Filibuster Rolled Back

Well, the Senate voted to effectively end the filibuster (or I presume to end the need for 60 votes for cloture) with respect to votes on Presidential nominations that require Senate approval.

As a libertarian, I am generally a big fan of the filibuster rules.  Anything that can slow the relentless march of more and more legislation is a good thing.

That said, I have always been uncomfortable with the filibuster rules as applied to basic Senatorial tasks, particularly the need to approve Presidential appointees.  I think that the Senate reasonably owes the President a timely vote on nominations, so I think from a good government standpoint, this makes sense.

And that being said, the problem is the incredibly extra-Constitutional powers that have been given to certain administrative functions.  I can't argue with filling judge positions in a timely manner, or getting a new Secretary of State hired, but some of the Administrative agencies have acquired to themselves such crazy, unchecked, arbitrary power that the only way to dial them back at all is to try to keep them unfilled.  The filibuster was really the last check available to the minority party on agencies run wild.

So I have mixed feelings.  The Republicans overplayed their hand on some nominations that probably don't matter much while Democrats have convinced themselves that they are never going to lose the White House again so this is one expansion of majority power that will never benefit the Republicans.


  1. HenryBowman419:

    I don't think the Senate owes the President a timely vote on his nominees, as often, depending upon the President, nominees are horrible. Of course, if the Republicans retake the Senate in 2014 (a possibility, albeit not terribly likely), today's vote may come back to haunt the Dems.

  2. Unix-Jedi:

    They'll just vote to put it back on the last day of the current session.

  3. HenryBowman419:

    I think that such cannot be done in the same session. Of course, those rules can be "relaxed", as well.

  4. MNHawk:

    "Democrats have convinced themselves that they are never going to lose the White House again"

    I'm not so sure the Dems are convinced of anything, beyond finding the need for a squirrel to distract from the spectacular failure of Obamacare. What cloture has ensured, is a check on extreme back and forths in our government, arguably a reason America excelled beyond other nations.

  5. Gdn:

    If the Republicans retake the Senate in 2014, it doesn't bite the Democrats on this issue. It's not like the Senate can MAKE the President accept a non-nominee.