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View Diary: Elizabeth Warren argues strongly for filibuster reform (222 comments)

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  •  Sword cuts both ways... (1+ / 0-)
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    ...and there are often calls for filibusters (for example for Justice Robert's nomination) here on DK.

    I personally see no reason for executive positions to require the advice and consent of the Senate. These nominees serve at the pleasure of the President and get changed more often than Presidents (or, for that matter, the air filter on my furnace). It seems that by voting for a President, the people should trust that candidate to appoint cabinet members -- after all, they are trusting the POTUS with other powers much greater and, if abused, far more dangerous.

    It seems lower court nominees should be filibuster proof - simple majority approval would keep the worst of the worst nutjobs out even if the POTUS was a nutjob. These positions become available at a relatively consistent rate as judges retire or die so each President will get to nominate pretty much the same number each term. As well, their decisions are subject to higher level review (at the limit, the SCOTUS) so the damage a nut can do is limited. Anyway, some of them, no matter how carefully vetted, will be unstable or unpredictable at any point in time (due to mental illness or weird shifts in viewpoint). So, as long as a simple majority of Senators approve, let them take office -- the damage they can inflict is limited.

    SCOTUS I feel a bit different about. They are the final court of appeal, there are very few of them, many important decisions hinge on one justice's vote, they can override both the Legislative and Executive branches on most anything with little risk of being "overturned" (by, for example, packing the court). Obviously, this is exacerbated by the fact they serve for life if they wish. Thus, a single President can have a major impact on the court's composition well beyond that President's time in office. Hence, I rather like the notion that if we get a Nutjob in the White House and Nutjob's party also has a majority in the Senate that the bar is a bit higher and the filibuster reflects that. Of course, I think all filibusters should require holding the floor and should probably require the party filibustering to keep their members on the floor as well.

    ...remember, another party may occupy the White House in a little over four years and the majority in the Senate may be of another party at that time. Obama's victory was not a landslide and the opponent was very weak. As far as the Senate, not every opposition candidate will shoot themselves in the foot like Akin's did.

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