Category Archive 'Nuclear Option'

22 Nov 2013

They’ll Be Sorry!

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Randy Barnett posted, at Volokh:

Restoring the Lost Constitution just got much easier.

This is an historic moment on our constitutional history. With the change of Senate rules today by a simple majority to [allow a simple majority to] close debate on judicial nominations, a Rubicon has been crossed. Restoring the Lost Constitution has now been made far more feasible, and will make the 2014 & 2016 of enormous importance to our constitutional future.

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Krauthammer gleefully observed:

I’m always amused by the nuclear option debate because it is without a doubt the most spectacular display of Congressional hypocrisy, which is saying a lot. Because whenever the minority party is arguing, it says that this is a very important, indeed a majestic part of our constitution. And as soon as the minority become the majority, like Harry Reid and the Democrats and Obama, all of a sudden it’s terrible instrument of obstruction.

Look, as a matter of the means in which this was done, it was a rather lowdown way. This is a fundamental change of the structure of the rules of the Senate and done on strict party lines, which it should not be. The same way, incidentally, Obamacare, a major reform, on party lines. That should not be. But on the substance of the change, I think the Democrats have stumbled upon the truth as they do every decade or so. If you are not to know who is in power, I think it’s a better idea for the president to have the ability to nominate his nominees, judicial and executive, without having to get a supermajority.

And the other part of it, as a conservative, I am extremely happy that the Democrats are doing this. The prospects are very strong that the Democrats are going to lose the Senate next year and there is an excellent chance of losing the White House. And the Democrats will absolutely rue the day because they not only are going to allow a Republican majority — which will come one day anyway — to get its nominees through, but Chuck Grassley has said that when Republicans come into you power, they’re going to include Supreme Court nominees, and that will be a devastating blow to the liberals on the Court and to the liberals in the country. So I don’t think Democrats will remember this day with any joy in the near future.

22 Nov 2013

Hypocrites

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23 Jan 2013

Harry Reid, Hypocrite

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It is being reported today that Harry Reid is demanding major Senate procedural concessions from minority Republicans designed to ensure simple majority passage of highly controversial legislation traditionally vulnerable to being blocked or delayed by the filibuster.

The Hill reports:

A coalition of liberal groups met at the headquarters of the National Education Association (NEA) shortly after Obama won reelection to set strategy for advancing his second-term agenda. One of the primary goals emerging from the meeting was enacting filibuster reform. …

[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid has begun to show signs of impatience with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), with whom he has been negotiating for weeks. He said Tuesday that he and McConnell have made progress, but added, “[W]e’ve got a long way to go.”

The Nevada Democrat said he would give Republicans another 24 to 36 hours to agree to filibuster reform and then trigger the so-called nuclear option. This controversial tactic would allow him to change the Senate rules with a simple majority vote.

“I hope within the next 24 to 36 hours we can get something we agree on. If not, we’re going to move forward on what I think needs to be done. The caucus will support me on that,” Reid told reporters.

Although its use has been threatened in the past to spur the minority party to agree to reforms, the nuclear option has never been used to change the standing rules, say parliamentary experts.

Reid has come under heavy pressure from liberal advocacy groups to drastically limit the minority party’s power to filibuster and delay legislation.

This is the same Harry Reid who, in 2005, back when Republicans had a majority in the Senate and democrats were using the filibuster to block confirmation of nominations (like John Bolton for UN Ambassador) that they didn’t like, and Republicans threatened to change the Senate rules, accused Republicans excessive partisanship and of bending to “the whispered wishes of a few right wing activists,” and desperately demanded the preservation of the filibuster as an affirmation of bipartisanship.

If Reid uses the nuclear option, he is going to be very sorry in 2014 or 2016 when majority control of the Senate returns to Republicans.


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