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Thursday, November 21, 2013

NUCLEAR OPTION

The Senate reached DEFCON ONE today and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid launched an ICBM that nuked the filibuster rule. 

Q: What exactly happened? 

A: Before today, current senate rules required a three-fifths majority, normally sixty votes, to end debate on a bill, nomination, or other proposal. Without 60 votes to end debate on a judicial nomination, the minority party could block a presidential appointment. Both the Democratic caucus and the Republican caucus have used the threat of a filibuster to block the presidential appointments in the past. But the Republicans have taken it to a new level, attempting to block presidential cabinet appointments (for the first time ever, a party tried to block the appointment of a defense secretary) and blocking 4 of Obama's five nominees to the DC Judicial Circuit Court. In contrast the Democrats blocked one of President Bush's five nominees to the same court. 

To launch his missile, the Senate's presiding officer (Sen Harry Reid, D- Nevada) ruled that a simple majority was now necessary to end debate on judicial nominations for all courts except the Supreme Court. 


Of course the MAD (mutually assured destruction) that kept either party from using the nuclear option was that with the country evenly divided the party in majority can quickly become the party in the minority with the inability to block the other party's  particularly offensive judicial  nominees. However, with the Republicans blocking all three Obama nominees to the DC circuit this month, Senator Reid and the Democrats did their best Popeye imitation and said that "they had all that they could stands, and they can't stands no more" and fired their nuke. 

Today history changed. As to the effects, we will have to wait and see. For more on just how the Senate runs, read Robert Caro's masterful "Master of the Senate" which detailed how Lyndon Johnson ran the senate when he was the majority leader. 

Tomorrow: 11/23/1963 and Frame 313. 


8 comments:

Fake Will Thomas said...

YEHAAA!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Granted, Caro's was a great biography. But for something much more salacious, check this out: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2013/11/sex-in-the-senate-bobby-baker-99530.html. You could' t make this stuff up!

The ballad of Will Thomas said...

Hi Ho Hi Ho
It's off to federal court I go
I'll order a PSI
I won't be shy
hi ho hi ho
hi hi hi hi

hi ho hi ho
It's federal court for me
I'll get paid for life
I'll have no strife
hi ho hi ho

hi hi hi
hi ho hi ho
I'll get a big chambers don' ya know
I can be a jerk
I get my own clerk
Hi ho hi ho

hi hi hi
hi ho hi ho
I'll order the Marshalls to and fro
My calendar comes fist
or you'll get my worst
hi ho hi ho
hi hi hi

hi ho hi ho
Maybe I can get to the 11th circuit don't cha know
atlanta's for me
there's no stopping me
hi ho hi ho
hi hi hi.....

Rumpole said...

In Caro's book after Master Of the Senate he has a long section on Bobby Baker- Johnson's aide, and how Johnson might well have been forced to resign and even indicted if Kennedy had not been murdered. The investigation into Baker was closing in on Johnson and then BOOM Johnson was president. He just barely scraped by.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


The Captain Reports:

Nuclear Option, November 22, and Frame 313 .....

To be clear, the nuclear option employed that now moves back to the simple majority rule in the Senate, will affect not only the President's nominees to become a Judge, (except for the Supreme Court), but all nominations of the President, for Cabinet positions and other posts.

To 6:34 PM and other supporters of Will Thomas:

Not so fast ....

This rule change has nothing to do with Senator Rubio's blocking of Thomas' ascension to the Federal bench. Rubio has not issued his "blue slip" and given his "nod" to the head of the Judiciary Committee that it is ok with him to take a vote on the nominee and then send the recommendation to the floor of the Senate.

The Chair of the Judiciary could do so anyway, but he would then be bypassing another accepted "tradition" and protocol calling for the OK of both State Senators before a nominee faces a full up or down vote.

And Rump - I'm sure you meant to say November 22, 1963 as opposed to November 23rd?

As for Frame 313, maybe some of our robed readers from the GJB could learn a lesson from LIFE Magazine. LIFE chose NOT to publish frame 313 despite having the rights to do so because of the graphic nature of the photo.

How many of you have been in trial on a homicide case when the State insists on showing the jury a photo or many photos, graphic in nature, of the scene of the crime. Photos that will be emblazoned into the memories of each and every jury for the rest of their lives. Photos that don't need to be shown to the jury in order to prove an element in the case. Photos that, the ASA knows, are only being shown for the effect they will have on the jurors, so that they become more likely to return a verdict of Guilty.

Rarely are the photos probative of anything other than showing the jury that the State has a dead body. Something that every defense attorney is willing to stipulate to in most cases.

There have been a few Judges in our courthouse who have had the cajones to say NO to the State and do the right thing.

Cap Out .....
Captain4Justice@gmail.com

Grassy Knoll Guy said...

There is a simple explanation for the nuclear option. The trilateral commission, along with the Fair Play for Cuba committee, the Warren Commission, the United Nations, and the NSA all have a vested interest in placing Will Thomas on the federal payroll, because he is in fact an ALIEN from Area 51, and he is the lead agent in an intergalactic conspiracy to subvert the free market of the United States. And all of those plans were in jeopardy were in danger because Thomas couldn't get a vote.

Anonymous said...

Captain, "cajones" are large boxes in Spanish. "Cojones" are balls.

Anonymous said...

Sure Captain at 9:03, because G-d forbid the jury see your client's actual handiwork. Cajones? Really???