“All we are asking for is an up or down vote”. Well, not so much anymore.
In 2004, frustrated by successful efforts by Senate Democrats to block 10 of President Bush’s judicial nominees, Senate Republicans threatened use the “nuclear option” to remove the minority’s right to filibuster judicial nominations. “One way or another, the filibuster of judicial nominees must end,” said then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) in a speech to the Federalist Society.
But now that they are out of power and President Obama has the ability to appoint judges, Republicans are threatening a filibuster of judges if Obama doesn’t appease them. In a letter to the White House yesterday, all 41 Senate Republicans “requested that Obama respect the Senate’s constitutional role in reviewing judicial nominees by seeking their consultation about potential nominees from their respective states.” Politico explains their obstructionist threat:
“Regretfully, if we are not consulted on, and approve of, a nominee from our states, the Republican Conference will be unable to support moving forward on that nominee,” the letter warns. “And we will act to preserve this principle and the rights of our colleagues if it is not.”
In other words, Republicans are threatening a filibuster of judges if they’re not happy.