Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Filibuster Gets Nuked

As longtime readers know, I've spoken out about the use and abuse of the filibuster several times over the years. While the parliamentary tool, with its 60-vote requirement, has its uses, its repeated, sustained deployment during the Obama administration demonstrates why the maneuver has long since exhausted its utility. Well, this morning, after yet another Republican blockade threatened to scupper three of President Obama's judicial nominees, the filibuster went bye-bye (at least as it pertains to judicial and cabinet-level positions).

No shock that I'm in favor of this move. And while it preserves the rights of the minority party to oppose legislation and Supreme Court nominees, I'm willing to bet it's only a matter of time, either in this congress or an eventual one, that those restrictions fall by the wayside as well. In big picture political terms, today really did mark the end of an era. While whether that's a good thing or a bad thing in the long run relies greatly on your particular political leanings, congressional scholar Gregory Koger lays out how this happened and what it likely means going forward.

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