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Archive of posts filed under the Filibuster category.

The Right Way to Change the Senate Rules: A Response to Ilya Shapiro and Others

Ilya Shapiro argues here that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should use the nuclear option to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees. Like many others, he does not seem to have any rule of law concerns with the use of the nuclear option, but it is not clear that he fully understands it either. [...]

The Filibuster, the Nuclear Option and the Rule of Law

Erick Erickson argues here that Senate Republicans would be making a “foolish mistake” if they vote to scrap the filibuster “in its entirety.” He makes a distinction among three different filibusters: (1) the filibuster for executive appointments excluding Supreme Court justices; (2) the filibuster for Supreme Court justices; and (3) the filibuster for legislation. Erickson [...]

Krauthammer on the Post-Nuclear Senate

As I noted in November: “The Senate Republicans may also find that they have a problem with their constituents. If the Democrats filibuster a measure that is important to the Republican base, it will be difficult to explain why the Republican majority is bound to adhere to rules that their opponents do not recognize.” Senate [...]

Cannon on Nuking Obamacare

Michael Cannon has made a suggestion, resembling my last post in some respects, that the new Republican majority in the Senate use the nuclear option for purposes of repealing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. However, for some reason Cannon recommends that the Senate proceed by way of reconciliation, a cumbersome process that is unnecessary [...]

The Filibuster in a Post-Nuclear Senate

Richard Arenberg, an expert on Senate procedure, wrote an interesting article on Monday asking “Would a new Senate majority abuse the budget reconciliation process?” This question matters if one assumes that the minority still has the power to filibuster in the Senate. But does it? The Senate “nuclear option” ruling a year ago did not, [...]

The D.C. Circuit on the Nuclear Option

One additional tidbit from the D.C. Circuit’s decision in Common Cause v. Biden is worth noting. In footnote 5, the court discusses the Senate’s exercise of the “nuclear option” last fall: That opportunity to appeal [from the ruling of the presiding officer] constituted the so-called “nuclear option” the Senate invoked to modify the cloture rule [...]

Common Cause’s Impossible Dream: Act II

Not surprisingly, the D.C. Circuit has affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Common Cause’s challenge to the constitutionality of the filibuster. Like the court below, the appellate panel found the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, but its rationale was somewhat different. The district court’s decision was rooted in the absence of a cognizable injury and [...]

The Debt Limit and the Paradox of the Post-Nuclear Senate

The Senate is set to vote on cloture for the debt ceiling bill that passed the House on Monday. If the cloture vote should fail (i.e., if there are not 60 votes to end debate and advance the measure to final passage), we will have an interesting illustration of the paradox of the post-nuclear Senate. [...]

The Filibuster and Obamacare: My Comments on Seth Tillman’s Comments

Seth Barrett Tillman sends in the following thoughts (also posted on The Volokh Consipiracy)  on Obamacare and the Senate’s use of the “nuclear option” to limit the filibuster: The Nuclear Option and Political Responsibility for Obamacare  The Senate’s use of the nuclear option pins any defects in the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) on the Democrats. [...]

The Senate’s “Neutron Option”?

Roll Call reports this morning:  The Senate voted, 52-48, to effectively change the rules by rejecting the opinion of the presiding officer that a supermajority is required to limit debate, or invoke cloture, on executive branch nominees and those for seats on federal courts short of the Supreme Court. At least three Democrats — Carl [...]