The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the nuclear option for filibuster reform will be “on the table” if Republicans make good on their threat to block President Obama’s nominees to serve on the powerful D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I think that the rules change will come back on the table if it’s filibustered,” Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) told C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program on Thursday. “Because it is one thing if you had somebody who is not qualified. These people are extraordinarily well qualified.”
Leahy has so far been soft-spoken about the prospect of changing the Senate’s filibuster rules by a simple majority vote — the so-called “nuclear” or “constitutional” option. But he made clear that Democrats want to fill those particular court of appeals seats and accused Republicans of seeking to block Obama’s three nominees in order to maintain the court’s conservative tilt.
What the Republicans got in the alleged deal last month was the right to do whatever Reid & Co. want them to do, nothing more. If there is a hint of opposition, the original threat returns. It is the kind of iron-willed brilliance that McConnell is known for.
But I’m a purist loon whenever I suggest a change in leadership.
Meet me in Costa Rica.