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View Diary: Frist to change Senate filibuster rules (137 comments)

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  •  its a tough situation (none)
    the democrats really did set the bar where it now takes 60 senators to confirm a circuit court judge (and almost certainly a supreme court justice).  This might be good or bad but its certainly a change from what the standard previously was.  I do think 60 is a little high but I could certanly see 55 or 57 as being the proper number.

    But here is the real issue- lets say Kerry was in office with a 55 seat republican senate.  Aside from all the nominees that would get buried in the judiciary committee, how many would Kerry really pass if he had to convince 15 republicans to confirm a judge?  

    •  If the republicans didn't like it (none)
      they would make sure it never got out of committee.
      •  absolutey (none)
        I have thought for a long time that every nominee deserved an up or down vote.  My proposal when the estrada business started (after the jeffords switch) was to get a bipartisan rule change effective in 05 where every nominee was guaranteed a vote on the floor but there needed to be a 55 seat margin to confirm them.  That way the majority party could still shut down nominees, but they had to do it in front of the whole world in an up or down vote.  When the senate was 51-49 dem at that time no one thought the republicans would have 55 seats at this point, so that idea is out.  But the problem is that even if both sides agreed to pass that law, there just would be no guarantee that future senates wouldn't just use the nuclear option to change the rule again.

        But you are completely right, judges the republicans didn't like would have just been buried in the committee where the public won't ever hear about it.  SPecter might have had a big affect if Kerry had won because of this.  At this point Specter just isn't likely to matter.

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