Completely tired of the GOP’s interference with President Obama’s nominees for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, more Senate Democrats are now in favor of altering filibuster rules with the “nuclear option.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) expressed her decision to change filibuster rules citing her frustration with Republicans. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also claimed her newly-found support for the nuclear option.
“I am very open to changing the rules for nominees,” said Boxer. “I was not before, because I felt we could work with them. But it’s gotten to an extreme situation where really qualified people can’t get an up-or-down vote.”
Over the summer, a bipartisan deal meant to bring in the votes for the nominees hit a wall. This standstill is what pushed Feinstein onto the supporting side of changing the filibuster rules.
“We had a meeting in the Old Senate Chamber and everybody had an opportunity . . . to really express themselves,” she said. “I thought it was going to bring about new day. The new day lasted one week, and then we’re back to the usual politics.”
The harshest critic, unsurprisingly, is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Last week, she spoke before the Senate, criticizing the Republicans “dubious distinction of having filibustered all three women that President Obama nominated to the D.C. circuit.”
Warren noted the impressive resume shared by all three nominees, having argued 45 cases before the Supreme Court along with having majority support in the Senate. Since the Reagan Administration, the D.C. Circuit Court has consistently been right-sided. And Warren urged senators to allow Obama’s nominees to the court, much like other, conservative, presidents have been allowed to do.
Although some important Democratic senators have joined the push to alter filibuster rules, it is still unknown as to whether the required 51 votes to implement the nuclear option have been accrued.