Latest Judicial Filibuster Strengthens Case for Senate Action to Restore Majority Rule

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  • Dale Eisman

The Senate filibuster blocking a vote on Judge Robert Wilkins is profoundly disappointing but hardly surprising, Common Cause said Monday.

“A Senate minority has again prevented a yes-or-no confirmation vote on a judicial nominee for reasons wholly unrelated to his qualifications,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, Common Cause’s senior vice president for policy and programs. “So much for the so-called gentlemen’s agreements that were supposed to prevent such abuses of democracy.

“With one exception, the minority has blocked confirmation votes on every one of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit, each of whom had the support of a bi-partisan majority of senators. In Judge Wilkins’ case, 54 of 100 senators were prepared to move forward but were blocked by just 39.

“As a growing chorus of senators has recognized, this flagrant abuse of the democratic process can only be remedied by reforming the filibuster and restoring majority rule. It’s time for Majority Leader Reid and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put democratic principles ahead of short-term political interests and end the gridlock that inflames the public’s cynicism about government and paralyzes our nation.”

Common Cause’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the filibuster rule and the 60-vote supermajority requirement it imposes for Senate action is scheduled for argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on January 21, 2014.