By Miriam Raftery
November 25, 2013 (Washington D.C.) --Senate Democrats have deployed what some call the “nuclear” option: ending the filibuster on most judicial and cabinet appointees. The move eliminates the ability of the minority party to block an up or down vote on nominations.
The action came after Republicans used the filibuster process to block not just controversial nominees, but virtually all of them. President Obama has had 72 of his judicial nominees blocked. That’s by the most for any president. By contrast, presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Bush senior each had zero nominees blocked by filibusters. Carter and Reagan had just two each. Clinton had 9 of his nominees blocked and the second President Bush had 7 of his nominees filibustered.