the next decade.
The Democrats are giving up no short term power by ceding the filibuster. However, they get to ram through a lot of lifetime judicial appointments.
That is the political calculus.
Short sighted to be sure, but the Democrats see their "permanent majority" crashing and burning with Obamacare and want to make hay while the sun still shines.
You are free to offer a plausible alternative take for the Democrats' 180 degree reversal.
Vince- yeah, I am pretty familiar with the Rules of Proceedings Clause and, if you poke around Point of Order, you will see that I have written a fair amount regarding its relevance to the filibuster.
What happened in the Senate today, as I understand it, is that a point of order was made to the effect that cloture on pending nominations required only a simple majority. The presiding officer ruled against this point of order because Senate rules explicitly say that a three-fifths vote is required. The Senate then voted to reverse that ruling.
Is it your position that the Rules of Proceedings Clause means that the Senate’s decision is correct, regardless of what the actual rules say? That is by no means an obvious implication of the Clause. To the contrary, I maintain that the recognition of congressional rules by the Constitution necessarily means that those rules have a content independent of the body’s will at any particular moment. Otherwise there would be no rules at all.
A number of theories have been advanced to the effect that the Senate’s existing rules unconstitutionally infringe on the right of a simple majority to take certain actions. My point today was that none of these theories would support the Senate’s action here because they provide no basis for distinguishing between Supreme Court nominations and other nominations. Maybe Gerard would back me up on that, if he cares to express an opinion. Of course the Senate’s action is also illegal under the theory advanced by Gerard and other legal experts in their letter to the Senate last December. Curiously, they do not seem too concerned about that.
"Of course the Senate’s action is also illegal under the theory advanced by Gerard and other legal experts in their letter to the Senate last December. Curiously, they do not seem too concerned about that.'
without recognizing that he may be the one out of step and not these legal experts. Obviously mls is not concerned with the Senate GOP's political misuse of its rules during Obama's five years as mls dances on a point of order.
I think the explanation is a little different. The Democratic base has been severely demoralized by the Obamacare fiasco, and this is simply an attempt to toss them a little red meat as a moral builder and prevent a total collapse of party discipline. I don't think Sen. Reid and Pres. Obama are thinking much beyond the next week at this point.
On the question of whether the Senate can change its rules during a session, the answer is that they have done so in the past. And there is no appeal from a ruling of the Senate. Thus, to the extent that there is a constitutional argument against it, it's basically just a factor that Senators should weigh in their vote.
"Something fundamental has changed in their political calculus to drive this complete 180 degree shift in position. I would love to be able to read their internal polling."
# posted by Blogger Bart DePalma
The obvious answer for any honest person who's aware of any history at all is the fact that the GOP broke their agreement during the Bush II administration.
Oh good lord. You are truly dimwitted.
A) Tell me genius, what is the next step in the filibuster reform? It's not going backwards...in all likelihood, it's going to continue to expand. It's a short step to eliminating the filibuster as to SCOTUS Justices or more types of legislation. And make no mistake, this was an opening salvo in that regard. You think the Democrats are going to face that risk a year before they supposedly will lose their majority?
B) You think a Senator is going to give away power for a executive appointments who have, at most, just over two years in their position? You think they care THAT much about the DC Circuit that they'd give away veto power a year before they are supposedly heading into the minority?
C) Your fevered dreams about the impact of Obamacare and it being a boon for the GOP in the next to election cycles are delusional. The web site is already operating much better and enrollments are accelerating. The number of people that it is impacting negatively is far smaller than those they are helping.
Dimwitted and delusional.
You packed a lot into that brief comment. Let me try to untangle it.
First, the Senate was ruling on a point of order so it was not, at least ostensibly, “changing the rules.” What it was doing, or what it was supposed to be doing, was interpreting and applying the rules.
Second, the Senate could not have been interpreting the rules in the ordinary sense because Senate rules are unambiguous on the point in question. You agree, do you not, that there is no way to interpret Senate rules so as to justify what the Senate did?
There have certainly been instances where the Senate made rulings that altered past practice or precedent. But that hardly justifies the Senate in reading a rule that says “up” to mean “down.” Are you saying that there is precedent for doing that? Even if you could point to some precedent, wouldn’t that be the equivalent of saying that because the Supreme Court has issued clearly erroneous decisions in the past, it can legitimately make clearly erroneous decisions in the future?
Third, if we assume that the Senate was not in fact interpreting its rules, then by process of elimination it must have been doing what you urged in your letter to the Senate, which is to hold the rules unconstitutional. Your letter said that this could be lawfully done only with respect to a motion to amend the rules of the first day of a new Congress so, under your theory, what the Senate did was unlawful.
Granted, unlike the interpretive issue, reasonable people could disagree on the constitutional point. A senator could plausibly defend the position that the existing cloture rule is unconstitutional and can be struck down at any time. But there is no way to plausibly defend the position that the rule is unconstitutional only as to non-Supreme Court nominations. Again, tell me if you disagree.
The Senate could have moved to amend the rules so as to eliminate the filibuster with respect to non-Supreme Court nominations and then it could have ruled that the application of the cloture rule to such motion was unconstitutional. Instead, it chose to use what Steve Smith and Sarah Binder agreed was a “brute force” approach, which essentially says “we can do whatever we want so it doesn’t matter what the law says.” That approach makes the Senate’s use of the nuclear option even more damaging to the rule of law than it otherwise would be.
Finally, I think everyone agrees that there is no appeal from the Senate’s ruling. But I assume you are not suggesting that this fact somehow mitigates the Senate’s obligation to act lawfully. Or are you? Because that type of thinking is exactly what I think is the core problem with what the Senate did.
Is there "no basis for distinguishing between Supreme Court nominations and other nominations"?
Is there really no basis for such a distinction. Let's take a look. The first basis is that there are vacancies in the lower federal courts, while there are no vacancies in the Supreme Court and there has been no problem with long vacancies on that Court. There are three long-standing vacancies on the D.C. Circuit. This suggests at least one factual basis for the distinction.
Second, a filibuster of a Supreme Court nominees has not been used at least since 1968, when Senate opposition to Abe Fortas cause him to withdraw his nomination and leave the Court. (There is a tiny historical debate whether it was a real filibuster, but we will assume for now that it was). Numerous nominees for the lower courts have just been filibustered, including three for the D.C. Circuit. This is another factual distinction.
Third, the Constitution is clear and unambiguous: "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings...." Most would agree that this is a plenary grant of authority, but there are limitations. The Senate cannot use its rulemaking power to change the majority vote requirement, to originate a bill raising revenue, or to adjourn without House consent for more than three days. It cannot use its rules to bypass the Presentation Clause with a congressional veto (Chadha) or to bypass the two-thirds requirement for expelling a Member by refusing to seat him (Powell). This is a power committed by the text of the Constitution to the discretion of one of the three branches of the federal government. Nothing in the Constitution limits the authority of the Senate to distinguish between the Supreme Court and other judicial nominations.
Fourth, under the express terms of the Constitution, the Supreme Court is in fact different from the lower federal courts. In mandatory language, the "judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court...." By contrast, it may be vested "in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." The Supreme Court exists because of the Constitution, while the lower courts are the creatures of Congress. Congress has complete discretion over the jurisdiction of the lower courts, while Supreme Court jurisdiction is set forth in Article III These are a sound bases for distinctions.
Finally, the Supreme Court is different because it is supreme. The lower courts are bound by precedent from higher courts, but the Supreme Court can reverse its own precedents. Its constitutional holding can only be reversed by its own later decision or by constitutional amendment. Its Justices are far more powerful than any lower federal judges.
mls maintains "that the recognition of congressional rules by the Constitution necessarily means that those rules have a content independent of the body’s will at any particular moment. Otherwise there would be no rules at all." Where do we find this content? Is it a brooding omnipresence in the sky over the Capitol? I maintain that the limits on the rulemaking power must be derived in the text and structure of the Constitution itself:
Houses of Congress may not “ignore constitutional
restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should
be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding
established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained.
But within these limitations all matters of method are open
to the determination of the house. . . ." [U.S. v. Ballin, 144 U.S. 1, 5 (1892)]
The new rule does not impair fundamental rights by, for example, discriminating according to race, sex or religion. I have listed numerous rational bases for it, and I am sure there are many more.
I agree with the professors when they wrote last December that "no pre-existing internal procedural rule can limit the constitutional authority of each new Senate to determine by majority vote its own rules of procedure." But I do not think they directly addressed the question whether the determination may take place in mid-session. I disagree with the notion that the rulemaking power cannot be exercised mid-session. I agree that "The letter is also misleading when it suggests that the Senate’s 'unquestioned constitutional power' is limited to the first day."
Do "the Rules of Proceedings Clause means that the Senate’s decision is correct, regardless of what the actual rules say?" Yes. I think that no pre-existing internal procedural rule can limit the constitutional authority of each Senate to determine by majority vote its own rules of procedure; its authority is limited by the Constitution, but not by its own rules; its exercise is not limited to the opening of a new Senate.
I think Vince Treacy's account, including why the Supreme Court is different is quite excellent. I think the latter point is particularly important -- I think the Senate has the power to for little good reason draw lines that do not otherwise violate the rules of the game (as VT cited), but those are some good substantive reasons.
There are various "rules" here -- limits on what the Senate can do given textual limits and such things as use of majority rule to change rules in an open fashion so that each senator has a chance to be aware of the rule change and provide a reasoned vote.
As with the PPACA, I'm not going to invent new limits, especially since the text provides limits and furthers republican ends. This idea that the alternative is lawless is strange to me. At most, it is a matter of a dispute over what the rules ARE.
Finally, I think there is an additional reason to change the rules mid-term. The Republicans are in effect acting in bad faith. If some minority, in the judgment of the majority (rule-making not one of the areas the text provides a supermajority requirement) games the system, such as the "extraordinary circumstances" test agreed to by the Gang of 14 agreement, unclean hands can be shown. This can provide grounds as a safety mechanism to change the rules. This is in effect the actual reason the Dems changed the rules too.
Regardless, there is a text. It says each house can set the rules of proceedings. A majority, using aboveboard voting, followed proper procedures, proper law, and changed the rule.
We can like ACA debate the merits, but the constitutional argument is imho very weak.
Unknown: "And of course Brett has the analysis that is much more likely correct: the idea that the Dems would cede potential power as a minority just as they anticipate becoming the minority makes zero sense. The Senate is 100 egomaniacs. None of them give up power lightly. In 2011, the Democrats had barely hung on to their majority thanks to idiots like you nominating even bigger idiots like Sharron Angle and the moron running for Senate in Delaware. It wasn't exactly a great time to expend political capital. Nearly 3 years on, in the face of unprecedented GOP obstructionism, with a crisis of vacancies on the federal bench, and the GOP polling behind the ebola virus, it makes far more sense that the Democrats are confident in keeping or increasing their majority and therefore pulled the trigger."
This is something that few others haven noticed (and none of the alleged Wise Men/Women of the punditry): 52 Senators voted to trim Senatorial perogatives a bit. This is a rare thing, I believe.
It's rare I say McCain was right about something, but he noted right after this that most of the Democratic Senators have NEVER been in the minority. The prospect of being in the minority isn't real to them, it's outside their experience. Many of the others have been around long enough they probably don't expect to have to experience the long term. So, why should they care?
It's a combination of short time horizons, and not really being able to believe they might end up needing the filibuster.
I'm guessing the calculation on the Dem side goes something like this: They may end up the minority in 2014, but it won't matter, with Obama President they don't need the filibuster. They may lose the Presidency in 2016, but would likely regain the majority, given whose seats will be up then.
The only time they need the filibuster is when they're the minority, AND a Republican is President, and they don't see that happening until 2018 at the earliest, and possibly never.
So they see no downside, and the obvious upside: That they can do whatever they want in the Senate, there might as well not be any Republican Senators anymore.
Now, here's a question: Does anybody really believe that the filibuster has actually been retained for votes on bills and Supreme court nominations? I think the pressure to abolish it there the first time they're thwarted will be irresistible.
Per Brett's comment on John McCain, it should be noted that most voters for GOP elected officials have never been in the minority and fear the changing demographics (as noted by Sen. Lindsey Graham (Cracker, SCar) during the 2012 campaign that there weren't enough angry white male voters). Also, McCain seems to have forgotten that his Whacko Bird Sen Cruz came into the Senate in January of this year and took a leadership role in the shutdown/credit brouhaha.
Brett: It's rare I say McCain was right about something, but he noted right after this that most of the Democratic Senators have NEVER been in the minority. The prospect of being in the minority isn't real to them, it's outside their experience. Many of the others have been around long enough they probably don't expect to have to experience the long term. So, why should they care?
This may be a valid take, but it is also irrelevant. The Democrats needed nearly their entire caucus to partially repeal the filibuster - including the senior Dems who worked in the minority less than a decade ago. This decision was not made based upon a lack of institutional experience.
I'm guessing the calculation on the Dem side goes something like this...The only time they need the filibuster is when they're the minority, AND a Republican is President, and they don't see that happening until 2018 at the earliest, and possibly never.
Now, here's a question: Does anybody really believe that the filibuster has actually been retained for votes on bills and Supreme court nominations? I think the pressure to abolish it there the first time they're thwarted will be irresistible.
The GOP House will not pass anything remaining on the Democrat agenda, so repealing the filibuster for legislation at this time gains the Democrats nothing and removes a tool they may want in 2015.
If a conservative justice were to retire or die and Obama had the chance to create a progressive majority on the Court to rubber stamp Democrat policies, a Democrat Senate would repeal the filibuster for Supreme Court confirmations in a NY second. Otherwise, there is nothing to gain by repeal at this time.
"most of the Democratic Senators have NEVER been in the minority"
The Republicans controlled the Senate until Jan. 2006. Democratic Senators who were in office then who voted in support (Leahy is sort of a split deal but he showed some support beforehand):
Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Tom Carper, Bill Nelson, Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Mary Landrieu, Barbara Mikulski, Debbie Stabenow, Max_Baucus, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Ron Wyden, Jack Reed, Tim Johnson, Patrick Leahy, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Jay Rockefeller and then there is Ed Markey (minority member of House became senator).
I might have missed someone, but "most" starts to seem a bit off. Also, Biden can be tossed in here too. The others, of course, were present in public life as the U.S. Senate changed hands repeatedly since the 1990s. I'm not counting those who might have been in the minority in statehouses.
Maybe, that is not a great way to frame it? Maybe, you have to look at the numbers, and see the Republicans overdid it? Now, Brett likes this, given his political ideology -- he doesn't like the feds to do much.
But, others have a different view of things. So, twenty people who knew personally what being in the minority in the U.S. Congress meant voted to change the rules (or re-interpret them).
J. Harvie Wilkinson, III's WaPo Op-Ed "Bipartisan approval lends a sense of balance to the judiciary" is worth a read, but a very careful read. A "related" link is provided by WaPo to Judge Wilkinson's (4th Cir.) 1/23/09 Op-Ed "Storming the 4th Circuit?" addressing vacancies on his court and how the then newly elected Pres. Obama might fill them. I did not note that the current Op-Ed answered the question of the earlier Op-Ed. But perhaps Judge Wilkinson in each instance has too quickly pulled the trigger of his concerns. There had been the election in 2009 of Pres. Obama. There had been in 2012 his reelection. Elections have always had consequences for the judiciary. Bipartisanship can be rewarding for a nation. Was similar concern expressed when George W. Bush was "appointed" by the Supreme Court in December of 2000?
Pres. Obama should not have to walk on conservative fired coals. Judge Wilkinson does not provide the background for the Senate's recent action. Since Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009, the GOP in Congress have made it clear that Obama will have to walk on coals. Bipartsanship went out the window with the 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore.
Judge Wilkinson is an honorable man but has pulled the trigger too quickly, twice, on Pres. Obama (although the Judge was not quick on the trigger with Heller and the Second Amendment). The center Judge Wilkinson references in his current Op-Ed hasn't existed since Obama became President because of GOP conservatives' opposition on everything Obama.
The effect of this could actually be somewhat positive in the long run; The threat of filibuster hasn't prevented ideological extremists from making it into the judiciary, it has merely selected for dishonest ideological extremists. Now that they can openly show their colors and still get confirmed, the ones willing to lie about their views cease to have the advantage.Buy FUT 14 Coins
The Senate Democrats dealt with the GOP filibuster in 2011, correctly expected to keep the Senate in 2012 and made no move to eliminate the filibuster. Instead, they cut deals where Obama got most of his appointments, but the most radical were blocked.lol欧服代练
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