Supreme Court Justices.

Will the filibuster rule change set a bad precedent for Supreme Court hearings too?

The Senate’s filibuster deal would limit senators’ constitutionally-enumerated responsibilities to provide advice and consent on judicial nominees, Heritage Foundation legal scholars Todd Gaziano and Andrew Kloster explain.

“This proposal would seriously undermine the rights of sitting senators to call attention to problematic district court nominees and, as a consequence, would enable the President to make more philosophically questionable and professionally unqualified nominations in the future,” they write.

And it bodes poorly for the future, they add:

Limiting the right of objecting senators in this manner will also set a bad precedent for future rules changes. If the majority of Article III judges can be rammed through the Senate with limited debate, why not the rest of them? Why require potential Supreme Court nominees to appear and answer questions at confirmation hearings? The Senate should always be wary of ceding their constitutional prerogatives, but this is a particularly bad consequence of a deal others are legitimately questioning on other grounds.

What do you think of the Senate’s filibuster deal?

Comments (67)

Norm Halderson - January 25, 2013

Once again the REPUBLICAN Leadership caves in to the Dmocrats, sad, sad , sad!!

Peter A Gordon - January 25, 2013

The rules of the Senate are set by the Senate. The Constitution requires that the Senate act to advise and consent to judicial and other nominees to high office in the government. How the Senate organizes to perform this task is up to the Senate to decide. In recent years, since the rejection of Judge Bork, the Senate has allowed the process of advise and consent to become a heavily partisan activity. That the Senate has moved to amend that practice is positive.

Ron Brown - January 25, 2013

It is just another ploy from the left to ram anything they want down the our throat. It is Chicago politics to it’s finest.

Glen Haas - January 25, 2013

Clearly the Repubs thought this was the best deal they could get since Harry Reid threatened to change the rules on his own.

However, this is wrong and probably every Senator understands they have compromised short-term gain for a potential long-term loss, since if the majority swing the other way, it will have set a precedent.

Hauptman - January 25, 2013

I think the “deal” is a major mistake by the foolish Senators who voted for it. This will come back to bite them and their successors when the majority has an R by their names. It is unwise to change the manner by which we allow free and unfettered discussion and opinions to a more restrictive and authoritarian (dictatorship) style of ramming stuff through regardless of the objections of many. We are one step closer to loosing the Republic.

Sandra Fosselman - January 25, 2013

This “deal” terrifies me about the future of managing issues that are presented to the Senate that clearly have detrimental elements for the welfare of America. One that comes to mind is the long history of the filibuster defeating the labor unions when they try to make a power grab.

George Gewehr - January 25, 2013

I think it stinks. Senator Reid is trying to pull a fast move on us. You can trust Reid as far as you can throw him. Which I wish we could, right out of the Senate.

Bart Pemberton - January 25, 2013

More evidence of the complete lack of conservative leadership in the Senate, as well as a lack of intestinal fortitude. There seems to be no fighting spirit whatsoever in the GOP leadership. What in the world do they stand for anymore? It appears they want to stand for what liberals stand for, just a little less and a little more slowly.

Joseph A. Scaturro - January 25, 2013

So much for the U.S. Constitution and the American way of life. It seems to me voting in the U.S. means you vote for a person to get elected so that he can fight to keep his job and be able to run for office again. The perks are great.

Casey Carlton - January 25, 2013

Apparently, Harry Reid looked in the mirror one day and confused himself with God. His delusions are a danger to our freedom, and constantly violate the letter and spirit of the Constitution, which, the last I heard, is the supreme law of the land.

steve schieszer - January 25, 2013

I thought Heritage was to inform and prepare our conservative members of congress. Hillary Clinton mopped them up in the hearing. They will ill prepared gave speeches instead of asking pertinent questions. We don’t know anymore than before the hearing .

Joanne Jepson - January 25, 2013

Filibuster shoul be retained to prevent being overrun by the majority. This should be legally challenged NOW !

august mezzetta - January 25, 2013

Obama is no FDR, who also tried to “pack” the Supreme Court when his Socialist programs were deemed unconstitutional. The only way tyrants can succeed in our country is by trying to subvert the Constitution. This is another attempt by the man “who would be King”.

Benny - January 25, 2013

this is a greater erosion of peoples right to question.

David Dyer - January 25, 2013

I have no idea what the deal is. Please include links to the information explaining the issue on future posts.

Lynn - January 25, 2013

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Nigel - January 25, 2013

I live in Tennessee and called both Corker and Alexander to protest the gutting of the minority’s choice of filibuster to even the playing field. They voted for gutting filibuster rules. I sometimes wonder who these people represent. Or “they know what is best for me”. Boston Tea Party?? Perhaps some one would be so kind as to explain the benefits to the average citizen of this action! It is virtually impossible to find a shred of truth anywhere in government. It all seems like “let them eat cake”. These cowardly actions have permeated the very fabric of our country even to the simplest of activities from purchasing of goods to services. He who speaks first loses is one of the oldest axioms used to be successful in any negotiation. Don’t these “rich” legislators care about truth, small government operated on our Constitutional principles? Our forefathers left tyranny behind. They fought for our ability to protect ourselves from tyranny. Taxation without representation. Where are we today?

Richard Locke - January 25, 2013

Harry Reid has no shame! Mitch McConnell shame on you. Both parties continue to move us towards socialism by filling their pockets with own self interest. North Korea…..D.C. is over there! I called my senators and I too warned them that this will come back on them if the R’s can ever again gain control! Well maybe not….I can’t tell the differance anymore!

Donald Pugh Sr - January 25, 2013

It stinks especially because it just highlights the weakness of the GOP Senate so-called leadership.

James A. Glasscock - January 25, 2013

It appears Mitch McConnel and the Republicans are running out of white flags. If the lot of them are implicated in the ban the filabuster, they are condemning
the minorities’s right to challenge terrible and flawed proposed legislation.
The Republican Party must be indeed the stupid party, or the cowards of Howard County.

Karol Hancock - January 25, 2013

I do not like the deal on the filibuster. Harry Reid needs someone to tell him “he is not God, he is not one of our Founding Fathers and he should learn to abide by our Constitution and all pertaining to it as it is”. If the Republicans do not have the backbone to stand up for what our intelligent legistures before them could do and what is right, they should vacate their seat, so we can fill it with someone that can do the job.

Jim - January 25, 2013

I know if Harry Reid has approved of this deal, then the Republicans have once again made a bad deal. Since he can’t have both houses and the presidency, the next best thing is to make the filibuster ineffective, which he has succeed in doing while the republicans went blindly along with him. For the most part the Republicans are a gutless bunch of hacks who are better qualified to drive taxi cabs in New York city than to attempt to legislate important laws in a country that used to be a world leader.

Gary White - January 25, 2013

As usual the same pattern of RINO leadership caving to shaft the people strikes again. Boehner and Mconnell are in competition to see who can take the country down first.

Jim Johnson - January 25, 2013

I believe Senator McConnell just committed Treason against the members of the Republican party. Anyone can readily see he has worked to assist the Presidents ultra-liberal agenda. One can only surmise what he personally got in return for his back room negotiated deal. Yes, Reid was not allowing Republican amendments, but the Republicans, through the filibuster rule, were able to slow down that aggressive agenda. By negotiating his personal back room deal, then going through all the political arm bending to garner enough votes for it to pass, all he has accomplished is to aid and abet obama’s ultra-liberal agenda. Personally his action should be seen by every Republican as an act of Treason against them. I shudder to think what the result of this action could cost the American people should it be necessary to replace another Supreme Court Justice… Please God, help to save our Constitution!


Barb S - January 25, 2013

I am sad that the Republican senators did not reject this deal!!!!

Bob Conder - January 25, 2013

Another reason to get rid of establishment Republicans. All they know how to do is cave in to the liberal Democrats. I communicated by email with Senator McConnell before he did this under the table deal. So mad and disgusted I could scream!

Sharon - January 25, 2013

Nasty Harry with another power grab The inept and rotten “old- timers” MUST be thrown out. Seems the only ones taking note of the Constitution are the law-abiding citizens (who cling to their religion and guns) and a handful of congressional members.

Ed Turner - January 25, 2013

I called McConnell’s office yesterday. I told the staffer that I had heard her boss was about to make a deal with Reed. She said, ‘Oh,no. That’s just a rumor. It isn’t true.” She was lying through her teeth. How do we deal with these traitorous scum?

robert brubaker - January 25, 2013

Harry reid is the equal to Obama you do not change the rules when they effect you the most throw both ass holes out of office

Sharon DiPiazza - January 25, 2013

Any deal made with Harry Reid cannot be good. He doesn’t know tbe meaning of decency and fairness and even though it is being played as a good compromise…I don’t believe it for a minute. I am seriously questioning Mitch McConnell’s capability. Why is it that only Republicans cave in on every question of integrity? and then tout it as a good deal. I am disgusted with all of them.

Mary Jane Casablanca - January 25, 2013

It’s a stupid devision and dangerous. once again Republicans compromised awaymour liberty!

Hart Kelley - January 25, 2013

The filibuster has allowed the minority party to to insure their voices are heard. With the increasing polarization, this important option should not be diminished.

Lee - January 25, 2013

Would you even consider that this filibuster gimick started way back when the president unconstitutionally appointed the two members to the labor board? How convenient now that the courts have determined the president was wrong that Mr. Reid has solved the problem for him. I would suspect that those two appointees will now receive senate approval quite easily.
I’m beginning to feel like the skier that’s half way down the jump when he sees the landing area suddenly turn to rocks. Is there no way to stop this man?

knowsit - January 25, 2013

The regulations about recess appointments were implemented when House and Senate were filled with Gentlemen Legislators.
In these days, Congress would be in session 3 months in a year. When there was a need for the administration to fill some administrative position, it made sense to allow the president to make a temporary appointments,
With professional legislators, recess lasting less than 4 weeks, it makes no sense at all to have recess appointments.
But petty politics MUST be kept out of the appointment process, no single Senator can be allowed to block an appointment, as happened under Bush 43, with the feud between Chris Dodd and Ambassador Bolton.

Stephen - January 25, 2013

Once the Dems lose the Senate, they’ll whine and cry about not being able to filibuster and then the filibuster rules will be reinstated. Frankly, all of those who whined to get it in and allowed it to happen, Democrat and Republican, should be removed from office and never be allowed into office ever again by We the People.
Republicans! Grow a spine and get some guts when dealing with those elitists!

David D. Arlp - January 25, 2013

The deal has effectively opened the last gate that has held the extreme left that rules instead of governs our nation to a reasonable check that has been around for 214 years. The last gate is down. We’re lost!

J Meixsell - January 25, 2013

Not to be able to filibuster, or to allow only a chosen few to filibuster, would effectively undermine our rights to be represented by the people we choose to serve, yes! serve us in Congress.

Steve Jordan - January 25, 2013

The Republicans are spineless. It’s a bad deal.

Sue B. - January 25, 2013

Our country is a mess…thanks to politicians of both parties. They are so out of touch with the average American. Sadly for the Replublicans, the GOP is digging its’ own grave. And where does that leave us conservatives? Clearly, unrepresented, as once again, McConnell and the others proved today. I’m 62 years olld and have never felt so hopeless as I watch my party implode on a daily basis. The corruption and lack of integrity by our so-called “leaders” terrifies me. God help us!!

C. Leroy Doverspike - January 25, 2013

Th Constitution is the law. NOPresident is above the law to do what he wants to do. Follow the Constitution and hold the Senate to their responsibilities. Let’s return our government to an honest body of elected leaders. If they cannot live by the law and follow what has kept our nation great, then tey should resign.

rich - January 25, 2013

it stinks. usual senate politics, good old boys club, screw the people.

Randy Williams - January 25, 2013

Bad Idea. Reid is using this as a way to push bad legislation through. Just like a liberal.

Michael Deutsch - January 26, 2013

The deal is an abomination. Any Republican Senator voting with Harry Reid on this must be voted out at the next opportunity.
By taking this tack the ship of State is pointed directly over Niagra Falls. Never give up your basic ability to maintain a strong minority voice and cede ground to what has truly been exposed to be the enemies of the rule of law in the United States of America.
Fascism is on the rise in the halls of Congress.

Lester St. Andrie - January 26, 2013

I think that Sen. Mc Connell sold out the republican party with this deal with Sen. Reid. What was he thinking?????

Robert E. Black - January 26, 2013

Just one more step for Harry Reid (Obama’s lapdog) to emasculate the Senate and make it irrelevant in the true function of the three branches of the Federal government.
Witness the failure of the Senate to even attempt to pass a budget these past three years. In my opinion it is part of Obama’s scheme to make the Congress nonfunctional so he will have more excuses to rule by executive order to the maximum extent possible. Harry Reid loves to jump through Obama’s political hoops, wag his tail and lick the hand of his master! Disgusting!!

Nolan Pluke - January 26, 2013

How disappointing that we may forfeit another technique to keep the balance of power so brilliantly developed by our Founding Fathers.

robert mccarthy - January 26, 2013

Nothing should be changed with respect to the current filibusters rules!!!!!!!!!

skip hill - January 26, 2013

After giving away yet another of our options for discussion, what’s next, will our children be next as sacrifice to this regime??? Our Republican leadership are not leaders, nor are they Republicans, they are just another extension of the democratic regime!!

Brenda Phillips - January 26, 2013

It is very upsetting that the Senate would surrender to the left. The Republicans are already the minority party, I see no benefit to giving up a tool designed to strengthen their position.

Eric Renz - January 26, 2013

I hope that the Republicans address Harry Reid in the proper manner “SIG HEIL”

George Warren - January 26, 2013

SPEAK-UP and let our U.S. Senators know that it is a mistake to REMOVE FILIBUSTER, say NO, NO; with this Far-Left President Obama trying to CIRCUMNAVIGATE U.S. Senate, ONLY to get his own way. President Obama reminds me of President FDR and his trying to subvert the U.S. Constitution. We can all do something to make our COUNTRY a wonderful place to live in PEACE, FREEDOM, and SAFETY.
Don’t be afraid to speak-up, GEORGE

Jim Logbeck - January 26, 2013

Mitch McConnel needs to be replaced as the minority leader. What he calls compromise, I call weakness.
He seems to believe that any deal is better than no deal, I believe that he is the wrong deal.

LUIS CUERVO - January 26, 2013

I believe it is a real shame that we don’t seem to have in
Congress Congressmen who have guts to fight all this things that are hurting our people and our Nation.I had hope that Bohener and Ryan would do their best to avoid this from happening,however it did not happen.
My only hope is that Republicans stop fighting among themselves and start working hard and being more open and communicate much better with our people .Then we may have a good opportunity in 2014 & 2016.However I still think that our problem is really responsibility of our own people for giving their votes to Obama , not once but twice carried by their IGNORANCE & STUPIDITY!!!

John Walker - January 26, 2013

This is a bad idea, and this is a bad time to consider changes. Partisan politics is ruining our government. Elected officials need to learn how to compromise again. Until they can work together, no rules changes should be made.

C.R. - January 26, 2013

Two words: It stinks! Wish our representatives in both houses had ba!!s. Shame on you. Reid didn’t want changes before and now he does and you cave. You gotta go and get a real life in the real world and the sooner the better! We need patriotic man and women to represent u and only 2 terms!

Neal Clacher - January 26, 2013

Another incident od the s0-called Republican leaders going along to get along,ie re-elected and in truth to keep their families in the lobbyist business. All the Kings Men are bowing at the alter of BHO

Jack Cross - January 26, 2013

I agree with Ron Brown – We would be losing our only hope to keep conservatism alive in the Congress.

Thomas Jacobs - January 26, 2013

This is really a bad idea, it’s a basicly sit down & shut up deal, the Dems want it so they can ram through any thing they want. it’s one more way that the Democratic rulers can get rid of the opposing party! making king obama more powerful & bolder about wrecking the constution.

Gregg Coldsnow - January 26, 2013

I agree with others that the Republican party has lost whatever spine it once had. The Democrats will stop at nothing to further their power and agenda, and the Repubs (mostly the “old guard”) just sit on their thumbs letting it happen. IF we get to have a 2014 election, a serious housecleaning (no pun!) needs to be done in Both chambers!

Robert Malloy - January 27, 2013

Pathetic. When will learn that we have everything to lose and nothing to gain by negoitiating with elitists.

Holly Chapo - January 27, 2013

Something is wrong with this posting site. Lately, when I have attempted to respond, I get a message that I am posting too quickly. That response suggests Heritage objects to what we have to say. As long as we are not using foul language or calling names that are as negative as the ones the left uses, there is no excuse for this.

Author Katie Nielsen - January 28, 2013

Ms. Chapo,

Thank you for bringing this technical issue to our attention. We are working with our IT department right now to try to resolve this.

Thank you again for taking the time to write to us.


Katie Nielsen

joe - January 28, 2013

Senate has many traitors acting/pretending to represent us and obey the constitution. Funny how if they are all fighting for us howcome none of them have any blackeyes?

Walt Aldridge - January 28, 2013

The Constitution shall not be abridged! It seems as if our representatives and senators have gone south; they appear represent only their party; and have forgotten the people!

Jacki Riley - January 28, 2013

We are dying a slow death!

Ron Vander Boon - January 29, 2013

It stinks

Arlin R. Johnson, Jr. - January 31, 2013

Tinker, Tinker, Tinker with limits to Constitutional principles seems to be what liberal senators and house members enjoy doing.Perhaps each morning the Constitution should be read aloud to the Senate and House to remind them daily to stay within the bounds the Founding Fathers and God set up for a well blessed country.

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