Filibuster on Judicial Nominees


The Filibuster[1]

-        first recognized filibuster – speaking to delay action – in 1834

-        first “cloture” rule in 1917 (to end debate)

o     only applied to legislative items, not nominees, until 1949

o     super-majority reduced from 2/3rd to 3/5th (60 votes) in 1975

-        35 cloture attempts from 1949-2002 on nominees

o     SC CJ nomination of Abe Fortas filibustered in 1968; nominee withdrawn

o     Judicial nominees have been filibustered


The “Nuclear Option”

-        majority would declare filibuster action “out of order”

o     bypass cloture vote

o     argue that it is “unconstitutional” to filibuster a judicial nomination that has proceeded to the Senate floor

§       would not cover executive nominees

§       not cover judicial nominees in committees

-        effectively would end filibuster