Yahoo News reports that "President Bush set up a showdown with Senate Democrats on Monday by renominating 20 failed judicial nominees, many of whom had been denounced by critics as 'right-wing extremists.'" Senator Ted Kennedy said of the move, "It's regrettable that the administration has resubmitted these highly controversial nominees instead of choosing persons more likely to gain a consensus."
Ten of the nominations stalled in the last Congress as a result of the Democrat's successful reliance on filibuster tactics. The others never made it to the filibuster stage. Democrats have vowed to continue to block the nominations, but some Republicans have threatened to weaken the filibuster safeguard. Yahoo describes the so-called nuclear option:
A simple majority of 51 votes would be needed in the 100-member Senate to change the rules and end filibusters. Republicans have said they expect to be able to muster 51 votes. But some in the party have voiced reservations, saying such a move could come back to haunt them in a future Democratic-led Senate.
Senate Minorty Leader Harry Reid declared, "Republicans would rue the day they changed the rules."
UPDATE: People for the American Way has profiles of many of the renominations. UPDATEII: Julie Saltman has a nice table listing the nominees and what motivated Democrats to filibuster, along with links to their profiles.