Filibuster Could Be Gone Permanently

By: Friday November 22, 2013 5:35 am

Yesterday Senate Democrats, under the leadership of Majority Leader Harry Reid, voted to junk the filibuster and approve President Obama’s judicial nominees by a simple 51 majority vote – the so-called “nuclear option.” While the move was in theory limited to judges – excluding Supreme Court nominees and bills – the cultural shift may be [...]

Unions Sacrificed In Reid-McConnell Filibuster Deal

By: Wednesday July 17, 2013 5:53 am

While some are trumpeting the deal reached between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on filibustered nominees, the devil is in the details. Part of the deal involved President Obama withdrawing nominees to the National Labor Relations Board, a move one union leader considers a betrayal. Larry Cohen, president of [...]

Obama Admin Going Back To Court Over Recess Appointments

By: Tuesday January 29, 2013 5:55 am

What started as an esoteric dispute over whether a Senate “pro forma” session can technically be considered “recess” morphed into a larger question of executive power when a federal appeals court rejected the Obama Administration’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. But the court went beyond the narrow dispute over pro forma sessions [...]

Judge Strikes Down Constitutional Challenge to the Filibuster

By: Friday December 21, 2012 12:10 pm

If there’s going to be reform to the Senate’s rules, it’s going to have to come from the Senate itself. That’s the implication of a ruling in federal court today throwing out a Constitutional challenge to the filibuster. Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the plaintiffs in the case, who claimed that the Senate used an [...]

Court Hears Arguments on Constitutionality of the Filibuster

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 11:37 am

While Senators work out a potential compromise on the filibuster, one which would in all likelihood keep the option of a supermajority requirement for legislation and confirmations intact while constraining it somewhat, a group of House Democrats have gone to federal court to challenge the filibuster as an unconstitutional procedure: A federal judge began hearing [...]

Senators Getting Cold Feet on Changing Rules By Majority Vote

By: Monday December 10, 2012 1:52 pm

The one reason that a set of filibuster reforms that fall short of eliminating the 60-vote Senate may still allow for majoritarian democracy in that body is that it would set the precedent that the Senate can determine its rules with a majority vote rather than a 2/3 vote. The minority still obstructing consistently would [...]

Boehner Threatens No Votes on Senate Bills if Democrats Push Through Filibuster Reform

By: Friday November 30, 2012 7:45 am

John Boehner, who is not now nor has ever been a Senator, has nonetheless decided to insert himself into the debate over Senate rules reform. Boehner threatened to ignore all bills coming from the Senate passed with the help of a reformed filibuster, which is really all bills, since ending the filibuster on the motion [...]

White House Supports Filibuster Reform Effort

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 10:47 am

President Obama supports the Senate rules reform effort, effectively giving a vote to reformers as they build toward a January showdown. In a statement to the Huffington Post, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer responded positively to the effort, now led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, to reform the process in the Senate. “The President [...]

Republicans Gear Up for Susan Rice Nomination Fight, Which Could Be Stopped By Ending the Filibuster

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 7:00 am

Apparently the meetings between potential Secretary of State nominee Susan Rice and cranky old warhawks didn’t go very well. “Bottom line, I’m more disturbed now than I was before,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the critics, said after the meeting. The Republican senators have repeatedly said they are concerned with how Rice explained what [...]

Filibuster Reform Definitely Coming, But May Not Be Enough

By: Tuesday November 27, 2012 7:02 am

It definitely looks as though we’re headed toward a shift in the Senate rules, though mainly one that facilitates the scheduling of the Senate calendar rather than actually turns the Senate into a majoritarian institution. An exchange between the two leaders on the Senate floor yesterday previewed the expected rule changes: On the Senate floor [...]

White House Makes Politically Expedient End Run By “Designating” Elisse Walter SEC Chair

By: Monday November 26, 2012 10:49 am

The White House, in announcing the departure of Mary Schapiro as Chairwoman of the SEC, also took the unusual step of “designating” her replacement – a way to fill the vacancy at the top of the commission without confirmation in the Senate. Elisse Walter, a current commissioner, will replace Schapiro. Here’s the announcement: President Obama [...]

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