Monday, April 25, 2005

How to dismantle a nuclear option

After weeks of bloviation and bluster from both sides of the aisle, U.S. senators may be about to strike a deal to save the filibuster.

Under the proposed compromise, reported by The Associated Press today, Democratic senators would allow confirmation votes for two 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nominees who were blocked during President Bush's first term. In return, Bush would offer a less controversial nominee for a third 6th Circuit vacancy, and Republican senators would withdraw their threats to eliminate the filibuster for judicial nominations.

The compromise sounds eminently reasonable, and most importantly, it would preserve the filibuster, a crucial procedural check on the majority that both parties have used to their benefit in recent years. Kudos to Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., if they can make the compromise a reality.

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