So many people wanted to know our take on this that it crashed our website for awhile, so we posted our statement on today's rules reform victory here. But the site is back up and you can find out more about Senate rules reform and the D.C. Circuit at www.afj.org
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 21, 2013 – Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron issued the following statement in response to today’s vote to change the rules of the Senate:
Alliance for Justice commends Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senators who voted to change Senate rules today for their courageous decision to end the unprecedented abuse of Senate rules by a Republican minority dedicated to obstruction-at-all-costs.
This was not a decision made easily or taken lightly. There was no choice. The Republican minority had turned the existing rules into weapons of mass obstruction. Most recently, they acknowledged that they had no grounds to oppose on the merits President Obama’s supremely-qualified nominees for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. But they filibustered those nominees anyway.
This change in the rules is the only way to return the Senate to its place as the world’s greatest deliberative body; it is the only way to ensure that the Senate can put the well-being of the American people ahead of the political interests of an extremist minority.
Now that the rules have changed, the Senate must move quickly to confirm President Obama’s D.C. Circuit nominees, and all of the other nominees that, until now, have been held hostage to obstruction. Those nominees include 14 more nominees for judgeships who are currently awaiting Senate floor votes, and executive branch nominees such as Rep. Mel Watt, D-N.C., whose nomination to run the Federal Housing Finance Agency was filibustered last month.