Harry Reid Goes Nuclear for Justice in America

reid-nuclear-350Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has begun a major battle for justice in America by winning changes in procedure that will end the worst abuse of Senate rules in American history by Republicans in the upper chamber. It will end their egregious attack against justice through constant filibusters against presidential nominees to fill an alarming number of vacancies on federal courts.

I strongly support the move by Reid to change the rules of the Senate and allow presidential nominations to proceed by majority vote. Obstructive Republican filibusters have discredited the Senate and contributed mightily to the public disapproval of Congress by 90 percent of Americans.

Just in recent weeks, Senate Republicans have filibustered three superbly qualified presidential nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals after having previously filibustered a fourth highly qualified nominee for this court, who became so appalled by this abuse that she withdrew her name from consideration.

The GOP excuse for these filibusters, after previous excuses had been discredited, that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has a light caseload and does not need a full court, is one of the most transparently dishonest, shameful and fraudulent arguments in modern history.

Senate Republicans seek to pack the court by preventing nominees from a Democratic president from being confirmed. When Republican presidents offered nominees to this court, Senate Republicans did not mention the canard of the caseload.

No, the plan of the Senate Republicans is to pack this court by preventing confirmations, failing to fulfill the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to confirm judicial nominations and failing to respect the constitutional duty of the president to offer those nominations.

Brent-Budowsky-175I applaud Reid for taking this bold and principled stand. His leadership is a profile in courage for justice in America.

Reid did everything humanly possible to avoid changing the Senate rules, but the obstruction and arrogance of Senate Republicans in recent days was several bridges too far. It was time to act, and Reid, to his great credit, acted.

It is now time to fill every judicial vacancy on the federal bench, which is what the Constitution requires and American justice demands.

Brent Budowsky
The Hill

Thursday, 21 November 2013


  1. -Nate says

    I just wish he’d done it long ago .

    Why was it ever allowed to announce a filibuster then leave ? this is madness and against the whole idea of what a filibuster is .

    The gop has acted like spoiled children , bullying to get their way again and again and the Democrats have rolled over every time .

    This isn’t America at it’s core .

    FWIW , I remain staunchly Conservative although it’ll be the rare republican I vote for ever again .


  2. harry says

    However much you may like the short term result of this action, you may come to regret the long term results. The rules have been the same until now, this is a new rule. We are not a majority rule government yet now we are at the mercy of one person in the senate. Only bills that Reid wants to discuss will come before the senate, all others will rest where they have slept during his term as leader of the senate. Our new health care law, once known as Obama care, was not debated under regular order, it was created in rooms far from the senate floor, brought to the floor, and passed with most, but not all, votes of democrats. It is always bad when laws do not have some support from both parties, when regular order is not used, and no GOP votes were given in either house to Obama care.
    What is funny about this rule change is all the major players have declared it an act that should never happen and then they make it happen. This will have far reaching changes to other acts of government in the future. I feel it is being done to secure the 2014 elections. wait and learn.

    • JoeWeinstein says

      Harry, You are correct about the sneaky backroom creation of ACA, but don’t confuse that with other issues. Boehner repeatedly uses a bare majority to do exactly what you speculate and complain that Reid will do. Your complaint – ‘this is a new rule’ [as if ‘new’ is inherently bad] is precisely what the Dixiecrats said or could have said when Ev Dirksen et al enabled civil rights legislation to happen by allowing amendment, from 2/3 to 3/5, of the majority requirement for cloture. And your theory of bipartisanship being necessary – or even possible – for good law has broken down, because Congressional Gops now time and again say yes or no (and rarely maybe) not on the merits but on a strictly label or doctinal basis. [Label it ‘Obamacare’ and these Gops will and did say no, no matter what the content, on account of the label. Label it ‘Romneycare’ and the same Gops would (and did) say no, but for doctrinal reasons – they oppose Anycare.]

  3. dusty says

    You can’t stand down to bullies even once. I know because being not too big a man I had to take on several bullies — one with a knife and when I refused to back down and submit he gave up. If I had given in to him he would have bullied me from then on. Get real Brent about the way things are.

  4. dusty says

    Even if the seats are filled they will be filled by people from or representing the interests of the ruling elite. The weaknesses in the WH has just been demonstrated by letting insurance companies screw people for another year. Then it will be another, and another … instead of medicare for all and single payer across the nation.

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