Saturday, January 28, 2006

An end to filibustering judges

There is one point that the Bushies have been screaming that does actually have some merit. It is a disgrace that so many judicial nominees have been filibustered (or otherwise blocked from receiving an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor) in the last 13 years. Of course, it is also a disgrace that these two Presidents have nominated so many candidates against whom the opposition was willing to mount a filibuster.

The so-called Nuclear Option has been discussed, the idea being that 50 Senators can decide that they don't really need a 2/3 vote to change a rule that says they need 60 votes to approve a controversial nominee.

I thus propose the following modification to the Rules of the United States Senate:

Upon written request by at least one fifth of the members, the advice and consent of the Senate to the nomination of a federal judge shall require a two-thirds vote in the affirmative.
This rule can take effect immediately, with only a simple 2/3 vote of the Senate to pass it. If the Continental Congress could require unanimity for the Declaration of Independence, surely we can get a 2/3 vote for Supreme Court nominees.