Apparently, the Democrats now have the 51 votes they need to eliminate the filibuster and they are going to push for it soon. My newest piece at the New York Post starts this way:
President Obama’s timing could have been better. Only two weeks ago in Texas, at a fundraiser, he bragged about “remaking the courts.”
Obama told the audience: “In addition to the Supreme Court, we’ve been able to nominate and confirm judges of extraordinary quality all across the country on federal benches. We’re actually, when it comes to the district court, matching the pace of previous presidents. When it comes to the appellate court, we’re just a little bit behind, and we’re just going to keep on focused on it.”
This was quite a change from June, when he accused Republicans of “cynically” engaging in “unprecedented” obstruction of judicial nominations. The president made those charges when he nominated three judges to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia: Patricia Millett, Cornelia Pillard and Robert Wilkins.
With Republicans filibustering these nominations over the last three weeks, Democrats are now threatening to deploy the “nuclear option” — in effect, ending the ability of senators to filibuster court nominations. On Monday, after the vote to break the filibuster on Wilkins failed, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) warned: “The talk about changing the cloture rules for judicial nominations will no longer be just talk. There will be action.”
But this is all political rhetoric; the complaints are exaggerated. In fact, . . .
UPDATE: Compare Obama's statements to the fundraiser two weeks ago to the his statement today. From The Hill newspaper:
[Obama] said “enough is enough” and applauded Senate Democrats for changing the body’s rules to prevent a filibuster on nominations other than to the Supreme Court.
“I support the step that a majority of Senators took to change the way Washington does business,” Obama said. “I realize neither party has been blameless for these tactics ... But today's pattern of obstruction just isn't normal.” . . .
Labels: obamajudicialappointments, op-ed