I fully support the proposal to modify the Senate rules to prevent filibusters for judicial nominees. My advice to Senate Republicans is to get on with it and change the rules already. Do it first thing Monday morning.
It’s the good judicial nominees that the Democrats are blocking. The ones who believe in strict construction and in the original intent of the Constitution. The ones most deserving of serving as judges.
This issue is bigger than the nominees currently being filibustered. Between now and the end of Bush’s term, more judicial slots will be open for nomination, including Supreme Court positions. Are the Republicans going to let Democrats filibuster the nomination of a conservative Supreme Court Justice, one whose philosophy is similar to Justice Scalia?
It’s obvious that if the Democrats are going to use the filibuster against nominations to lower courts, they are certainly going to use it for a Supreme Court nomination. Therefore the Republicans should just get rid of the filibuster now instead of letting the issue drag on for the next three years. Republicans mustn't let Democrats cow Bush into nominating a Souter-like Justice to the Supreme Court.
The only reason for not getting rid of the filibuster is the theory that in the future a Republican minority in the Senate could use it against a Democratic president nominating liberal justices. I use the word “theory” because (1) who knows when that scenario is going to happen? and (2) if that scenario does happen the Democrats could just as easily change the rules as the Republicans can now.
I applaud Dick Cheney for supporting the elimination of the filibuster. (See today’s Washington Post.) Stephen at Hold the Mayo asks if this was too soon. “The question remaining is was the timing right for Cheney's statement.” No, it’s not too soon, it’s too late, the Republicans should have done this already.
The liberals are, of course, upset about this. For example, Blogenlust writes, “…the Republicans want to end the filibuster for no other reason than to grab more power[.]” It’s not about “grabbing” anything, it’s about getting good deserving nominees onto the courts, using the existing power granted by the Article II Section 2 of the Constitution. And we know very well that Democrats would do the same thing if they were in power and the Republicans were being as obstructionist as the Democrats currently are.