Google+ Followers

Friday, May 12, 2017

Challenging the Senate's ending filibuster

Legal scholars, tell me if I am wrong about this.

Whether it was Harry Reid's original action or the final act led by Mitch McConnell, the ending of the 60-vote requirement for approving Presidential nominees disrupted the Constitutional balance of power and unique characteristic of the US Senate.

It is this analyst's belief that here is an opportunity for former President and Constitutional Law Scholar to take action to the Supreme Court to argue that the Senate's move to change the rules should have the approval of the entire government with there being an amendment to the Constitution making the change.

"Ours has been a remarkably stable democracy, with control of Congress and the White House shifting back and forth election to election but the judiciary less susceptible to such swings. That was how our Founding Fathers intended it; why else make federal judges lifetime appointees? Presidents have wide latitude in making such appointments, and there's no question that judicial philosophy plays a role in whom a president chooses. But in the past, the tempering force of the old Senate rules meant few presidents risked putting forth a nominee who was outside the mainstream. President Donald Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch was in that tradition; Gorsuch is a mainstream judge. But Democrats, angry with Trump on a host of issues, chose to dig in their heels -- and Senate Republicans followed the Democrats' example by blowing up the remnants of the old rules. 
Political majorities don't last forever, and I'm betting those on both sides of the aisle will have ample opportunity in the future to rue the day they started down this path. I'm welcoming Justice Gorsuch but saying a sorry farewell to a tradition that has helped forge consensus at difficult times."

It is called the "nuclear option."

"The nuclear option is a parliamentary procedure that allows the United States Senate to override a rule or precedent by a simple majority of 51 votes, instead of by a supermajority of 60 votes. The option is invoked by the presiding officer of the body ruling that the validity of a Senate rule or precedent is a constitutional question. The issue is immediately put to the full Senate, which decides by majority vote. The procedure thus allows the Senate to decide any issue by majority vote, regardless of existing procedural rules, such as current Senate rules specifying that ending a filibuster requires the consent of 60 senators (out of 100) for legislation and 67 for amending a Senate rule. The term "nuclear option" is an analogy to nuclear weapons being the most extreme option in warfare."

The charge: sabotaging the US Constitution 

No comments:

Post a Comment