Republicans Holding Firm So Far on DC Court Filibuster Threat


Apparently Republicans are holding firm on their threat to filibuster every single nominee ever to the DC Circuit Court. Every single Democratic nominee, that is. Not because they have any particular objections to them, but just because they don’t want to lose the current Republican majority on the DC Court.

(Technically, their argument is that the DC Court is “underworked” and all its open seats should be permanently eliminated. This is so obviously specious there’s no real need to pretend to take it seriously.)

In any case, Ed Kilgore wonders if this will ignite any summer recess passion among progressives:

The question is whether […] Democratic senators leery of a general position opposing filibusters of life-time judicial nominations might make an exception if the filibusters are being advanced on this type of specious ground rather than objections to the qualifications of individual judges.

The timing, with three DC Circuit nominations heading towards the Senate floor immediately after the August recess, is interesting. Will senators hear about this relatively obscure issue when they are back home? That’s hard to say….It would be nice if Democratic senators known to be wobbly on filibuster reform–ranging from outright opponents like Carl Levin to more questionable cases like Mark Pryor and Reid himself–heard from progressives on this issue in August. I see no particular merit in the counter-argument that countenancing filibusters to preserve the overall ideological character of this or that federal panel is a weapon Democrats might want to use in the future. The kind of judges a Republican president is likely to nominate any time in the near future are going to have the track records and associations that make them debatable on their individual merits; our conservative friends will make damn sure of that.

OK, then. You have your marching orders. Go raise some hell.

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