“We’ve all been involved in fights over judicial appointments, but what’s happening now is well beyond anything we’ve ever encountered. There is nothing that can possibly justify this abuse of the process and the traditions of the Senate,” Nan Aron said today at a panel on Senate rules reform organized by Common Cause. The panel, “Shackled Senate: How the Filibuster is Holding Hostage our Congress, A Case for Senate Rules Reform,” took place this morning at the National Press Club and featured remarks from Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who expressed his frustration at the misuse of the filibuster by the minority to obstruct and delay, calling the Senate “totally dysfunctional,” and “the only democratic body in which the minority gets to determine what passes.” Senator Harkin said he would push for rules reform on January 5.
Nan Aron discussed how the abuse of Senate rules has damaged our courts. “Every single nominee has been subjected to filibusters, threats of filibusters, or secret holds,” she said. “The impact of obstruction on our system of justice is enormous. Our courts are in crisis.”
Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Coalition on Civil and Human Rights, joined Nan Aron on the panel, which was moderated by Bob Edger, President of Common Cause. Larry Cohen, President of the Communications Workers of America introduced Senator Harkin.Update: watch a video of Nan Aron's remarks, embedded below. Go to Common Cause's YouTube channel to watch more videos from the event.