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President Barack Obama talks with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) backstage before his town hall meeting at Green Valley High School in Henderson, Nev., Feb. 19, 2010.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)..This official White House photo
Tell him to go nuclear, Mr. President.
President Obama met with Senate Democrats in a closed door luncheon Tuesday, and according to both a senior Senate Democratic aide and a White House official, urged them to do something to address the problem of Republican obstruction of his nominees.
The White House official said Obama “made it clear that it was a priority—particularly with judges and asked for more help identifying nominees and getting them passed.” [...]

Just this month, Republicans once again filibustered Caitlin Halligan, whom Obama first designated to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals more than two years ago.

The story isn’t much better for nominees who do get confirmed. On Monday, the Senate confirmed Richard Taranto for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 484 days after he was nominated. He was confirmed 91-0. Friday marked one year since Obama nominated Patty Shwartz to serve on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; her nomination is still pending.

Judicial nominations have been the standout examples of Republican obstruction. The majority of nominees who've been waiting for month and months for votes are completely non-controversial, passed out of the Judiciary Committee with no significant opposition, only to hit the logjam created by GOP filibustered. But now, Republicans have taken it up a notch with the unprecedented filibusters of Chuck Hagel, eventually confirmed as secretary of Defense, and Richard Cordray, whom they're still blocking at the CFPB.

These filibusters show that there's really no length Republicans won't go to to try to destroy government. They have no respect for the institution of the Senate, its history and their own singular role in governing. They aren't bound by their own promises, as Harry Reid has painfully (and inevitably) learned.

If even Obama is urging drastic action, it's time for drastic action. Please sign our petition urging Harry Reid to re-open the process of filibuster reform in the Senate.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:24 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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