Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Republicans Filibuster Another Obama Judicial Nominee

The Republicans have filibustered yet another Obama top judicial nominee, Nina Pillard (left). Early this year, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) backed down from getting rid of the 60-vote filibuster threshold. One wonders whether the Democrats are finally ready to change the rules:

Senate Republicans escalated the showdown over the nuclear option in dramatic fashion Tuesday with a second consecutive filibuster of a top judicial nominee, daring Democrats to put up or shut up when it comes to changing the rules.

Nina Pillard, President Barack Obama's nominee to the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, received 56 votes to move forward, short of the 60 needed to break a filibuster. Two weeks ago, Republicans filibustered Patricia Millett to the same court. A third nominee, Robert Wilkins, is expected to have the same fate in a vote that has yet to be scheduled.

...Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) emphasized Pillard's qualifications as a Georgetown law professor who has argued nine cases before the Supreme Court. He stressed that it's the third female nominee -- including Millett and Caitlin Halligan -- that the GOP has filibustered to the D.C. Circuit court for "nakedly partisan reasons."

...Norm Ornstein, a congressional expert at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, told TPM that the GOP's mass filibuster of D.C. Circuit nominees is unprecedented and an attempt at "nullification." If Republicans don't let up, he said, then "then I don't see much other choice" for Democrats other than to go nuclear.

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