Friday, November 22, 2013

This is Why Reid Pushed the Button

Let's be serious.  A Senate filibuster is no longer the heroic personal campaign of Mr Smith having come to Washington.  It has become a mere bureaucratic exercise, requiring no all-night speechmaking, no special nutrition or wariness of bathroom needs.  Since the 1990s, as the Atlantic's Garrett Epps says, "either debate or a final vote can be prevented by one senator filing a piece of paper on the way to lunch at the Monocle."

And it has been used with an historically unprecendented frequency by Senate Republicans in the Obama era, not merely to block the appointment of federal judges but simply as a form of protest against other matters, often unrelated to the appointment under review.  It has become absurd, and the smooth function of our national judiciary has been impaired by it.

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