Judge Strikes Down Constitutional Challenge to the Filibuster

By: Friday December 21, 2012 12:51 pm

If there’s going to be reform to the Senate’s rules, it’s going to have to come from the Senate itself. That’s the implication of a ruling in federal court today throwing out a Constitutional challenge to the filibuster.

 

Senators Getting Cold Feet on Changing Rules by Majority Vote

By: Monday December 10, 2012 3:01 pm

The one reason that a set of filibuster reforms that fall short of eliminating the 60-vote Senate may still allow for majoritarian democracy in that body is that it would set the precedent that the Senate can determine its rules with a majority vote rather than a 2/3 vote. The minority still obstructing consistently would [...]

Boehner Threatens No Votes on Senate Bills if Democrats Push Through Filibuster Reform

By: Friday November 30, 2012 9:29 am

John Boehner, who is not now nor has ever been a Senator, has nonetheless decided to insert himself into the debate over Senate rules reform. Boehner threatened to ignore all bills coming from the Senate passed with the help of a reformed filibuster, which is really all bills, since ending the filibuster on the motion to proceed would apply to all legislation.

White House Makes Politically Expedient End Run By “Designating” Elisse Walter SEC Chair

By: Monday November 26, 2012 12:50 pm

The White House, in announcing the departure of Mary Schapiro as Chairwoman of the SEC, also took the unusual step of “designating” her replacement – a way to fill the vacancy at the top of the commission without confirmation in the Senate. Elisse Walter, a current commissioner, will replace Schapiro.

Sunday Late Night: Ace Won’t Confirm Any Nominee for State Until Pudding

By: Sunday November 18, 2012 8:01 pm

John McCain’s views seem to have evolved since four days ago when he told The Three Dumbest People on Television that he would “do everything in my power to block the nomination of Susan Rice to be Secretary of State.”

Now he won’t allow anyone to become Secretary of State until, well, pudding.

Filibuster Reform Support Still Short of a Majority in the Senate

By: Tuesday November 13, 2012 3:30 pm

With the expectation of a series of new cabinet appointments (though not Attorney General, apparently) comes the expectation of a number of bruising nomination fights on the floor of the Senate. In particular, Senate Republicans seem to want to collect a scalp if UN Ambassador Susan Rice gets nominated to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. They blame Rice for providing false information about the attack on the consulate in Benghazi.

Republicans may or may not have the muscle to get this done. But they certainly would not if Democrats simply ended the undemocratic, extra-Constitutional super-majority Senate through changes to the rules process.

Turning Pretty Words Like “Bipartisanship” Into Action

By: Saturday November 10, 2012 9:00 am

With the election over, let the haggling begin. I’m not talking about the back-and-forth over the Fiscal Hillock (h/t Jackdawracy at Calculated Risk). I’m talking about nominations. Judicial nominations in particular.

Consideration of dozens of nominees have been stalled in the Senate, and dozens more vacancies lack nominees. Everyone who follows these things knew that any action this summer, as the election was getting into full swing, was not going to happen. Well, the election is over . . . and still the nominees wait. The judicial emergencies continue, and justice is increasingly delayed for thousands as dockets around the country continue to build.

Both Obama and the GOP need to demonstrate that they can do more than simply talk about working with one another; moving forward on these judicial nominations would be a good place to turn their pretty words into action.

When Gridlock Works: Cybersecurity Bill Stuffed, for Now

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 1:00 pm

The Senate, unable to come up with a schedule for amendments, blocked the cybersecurity bill today in an outcome that, despite being a result of Republican obstruction, satisfied Internet activists who had been urging a no vote.

Judicial Nominations Likely Dead for the Year After Senate GOP Filibuster

By: Tuesday July 31, 2012 6:45 am

Senate Republicans believe that no more judicial nominees should be confirmed for the balance of the year until the elections, citing something called the Thurmond rule, which sets an arbitrary deadline for election-year confirmations. So the withheld enough votes to deny 60-vote confirmation of a judge so conservative he was acceptable to Oklahoma’s Senators.

McConnell Will Allow Majority Votes on Competing Tax Plans in Senate

By: Wednesday July 25, 2012 10:47 am

There’s been a twist in the tax debate in the Senate. Before now, everyone assumed that the procedural votes today on competing tax plans were largely procedural, and would both get beaten back by forcing a 60-vote cloture threshold on them. But Mitch McConnell just announced that he would allow a majority vote on both proposals.

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