Obstructionists Force Rule Change on Filibusters

November 21, 2013
Amanda Simon
[email protected]
Washington, D.C. – The Senate voted today to change the rules of the Senate to give judicial and executive nominees a 50 vote threshold rather than a 60 vote threshold. Senate Republicans have consistently used the need for 60 votes to block President Obama’s nominees, leaving vital executive and judicial positions vacant.  
ACS President Caroline Fredrickson on today’s vote:
“With obstructionists in the Senate bent on shutting down the judiciary, something had to give. President Obama has three years left in his term and he must be able to fill these positions. The government must be allowed to function and our judiciary must be able to serve the people. In order to do that the Senate must fill its constitutional role or we will face an even bigger crisis down the road. Our judicial system is hamstrung and a rules changes was necessary to ensure it gets back up and running.”
Read more on judicial nomination reform from Richard W. Painter, former Bush Administration White House Associate Counsel and Chief Ethics Lawyer.
For more on the D.C. Circuit vacancy crisis, read former D.C. Circuit Chief Judge Patricia Wald’s op-ed in the Washington Post.
To speak with Fredrickson, contact Amanda Simon or Jeremy Leaming at [email protected] or (202) 393-6187. To learn more about the judicial vacancy crisis, visit JudicialNominations.org.
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), founded in 2001 and one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals dedicated to making the law a force to improve lives of all people. For more information about the organization or to locate one of the more than 200 lawyer and law student chapters in 48 states, please visit www.acslaw.org.