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the filibuster compromise

When Russ Feingold and James Dobson agree that it sucks, you know that a good compromise has been reached.

...or has it?  I don't know.  Even in this compromise there's a weakening of the traditions of congress.  There's nothing I would have liked more than to see a vote to change the rules of congress go down in flames.  But what are the chances that would have happened?  I don't really know.

This was not a schoolyard battle, this wasn't children whining at each other.  This is how politics works...

We won't know for years what effect this will have on the Senate.  I guess we'll probably see some of what happens when it comes time for the next Supreme Court Justice to be appointed, though...  The filibuster will still be around then.  Does this agreement affect anything when that comes around, or does a new compromise need to come about then?  It's unclear from what I've read.

Bill Frist is damn annoying to listen to, though.  Fair up-or-down votes blah blah yadda yadda.  It's important that 40 people can say no to a nominee on occasion, for particularly offensive ones.  That's all it is, an ability that can be dusted off and used when needed.

Eh, whatever.  It's all been said, and better than I can say it.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
Although it would never pass, they should just switch some
nominations to requiring 2/3 majority votes to pass.
That way everyone gets their up or down vote.
May. 24th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC)
It's effectively like that with the filibuster rule as it is. not 2/3, but 60/40. When the 40 people can agree that a nomination should not go through, that's enough to kill a nomination. It's considered an extreme measure, not to be lightly used, but in the face of Bush's selection of nominees it's coming up a lot...
May. 24th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC)
This is a frequent proposal. Make executive branch appointments (including Article I courts) continue to require half the senate, and appointments to Article III courts require 2/3 the way treaties do.

The Senate as an institution might well like that: it gives the Senate more power. But in a period of extremely heavy partisan politics, it can't pass unless one party were to control 2/3 of the Senate. Given that condition, however, I don't know why there would be any particular difficulty, except for general constitutional-amendment-inertia.
May. 24th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
Would it take an amendment? I thought part of the controversy of the nuclear option was that the Senate could just pass a law or internal thing that changed their rules for closing debate. Wouldn't it be possible to change the level of majority to approve appointments through the same mechanism?
May. 24th, 2005 03:10 pm (UTC)
Part of the wicked fun of the nuclear response to the nuclear option would have been a deluge of solid Democratic legislation introduced, contant amendments, and the like, all accompanied with big press releases and roll outs and complaints that Frist won't allow an up or down vote on them.

May. 24th, 2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
Not sure it would have been worth it.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )