November 12, 2004


Frist Warns on Filibusters Over Bush Nominees (CARL HULSE, 11/12/04, NY Times)

Issuing a blunt warning to Democrats, the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, said Thursday that the newly strengthened Republican majority would not allow filibusters to block action on judicial nominees in President Bush's second term.

"One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end," Dr. Frist, Republican of Tennessee, said in a speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative lawyers' group. "The Senate must do what is good, what is right, what is reasonable and what is honorable." [...]

The Senate Rules Committee approved a plan last year that would gradually lower the threshold for filibusters against judicial nominees until a simple majority would allow a final vote. But a change in the rules requires 67 votes, and lacking anything near that support, the proposal never went to the floor.

Senator Trent Lott, the Mississippi Republican who is chairman of the Rules Committee, has been among the Republicans who have also suggested that the Republicans try to win a change by seeking a ruling from the chairman, a position that a Republican would hold, that filibusters against executive nominations are unconstitutional. A favorable ruling would require just a majority to uphold.

They are anti-constitutional. The Framers had no problem delineating when supermajorities are required.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2004 8:13 AM

One of the better tag lines to come out our little "right wing conspiracy" in IL is...

If you "Bork" our nominees, we'll "Daschle" your senators.

Let's throw that one into the meme pool.

Posted by: BB at November 12, 2004 10:37 AM

Have the Republicans ever filibustered anything? As far as I know the only party that has ever used the filibuster is the Democrat Party.

I see no reason why the Republicans shouldn't use the nuclear option on it.

On the other hand, the Democrats have a lot of very old senators, I think the Republicans ought to just force the fillibuster issue early in the next session with marathon sessions and see if they can't break the Democrats physically. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Teddy Kennedy had a stroke?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 12, 2004 10:15 PM


The GOP (under Dole) successfully filibustered Clinton's first legislative offering - his $16 billion stimulus in 1993. It prompted one of Bill's more memorable quotes: "I'm amazed that a minority can frustrate the majority".

Posted by: jim hamlen at November 13, 2004 8:22 AM