Friday | May 09, 2003
Changing Senate rules difficult
I am no Senate parliamentarian, and the gods know I couldn't begin decyphering that body's rules.
But while Senate Republicans seek a way to end the Democratic filibusters of three (and possibly more) of Bush's nominees, this article states that changing Senate rules is extremely difficult.
With Democrats already assailing any efforts to change the rules, it was not clear whether Frist can garner Democratic support for his proposal, which he would need because rules changes can be blocked by 34 senators -- an even smaller number than the 41 needed to sustain filibusters against legislation or nominees.I assume committee rules are easier to change, which is why Senate hypocrite Orin Hatch was able to easily change the "blue slip" rules twice to suit his political needs. But for something as drastic as eliminating the filibuster, it seems that things would be a lot more difficult.
But where there's a Senate rule, there's a loophole, so there's no way we can rest easy.
The filibuster is a good rule -- protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority, whether that majority is Democratic, Republican, Green, Libertarian, or anything else.
That the GOP would consider ending the rule for short-term political expediancy, and for the benefit of a couple of nominees, is telling.Posted May 09, 2003 08:52 AM | Comments (111)