Democrats Propose Elimination of Filibuster

Democrats, led by Sen. Tom Harkin (D.,Iowa)and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D.,Conn), offer a proposal to amend Senate Rules to eliminate all filibusters, not just those against judicial nominees. The sponsors of the proposal announced that “the filibuster rules are unconstitutional” and that “the filibuster is nothing short of legislative piracy.”

Despite its support by senior senators you didn’t hear about this proposal from the ads by Moveon.org blasting Republican Senators. You also didn’t hear about it from Democratic Senators, like Sen. Lieberman who today held a press conference to criticize Republican Senators for attempting to restore Senate tradition to the judicial confirmation process.

Why? Because it was proposed in 1995.

Read Sean Rushton’s article on “Filibuster Rules: Then and Now” for an interesting treatise on how, when it suits the Democrats, they are willing to change Senate Rules, but when it isn’t in their best interest they will oppose any rule change. The history of the filibuster is interesting.

Sen. Jon Kyl (R.,AZ) said today that Sen. Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R.,TN)will try to negotiate with Democrats to arrive at some reasonable accommodation to permit the President’s judicial nominees to have a fair up or down vote. Failing that, he will propose that the filibuster rules be changed to permit a simple majority of the Senate to be able to confirm a judicial nominee. Sen. Kyl said that it will come to a vote in the next few weeks if something can’t be worked out.