Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The 60 Vote Senate. Really.

Just saw this gem from The Note:
Another judge, Barbara Keenan, was confirmed in March to sit on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The vote was 99-0, but it required a cloture petition and floor time to get there.
No Obama judicial nominees have yet been filibustered...
Hey, ABC News: The point of a cloture vote is to stop a filibuster!  That's why they take that vote!  That's the whole point of the vote! 

No Obama judicial nominees have yet been filibustered?  As far as I know, every single Obama judicial nominee has been filibustered.  Whether or not Republicans eventually insist on a cloture vote, they are insisting on every nominee being able to receive 60 votes.  The rest -- whether they do it via a hold, or demand an actual cloture vote for those with 60 votes -- is just posturing and window dressing. 

Which gets to the current Supreme Court nomination, which, as I said yesterday, is being filibustered.  Not "might be."  Not "if."  Is. 

As I said yesterday -- and I'm going to keep on this one, to the point of being a nuisance, because I think this is being totally misreported -- there might be a possibility that a handful of Republicans might be willing to vote no on a nominee but not vote against cloture.  A possibility.  But for most of them (I'd guess easily over 35 Republicans, and probably most Democrats too) voting no on the nominee and voting no on cloture are identical.  That's just where we are now, and there's no use in pretending otherwise.  And everyone knows that.  The Supreme Court nominee is not going to be confirmed on a 53-47 or 52-48 vote.  That is not possible, under the current rules and practices of the Senate.  So when Jon Kyl says that he's considering a filibuster, don't believe him.  He may be considering whether to vote against the nominee (whoever that turns out to be), but he's not seriously open to the possibility of losing 53-47, and anyone thinking of reporting that should just ask him. 

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