Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ah, how the times have changed

In support of the "nuclear option." Note the date. Harry Reid, are you listening?

The Filibuster:

by Ronald D. Rotunda, Cato Institute
July 7, 2003

"The filibuster has a long history, but its pedigree should not make us proud. It prevented civil rights legislation from being adopted for nearly a century. Now a minority of senators is using it to prevent the Senate from voting on judicial nominees even though a majority of the senators from both parties would vote to confirm if they only could vote.

The modern filibuster is much more powerful than its historical predecessor because it is invisible: The Senate rules do not require any senator to actually hold the floor to filibuster. Instead, a minority of 41 senators simply notifies the Senate leadership of its intent to filibuster. Other Senate business goes on, but a vote on a particular issue -- a nomination -- cannot be brought to a vote. The present Senate rules that create the filibuster also do not allow the Senate to change the filibuster rules unless 67 senators agree. However, these rules should not bind the present Senate any more than a statute that says that it cannot be repealed until 67 percent of the Senate votes to repeal the statute. An earlier Senate cannot bind a present Senate on this issue." (the rest...)

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